Executive Director of Research Development Support

Jan 27, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories (OEVPR) supports faculty and researchers in the conduct of sponsored research and research proposal development, and oversees technology transfer, research safety, research computing, and several research institutes on behalf of the University. OEVPR provides oversight for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, and represents the University's interests in the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The Office is responsible for stewardship and oversight of the University's contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage Argonne through UChicago Argonne, LLC and co-manage Fermilab, through the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC. When combined with the national laboratory R&D budgets, the office supports approximately $1.5 billion in sponsored research. OEVPR works closely with faculty and researchers, departments, divisions and administrative units to support, encourage, seed, and coalesce research across the University and the affiliated laboratories. Reporting to the Senior Associate Vice President for Research (SAVP), the Executive Director of Research Program Development (ED) is primarily responsible for working with and supporting faculty in the preparation and capture of complex research initiatives, proposals and awards that represent the University's research programs across all fields at the University and, when appropriate, at the National Labs, and for which external funding support is critical to success.

Unit Job Summary: The work of the ED includes assisting with programmatic and strategic development of research, project management, development of consortium, research training, and inter-institutional proposals. The ED will work closely with lead faculty and coordinate the roles of multiple investigators by developing work plans with timelines for completion and by monitoring progress. While the position will maintain emphasis on providing support for complex, interdisciplinary and multi-institutional proposal development, the ED will also work with faculty, especially new faculty, on smaller scale proposals for effective and successful submissions. The incumbent will meet with key personnel for the program/project regularly to ensure the proposal is on schedule; prepare, compile and verify materials and information to assure quality and compliance; prepare complex budgets and develop cost sharing plans for multi-divisional proposals. The ED will help to strengthen research proposals through integration with relevant programs such as the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Research Computing Center. The ED will work with appropriate offices including the Provost, deans, University Research Administration and divisional staff to negotiate issues related to complex proposals including effort allocation, unit ownership, and revenue sharing. The ED will perform at an advanced level, gathering, sharing and/or preparing information to support faculty proposals. The ED will further help connect faculty with the various outreach efforts on campus, such as civic engagement, to support the development of such activities in their proposals. The ED will coordinate program development efforts with counterparts in the divisions, schools, and national labs, and advise faculty on strategic approaches to develop research initiatives and large, complex proposals. The ED will work closely with faculty in building strategic alliances and effective teams. The ED will engage public and private sources of funding to help resource the University's research aspirations. The ED will supervise a staff of 4 to 5 FTE research program development professionals. Works closely with the SAVP to develop and implement a strategy for supporting UChicago faculty research by facilitating successful proposals for extramural funding. The primary role of the ED is to support faculty in preparing large-scale, complex proposals to capture major awards. The ED will partner with academic and administrative units to ensure that these large-scale proposals are as competitive as possible. The ED will also play a role in working with faculty, especially new faculty, on smaller scale proposals for effective and successful submissions. Functions as the University's technical expert on research program planning and proposal writing, including the gathering and sharing of relevant information, developing proposal writing training for faculty, connecting faculty with other relevant activities on campus such as innovation and outreach, and working collaboratively with pre-award administrators. Works closely with colleagues in the Office of Federal Relations and the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations to catalyze programs in response to the funding opportunity landscape in both the public and the private sectors. Develop strategies to leverage internal seed funding to support nascent but potentially transformative research ideas to maximize their likelihood in securing extramural funding. Supervises, manages staff in the Office of Research Development Support, and supports their professional development. The ED will deploy this staff effectively to achieve the goals noted above. The ED and staff will work across and with units to achieve objectives.

Unit Education: Ph.D. in a science discipline required.

Unit Experience: At least 5 years progressively responsible experience in academia and/or DOE National Laboratories in research program development or capture management required.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Advanced and strategic project management experience required. Ability to effectively manage multiple assignments and aggressive deadlines required. Integrity and judgment with strong decision-making, negotiation and consensus-building skills required. Ability to work effectively with faculty and other individuals from different units and backgrounds required. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills required. A high degree of discretion, tact and an ability to maintain confidentiality required. Outstanding communication skills (written, verbal, and interpersonal) required. Occasional travel to national laboratories required.

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