Terri Soelberg, director of the College of Health Sciences Office of Research, hosted the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) Board of Directors Annual Leadership Retreat on August 29-30 at Boise State University.
The goal of NORDP is to enable competitive individual and team research and facilitate research excellence to develop and share best practices for attracting and managing research funding. They also aim to facilitate building and implementing collaborative services and resources that span across disciplines, and cross administrative boundaries within organizations and beyond, in order to foster multi- and interdisciplinary research excellence.
During the conference, NORDP members developed strategies to: create a group willing to collect empirical evidence on research development practices and research development as a profession, enhance and expand NORDP professional development offerings, drive new sources of revenue, further engage partners outside of NORDP, develop and implement more effective communication methods, develop a framework for regional and other affinity groups within NORDP, and define ways to help increase diversity in research development.
Soelberg has been offering her services to NORDP for a considerable amount of time. In 2014, she conducted a follow-up study on research development salary which helps those in the research development field benchmark their position and compensation against similar positions, as well as assist organizations who are in the process of creating new research development offices to define roles and competitive compensation packages.
Currently, no data exists with the 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.
In 2015, Soelberg was elected to a four-year term on the NORDP board of directors. She also serves as the committee chair to the NORDP Member Services Committee.
Soelberg has a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg and a master of education degree in human relations counseling from Northern Arizona University. She is a Certified Research Administrator, one of two in the State of Idaho. The designation of Certified Research Administrator (CRA) signifies that an individual has met eligibility requirements of the Research Administrator Certification Council and has demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental information necessary for a person to be a professional research or sponsored program administrator. She has worked in higher education for sixteen years. Prior to coming to Boise State, she held the position of assistant to the dean for the College of Engineering at Northern Arizona University and was the program coordinator for a National Science Foundation grant focused on under-represented students in STEM disciplines.