Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Organization of Research Development Professionals President-elect Jacob Levin discusses the increasingly sought-after skills that define the role of the research-development professional. Levin says that as "research in all fields is becoming more interdisciplinary and collaborative, with grants and contracts increasingly focused on team efforts," many institutions have begun to look toward research-development professionals, who have expertise in pursuing large and complex projects and can "forge teams that span disciplinary bounds and institutions." And, Levin adds, as funding success rates fall, and grant-review turnaround times increase, many researchers — even those who have been well-funded in the past — may be left "out in the cold, without sufficient support to continue their work."
"Research development as a profession offers a career path for those with a passion for research and its performance, and will be an integral part of the academic enterprise in the future," Levin says. "Research-development professionals occupy a unique and valuable role in the academic enterprise," he adds — "helping people formulate and finance their research and doing what we can to make things a success."