R&D Hr

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Research Development is a set of strategic, proactive, catalytic, and capacity-building activities designed to facilitate individual faculty members, teams of researchers, and central research administrations in attracting extramural research funding, creating relationships, and developing and implementing strategies that increase institutional competitiveness.[1] These activities are typically practiced at universities, but are also in use at a variety of other research institutions. Research Development includes a diverse set of dynamic activities that vary by institution. These activities include initiating and nurturing partnerships, networks, and alliances between and among faculty at their institutions and funding agencies; and designing and implementing strategic services for their faculty and researcher constituents (such as workshops, trainings, program officer visits, proposal editing, PR communications, funding opportunity searches and dissemination, budget preparation, forms and submission assistance, research team building, and administering campus limited submission reviews).[2] Research Development professionals initiate and nurture critical partnerships and alliances throughout the institutional research enterprise and between institutions—and with their external stakeholders. With the goal of enabling competitive individual and team research and facilitating research excellence, Research Development professionals build and implement strategic services and collaborative resources that span across disciplinary and administrative barriers within their organizations and beyond.[3] Research Development differs significantly from university “development” (institutional “fundraising” or “advancement”) in that RD is not aimed at attracting contributions or donations. Rather, RD strengthens research programs and proposals to make them more competitive for extramural contracts and grants from federal and state agencies, and grant-making foundations that fund research. Similarly, RD should not be confused with “Research and Development” or “R&D” which refers to investments in (often) corporate scientific and technological research that leads to new products and applications. Recent contractions in the availability of public and private research funding have intensified competition for fewer resources among universities. This trend has amplified the need for Research Development assistance and interventions at universities in order to enhance research excellence and competitiveness.[4] These services have not traditionally been offered through university sponsored research and projects offices that administer the submission of grant proposals and research funds management. In response to these challenges, Research Development is increasingly becoming a standard practice at universities, particularly “Doctoral/research universities-extensive” (AKA Research I University as defined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education that place a high priority on research and rely heavily on extramural funding.[5] Research Development professionals and services are typically housed in a university’s central “Office of Research” (or similar), or within a more specific department or research unit devoted to a particular discipline or school. Research Development activities are also included in some sponsored research and projects offices. There are also independent consulting firms that provide Research Development services. According to the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), there are currently over 245 research development professionals employed at over 120 institutions (colleges/universities, teaching/not-for-profit hospitals, independent not-for-profit research organizations, national laboratories, research organizations wholly organized and administered by a college or university, consortia of colleges and universities, associations/societies with individual or...
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