Director, Rhode Island Sea Grant Program

Job description

Posting Number:


Job Title:

Director, Rhode Island Sea Grant Program

Position Number:






Position Type:

Professional Staff


Non-Union Non-Classified Staff

Pay Grade Level:


Pay Grade Range:

Salary commensurate with education and experience

Status :

Calendar Year, Full-time, Limited


SPA - VP Res & Econ Devel


Please note: Job applications must be submitted directly online only at: (

Campus Location:

Narragansett Bay Campus

Grant Funded:


Extension Contingency Notes:

Position is full-time calendar year, limited to 01-01-2022, with anticipated renewal.

Job Description Summary:

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The search will remain open until the position has been filled. First consideration will be given to applications received by November 25, 2020. Second consideration may be given to applications received by December 17, 2020. Applications received subsequent to second consideration date (December 17, 2020) may not be given full consideration.


Provide overall leadership of the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program (RISG). This includes administration of approximately $3.1 million of state, university and federal funds and strategic planning for the development, evaluation, and administration of Sea Grant research, extension, education, communications, and legal program activities.

Duties and Responsibilities:


Develop new opportunities with both the private and public sector to increase the Program’s ability to solicit and fund research and extension, communicate and apply research project outcomes, and enhance resource management. Utilize the Rhode Island Sea Grant Senior Advisory Council as a mechanism to understand and appropriately respond to constituent and stakeholder needs and to build new partnerships.

Cultivate positive working relationships with local and state elected officials, including, but not limited to, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, to promote and build awareness of Sea Grant programs, and their impacts on and value to natural resources management and other aspects of Rhode Island’s economy.

Strengthen partnerships across diverse stakeholders and communities, including academia, industry, governmental, tribal, NGO and citizen groups. Maintain constructive working relationships with state and federal marine environmental regulatory agencies and NGO’s focused on conservation and resource management. Promote collaboration with Sea Grant programs to enhance the capacity of resource managers and decision makers to develop Rhode Island’s marine and coastal resources sustainably.

Rhode Island Sea Grant’s mission is to improve understanding and management of Rhode Island’s coastal and marine ecosystems to achieve its vision for vibrant, healthy coastal communities, economies, and marine environments that are resilient in the face of change. RISG works for all coastal constituencies in Rhode Island and strives to be all-inclusive, working with stakeholders to find common ground and balanced solutions. RISG also seeks to engage all individuals and groups who are important users of coastal resources. RISG continually works to expand local and in-state partnerships with diverse stakeholders to broaden the reach and effectiveness of its efforts and programs, and to best represent state interests. It is the responsibility of the Director to implement this mission using input from internal and external professionals acting in an advisory capacity to the program. This will include the Senior Advisory Council as well as similar groups acting as advisors to Sea Grant projects and programs, as appropriate.

Incorporate and value diversity in the workplace and amongst stakeholder groups served by RISG, and actively championing the furtherance of equity and inclusion across all of RISG’s activities and outputs.

Reporting to the Vice President for Research & Economic Development, the Director will coordinate Sea Grant programs with the goals and activities of URI’s Narragansett Bay Campus as set by the Dean, Graduate School of Oceanography. The Director serves as an advocate and catalyst of interdisciplinary cooperative research and extension to address coastal, marine and associated environmental issues. The RISG office is located on the Narragansett Bay Campus of the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) at the University of Rhode Island, and thus presents a unique opportunity with the affiliated institutions to forge new partnerships and collaborations on campus, as well as with the University of Rhode Island departments and colleges, as well as between URI and other universities within our region. The RISG Director will attract interest, involvement from, and provide support to organizations whose research interests align with the Rhode Island Sea Grant strategic plan.

Actively participate as a member of the GSO senior leadership team, supporting the Dean of GSO, to ensure that the Sea Grant Program remains aligned with, and directly supports the public outreach and extension mission of the Graduate School of Oceanography.

Actively participate in the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium and the national Sea Grant Association.

Engage with the National Sea Grant Office as an advocate for RISG and the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium. Assist in building the capacity of the national program to aide NOAA in meeting its strategic and mission goals, and Congressional mandates. Manage the program in accordance with the guidelines of the National Sea Grant Office and NOAA, the University of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Ethics Commission.


As a faculty member, the Director will be expected to carry out teaching, research, and graduate student supervision as part of the director’s service to the university (approximately 20% FTE). The distribution and scope of these responsibilities is subject to negotiation at the time of appointment.

Travel via commercial air carrier as required for overnight and/or extended stays to attend relevant meetings and other events.

Perform other duties as required.


Personal computer; word processing, database management and spreadsheet software; online systems for grants management and reporting purposes as required by state and federal granting entities such as Cayuse, GrantsOnLine, Grants-dot-Gov, e-SG and PIER.

Required Qualifications:


1.Academic qualifications equivalent to those of Associate to Full Professor in a department whose mission is closely related to Sea Grant activities, usually met by a Ph.D. or other advanced degree in a core scientific discipline, environmental sciences, social sciences, marine policy, engineering or related field.

2.Demonstrated professional achievement as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and/or applying research to respond to societally relevant issues.

3.Demonstrated success in obtaining and managing extramural funds.

4.Demonstrated understanding of the national Sea Grant Program and its mission.

5.Demonstrated ability in staff supervision.

6.Demonstrated strong interpersonal, collaborative and team-building skills.

7.Demonstrated ability to work with diverse individuals/groups.

8. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing with a variety of both lay and professional audiences.

Preferred Qualifications:


1.Demonstrated ability or potential to administer and/or raise extramural funds for research and extension programs, including legal/policy research, education, and communications programs.

2.Demonstrated experience integrating scientific findings into state, local and/or national coastal and marine policy and resource management initiatives.

3.Demonstrated knowledge of Rhode Island coastal and marine research and resource management issues.

4.Demonstrated familiarity with a range of stakeholders served by Sea Grant.

5.Proven ability to successfully work with and respect diverse people and perspectives and champion inclusion and equity in the delivery of services and programs.


Environmental Conditions:

This position is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions.

Posting Date:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please attach the following 3 (PDF) documents to your online Employment Application:

(#1) Cover letter addressing interest and qualifications for the position.

(#2) Curriculum Vitae.

(#3) “Other Document” – the names and contact information of three to five professional references (pdf doc).

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Job No:
Posted: 10/30/2020
Application Due: 4/15/2021
Work Type: Full Time