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Vice President for Research

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

The University of Virginia (UVA) - a Carnegie Tier One research university and one of the nation’s leading public institutions - seeks an experienced, mission-driven leader to be the next Vice President for Research (VPR). Reporting to the Executive Vice President and Provost, this position is a compelling opportunity to further build, create, and execute on UVA’s strategic vision and position UVA at the forefront of research productivity and impact.

The next VPR will join the University at a time of excitement, opportunity, and a shared sense of purpose. UVA is embarking on a set of ambitious research initiatives, including launching the Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology, investing over $250 million in a set of exciting Grand Challenges research themes, and a once-in-a-generation investment in research infrastructure.

With a visionary President, James E. Ryan, a dynamic and dedicated leadership team including EVP and Provost Ian Baucom, EVP and COO, Jennifer “J.J.” Wagner Davis, and CEO and EVP for Health Affairs, Dr. Craig Kent, and exceptional faculty, staff, and students, UVA has excellent momentum to achieve its ambitious goals. The Great and Good, 2030 Strategic Plan, provides a roadmap for the future of UVA as it enters its third century.

The VPR is part of the President’s senior leadership team and works collaboratively with the leadership of the 12 schools and 5 pan-University research institutes, UVA’s College at Wise, and UVA – Northern Virginia to continue to develop and implement a strategy for the University to accelerate growth of the research enterprise, paying close attention to building robust operations to support the University’s growing research ambitions. The VPR organizational chart can be found here


Working closely with the Provost and the university community, the following will be key priorities for the VPR:

  • Execute UVA’s transformative research vision

Lead a large and complex organization to serve the University’s ambitious research aspirations. The VPR will help cultivate a culture of research, support the continuing growth of extramural funding, and help ensure that UVA’s research has impact. The new leader must be able to continue to support research across all schools and disciplines, articulate and cultivate a collaborative environment where researchers can assemble to pursue large, team focused, multi-disciplinary grants, and retool systems to support their execution.

  • Lead a high performing team

The VPR will inherit a dedicated and talented team, as well as significant resources to expand UVA’s research personnel and infrastructure. They will provide inspirational leadership and be an excellent manager to ensure the best talent is attracted, developed, and retained to meet the needs of the university. The next VPR will critically assess the organizational structure and operations, work with faculty, staff, and leadership, to evaluate what is working well and what needs to be improved, and to strengthen the infrastructure to support research excellence and growth. They will seek innovative ways to maximize faculty research productivity and embrace a service-oriented culture that minimizes barriers to success. They will continue to support and enhance UVA’s values as a diverse and inclusive work environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging, value, and respect.

  • Ensure high level of trust to serve a diverse university community internally and externally

The VPR will be highly collaborative, inspiring trust with staff, faculty, and administrators across grounds by being visible and an effective communicator. The VPR will have an external presence by engaging with and representing UVA research externally to recruits, agencies, funders, corporations, and the broader scientific and research community.


The successful candidate will ideally possess the following professional qualifications, skills, experience, and personal qualities:

  • Demonstrated success at a well-run, large, complex research enterprise within higher education or a similarly complex environment where shared governance is honored and valued
  • Leadership that inspires and galvanizes faculty and staff to pursue large-scale and multidisciplinary research efforts
  • Excellent communicator, superb listener, with ability to build relationships, community, and influence
  • Experience with strategic planning, process transformation, and change management
  • Innovative, analytical, and creative in problem solving and implementing solutions
  • Outstanding leadership ability and understanding of organizational and human dynamics
  • Ability to serve as a highly credible external university representative to corporations, agencies, funders, and key stakeholders; deep understanding of the national landscape and UVA’s distinctive contributions
  • Ability to attract, recruit, develop, motivate, and retain a high-performing staff
  • Proven track record of conducting research and securing major research funding with leading federal funding agencies
  • Commitment to expanding research across a broad range of disciplines
  • Demonstrated commitment to the importance of compliance as it relates to laws, policies, and procedures in the research enterprise with the right balance of flexibility
  • Astute budgeting and financial acumen
  • Ph.D. or terminal degree required along with achievements that demonstrate a record of research excellence

To Apply or Nominate

The University of Virginia is eager to build a diverse pool of talented individuals. The search committee is working with UVA Executive Search Group (ESG), an internal executive search firm in the Office of the President.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to AJ Davidson, Managing Director, at To apply, submit a letter of interest and resume via Workday. The search will be carried out with full confidentiality.

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


In 1819, the University of Virginia established a new model for intellectual exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education. Two hundred years later, as a major research institution, we continue to challenge conventions, lead with ingenuity and advance knowledge for the common good.

What began as an innovative idea has become one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with over 21,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UVA also has over 3,000 full-time faculty offering more than 400 degrees.

Each of the University’s eleven schools has its own distinctive mission, working together to garner consistently high rankings—including #2 Best Value Public College (Princeton Review, 2016), #3 Public University in the Nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2016), and #3 Best Value Among Public Colleges (Kiplinger’s, 2016).  

As we invest in and strengthen our research capabilities, UVA seeks new faculty ready to uncover new insights, rewrite old rules and collaborate on intellectual discoveries.


As an R1 institution, the University’s research centers, consortia and laboratories are on the leading edge of discovery and technology, offering collaborative spaces for students and faculty to solve global problems.

Our professors are recognized members of major national scholarly and professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty’s engagement in interdisciplinary research is being facilitated by new research institutes specializing in everything from big data to brain functioning, and by cluster hires across schools.


UVA is also home to a nationally renowned academic medical center and the UVA Health System, which serves a three-part mission to treat patients, conduct translational research and train medical practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines.

Established as the nation’s 10th medical school in 1825, the institution has since grown to include a 612-bed hospital and a Level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers, a Children’s Hospital, and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

The UVA Medical Center is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report magazine and has been named among the top 25 percent in seven specialties.


The vast majority of UVA students come from the top 10% of their high school class, as well as from all 50 states, over 142 countries and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite their diversity, all UVA students share a love of learning and a drive to achieve.

One of the reasons students choose Virginia is our unique residential culture. At UVA, the community of students, faculty and staff personifies the Jeffersonian idea that living and learning are connected. The Academical Village was constructed to support a unique residential experience, with faculty living in the Pavilions, students occupying Lawn rooms and the world-famous Rotunda at its heart. The University’s residential culture continues to support this experience today—strengthened by students, faculty and staff rich in backgrounds, ideas and perspectives. Our unique culture is also paying dividends in innovation:  UVA’s faculty have generated more than 130 patents since 2010.

Perhaps most importantly, faculty come to UVA knowing that instruction is as important as research, and they pride themselves on their many teaching awards.  Our best professors look for ways to encourage, mentor and develop tomorrow’s leaders inside and outside the classroom.


Living in Charlottesville you’ll find sophisticated restaurants, world-renowned wineries and breweries, cosmopolitan arts and music, friendly urban and suburban neighborhoods and a Piedmont landscape that has lured adventurous souls for centuries.  No wonder the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research named Charlottesville the “happiest city in America” in 2014.

In addition to UVA and its health system, several major employers have facilities in Charlottesville, including State Farm, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense, GE and others.  Charlottesville is also becoming a center for innovative start-up businesses.  The University also actively helps spouses and partners of faculty members build their networks and pursue employment opportunities with a wide variety of area employers. 

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and may be entitled to reasonable accommodations to assist in their pursuit of employment at the University. This includes assistance in completing the online job application as well as reasonable accommodations during the interview process. Please contact the UHR Service Center: 434.982.0123 to request assistance.

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