Director of Research Development position at Cornell University

Director of Research Development
Administrative Director of Research
Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)
Cornell University is seeking a dynamic and committed Director of Research Development to oversee the Research Development (RD) team within the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).
What will you do?

Cornell University has seen an increase in the number of successful large collaborative grant applications in recent years, both at our Ithaca campus and as part of an effort to increase multidisciplinary research between Ithaca and our campuses in New York, including Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Technology. The Director will build on this success and work with researchers to increase the quality and quantity of complex, multi-IP, and large funding applications submitted and successful for research grant opportunities from federal and non-federal sources. The Director will identify and promote opportunities for collaboration, ensure the implementation of strategic planning initiatives, and lead new and innovative academic, research, and academic initiatives to enhance and strengthen interdisciplinary research activities at Cornell. The Director will work with early career researchers to identify funding opportunities and provide strategic support and resources to help them launch their research careers. The Director will provide leadership to integrate best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion into research development programs, resources and proposal development activities; cultivate collaborative strategic partnerships and build community relationships to ensure that efforts include the broader voices that sponsored proposals often aim to serve. The Director will work with PIs, Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) leadership, Senior Director of OSP and Research Development and Director of Research Development (CALS) to facilitate strategic planning and the submission of certain major grant opportunities. The Director will establish strong interactions with research faculty on campus, understand the strengths of research at Cornell, and leverage those strengths to bring together diverse research teams to respond to grant opportunities as they arise. The Director will oversee a team of 4 collaborative, talented and dedicated employees within the RD team, who support the administrative management of the Research Advisory Committee, limited submissions, communication of funding opportunities, communication of RD services to the wider Cornell community, developing partnerships and coordinating awareness and training sessions. The director will develop and implement specialized training and outreach, including workshops for early-career faculty and agency-specific trainings such as NSF Career, DOD, NSF, NIH, and USDA. The director will work with agencies and IPs to facilitate program officer introductions; provide “concierge” services to new faculty to develop strategic research plans, navigate Cornell resources, research processes, forms and systems; and identify funding opportunities.
What qualities are important?

Advanced degree in science or engineering with a minimum of 7 years of experience in successfully managing proposal development in a highly decentralized multidisciplinary research organization, and ideally in an academic setting. Proven ability to lead and motivate a team of professionals. A thorough understanding of the proposal preparation and submission process and successful experience working with researchers to develop multi-million dollar grant applications to major federal funding agencies. Ability to understand and explain organizational policies and positions on topics such as intellectual property rights, installation and administration costs, and cost sharing. Demonstrated ability to interpret and understand funding agency and program priorities, policies, politics and deadlines. Ability to analyze program announcements and work with senior management and researchers to develop proposal strategies. Proven ability to develop effective project plans, timelines and deliverables and build teams to provide the expertise needed to complete projects. Demonstrated success in working effectively with researchers from multiple campuses and disciplines, as well as with administrative staff and sponsors. Strong commitment to and understanding of diversity and inclusion in a higher education setting with a proven ability to interact positively with all levels of staff, faculty, academic leadership, and other constituents of diverse communities. Ability to understand and navigate formal and informal decision-making networks and communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders within a highly decentralized organization and with people outside the organization. Proven success in leading projects through influence and collaboration. Excellent oral and written communication skills, including developing and delivering trainings, presentations to individuals and groups; editing; expertise in scientific writing and scholarship; develop end-user friendly and targeted written guidelines, guidelines and procedures; and engaging external and internal stakeholders to achieve positive results. Ability to handle sensitive information and communicate tactfully and diplomatically with a wider range of internal and external stakeholders. Exceptional problem solving, organizational and analytical skills. Ability to use office software and other electronic tools to complete tasks efficiently and effectively. Strong sense of the importance of deadlines and excellent time management and customer service skills.
What qualifications could give you an advantage?

PhD in science, technology or engineering. Experience in research and/or management of a research operation in a large decentralized organization, preferably in academia, is desirable.
The individual in this role is expected to work primarily in-person on the Cornell Ithaca campus with some flexibility for a hybrid remote work schedule.
For a full review, please attach a resume and cover letter to your application.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to an atmosphere that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage people from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.
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New employees are required to provide documentation showing full vaccination status (i.e. completion of two injections of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one injection of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine) prior to their first day of work. If a new employee’s vaccination is not complete or information is not received by their start date, the first day of work will be delayed. In some cases, a job offer may be withdrawn.
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Title of academic position:

Administrative Director of Research

Job family:




Pay rate type:




Name of the contact:

Kristie Devin

Number of Openings:


Job titles and salary scales:
To learn more about job titles and salary ranges for non-union employees at Cornell, visit the career navigator. The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined taking into account the following criteria:

  • Previous relevant work or industry experience.

  • Level of education as far as education is relevant to the position.

  • Unique applicable skills.

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