Call for Abstracts
2019 National Organization of Research Development Professionals
11th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference
Providence, Rhode Island
April 29-May 1, 2019

Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2019 National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) Research Development Conference, in Providence, Rhode Island, April 29-May 1, 2019.  

Abstracts are due by Sunday, November 25, 2018 11:59 PM Pacific Time.  The submission system will be opened in mid-October. This deadline will not be extended.

We welcome submission of abstracts for presentations that, for example:

  • Demonstrate ways in which research development professionals support, encourage, and empower researchers to try new things – to create and mobilize knowledge, to try new funding mechanisms or multi-disciplinary grants, to participate in campus think-tanks or networking events
  • Explore new approaches used in research development programs
  • Explore creative resources for personal and career development
  • Emphasize innovative roles and the value of research development in the broader research enterprise
  • Introduce and explore essential topics and issues in research development

We encourage submissions from all NORDP members, including those new to the field and to the organization.  Please consider submitting to help us build a strong program!

Format Options

Please review, as the options have changed this year.  You may submit abstracts for several different conference presentation formats, through separate submissions: 

Oral Individual or Panel Presentations—One-hour sessions—are intended for individuals or panels of no more than four persons to present information related to the NORDP mission and important to advancing the skills or professional development of conference participants.  Audience size at these sessions is anticipated to be between 25 and 75; audio-visual equipment for slide presentations will be provided.  One hour sessions will be scheduled on Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1.

Oral Individual or Panel Presentations—Two-hour sessions—allow individuals or panels of no more than four persons to explore an issue or opportunity related to the NORDP mission and/or important to developing the skills or professional development of conference participants with more in-depth discussion, allowing more interactive activities, and/or involving the participants more fully in the session.  Audience size at these sessions is anticipated to be between 40 and 75; audio-visual equipment for slide presentations will be provided.  Applicants should provide a clear rationale for the need of extra time to accomplish the goals of the session.  All two-hour sessions will be on Monday, April 29.

For Oral Individual or Panel Presentations generally:  Please avoid presenting case studies from a single institution or program.  Case studies are more appropriate for a poster in the Idea Showcase.  Oral Individual or Panel Presentations are most effective when you want to tackle a significant over-arching issue, problem or hot topic in Research Development and highlight data, solutions, and programs from a diverse array of institutions or perspectives.

Lightning Talks—Five-minute presentations—New to NORDP this year will be an opportunity for individuals to share new and creative ideas for fostering research development.  Based on Ignite (, you will have five minutes and 20 slides for your presentation; slides will advance automatically every 20 seconds. Presenters will be grouped into 60-minute sessions, to be delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Idea Showcase is designed for individuals or small teams to present posters illustrating their own approaches to problems and solutions in research development, to showcase best practices and case studies, and to introduce innovative and/or experimental ideas.  Presenters chosen to participate in the 
Idea Showcase will provide their own posters at their own cost.  Posters will be presented for discussion during the Tuesday Idea Showcase and Reception during the conference.

Roundtables—One-hour sessions—allow conference attendees to participate in a discussion focused on a specific issue related to Research Development. Applicant will serve as “host.” Roundtables encourage networking and sharing of individual experiences in an open setting. Applicants should provide a description of the topic and its relevance to NORDP members, as well as be willing to commit to lead the roundtable discussion.  

You may make more than one submission.  Each submission should be for one type of session; if you are submitting two separate/distinct abstracts, then a second application would be required. To maximize both the quality of the presentations and the diversity of speakers (including the types of institutions they represent), the Program Committee is less likely to approve more than one presentation per lead presenter.

For each submission, please identify the audience for whom the content is targeted:  

Essential: The session is aimed at providing knowledge and content fundamental to RD.  Content may be appropriate for individuals interested in RD or new to RD, individuals already in RD but whose job responsibilities do not currently include the indicated topic, or those who want a refresher.  Note that “essential” doesn’t mean “easy,” just that the information is fundamental to nearly all in RD.

Intermediate: Content in these sessions is fundamental to RD, but indicative of or relevant to individuals who have been involved in RD (or the given topic) for more than one year.  This information can also be useful to individuals thinking about the next steps in their career or about skills and responsibilities they want to gain.

Advanced: Content in these sessions is relevant to and aimed at individuals who already have significant skills in the given topic; who have or are working toward leadership roles in RD (including those who are “offices of one”); and/or who have an institutional leadership role or advise institutional leaders.  This information can also be useful to experienced individuals thinking about their next career steps or about skills or responsibilities they want to gain.

All members: This session is relevant to those at all stages in their research development careers.

The Program Committee intends to balance the program with topics across these ranges, so that the needs of all our members are addressed by the conference programming.

If you are looking for a partner for your presentation, please add your name, contact information, and topic here.

Abstract Submission

Submit to the NORDP submission system (which will open in mid-October). The deadline for Submissions is: Sunday, November 25, 2018, 11:59 PM Pacific Time. An abstract application template follows this Call for Abstracts to assist with the development of submissions.

Once submitted, you will be able to edit your submission up to the deadline date. No changes may be submitted after the deadline.

Review and Notification
Abstracts will be reviewed by the 2019 Conference Program Committee.  The review process is confidential.  Reviewers will be asked to evaluate abstracts based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the abstract; 
  • Likelihood that the abstract will engage participants and promote discussion; 
  • Clarity in describing the session’s objectives, outcomes, and intended audience; 
  • Relevance of the topic in providing key content to research development or advancing professional development for RD professionals; and
  • Suitability of the topic to the presentation format proposed; 

Important Information for Presenters

The Program Committee will select presentations based upon the reviews and ratings of all abstracts submitted, available time slots for presentations, and diversity of presentation topics and levels, including diversity of represented institutions.

Abstracts from any presenter that appears to be identical to a presentation made in the previous two conferences will not be accepted for presentation in 2019, absent substantial revisions or new information.  Note: This policy only applies to Oral Individual or Panel Presentations, not Idea Showcase posters. 

Individuals who have presented NORDP webinars are encouraged to propose the same or a similar topic for a conference presentation, where they can reach a broader audience.  

If your abstract includes co-presenters, the corresponding presenter’s name should appear first in the author listing.  There is no limit to the number of times an individual may be a co-presenter on abstracts.  The corresponding presenter must inform and have agreement from all co-presenters of the abstract submission.

If your abstract is selected for a One or Two-hour Oral Individual or Panel Presentation, the corresponding presenter and up to three other presenters are expected to register and attend the meeting and make the presentation (no more than four presenters in a panel).  If your abstract is selected for the Idea Showcase, at least the corresponding presenter is expected to attend the NORDP annual meeting and present the poster. 

Please do NOT submit an abstract as a corresponding presenter if you do not plan to attend the NORDP annual meeting. 

If you cannot present as scheduled, please notify the Conference co-chairs (Kari Whittenberger-Keith,; Jan Abramson, as soon as possible in advance of the conference.  Substitution of the lead presenter in sessions requires prior approval from the Conference Program Sub-committee. 

All presenters and group panelist co-presenters must register for the conference and submit the online presenter’s agreement.  All final instructions and information will be sent to you in a speaker’s packet.  The NORDP Professional Development (PD) Committee will be offering a presentation skills webinar in winter 2019 to provide additional training on making effective presentations; presenters are encouraged to attend the webinar.

If you invite colleagues who are not NORDP members to co-present, please be aware that, as with other professional organizations, they will be expected to pay for their meeting registration and other expenses.  Please make this expectation clear to your colleagues.

If you have any questions regarding the abstract selection process, please contact the NORDP Conference Co-Chair Kari Whittenberger-Keith at 

Thanks and we look forward to receiving your abstracts!

Abstract Application Template

Author(s):  Name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) (Corresponding author should be listed first)

Session Type (check one):  
One-hour Oral Individual or Panel Presentation
Two-hour Oral Individual or Panel Presentation 
Lightning Talk
Idea Showcase
Roundtable Discussion

Intended Audience (check one):

All members

Brief Bio for each listed author (500 characters for each brief bio, including spaces)

Presentation Title:

Full Abstract (2,000 characters maximum including spaces)

Your abstract should address the following:
Brief description of the information, solutions and/or best practices that will be presented in the session. More specifically:
What are the goals of your session?
What will participants learn after attending your session?
Will you be introducing new concepts, skills development, or theories? If so, please describe.
How will your session support the concept of advancing the field of research development?

Program Abstract (100 words)

This is your opportunity to promote your session!

This abstract will be in the conference program and will also be used to market selected sessions. It must be program ready upon submission. This means that your abstract should be proofread for both content and grammar, and be written in a concise, vigorous, compelling tone that tells a potential audience member what s/he will learn or gain by attending your session.

Presenters will not have an opportunity to change their program abstracts, unless specifically requested by the Conference Program Committee.