CIRES Associate Director for Science

Boulder, CO
Mar 29, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

CIRES Associate Director for Science

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) invites applications for the position of Associate Director for Science to oversee research activities within CIRES, primarily at the David Skaggs Research Center, and to administer its institutional science programs. CIRES is an environmental research institute established by a cooperative agreement between the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Approximately half of CIRES' research portfolio is funded through the cooperative agreement and involves work directly in support of NOAA and the NOAA mission. This work is carried out by approximately 350 CIRES Research Associates and Professional Research Assistants at the David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, Colorado. Remaining research activities are supported primarily through federal grants from a wide range of agencies (NASA, NSF, DOE, etc.) as well as funds from various state, foundation, and other sources. CIRES also supports 20 University of Colorado Boulder faculty members who are affiliated with departments across campus. CIRES conducts research in the physical, ecological, and social sciences at spatial scales ranging from the molecular to the global and at time scales that span minutes to millennia. The Associate Director for Science will be responsible for the effective management and execution of scientific programs, understanding and addressing issues that affect CIRES Research Scientists and Research Associates, in particular those working with the federal employees at the David Skaggs Research Center, and representing the interests of CIRES research scientists to the Director. Review of applications will begin April 17th.

Major Responsibilities:
  • Help develop and maintain a productive work environment for CIRES personnel at NOAA, working to understand and address their needs, and represent their interests to the CIRES leadership team.
  • Support the director in maintaining good relations with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) leadership at Boulder Laboratories and NOAA Headquarters.
  • Develop and annually update the CIRES work plan for NOAA.
  • Serve as Administrative liaison to CIRES Members' Council.
  • Support the CIRES Director in his capacity as Chair of the CI Directors.
  • Administer CIRES institutional programs including the Visiting Fellows Program and Innovative Research Program.
  • Interact with members of the University of Colorado Boulder community in order to identify opportunities to develop new scientific programs at CIRES and bolster those already in place.
Critical Competencies
  • A comprehensive understanding of research functions and culture in an academic environment.
  • A comprehensive understanding of research functions and culture in a mission-oriented federal research agency environment.
  • The ability to interact effectively with scientists and scientific leaders both on the academic side at the University of Colorado Boulder, and on the federal side at the David Skaggs Research Center.
  • The ability to develop strong relationships with CIRES staff and other colleagues, and with external partners and stakeholders.
  • Accessibility and responsiveness to the needs of CIRES researchers, and the ability to understand and effectively address their challenges.


Required Education/Experience/Skills
  • A Ph.D. in a scientific or engineering discipline related to CIRES research, and at least five years of increasingly progressive scientific leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead various scientific teams. The ability to supervise scientists at various stages of seniority.
  • A commitment to scientific excellence.
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong partnerships with co-workers and peers.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with particular ability to communicate information in a clear, concise, diplomatic and professional manner.
  • Proven record of strong service orientation.

Desired Qualifications (Experience in one or more of the following areas is desired, but not required)
  • A demonstrated understanding of the federal funding process as it pertains to scientific research.
  • Direct experience securing funding from federal funding agencies and conducting research in support of agency objectives.
  • More than seven years of increasingly progressive scientific leadership experience.
  • Experience interacting with government liaisons to advance an organization's interests within the federal, state, and local governments.
  • A clear understanding of the interests and needs of a mission-focused agency, and how they are similar to and differ from academic exploratory research.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities.

Special Instructions to Applicants:The University of Colorado Boulder conducts background checks on all final applicants being considered for employment, prior to the issuance of an offer letter. The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To achieve this goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and an EPLS (Excluded Parties List System) check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work.

The University of Colorado is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Boulder Campus Title IX Coordinator by calling 303-492-2127. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting Human Resources at

Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV, Reference Letters (Not Confidential), Unofficial transcript(s)

Application Materials Instructions:Applicants must complete the Faculty/University Staff and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following required documents: 1 - Cover Letter; 2 - Resume; 3 - The document uploaded for Proof of Degree can be a Transcript which shows the date the degree was conferred; Copy of Diploma; or official letter from the Registrar or the Dean of the School or College conferring the degree; 4 -One letter of recommendation This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

Job Category: Faculty

Primary Location: Boulder

Department: B0001 -- Boulder Campus - 10080 - Coop Inst Res/Envrm Sci - Dir

Schedule: Full-time

Posting Date: Mar 28, 2017

Closing Date: Ongoing

Posting Contact Name: Karen Dempsey

Posting Contact Email:

Position Number: 00675756


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