Director of Strategic Research Initiatives

Eugene, Oregon
Apr 24, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Department: Research and Innovation
Job no: 522137
Compensation Band: OS-OA10-Fiscal Year 2017-2018
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins
May 28, 2018; open until filled

Department Summary

The University of Oregon (UO) holds the distinction of a “very high research activity” ranking in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and is one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and. In 2014, the university launched an ambitious fundraising campaign focused on supporting faculty excellence in teaching and research, creating access for outstanding students, and enriching the student experience. In 2017, the UO received a very generous $500M gift to launch the Phil and Penny Knight campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, which will further increase the scope and magnitude of research and innovation activities across campus.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) serves as an advocate and catalyst within the university for expanding the range and impact of UO's research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. The also OVPRI oversees sponsored programs, research compliance, technology transfer, and research development and administrative responsibility for numerous high-profile research centers and institutes and core research facilities, which provide opportunities for faculty across the university to collaborate on research efforts that are inherently interdisciplinary, and of significant societal importance.

Position Summary

The primary role of the Director of Strategic Research Initiatives (DirSRI) in the OVPRI is to develop and implement programming to support and grow the externally-funded research activity of faculty at all levels (pre-tenure, tenured, non-tenure track research faculty and research non-tenure track faculty). There is a particular focus on supporting proposal development activities that help new faculty successfully launch their research careers, help diversify funding streams, and help faculty procure large grants, instrumentation grants, and training grants.

To support these research activities, the DirSRI will lead and oversee the unit’s existing research development programs and trainings. The DirSci will also build new programs to help established faculty increase and diversify their external funding and help new faculty launch a successful sponsored research career. The position involves proactive outreach to faculty to build strong interdisciplinary research teams and support proposal development, and supervision of professional staff.

Special Instructions to Applicants
Complete online applications will include:

1. Current resume.
2. Cover letter of interest describing skills, knowledge, and abilities with special attention to providing information of how skills and experience meet the minimum requirements.
3. Three professional references.

Please apply using the link below:

Job Duties:

Strategic development and leadership of the unit’s programs and services: 30%

  • Leadership and strategic planning activities include engaging directly and frequently with faculty and leadership on the main campus, the Knight campus, and partners throughout the state to develop new strategic development programs, gauge interest and promote participation in new programming initiatives, and ensure that faculty and key partners are acquainted with the unit’s programs and services.



Proposal development support and faculty training activities: 30%

  • Operate programs that help faculty develop effective and compelling written proposals across a broad range of academic disciplines (social sciences, natural sciences, education, humanities, arts) and topics (early career, instrumentation, fellowships, Center grants, training grants).
  • Provide direct support to faculty in funding identification and proposal development
  • Build and support the development of research teams to submit competitive proposals for high prestige funding opportunities.
  • Maintain up-to-date information on the federal agencies, lesser known federal funders, private foundations, and best practices in Research Development.
  • Maintain a Limited Submission calendar and application process and facilitate review by OVPRI executive and/or ad-hoc teams.

Development and maintenance of relationships with key internal and external stakeholders: 20%

  • Building relationships with UO faculty and with external stakeholders at partner institutions, industry partners, and state and federal funding agencies to learn about upcoming initiatives, communicate with agencies about UO faculty research foci, and position our faculty to be well-poised to successfully compete in upcoming funding opportunities.

Supervisory activities: 10%

  • The DirSRI will direct the operations of the unit, including supervising 1-2 professional staff who will assist the DirSRI in conducting the day-to-day operations of the unit and providing conceptual development and consultation services to faculty seeking funding opportunities.

Outreach and communication efforts on behalf of the unit: 10%

  • Coordinate with the Graduate School to disseminate fellowship and graduate student funding opportunities.
  • Interface with the OVPRI’s data analyst on metrics to help guide proposal development activities.
  • Communicate with the UO Advancement regarding private foundations, corporate relations, donors relevant to faculty areas of expertise.
  • Communicate with Knight campus leadership on collaborative initiatives and new areas of research development
  • Maintain and disseminate up-to-date information to UO researchers on available/relevant funding opportunities, changes in agency programs, application policies and procedures, how to access private and public funding databases.
  • Deliver regular communications to faculty about funding opportunities.
  • Collaborate with Research Development personnel from regional institutions on joint initiatives.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in science-related field OR communications, OR journalism OR English OR education;
  • Proven record of professional experience coordinating collaborative projects in a sponsored funded environment;
  • Proven record of professional experience in a research-intensive environment;
  • Proven record of professional experience in grant writing, proposal development and proposal planning;
  • Proven record of demonstrated experience working with federal or large non-federal agencies;
  • Experience supervising a team.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD or MD in science related field OR communications, OR journalism OR English OR education;
  • Experience as PI/MPI/co-PI on state or federally funded research.
  • Experience building/expanding research development unit
  • Experience running internal grant awards programs
  • Knowledge of the funding mechanisms and opportunities at NIH, NSF, Dept of Education, USDA, Dept of Energy, and Dept of Defense.
  • Experience with funding mechanisms and proposal development that straddles industry and academia.
  • Involvement in relevant national professional organizations, such as NORDUP.

Professional Competencies:

  • Demonstrated professional history of successfully writing proposals to sponsors for external funding of research, clinical or outreach projects.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills and the ability to balance competing priorities from multiple requesters. 
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a wide variety of university constituencies.
  • A background that establishes immediate credibility with faculty, includes proposal development support experience.
  • Leadership and networking experience across universities, national laboratories, and state and federal agencies.

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA.  The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at