InfoReady was proud to once again sponsor the NORDP annual meeting (May 8-10 in Broomfield, CO). Having sponsored the conference for the past three years, the NORDP Annual Meeting continues to be one of our favorite events of the year. This year was no different; we were pleased to see at least nine speakers from client institutions on the docket, many of whom remain the primary users of InfoReady Review™ at their institutions. It’s always great to see our clients share their processes and tips with their peers and the industry at large, and continue to be leaders in securing and managing external grant funding.
NEW FACES, NEW FUNDING LANDSCAPE
While NORDP is obviously a venue for infoReady to explore new partnerships, it’s also a great place to check the pulse of the industry and identify emerging trends and changes. This year was no exception; our team noticed several interesting developments in the market. First, it was clear that Administrators’ external submission programs were not only growing, but growing at exponential and often phenomenal rates. While we’re used to meeting people who are interested in increasing their capacity to promote and secure external funding, we’ve never seen such a high number of programs that are doubling and tripling their external submissions year-over-year. We’re pleased to see such tremendous growth and development in the industry. It feel as if a lot of hard work is paying off, both for us and the market we serve.
The second major trend that our team noticed was the increased emphasis on system- and process-driven competitiveness. Ensuring that a given institution’s external submissions are competitive is one of the core functions of that institution’s grant development and research administration team. But, to this point, we’ve generally seen a somewhat abstract notion of what makes programs competitive. This year, it became obvious that many of the conversations - far more than in previous years - centered around internal processes, systems, and tools as drivers of competitiveness. Let me be clear: this was the first time we’ve seen such a notable emphasis on improving internal systems and workflows, and increasing management efficiency as a way to make a program more competitive. We met a lot of people who were, for the first time, really examining and looking for ways to improve their administrative processes and move from a manual to an automated process.
The landscape of federal and external funding is rapidly changing, and there’s a level of uncertainty regarding the availability of research funding under the new, often unpredictable administration. However, even in this climate of uncertainty, we’re pleased to see how quickly the industry has adapted and prioritized its focus on remaining competitive and increasing external funding. Achievements realized, in no small part, by the improvement of core systems and practices.
On behalf of the entire InfoReady Team, we look forward to continuing our partnership with NORDP in 2018 and beyond.