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Innovation Training Specialist

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Position Information: Description

The mission of the UND Center for Innovation (CFI) is to advance the creation and development of innovative ideas, services and businesses. The Center works as a collaborative partner in a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Grand Forks, across North Dakota and as part of the One UND Strategic Plan. The vision for the Center for Innovation is to be the principal leader guiding innovation in the Northern Plains. Experienced and dedicated staff are ready to facilitate relationships, provide entrepreneurial commercialization support, develop University/industry partnerships and provide high-impact internship opportunities. The Center guides entrepreneurs and innovators using face-to-face and online resources as well as partners with the vast innovative and entrepreneurial expertise available throughout North Dakota. The Center’s staff bring a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurial experience, expertise and tools to support faculty, students, and the community.

This position is a critical component of the Center for Innovation’s coaching and technical assistance services. The Innovation Training Specialist is responsible for growing and implementing the CFI’s creative problem-solving design sprint service line. Design sprint sessions comprise single day, multi-day or week, and semester long course-style sessions depending on the client and/or implementation model. Sprint sessions are grounded in frameworks such as creative problem solving, design thinking and beneficiary/user-based research methodologies. The Innovation Training Specialist is responsible for developing a strategic vision and implementation plan for both pro-bono and fee-for-service facilitation models for this growing service line. 

The position will act as the lead facilitator and trainer of sprint sessions. In addition, the Innovation Training Specialist is responsible for developing a team of volunteer co-facilitators recruited from partner organizations and the university. It is expected that this person has experience and passion for teaching, facilitation and training, creativity and innovation. As the Center for Innovation continues to expand its coaching and technical assistance to startups this position will collaborate with Center staff to imbed innovation activities and skill development into all our entrepreneurial startup programming.

Position Benefits

Benefits include single or family health care coverage (UND pays the full premium), $12,000 in basic life insurance, employee assistance program, retirement plans with generous employer contributions, annual & sick leave in addition to 10 paid holidays.

Optional benefits include supplemental life, dental, vision, flexible spending account, supplemental retirement plans.

UND also offers an employee tuition waiver and a variety of professional development opportunities.

Find out more about UND's great benefits and perks here!

Duties & Responsibilities
    Oversee and manage the execution of innovation training and facilitation opportunities. Tasks involved in fulfilling the above duties/responsibilities include: 
      Lead workshops, trainings, design challenges, and other similar experiences for a diverse client base (on and off campus).Write facilitation manuals, training outlines and innovation-based learning metrics to support workshops, trainings and design challenges for co-facilitators working with the Center for Innovation.Ensure all logistical needs are arranged for the implementation of an innovation training, workshops, and facilitation service line.Create, recruit and mentor a creativity fellowship corps (volunteer and possibly paid depending on fundraising) comprised primarily of UND students and professional colleagues to deepen facilitator team, experiences, perspectives and to model high-impact practices.Work with University to develop an innovation skill ‘badging’ or certification process for fellowship corps and CFI staff.Collaborate with CFI staff to embed innovation skill development into all entrepreneurial coaching activities, including customer discovery, business model generation and innovation focused trainings/ workshops.Develop innovation skill development opportunities for Center staff as well as tenants.
    Develop a revenue generation and outreach model to position the Center for Innovation as a leading resource for innovation training, facilitation and expertise in North Dakota. Tasks involved in fulfilling this responsibility include:
      Implement and manage a fee for service model for innovation services with the Center Director to sustain a revenue generating innovation facilitation service line. Co-develop supplemental learning for the innovation workshops, trainings, and design challenges such as podcasts, online learning modules, etc. that are free as well as revenue generating.Collaborate with the Center’s Marketing and Outreach coordinator to promote workshops, trainings, and design challenges.Participate in fundraising activities with the Center director and the UND alumni association.Represent the Center for Innovation by attending events and activities and being active in the entrepreneurial community.
Required Competencies
  • Training, teaching, and/or workshop development experience
  • Superior problem-solving skills
  • Project management skills
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal, and verbal communication skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Demonstrated quantitative and analytical skills
  • Demonstrated passion for innovation, creative problem solving, or design-based learning.
  • Proven familiarity with creating trainings, workshops or courses.
  • Ability to cultivate, build and maintain networks.
  • Knowledge of mentorship principles and/or experience with mentorship activities.
  • Proficiency in work processing, spreadsheets, databases, and other basic business software.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise initiative, empathy, flexibility, and independent judgement.
  • Willingness to work occasional evening and weekend work for travel or facilitation of programming.
Minimum Requirements
  • Bachelor's degree (education, creativity, business, entrepreneurship, engineering, or an ability to complete within one semester of hiring).
  • Experience as an educator, teacher, trainer, or facilitator or workshops, training or classroom instruction.
  • Successful completion of criminal history records check.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the US and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Advanced degree or certificates in education, creativity, innovation training, UX design, design thinking, etc.
  • Training and experience facilitating creative problem solving, design thinking, etc. type sessions with a diverse audience base.
  • Fee-for-service program development or entrepreneurial startup experience focused on innovation.
Minimum Hiring Salary/Position Classification

$55,000+ dependent on experience, full-time, benefited, exempt

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, occasional nights and weekends

To Apply

For full consideration, all application materials must be fully submitted by 11:59PM on the closing date.

Additional Information

To find out why living and working in Greater Grand Forks is way cooler, check out Grand Forks is Cooler.

All information listed in this position announcement will be used by Human Resources, the Hiring Department, and EO/Title IX for screening, interviewing and selection purposes.

Confidentiality of Application Materials

Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three or more finalists who will be invited to campus.

EEO Statement

The University of North Dakota is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or other protected characteristic. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status as part of the application process. This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

Veteran’s Preference

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 showing character of service or NGB 22 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

Clery Statement

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND, 58202.

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