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CRoPS Project Manager

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla, CA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Leveraging extensive project management knowledge, the CRoPS (CO2 Removal on a Planetary Scale) Project Manager will manage two portfolios of projects (early discovery and field), in order to meet Institute and CRoPS program objectives. The Project Manager will organize all aspects of project activities and provide support to the science and team leaders by establishing timelines and budgets, tracking and coordinating efforts across teams, and facilitating effective information flow among stakeholders. responsible for managing the HPI project and related research activities in six world class Principal Investigator (“PI”) laboratories, spanning plant biology, genetics, epigenetics, biochemistry, genomics, soil science, and associated facilities, and multiple academic and commercial collaboration partner relationships. A degree of travel is associated with the position in support of the field portfolio.


Leadership (20%)

    • Partners closely with Translation Project Manager, HPI Program Manager, and HPI Leadership Team to provide leadership, guidance and support within the CRoPS project portfolio.
    • Independently assesses the needs of the program and makes operational recommendations and decisions to support the requirements for success.
    • Proactively ensures senior leadership and stakeholders are aware of all challenges and issues and makes recommendations for resolution.
    • Monitors and manages team performance metrics relative to project plans and budgets.
    • Ensures compliance with sponsor requirements.
    • Identifies issues and facilitates problem solving, contingency planning, and decision-making.

Planning and Tracking (50%)

    • Responsible for the creation and maintenance of the project plan, budget, timeline, and milestones.
    • Partners closely with the HPI team to develop project plans and ensure each research team is on track. 
    • Facilitates achievement of strategic goals for the program.
    • Monitors ongoing progress of key deliverables against project goals and budgets, including the identification of potential risks and contingency plans.
    • Ensures appropriate approvals are in place for compliance. 
    • Assist with field site operations as needed.

Collaborations (20%)

    • Acts as a key liaison in the interactions between Salk and other collaborative partners.
    • Manages the logistics for regular meetings and site visits, including developing agendas, managing budgets, and coordinating travel.
    • Responsible for facilitating and driving decision making in support of the strategic objectives of the program.

Communication (10%)

    • Ensures effective, accurate and timely communication of key issues and progress to/from the co-Directors, Project Leadership Team, other team members, and sponsors.
    • Manages project communications and schedules and provides reports, deliverables, and documentation.
    • Manage the process to generate major presentations, publications, progress reports, and other deliverables, including provision of drafts, edits and other input.
    • Informs key stakeholders of status, issues, problems, and proposed solutions as appropriate.



  • 3+ years of experience in project/program management. 
  • Proven track record in project management.
  • Proven experience in a role that requires strong leadership skills and which interfaces directly with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Ability to operate effectively amid ambiguity and rapid change.
  • Experience in scientific project/program management in an academic or industry research setting is preferred.



  •  BA/BS in a biological science, or related discipline is required or combination of equivalent work experience.


  • Advanced degree (M.S., PhD) in plant biology.
  • PMP certification.
  • Coursework or experience in genetics, plant biology, crop or soil science.
  • 5+ years of experience in NGO, government, or industry, especially agriculture related.



  •  Strong leadership skills.
  • Strong presentation and critical thinking skills.
  • Excellent strategic thinking and advising skills.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to successfully facilitate cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to effectively interact with all levels internally and externally to build credibility and relationships.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities with exceptional organizational and time management skills.
  • Proficient in advanced techniques with relevant software: MS Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc. in addition to experience working within shared work environments.
  • Strong understanding of critical path activities.
  • Ability to anticipate risks and proactively create contingency plans in collaboration with project teams.


  •  Ability to generate analyses of timeline, resource, and budget information that facilitates scenario planning, contingency planning, risk assessment and management, problem solving, and decision-making.
  • Ability to coordinate interactions with finance to ensure programs have adequate budget and resources to support approved scope.
  • Demonstrated understanding of financial and resource planning systems and processes and ability to coordinate project-level budget/resource estimates and manage actual costs versus planned costs.
  • Experience with Asana or other project management software.

The expected pay range for this position is $82,000 to $99,590 per annum. 
Salk Institute provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the institute reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location, and external market pay for comparable jobs.


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign confidentiality agreement


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, handling,  hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, communicating, calculating, reading, reasoning, writing, confined areas and working inside. 

The Salk Institute is an internationally renowned research institution that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek bold and interactive leaders passionate about exploring new frontiers in science. Our collaborative community embraces diverse perspectives and unique life experiences, fostering innovation, and a sense of belonging. Together, we strive to improve the wellbeing of humanity through groundbreaking research.


Working at Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused on both discovery and mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

Salk Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is committed to providing equal access to opportunities for students, employees, applicants for employment and other persons.

Our policies prohibit harassment or unlawful discrimination against individuals on the basis of sex, gender, marital or parental status, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, medical conditions/disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation age, ancestry, color, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), family and/or medical care leave status, disability (mental or physical), registered domestic partner status, legally protected medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status (disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, other covered veteran status), national origin (including language use restrictions and possession of a driver’s license), race, religion or any other classification protected by local, state or federal laws.

The Salk Institute participates in the E-Verify program.

Reasonable accommodation is available for qualified individuals with disabilities and for individuals with religious restrictions.

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