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  • Assistant and Associate Director for Research Development - Prairie Research Institute

    Guest schelsky@illinois.edu
    • Employer: University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
      Location: Champaign, IL
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 06/12/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    The Assistant Director of Research Development will serve as a member of PRI’s leadership team, support the Executive Director, Associate Director for Research, and Survey Directors in increasing PRI’s research portfolio by conducting research and facilitating the development of inter-disciplinary research, scholarship, and communication of  opportunities, initiatives, and outcomes. Engage as a technical expert in research compliance or protocol review with input on research method and practices by identifying, expanding, and supporting new research initiatives involving institute investigators, campus faculty and external stakeholders; coordinate new, multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator proposals; and work to build the research capacity and funding of the Prairie Research Institute. Provide research knowledge and support to programs, systems, and processes supporting research development at the Prairie Research Institute.


    Assistant Director of Research Development -Duties & Responsibilities

    Research –- Research Engagement

    Engage as a technical research expert in research compliance or protocol review with input on research method and practices.

    Provide support, collaboration, and insight regarding research opportunities, research integrity, and research knowledge to all PRI researchers.

    Assist all PRI scientist and research employees on research projects, deliverables, goals, and publications.

    Co-lead and lead research teams, lead internal research advisory teams, lead crisis response teams that are requested and required by the State of Illinois and other agencies,  and provide research knowledge to the Executive Director. 

    Analyze sponsored profiles, funding opportunities, and funding program histories to assess PRI’s place in the competitive landscape.

    Identify potential funding sources and strategic funding opportunities for the Scientific Surveys and connect researchers with these opportunities.

    Collaborate with investigators in catalyzing new research programs and opportunities.

    Identify common and complementary research interests among multi-disciplinary investigators and assemble teams to address research and funding opportunities.

    Assist with the development of proposal processes, both internally and externally. Collaborate with Survey scientists, University of Illinois faculty, and external colleagues to provide integrated interpretations and applications to existing and new research programs and funding opportunities.

    Engage and assist in the development of compliant and compelling research proposals as directed by the Associate Director for Research and Executive Director.

    Organize and support teams of scientists and staff in the preparation of high quality, compelling, competitive proposals for funding, including organizing teams and providing tools and resources where needed.

    Organize pre-submittal peer review panels to review scientific narratives and analyze feedback.

    Oversee interactions between PIs and budget teams, research collaborators, and sponsored research administrators to ensure efficient proposal development and submittal processes.

    Serve as a stand-in for the Associate Director for Research when needed.

    Research  - Principal Investigator

    Manage research projects, grant funding, and employees paid on the grants and contracts.

    Conduct research on projects ensuring deliverables and goals of the projects are met. 

    Lead the preparation of project reports, recommendations, and manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as present results of research at scientific meetings. 

     Research – Methodology

    Advise on consistent research methodology where appropriate among members of the PRI research teams.

    Track and analyze grant completion and applicable new research opportunities that match completed research deliverables.

    Oversee and support collaboration with scientists and interdisciplinary teams to coordinate the preparation of funding agency proposal submissions.

    Gather data and track research opportunities related to survey specific data, results, and skills.

    Analyze, align, and strategically match organizational strengths with short-term emphasis and long-term direction of funding agencies.

    Provide investigators with elements of research planning to help them strategically approach research and funding opportunities.

    Research - Education/Outreach 

    Utilizing research data, facilitate and support ongoing operations of research development programs and initiatives to foster collaboration and growth.

    Collaborate with researchers and Stakeholder Engagement personnel to include and deliver DEI responsibilities within grants and implement programs and processes that foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizational culture.

    Coordinate with PRI communications team to share and promote research activities and outcomes.


    Perform other related duties as needed in support of the Associate Director for Research and the Leadership Team at the Prairie Research Institute.


    Assistant Director of Research Development - Requirements: Education: Ph.D in a relevant technical or scientific discipline (science, technology, or engineering). Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience at it relates to this position.  Experience: Required: A minimum of five years of relevant experience. Preferred:   Direct experience working with research investigators and/or faculty managing large projects in the broad area of sustainability. Demonstrated experience with writing and/or preparing technical white papers, contract/grant proposals, and technical presentations. Demonstrated experience with research dissemination to a variety of audiences. Experience in research development at an institution of higher education. Direct experience with management or supervision in team environments; experience with sponsored program funding. Experience developing and delivering trainings and workshops.

    Assistant Director of Research Development knowledge Requirements:  Possess strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with other scientists, researchers, and staff. Demonstrated the ability for leadership and planning, supervising, and monitoring administrative and research activities and progress. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision.  Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills.  Demonstrated ability to advance initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace or other professional organizations. Familiarity with research development efforts at peer institutions.


    This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after 6/1/2023. Salary is commensurate with experience. Apply today at Careers – Careers (illinois.edu) Closing date is June 12, 2023.


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