13th Annual NORDP
Research Development Conference

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Plenary Session Speakers


Monday, May 3

11:00 am - Noon EDT

Opening Keynote: Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation

Strengthening the Symbiosis of Exploratory and Translational Research @ Speed and Scale

For more than 70 years, the National Science Foundation has been powering discovery and innovation across the entire range of fundamental science and engineering research. As NSF’s 15th Director, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan sees extraordinary opportunities ahead for the research community to build on that legacy. The framework for seeding bold, large-scale innovative research with meaningful societal impact is part of the DNA of NSF. By harnessing the tremendous STEM talent that exists in every community, bolstering partnerships, and supercharging the synergy between “curiosity-driven, discovery-based exploratory research” and “use-inspired, solutions-focused, innovation,” NSF can unleash transformative breakthroughs into the future.

 3:30 - 5:00 pm EDT

Afternoon Plenary: Mark Bayer, Bayer Strategic Consulting
Alternative Facts in the Academy: The Art of Pushing Back and Persuading When Data Aren't Enough

For more than 200 years, evidence-based public policies, rooted in facts and sound science, have been a cornerstone of our democracy. Consequently, the marginalization of scientific expertise ultimately affects policymaking; it warps our laws and regulations, enables harmful activities dangerous to public health and well-being, and erodes confidence in our systems of government. The impacts extend to society from there.

How can Research Development professionals push back against the ongoing assault on science? According to Bayer there are ways to change minds when alternative “facts” and misinformation take root in our organizations.

Join Mark Bayer and leave armed to lay a foundation for cooperation; how to detect alternative facts and artfully dispel them; how to use the power of “gilt by association” to defuse difficult situations; and how to use Emotional Intelligence tools to reduce friction, align interests and increase effectiveness.


Tuesday, May 4

11:00 am - Noon EDT Morning Plenary: Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research
Extramural Research in the Era of COVID-19: An NIH Perspective

Dr. Lauer will address a number of topics of interest to the extramural Research Development community.  These include short-, intermediate-, and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; evolving trends in extramural NIH-funded science; and the critical importance of integrity and trust as bedrock principles underlying the research enterprise.


 Wednesday, May 5

11:00 am - Noon EDT

Dr. Robert Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, University of Michigan
How Research Development Professionals Can Be Change Agents for Promoting Anti-Racism with the Academy

Research development professionals play a vital role within the academy. They work with the entire span of most of our institutions as well as are key facilitators in the scholarly production of our faculty and students. This presentation examines the role that they can play as agents of change in dismantling racism within academia. The presentation will begin with a brief overview of the concepts that undergird anti-racists efforts as well as provide an evidence-based rationale for why academia must engage in this work. The presenter will utilize his more than 30 years of personal experiences as a faculty member, department chair, and Chief Diversity Officer at Research 1 institutions to provide practical suggestions on how individual research development professionals can work within their roles to disrupt and dismantle various forms of racism (and other forms of systemic oppression) within their own offices and institutions. Finally, the presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the profession of research development and the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) can leverage their influence to infuse anti-racism in the academy and beyond.  


(This presentation is made possible by NORDP's Committee on Inclusive Excellence)