Fall 2021 HRA Members Meeting (Virtual)

October 18, 19, and 21, 2021

Additional Event Info: | Virtual via zoom

Meeting Info

October 18  | Monday

Unpacking Systemic Racism – A Workshop to Help Funders Foster Equity
12:00 – 4:00 PM ET 

In the latest effort to advance equitable practices across HRA member organizations, Unpacking founder, Kristina Ashley Williams, will be the host of this interactive workshop. As the Unpacking mission states, “Unpacking is on a mission to educate, entrust and equip people today in the collective responsibility for a more equitable tomorrow.” In this 4-hour session we’ll gain historical context, learn about the impact systemic racism has had on our sector, talk about real world scenarios, and apply best practices to design a better tomorrow. We will work in interactive small groups to apply what we’ve learned into the development of program goals, RFPs, application questions and reviewer guidelines. This will help to define how we measure success moving forward. Join your HRA colleagues as we work together to build a more culturally competent community of funders.

Welcome and Introductions
Maryrose Franko, PhD
Executive Director | Health Research Alliance

Kristina Ashley Williams
Founder | Unpacking

October 19  | Tuesday

Environmental Impact
1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Click here to access slide decks and recording of the session.

What is the carbon footprint of an HRA member organization and what activities contribute most? What steps can an organization take to reduce its footprint?  What is the impact on budgets, external relationships, and employee engagement/productivity?

Climate change has an enormous effect on the health and lives of everyone, so how can our organizations prioritize environmental impact as part of our mission? In this session, we will learn what the carbon footprint means for the environment and what factors HRA member organizations can consider to help offset our environmental impact as we go about our mission-driven activities.
Stacy Cloud
Program Director | The Donaghue Foundation


Dee Lawrence
Co-Founder | Cool Effect

October 19  | Tuesday

Science and Social Media
3:00 – 4:30 PM ET

Click here to access slide deck, recording of the session and additional materials.


Attend a session led by Kyle Marian Viterbo, Engagement Producer at Science Friday, to learn how the scientific community engages with social media and the myriad ways you can become an effective professional user as an individual and organization—whether you’re a program officer, grants administrator, member of the communications team, or executive leadership. In this session, which will be mixture of lecture and breakout sessions, you will get an introduction to: how scientific communities leverage different social platforms, how to “lurk” and get engaged as a user, what you can gain from engaging on social media, strategic thinking/considerations to engage your target audiences, and a few fundamental science communication (scicomm) tips. Please note: this session will not teach you how to train your funded researchers to be effective communicators on social media, but we hope it will make you feel more comfortable with navigating social media, and open your eyes to the power of Science Twitter and beyond!

Kari Fischer, PhD
Associate Director, Research Program | Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Kyle Marian Viterbo
Engagement Producer | Science Friday

October 21  | Thursday

Engaging Awardees
3:00-4:30 PM ET

Click here to access slide decks and recording of the session.

Attend this session to learn from HRA colleagues about strategies they use to engage awardees and alumni beyond funding and reporting. The session will be split into 2 segments with a few very brief “lightning” presentations in each segment, followed by Q&A.

  • Segment 1: Talks will highlight strategies to engage awardees in outreach (fundraising, advocacy, patient engagement, outreach to applicants.)
  • Segment 2: Talks will highlight researcher-focused strategies (professional development opportunities, alumni networks, and mentoring.)

Presenters will briefly share the elements of the strategy, the resources required, and metrics and methods used to evaluate success.

Be prepared to note your organizations’ efforts in the chat and join the discussion!


Segment 1

Patient Engagement
Kristin Mueller, PhD
Senior Director, Scientific Program | Melanoma Research Alliance

Outreach to Applicants
Jennifer Villa, PhD
Officer | Pew Charitable Foundation

Advisory Capacity
Lora Wong
Research Administration Manager | American Heart Association

Fundraising Efforts
Alycia Halladay, PhD
Chief Science Officer | Autism Science Foundation

Application Review Process
Eileen Melnick
Director, Grants & Awards | Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation

Segment 2

Professional Development Opportunities
Caitlyn Barrett, PhD
National Director of Research and Programs | CureSearch for Children’s Cancer

Professional Development Opportunities
Carole Wegner, PhD
Senior VP, Research and Grants Administration | V Foundation

Dawid Potgieter, D.Phil. 
Director of Programs in Discovery Science | Templeton World Charity Foundation

Alumni Networks
Heather Calderone, PhD
Director, Research and Grants | American Brain Tumor Association

October 21  | Thursday

4:30- ? PM ET