Terri Soelberg, director of the Office of Research, along with her colleagues, presented a poster at the 2016 International Conference of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) in Orlando, Florida on May 23-25. Nearly 400 people attended the conference with international representatives from Mexico, Japan, and the European Union.
Soelberg’s research, titled “NORDP 2015 Salary Survey Results and Analysis,” normalized salary data according to the 2013 county cost-of-living index table from the Council for Community and Economic Research. The survey was used to begin to develop a longitudinal dataset by updating the original 2012 survey and also to provide members with information about research development positions, duties, and compensation that might be needed to grow and maintain research development functions at member institutions. The results were analyzed with respect to variables including: institution type, institution geographic location and size, job category, research development office size, and respondent demographics. Notably, none of the research respondents indicated that 100 percent of their average total effort was focused only on research development efforts.
Currently, no data exists with College and University Professional Association for Human Resources related to job descriptions and salary benchmarks for those working in research development. This can hinder an organization’s ability to develop position descriptions, recruit and hire when building research development infrastructure. The results of this study, along with the development of a salary calculator, serve as a resource for institutions to address this gap in information. Further, analysis of the job titles and activities begins to define a career path and professional development opportunities within the field of research development.
NORDP is a professional organization providing professional training, mentoring, and networking opportunities for those in the field of research development. The goal of research development is to ensure that when institutional resources are deployed to seek external funding or partnerships for knowledge creation or mobilization, these activities are strategically coordinated to optimize the likelihood that the best ideas with the best chances of successful implementation are recognized and supported with the finite funds available.
Soelberg also lead the Member Services Committee session of NORDP as the committee chair and presented as her role as a board member during the panel presentation business meeting. Additionally, Soelberg will be part of an international steering committee to work on formalizing the profession of research development.