Associate Vice Chancellor, Research & Innovation Initiatives

Knoxville, TN
Apr 15, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, invites nominations and applications for the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Initiatives (AVCRII). Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research, this position will lead campus efforts to develop and strengthen the research culture; to increase the capacity of, and productivity in, transdisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative activity across all disciplines; and to pinpoint emerging trends, growth areas and new opportunities in strategically important research areas by elevating our ability to capture research intelligence related to the external funding environment. 

The University and Region
UTK is the state’s flagship, land-grant university. We are a Carnegie doctoral research (R1) university housing 11 colleges and 900+ programs of study. With an enrollment of 30,000 students, its undergraduate and graduate programs are repeatedly ranked among top national programs. The city of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of outdoor and cultural activities. UTK is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, and the Great Smoky Mountains; and a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago and Washington D.C. Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a statistical area population of over 850,000 people. The Knoxville region houses many leading corporations, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

Duties and Responsibilities
The Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Initiatives (AVCRII) leads the Division of Research and Innovation Initiatives (DRII), is a member of the leadership team within the Office of Research and Engagement (ORE), and has management authority and budget responsibilities for groups within DRII, including Research Development, Core Facilities, and UT Centers and Institutes, including the National Institute for STEM Research and Evaluation (NISER) and the Oak Ridge Institute (ORI).  The AVCRII oversees programs designed to strengthen the university’s research and innovation portfolio, including the Strategic and Transformative Investments in Research (STIR) program, the Scholarly and Research Incentive Funds (SARIF), and the Science Alliance, among others. 

The AVCRII contributes in meaningful ways to the promotion of the University’s diversity and inclusion goals, ensuring that its investments in research, scholarship and innovation contribute to the creation of a more just, sustainable and prosperous future within and outside the University.   Internally, the incumbent maintains extensive constructive interactions with deans, faculty, college and department administrators to promote transdisciplinary research and scholarship and engaged outreach that ensures the effective translation of the university’s research and scholarship outcomes. Externally, extensive interactions with the university’s partners, including for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, state and federal funding agencies, and community organizations are also expected to nurture existing and elevate new opportunities in strategically important areas of research, innovation, and scholarship.


As a member of the ORE leadership team, the incumbent plays a critical leadership role within ORE, within the university community, and nationally among the university’s peers and partners, including through participation in national organizations such as APLU, NORDP and others. The incumbent works effectively with other members of the ORE leadership team and with colleagues in the Provost’s Office to ensure the integration of research, education and community and economic impact, and to the creation of a strong university culture for the responsible conduct of research.

Required Education and Experience
•    A Master’s Degree in any relevant field of study
•    A minimum of eight (8) years of experience in a leadership role within research development including prior experience in a research intensive (R1) university or national laboratory
•    Experience leading a research community
•    Proven track record of experience with Core Facilities
•    Experience in external engagement, especially with national laboratories, federal agencies and in leading teaming opportunities around large federal funding opportunities.
•    Demonstrated success in facilitating trans-disciplinary research (e.g., of a large research group), developing partnerships, and addressing the administrative support needs of the research community.
•    Experience supporting faculty annual awards, faculty recognition, and faculty achievement.
•    Demonstrated administrative and program managerial experience equivalent to that of a dean or associate dean for research, especially in areas around faculty professional development and capacity-building in research and scholarship
•    Experience in envisioning and managing investment programs supporting the research enterprise.
•    Experience in research and scholarship and effective mechanisms to translate research and scholarship outcomes to effect public good.
•    Demonstrated record as a champion of the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion

Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
•    Ability to lead and collaborate with faculty, graduate students and administrators to advance a responsible and ethical culture of research.
•    Knowledge of (time spent at, collaboration with) R1 institutions, including University of Tennessee peer institutions
•    Verbal and written communication skills at a high degree of proficiency.
•    Ability to develop and communicate research visions.
•    Ability to be forward-thinking.
•    Ability to secure buy-in for strategic initiatives.
•    Skilled at cross-cultural communication.
•    Strong, effective interpersonal skills.

Preferred Education, Experience and Qualifications
•    Terminal degree
•    Ten (10) years of experience in a leadership role within research development including prior experience in a research intensive (R1) university or national laboratory.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
•    Ability to successfully compete for external sponsored funding as evidenced by prior active extramural research and scholarship.
•    Knowledge and understanding for enabling extramural research and scholarly discovery across the broad spectrum of scholarship found at a large, complex, R1 public research university.
•    Knowledge of the current capabilities, policies and practices, administrative structure, and culture of the University of Tennessee.

The review of applications will begin immediately. Priority consideration will be given to applications received on or before May 7th, 2021.  The projected start date will fall late summer/early fall.

For full consideration, applications must include a letter of interest, CV and the names and contact information for five (5) references.

For confidential inquiries or to nominate a qualified individual, please contact Brooke Swart, Executive Recruiter; [email protected]

Job: Executive/Administrative
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-Knoxville
Organization: Research & Engagement
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Apr 13, 2021, 10:37:44 AM

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