13th Annual NORDP
Research Development Conference

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Concurrent Sessions 5 | Tuesday, May 4 | 4:00 - 5:00 pm EDT


Lightning Storm: Practical Project Management Tips for Research Development Professionals

Sharon Pound, University of Tennessee; Anne Maglia, University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Samarpita Sengupta, UT Southwestern Medical Center; Laura Miller, University of Pittsburgh; Maureen Bonnefin, Washington State University; and Jessica Moon, Stanford Aging and Ethnogeriatrics (SAGE) Center, Stanford University School of Medicine

A series of six lightning talks will present a fast-paced glimpse into project management (PM) tips that can enhance research development initiatives. Topics include:

  • PM Basics – Increasingly more funders are requiring proposals to include professional approaches to project management through project execution plans (PEPs) or project management plans (PMPs). We will discuss sponsors’ motivation for requiring PEPs/PMPs, introduce the most frequently required sections, define commonly used jargon, and provide a few writing tips and best practices.
  • PM Tools – Managing projects, tasks, and people while keeping an open communication with the team can be daunting; not everything can be tracked through Excel sheets. Enter project management software to save the day! Such software can help teams prioritize tasks, manage project status, and help other team members fill in, when necessary. We will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of various project management software, costs, and other characteristics of these software platforms.
  • Evaluation – Evaluation and assessment plans are a part of most proposals, and they also strengthen RD office management. We will highlight the areas of project management that directly translate into the development and execution of evaluation plans for projects and programs, including performance baselines, milestones, and consideration of tools and templates.
  • Communications – Quality communications are key to successful projects. Without an effective communication plan, projects can easily get off track or worse, fail. We will briefly discuss best practices for developing a communication plan, while providing enough flexibility to communicate with a vast array of stakeholders, many of whom are not used to the formal project management.
  • Stakeholders – RD professionals can benefit from knowing how to conduct a stakeholder analysis. We will demonstrate how to brainstorm who they are, prioritize them by power and interest, and evaluate their potential impact on the project to create a stakeholder register and define an engagement strategy.
  • Collaboration – Collaboration plans are becoming a key component to team science success, as indicated in the 2019 book, Strategies for Team Science Success. We will review the chapter, “Comprehensive Collaboration Plans: Practical Considerations Spanning Across Individual Collaborators to Institutional Supports,” with insights derived from recent team development initiatives. (Advanced | Career and Personal Development)

Scenario Planning: Building Resilience in Uncertain Times

Karen Walker, Arizona State University,: Alba Clivati-McIntyre, The Ohio State University; and Jamie Burns, Arizona State University

The current confluence of political, health and economic crises has tested universities like never before. The university research ecosystem is now facing unprecedented challenges that will require a multifaceted response and an understanding of the forces driving these changes. Scenario planning is a technique which presents leadership with multiple plausible futures to explore, thereby raising awareness of key trends and reducing risks. This session will provide an overview of the technique and illustrate how RD professionals can utilize it through examples from a case study conducted by analysts at Arizona State University and The Ohio State University. (Intermediate | Strategic Research Advancement)

Institutional Engagement – Breaking down the Silos to Optimize Corporate Engagement

Ellen Piccioli, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Amy Gantt, Tufts University; Antje Harnisch, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Arlene Parquette, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Welcome to our cross-university panel where you can learn and share best known methods on engaging companies – topics include, for example: how to best share company information internally among your university counter-parts in research support, advancement, sponsored projects, and corporate engagement? How to efficiently collect, quickly summarize, and share key data on your university’s engagement with a given company? How do you optimize and prioritize going forward? Learn about dashboards and how this tool is used for both internal and external communications. Get different perspectives from multiple universities on the panel, as well as audience participants!  (Intermediate | Communication of Research and Research Priorities)

So you want to collaborate with a Canadian Institution, eh?

Mary Ann Pollmann-Mudryj, The University of Western Ontario, and Mady Hymowitz, The University of Western Ontario

Are you involved in developing proposals that include collaborations with Canadian institutions? Are there things that research development professionals should know beforehand to help make the proposal and application development processes smoother? This session will provide a forum to share tips, experiences, and best practices to developing collaborative projects from the Canadian perspective. This session will also provide research development professionals with some information on the Canadian research environment – what are some of the key differences to keep in mind as you prepare the proposal and application for submission. (Fundamental | Proposal Support and Development)

How Faculty Influencers can strategically grow your campus research culture

Jaynie Mitchell, Brigham Young University; Kristen Kellems, Brigham Young University; Kaylie Winterton, Brigham Young University; and Aimee Kirlew, Brigham Young University

Don’t tackle RD alone! Key faculty members can act as Influencers to build a culture of research development at any institution, large or small, public or private. Our engaging session will highlight how faculty across Brigham Young University work with our  research development council to (1) encourage participation in interdisciplinary projects, (2) mentor new and early career faculty, and (3) contribute to a culture of excellence through on-going participation in RD sponsored events. Come and learn how to tap into the power of Faculty Influencers to energize the research culture at your institution. (Fundamental | Communication of Research and Research Priorities)