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RADCon: Research Administration and Development Conference

Creating Capacity and Connections across the Northern Plains

June 6-7, 2024 | June 6: Full day | June 7: Half day

Hosted at Black Hills State University at Rapid City, 4300 Cheyenne Blvd, Box Elder, SD

For more information: or 605-688-6696

The June 2024 conference will connect research support professionals from across the Northern Plains’ states of South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming. The conference is central to the project, supported by the National Science Foundation’s GRANTED program, which aims to improve research support and service capacity at emerging research institutions.

This regional capacity-building conference will enable geographically isolated research support professionals to exchange proven practices, share resources and opportunities, and chart a course for future collaboration.

The award will help support travel costs for 50 research support professionals to attend. A virtual option is also available for those unable to attend in-person.

Conference preparation and self-assessment

To prepare for the convening, participants will engage in a virtually facilitated self-assessment using appreciative inquiry to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, aspirations, and current reality. Any data collected will remain the property of the respondent and will only be used with explicit permission. Recurring themes that emerge from aggregated responses will form the foundation of the conference agenda.

At the convening, participants will collectively identify and prioritize shared goals, rationalize and rank objectives, and define key actions and metrics to pursue. Working groups will coalesce under each focal area to further build community and capacity beyond the gathering. Anticipated outcomes include online resources, an email listserv, peer mentoring, and additional networking opportunities.

Register for the conference

A grant from the National Science Foundation will help underwrite travel, food, lodging, and registration costs for participants. Priority for selection is primarily undergraduate institutions and tribal colleges and universities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming. Additional funds may be available to support participants from other types of institutions.  

Register for RADCon

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 2324648. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

NSF Award Abstract

This goal of this project is to build research support capacity across the five-state Northern Plains region (Dakotas, Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming) by bringing together research support professionals for an in-person convening focused on enhancing the practices, processes, and workforce of the region’s research enterprise. Like the project leadership team, project participants will represent diverse roles and types of institutions of higher education, including research-intensive, emerging research, primarily undergraduate, and tribal colleges and universities. The institutions and research support personnel who will participate in this project are committed to catalyzing regional transformation to overcome the challenges of staff recruitment, heavy workloads, and access to professional development opportunities.

The Northern Plains convening will create space for participants to develop a shared vision, consider possible strategies to address common challenges, identify how strengths can be emulated or shared, and will provide the opportunity to chart a course for future collaboration that includes shifting mindsets away from serving individual institutional needs to supporting the regional research enterprise. The impact of the project will be realized through increased cooperation and resource sharing that will foster connection and mentorship between Northern Plains research support professionals. This will, in turn, promote relationship-building between institutions and faculty and increase collaborative research activity across the region.

SDSU News Release