Sr. Project Manager - Research Portfolio

Job description

Sr. Project Manager - Research Portfolio


Job ID: 2020-12046
Type: Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Project Management

Princeton University


The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a world-class fusion energy research laboratory managed by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. PPPL is dedicated to developing the scientific and technological knowledge base for fusion energy. The Laboratory advances the fields of fusion energy and plasma physics research to develop the scientific understanding and key innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world.

The Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a world-leading fusion energy research center under contract with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), invites applications for a Research Portfolio Project Manager (RPPM).

The RPPM works closely with the Research, Engineering, Facilities, and Project Management Office teams at PPPL to facilitate research and development projects from conception to design to implementation and operation.

The RPPM will support principal investigators and/or program leaders to initiate, implement, and manage, a range of projects of varying topics, scales, and technical complexities. Examples of project technical areas to plan and manage include: fusion diagnostics and actuators, next-step fusion systems, microelectronics and nanofabrication, quantum devices and materials, high-performance computation, and a diverse portfolio of Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) projects.

The RPPM will manage projects consistent with overall PPPL organizational strategy, commitments, goals, and priorities and in accordance with PPPL and DOE policies, programs, procedures, and best practices. The RPPM is expected to frequently engage with end user(s), PPPL, and DOE stakeholders to ensure timely and accurate awareness of project status and performance.

This position reports functionally to the PPPL Project Management Office (PMO) and is matrixed to the directorate, departments, and/or projects as needed across the Lab.


  • Works closely with the Deputy Director for Research and other stakeholders to track, plan, resource, prioritize, and implement the portfolio of research projects at PPPL.

  • Collaborates with project stakeholders to define and document project objectives, requirements, execution plans, and key performance parameters.

  • Works closely with facilities, engineering, and research departments to identify required interfaces to site infrastructure.

  • Develops preliminary but comprehensive cost, schedule, staffing, and risk estimates for projects to assess feasibility based on technical complexity and resource availability.

  • Guides projects through increasing levels of design maturity (pre-conceptual to final).

  • Establishes progressively accurate cost, schedule, staffing, and risk estimates for successful project delivery as design maturity increases.

  • Oversees all aspects of project execution including safety, risk, scope, cost schedule, and quality.

  • Engages stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify hazards, potential environmental impacts and coordinates the development of plans and controls for their mitigation throughout the project life cycle.

  • Acquires internal and external resources and effectively manages all project resources to deliver projects according to plan.

  • Communicates expectations and requirements to members of the project team and holds the team accountable for performance.

  • Provides project direction, oversight and feedback to assigned project staff.

  • Achieves project requirements including, milestones, performance and technical requirements, and key performance parameters.

  • Closely tracks project performance and identifies project issues and adverse trends and implements timely and effective recovery plan(s) as needed. Employs Earned Value Management (EVM) as applicable to measure project performance.

  • Issues timely and accurate project reports and communicates project performance to PPPL and DOE stakeholders.

  • Provides frequent communication regarding project status and performance to the PMO and project stakeholders including obstacles and resource needs and potential process improvements necessary to overcome obstacles.

  • Where applicable, oversees project closeout including turnover to end user/operations and disposition of documents and records.

  • When assigned, acts as a science liaison / science end user single point of contact for specific projects to:

    • Establish technical needs and requirements: define programmatic needs, utilities requirements, testing and commissioning requirements, and inform the basis of design.

    • Coordinate project reviews, site walk-downs and the collection, consolidation, and de-conflicting of scientific end user responses to develop a single approved response

    • Assist in communications and coordination of utilities changes and logistical change planning

    • Assist in general transition to operations and manage transitions to science operations

    • Coordinate with relevant lab stakeholders to develop plans for satellite projects for laboratory hookups related to moving people and equipment.

    • Develop implementation plans for moving people and equipment, identify the requisitions and contracts required, and ensure the relevant information is available in a timely manner to inform the laboratory’s annual budget-planning process

  • Conducts critiques and documents lessons learned that can be applied to future PPPL projects.


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent (Major in Engineering, Architecture, Computer Science, Physics, and/or Project Management)
  • Advanced Degree is desirable
  • 15 years of relevant past experience managing complex projects with a focus on environmentally controlled Laboratories, especially dry laboratories in an R&D environment.
  • Demonstrated history of working with scientists and engineers to develop complex research projects and facilities
  • Demonstrated record of successful project delivery
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Exceptional project management skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail
  • Strong leadership skills with inclusive approach to decision making
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience with risk management and analysis
  • Diplomatic approach to conflict resolution and ability to achieve consensus
  • Demonstrated team building skills, including the ability to work effectively with peers, other organizations, project sponsors and stakeholders and suppliers
  • Strong analytical skills and demonstrated ability to make timely, risk informed decisions.
  • Considerable knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite with extensive and demonstrable experience in advanced Excel functions, and schedule building using Microsoft Project (and/or similar project management software)
  • Experience with utilizing Earned Value Management
Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experience in working under highly regulated environments such as Department of Energy, Nuclear industry, etc.
  • Experience managing projects involving cleanrooms and those specializing in microelectronics and other leading-edge technologies
  • Demonstrated familiarity with product safety standards such as Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) standards, ASME, etc.
Certificates and Licenses:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification desired
Physical Requirements:

  • No unique requirements – job responsibilities limited to office work and occasional field walk-throughs.
Working Conditions:

  • Job requirements will be fulfilled from PPPL site. Occasional teleworking may be approved as needed.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. All PPPL employees are required to disclose any participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program and may be required to withdraw from such programs to remain employed under the DOE Contract.





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Job No:
Posted: 10/9/2020
Application Due: 11/18/2020
Work Type: