How to use the resource:

The N-ROAD to RD should be used as a guide for RD offices to develop their own program by choosing among the suggested components and adding additional components as necessary to ensure relevance to their mission and institution. Where appropriate, specific suggested assignments such as readings are provided; in other cases, types of assignments to consider are identified, but an RD office would need to develop their own program materials. Program duration, likewise, can be flexible depending on the goals of each institution’s program and the bandwidth of the RD office.

RD offices are encouraged to work with their local postdoctoral/graduate offices to shape their program, ensure buy-in of relevant parties, and recruit trainees. RD offices are encouraged to share examples of their N-ROAD designs and outcomes to enable this framework to grow.

N-ROAD to RD Framework

Decision Points:

            ** See Tips document for more information

Program goals:

  1. Introduce interested individuals to RD work and careers, and/or
  2. Create a pipeline of potential staff or freelance support in RD, and/or
  3. Provide RD networking opportunities to individuals potentially interested in the field

Program’s expectations for trainees:

  1. Satisfactorily complete assignments and achieve identified core competencies, and/or
  2. Engage appropriately with RD staff, and/or
  3. Engage appropriately (including follow-up) with faculty, grant managers, and others, and/or
  4. Complete a final activity (i.e., feedback survey or final report), and/or
  5. Develop transferrable skills, and/or
  6. Gain grantsmanship/grant navigating skills relevant to an academic career, and/or
  7. Identify and achieve their own goals for their experience

Eligibility (at your own institution):

  1. Graduate students, and/or
  2. Post-doctoral fellows, and/or
  3. Others (undergraduates, staff, etc.)

Helpful or necessary institutional partners or contacts:

  1. Office(s) responsible for oversight of the selected eligible population(s) (i.e., to ensure compliance with work, time, or funding restrictions as well as buy-in for notifying their constituencies, etc.), and/or
  2. Leaders in the organizational hierarchy of the RD office, and/or
  3. Offices at your institution who have training/internship programs for the same eligible population (i.e., for lessons learned and other advice), and/or
  4. Career Center

**Size (depends on bandwidth of RD staff to mentor/supervise given the nature of the designed program):

  1. One trainee at a time, or
  2. More than one trainee at a time

Program entrance:

  1. Call for applications for consideration once a year, or
  2. Rolling acceptance and consideration of applications

Structure, Duration, and Intensity:

  1. Paid and sit within the RD office, or
  2. Unpaid and work on their own time with supervisor’s approval, and/or
  3. Unpaid and work within the RD office with their supervisor’s approval
  4. **4 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 4 months, or 6 months, with different number of hours in each week depending on RD office’s bandwidth; and/or
  5. **Part-time vs. full-time (will depend on restrictions of their concurrent roles as students, fellows, staff, etc., if any, as well as paid/unpaid status)


  1. A different mentor/supervisor within the RD office is assigned to each trainee, or
  2. A single RD staff member serves as primary mentor to all trainees, or
  3. Multiple RD staff work with each trainee, with one designated as primary


  1. Core Competencies spreadsheet, and/or
  2. Regular meetings for discussion, and/or
  3. Follow-up emails regarding career choice, utility of skills learned

Training modes:

  1. Simulated trainings, and/or
  2. Live projects, and/or
  3. Shadowing / 1:1, and/or
  4. Self-Study resources (i.e., webinars, readings, etc.), and/or
  5. Didactic or discussion sessions.

**Suggested curriculum modules (select and modify or augment to align with the program goals, the target audience needs, and RD office’s and institution’s needs and mission; consider how information and assignments will be provided to trainees – printed binders, lists of links, written instructions, etc.; assignments should be chosen/designed based upon the experience and learning needs of the individual, and should include gain in knowledge base, reflection, and at least one active assignment or product)

RD Basics
What is RD?
What is RD- Possible assignments
Understanding Funding Opportunities
Understanding Funding- Possible assignments
Writing and Editing Proposals
Writing and Editing Proposals- Possible assignments
Project Management
Project Management
Project Management- Possible assignments
Large Grants
Large Grants
Large Grants- Possible assignments
Individual Grants
Individual grants
Individual grants- Possible assignments
Limited submissions / Limited Nominations
Limited submissions / Limited Nominations
Limited submissions / Limited Nominations- Possible assignments
Team Science
Team Science
Team Science- Possible assignments
Diversity and Inclusion in Research
Diversity and Inclusion in Research
Other RD Topics
The Structure of the Research Enterprise
The Structure of the Research Enterprise- Possible Assignments
Research Specific Topics
Research Specific Topics- Possible Assignments
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning- Possible Assignments
Mentorship/Career Planning
Mentorship/Career Planning- Possible Assignments
Training Program Assessment
Assessing your Progam
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