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Executive Director - ND EPSCoR

North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota
Commensurate with Experience

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Job Details

North Dakota State University (NDSU) is seeking a new Executive Director for the North Dakota Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) office.  ND EPSCoR plays a vital role statewide by building research capacity, broadening participation, enhancing the research productivity, competitiveness and national recognition of North Dakota’s scientists and engineers, increasing participation in STEM, research and at all stages of the educational pipeline, and advances economic development. The ND EPSCoR Executive Director’s duties include supporting the Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 cooperative agreement and its activities and personnel as well as non-RII Track-1 statewide programming under the auspices of ND EPSCoR. NDSU, a Carnegie R1 “doctoral very high research activity” university, serves as the prime for the award, partnering with fellow research university and ND University System (NDUS) member University of North Dakota, the predominantly undergraduate institutions in the NDUS system (9 institutions) and the ND Tribal College System (NDTCS; 5 institutions). 

The successful hire will lead and participate in building the state office and help facilitate and build existing relationships with state partners. The new Executive Director will support the current project, and help guide the new State Science and Technology Plan (building on important work done by the ND EPSCoR State Steering Committee) and the development of the new RII Track-1 proposal with anticipated submission in Summer 2024. With strong state support and recent legislating indicating EPSCoR jurisdictions remain a high priority in the federal context, this is a rare opportunity to leverage strong support from multiple sources.  We are especially interested in candidates with exceptional relationship-building and listening skills; a robust record of equitable partnerships with Tribal Colleges and Universities; and excellent strengths in communication within and across groups with differing expertise and priorities. This job is not a remote or hybrid position and does require some travel.

Advertised Salary: Commensurate with experience

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Science of Teams
  • Provide excellent relationship management appropriate to the multiple complex relationships inherent in projects characterized by multi-institutional programs/projects and teams;
  • Communicate in a highly effective and appropriate fashion with audiences representing different constituencies and interests, including state to federal lawmakers, college and university presidents, funders and oversight agencies, as well as individual faculty and staff;
  • Collaborate with public and private entities to establish goals and pursue achievement of researcher and commercialization goals consistent with state goals and strategies;
  • Leadership
  • Effectively and efficiently make decisions and communicate those decisions to appropriate constituents;
  • Run the unit and the project(s) collaboratively, with excellent oversight of project management and resolution of conflict or competing priorities;
  • Consistently forecast and plan strategically for the near-, mid- and long-term for ND EPSCoR and associated projects, especially with respect to current or future RII Track-1 awards;
  • Project Management Engage the RII Track-1 PIs, senior personnel and team leads for NSF EPSCoR project(s); Provide oversight to ensure successful implementation of the current NSF EPSCoR award(s), including oversight of the component leaders and budget; Provide financial/budgetary responsibility to ensure efficient and effective processes; Provide oversight for data collection and timely reporting; and
    • Other duties as assigned.

      Minimum Qualifications:
    • Master's degree in a discipline funded by the National Science Foundation
    • Prior experience working on NSF-funded programs
    • Demonstrated experience in managing large multi-institutional programs/projects and teams
    • Demonstrated experience creating and managing education/outreach initiatives
    • Knowledge of the nation's STEM education and workforce training directions and priorities
    • Demonstrated communication and writing skills
    • Demonstrated experience in the Science of Teams
    • Strong interpersonal skills
    • Effective administrative/budget skills
    • Demonstrated leadership and problem-solving skills
    • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

    Preferred qualifications:

    • Terminal degree in field of study
    • Exceptional relationship-building and listening skills Robust record of equitable partnerships with Tribal Colleges and Universities Excellent strengths in communication within and across groups with differing expertise and priorities.
    • Knowledge of NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) programs
    • A minimum of four years working on and/or managing an NSF program/project
    • Demonstrated experience managing and implementing research initiatives
    • Demonstrated experience creating and managing commercialization and/or industry partnerships
    • Experience with data collection and reporting
    • Experience in research development
    • Experience in supporting and even coaching individuals/teams to achieve goals and success, particularly in a university context
    • Working knowledge of state-wide capabilities and directions in research, STEM education and economic development
    • Knowledge and experience of diverse perspectives on educational issues

     Applicant Materials Required:

    Please include a resumé, a cover letter individually addressing the minimum and preferred qualifications, and a list and contact information for three professional references with your application materials.

    Application Process:
    Any questions about the search can be directed to the search committee at [email protected] While applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled, full consideration will be given to candidates who submit application materials by end of day February 19, 2023. Applications accepted online at

    NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university - with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following date of hire. Other benefits include, wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, EAP, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include supplemental life, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, flexible spending account, and supplemental retirement plans. 

    About Us: 

    North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student focused, land-grant, research university. We educate leaders who solve national and global challenges by providing affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment.

    NDSU is in the highest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, R1, granted to the top research institutions in the country.

    NDSU has offices across the state of North Dakota, and the main campus is in Fargo, on the Minnesota border. Along with Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo forms one of the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. The community is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

    No Smoking Notice:

    As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10. 

    EO/AA Statement:

    North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to a current employee, or veteran status, as applicable. NDSU is committed to diversity and encourages applications from traditionally underrepresented groups. 

    Veteran's Preference Notice: 
    This position is subject to North Dakota Veteran's Preference requirements. 

    Reasonable Accommodation Information: 
    North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or [email protected] 

    Land Acknowledgement:
    We collectively acknowledge that we gather at NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region. (see


North Dakota State University has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth and expanded academic opportunities, and it is recognized as a national model of the contemporary land-grant institution. Located on the state's eastern border in Fargo, North Dakota's largest city, NDSU is the state's Morrill Act land-grant institution. North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student-focused, land-grant, research university, ranked by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education among the top 108 public and private universities in the country. NDSU is in the elite category of "Research Universities/Very High Research Activity." NDSU is one of two flagship universities in North Dakota, with several programs ranked in the Top 100 by the National Science Foundation.

NDSU has continuously set numerous enrollment records, and currently enrolls more than 14,700 students. NDSU encompasses a broad spectrum of curricular offerings, scholarly activity and service. The university strives to be an innovator in information systems, technology transfer, economic development and lifelong learning. NDSU also is home to the state's first full NCAA Division I athletic program, and has been highly successful across several sports, including an unprecedented four consecutive national championships in football.

Innovative teaching and learning are conducted in nine academic units: the Colleges of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Business; Engineering; Human Development and Education; Health Professions; Science and Mathematics; University Studies; and the Graduate School. NDSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and approximately 135 graduate degree programs of study. Degrees are awarded at the doctoral, master’s, professional, and baccalaureate levels. Various undergraduate minors and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels also are available.

NDSU research productivity continues to steadily climb, and slightly more than $150 million in research expenditures were reported for the upcoming National Science Foundation survey. NDSU’s research intensity frequently places it in lists of top 100 research universities. NDSU is home to exceptional research infrastructure, and new partnerships are underway, providing world class opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, faculty and staff researchers at this student-focused, land-grant, research institution. The NDSU Research and Technology Park and Technology Incubator located on campus are home to fast-paced, entrepreneurial, high-growth companies that promote technology-based economic development in North Dakota.

The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and NDSU Extension Service are integral parts of the university.

One of the university's latest additions is the new STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) instruction building on campus, designed to enhance student learning through state-of-the art classrooms and labs. NDSU believes that the universal design of the building will serve as a statewide model for other colleges and universities. The building will have three floors and more than 109,000 square feet. Spaces in the building will be devoted exclusively to labs and traditional science and engineering classrooms as well as modular open frame flexible classrooms that would range in size from 20 to an auditorium that would house 250-500 students.

NDSU employs more than 750 ranked faculty and lecturers, about 245 extension educators and experiment station researchers, and more than 950 graduate assistants and fellows. In total, the university has more than 6,300 full-time and part-time employees across the state.

NDSU is part of an 11-institution state university system. NDSU also serves people across the state through continuing education and extension programs. NDSU participates in the Tri-College University consortium with neighboring Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College.

The Community

NDSU is located in Fargo, a metropolitan area that is often listed as one of the best places to live in the country. Fargo is quietly earning a reputation as a perfect place to make a home. Nestled in the rich farmlands of the Red River Valley, the Fargo-Moorhead community has many qualities that contribute to this reputation, including a highly respected educational system; advanced medical technology; a progressive business community; numerous cultural and arts opportunities; clean air and water; and good-hearted, friendly people.

Fargo-Moorhead is among the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. More than 230,000 people make their home in Cass and Clay Counties. One of the reasons people choose NDSU as a place to get a good education is that the F-M community provides students access to part-time jobs, internships, parks and other recreational facilities, entertainment, and cultural amenities.

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