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Research Director, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law

Job Details



Research Director, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law
University of California Los Angeles



Requisition Number: JPF09077


The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law seeks a strategic, passionate, and experienced scholar to serve as its new Research Director. The incoming Research Director will join the leading research center on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy at a crucial moment in time and will be positioned to impact the Institute for years to come. Building upon the preeminent work of the Institute, the Research Director will help ensure that facts — not stereotypes — inform laws, policies, and judicial decisions that affect the LGBTQ community at the state, local, national, and international levels.

The Institute's early years established a commitment to interdisciplinary research that thrives today, as the Institute continues to be a leader in producing research as a tool for public policymaking. Working at the powerful intersection of research and impact, the Institute has become an important, well-known, and respected leader in this space.

The incoming Research Director will embrace the Institute's mission and commitment to impact, independence, and innovation through the bolstering of the Institute's diverse research portfolio and significant external engagement. An experienced strategist and skilled manager with a strong track record of research excellence, the Research Director will address several key priorities, including:

  • Develop the Institute's research portfolio to maximize impact on law and policy;
  • Build and sustain strong external relationships by effectively communicating the Institute's work with a variety of stakeholders;
  • Facilitate and coalesce the Williams Institute's diverse group of research programs;
  • Supervise, support, and empower Williams Institute scholars and researchers.

    The search committee strongly welcomes applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. It will consider the factors below when evaluating candidates for this important leadership role. A successful candidate should possess many of the following characteristics:

  • PhD (preferred), JD, EdD or equivalent terminal degree is required;
  • Established research record with a minimum of 10 years of policy-relevant research. Research on LGBTQ people, people of color, transgender people, women, people with disabilities, children, youth, or people of low socio-economic or marginalized status is encouraged.
  • At least 5 years of experience leading teams focused on initiatives or projects that use research to inform public policy;
  • Experience conducting research related to LGBTQ people or other marginalized communities;
  • Experience conducting research related to people of color and approaching research through an intersectional lens that includes race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity;
  • Knowledge of current LGBTQ-related law and policy issues;
  • Demonstrated leadership, strategic thinking, relationship-building, and management skills;
  • Powerful communicator and careful listener who effectively engages and inspires stakeholders and colleagues;
  • Understanding of the LGBTQ and social justice funding landscape and a track record of securing contracts and/or grants;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to convey complex technical issues to non-expert audiences and share research results in a way that resonates with community groups, practitioners, and policymakers;
  • Ability to assist with budget preparations, drafting grant proposals, and writing reports.

    This is a full-time, year-round, non-tenure track, academic position. This appointment is subject to the rules and regulations of the Regents of the University of California, which are mostly embodied in The UCLA CALL and the University of California Academic Personnel Manual. (See https://apo.ucla.edu/policies-forms/the-call/an-introduction-to-the-ucla-call; https://apo.ucla.edu/policies-forms/apm.)

    See UC Salary Table 34 at https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/compensation/2023-24-academic-salary-scales.html for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $180,000 to $215,000. The salary and level of appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The position includes research and travel support.

    Please apply online at https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/JPF09077 by submitting pdf copies of a cover letter discussing your interest, qualifications and/or experience, a resume or curriculum vitae, a list of publications, the names and addresses for at least five professional references, as well as a diversity statement. Finalists will later be expected to supply at least two letters of recommendation during the final vetting process.


    To apply, please visit: https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/JPF09077


    The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy, https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction


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  • Organization

    Working at University of California, Los Angeles

    UCLA is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1919 and is the second oldest of the ten campuses affiliated with the University of California system. UCLA offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines and enrolls about 26,000 undergraduate and about 12,000 graduate students from the United States and around the world every year.

    UCLA features the College of Letters and Science, seven general campus professional schools, and four professional schools for the health sciences. The UCLA College of Letters and Science has 34 academic departments and 900 faculty, and houses the majority of UCLA's 129 undergraduate majors as well as the students in the Graduate Division of Letters and Sciences. The UCLA College Honors Program is also housed in the College. The College of Letters and Science's programs are divided into five academic divisions: humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and the International Institute. UCLA also offers certificate programs, undergraduate degree-credit and continuing education credits for non-full-time students through its UCLA Extension education program.

    The 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked UCLA as the 24th best university in the nation and 32nd best in the world. In the 2007 edition of U.S. News and World Report, UCLA Medical Center was ranked best in the West, as well as one of the top 3 hospitals in the United States alongside Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 15 of the 16 medical specialty areas examined, UCLA Medical Center ranked in the top 20.

    The campus' location in Los Angeles makes excursions to local museums, theaters, or other entertainment venues relatively quick and easy.

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