Vice President for National Laboratories and Vice Provost for Research

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

50601 University Leadership

About the Unit
The University of Chicago Founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the world's leading universities and widely known for its research eminence, its excellent faculty, graduate programs that rank at or near the top of their respective fields, a consistently strong and increasingly diverse student body, and impressive, constantly improved fundraising and endowment growth. The University is home to over 2,700 faculty and academic personnel and more than 15,000 students, and claims nearly 150,000 alumni worldwide. Faculty are organized in four divisions (physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, and humanities), six professional schools (business, medicine, law, divinity, public policy, and social service administration), and the Institute for Molecular Engineering. Ninety Nobel Laureates are associated with the University of Chicago, including six current faculty members. In addition to the academic units, the University comprises a medical center with exceptionally strong programs in cancer biology, immunology, and gastrointestinal disease; a charter school with four distinct campuses; a pre-K–12 private school; a professional theater; museums; and the nation's largest academic press. The University employs approximately 15,000 people. In FY 2017, University revenues, including the Medical Center, topped $4 billion and the endowment reached a value of approximately $7.5 billion. The University operates two major national laboratories for the United States Department of Energy. The University has operated Argonne National Laboratory, a preeminent federal R&D center for the U.S. Government since Argonne's founding in 1946. Argonne is the nation's first national laboratory and applies a unique mix of world-class science, engineering, and user facilities to deliver innovative research and technologies that address the most important scientific and societal needs of our nation. The University is the lead partner with a consortium to manage the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the nation's high energy physics laboratory. In addition to these DOE laboratories, the University is the sole member of and operates the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL)—North America's oldest, private, marine laboratory—located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In July of 2006, distinguished mathematician Robert J. Zimmer became the 13th President of the University of Chicago. He has led a remarkable period of growth and innovation at the University that has enhanced its already powerful position among leading institutions of higher education. The current trajectory of the University is impressive as evidenced by dramatic improvements in the number and quality of undergraduate applications, major increases in philanthropy, and a series of ambitious strategic investments in academic programs, capital projects, and campus improvements.

Job Information

Job Summary:

In the past decade, research at the University of Chicago has undergone significant changes in scale, scope, and ambition, and will continue to do so. This has created vast new opportunities as well as the need for a significant new articulation of the power and potential of this enterprise. The Vice President for National Laboratories and Vice Provost For Research (VPNL/VPR) is charged with a wide range of activities designed to enable the University to properly enhance, integrate and coordinate, advocate for, leverage, oversee, and articulate the power of this evolving set of activities.

The VPNL/VPR reports directly and jointly to the President and Provost, and works closely with certain committees of the Board of Trustees, University officers, deans and faculty, and Medical Center senior leadership. Importantly, the VPNL/VPR maintains key relationships with federal, state, and local agencies that are essential to maintaining the University's eminence in research.


Key Responsibilities as Vice President for National Laboratories (reporting to the President):

  • Representing the President, proactive and day-to-day oversight of Argonne and Fermilab in furtherance of the University's stewardship of U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science Laboratories. Serves as CEO of UChicago Argonne, LLC, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory, and is a member of the Board for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
  • Maintain an active relationship with DOE at both site offices and at DOE headquarters for stewardship of the Laboratories, dealing with all issues connected to the contracts for operating the Laboratories, engaging academic leaders and officers of the University as appropriate
  • Maintain a highly visible presence in Washington and highly public face to other audiences that will properly reflect that the University is the only private University overseeing two major DOE laboratories.
  • Build science links between the national laboratories and the University, as well as the Marine Biological Laboratory, through initiatives such as UChicago CASE (currently in the process of formation).
  • Be a systematic and effective public voice for the connection of science/engineering with public policy on a wide range of matters.
  • Oversee the University's engagement in major science facilities such as the University's founding-partner relationship with the Giant Magellan Telescope project.
  • Represent the University and University president on these matters.
  • Ensure compliance with all lab safety protocols and other regulations.

Key Responsibilities as Vice Provost for Research (reporting to the Provost):
  • Oversee and develop the capacity of units in support of research at the University, including University Research Administration, Office of Research Safety, Research Computing Center, Research Development Support, Globus, and a central office dedicated to strategy, program development, budget, finance and communications.
  • Work with deans and faculty to enhance the University's research portfolio, particularly on large-scale grants, often of a multi-disciplinary nature. Facilitate and catalyze faculty research and research collaborations.
  • Support the reputation of the University as a science/engineering leader.

As the University's Chief Research Officer, the VPNL/VPR will have:
  • Ability to build strong relationships internally and externally, communicate effectively, and demonstrate a consultative demeanor to build rapport and establish credibility.
  • Superb analytical skills, bringing the ability to examine challenges creatively and propose innovative and effective solutions.
  • Scholarly excellence. A distinguished record of scholarship that reflects a deep commitment to research, knowledge generation, and knowledge transmission.
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances and an evolving role.

Additional Requirements

Education and Experience:

  • A Ph.D. or other advanced degree. (required)

  • Significant experience leading research and administrative functions within a large, complex, research-based enterprise, preferably within a university and/or academic medical center setting.
  • Record of accomplishment in building programs that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of a research enterprise, including demonstrated success in securing new funding opportunities and empowering others in doing so.
  • Experience serving as a valued strategic advisor and thought partner to executive and senior leadership, including to a President/CEO and a Board of Trustees.

Required Documents:

Resume, Cover Letter, and Reference list

All required documents must be submitted to be considered for this position

When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualification

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 6/12/2018
Application Due: 7/25/2018
Work Type: