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  • Associate Director for Research Development - Prairie Research Institute

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

    The Associate Director for Research Development will serve as an integral member of the Prairie Research Institute’s leadership and operations team. Coordinate research activities of the Institute by conducting research, planning, developing, supporting, and growing cross-cutting research across the Institute. Responsible for increasing PRI’s research capacity by conducting and facilitating inter-disciplinary research among its scientists and across the Scientific Surveys, including identifying funding opportunities, emerging challenges, and potential collaborations; fostering interdisciplinary projects; envisioning and facilitating collaboration between PRI scientists and other academic departments and institutes on campus; envisioning and facilitating the development of infrastructure for research programs across PRI; developing collaboration between PRI and organizations external to UIUC, and enhancing scholarship.  


    Associate Director of Research Development -Duties & Responsibilities

    Research - Research Engagement

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

    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. 

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

    Develop and maintain PRI’s research vision and situational awareness by proactively scanning PRI’s political climate, economic context and societal needs to identify consequential research challenges that PRI and its surveys should address.

    Assess and monitor PRI capacities for research, service, and engagement; seek opportunities to activate and support interdisciplinary research, service, and engagement across PRI by fostering team science, promoting research integration, and matching resources to emerging opportunities for PRI.

    Identify and facilitate opportunities to build research, service, and engagement collaborations with other campus units and external organizations.

    Coordinate with PRI Leadership to create and implement strategies to build capacity in identified strategic research areas through strategic hiring and other investments.

    Conceive and implement projects, processes, and actions to advance organizational strategic goals that seek to position PRI as nimble, adaptive and at the vanguard of scientific discovery and analysis delivering positive impact to the state of Illinois and the national and global community.

    Develop and maintain regular contact with federal funding agencies, state agencies, and foundations to identify emergent research challenges and engage PRI researchers in the development of research proposals and plans to meet those needs, in coordination with Survey Directors.

     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. 

     Strategic Initiatives

    Lead, oversee, and/or coordinate actions impacting strategic research at PRI, and as assigned by the Executive Director.

    Design and implement programs and activities to support the professional development of PRI scientists, in coordination with the PRI Human Resources leadership.

    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.

    Contribute to PRI advancement and fundraising strategy development and donor engagement, as needed.

    Coordinate with the PRI leadership team and scientists to improve the connection between science and policy by engaging with public policymakers who must make timely decisions on pressing issues.

    Coordinate with Executive Leadership and the Office of Governmental Relations to develop strategies and produce/deliver materials for engaging, educating, and informing federal, state, and local decision makers of the Institute’s capacity and expertise to deliver unbiased scientific assessments that inform public policy.

    Support PRI strategic communication regarding research initiatives, scholarships, and outcomes.

     Research Liaison

    Serve as a liaison between the scientific research staff and the administrative support staff to address issues related to internal operations of the Institute; receive staff feedback and engage PRI leadership in efforts to ensure internal systems are efficient and effective.

    Serve as a representative and point of contact for PRI to University units, including the Chancellor’s Research Administrators Working Group and the Research Development Council; maintain engagement with University governance by serving on Senate committees and Council for Academic Professionals committees and interfacing with PRI staff who also serve in these capacities, as assigned by the Executive Director.


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


    Associate 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 ten years of relevant experience.  Preferred:   Experience working with Illinois State agencies related to natural and/or cultural resources.  Previous relevant experience within a corporate or university setting.  Previous experience and success in research business development/proposals with researchers.  Demonstrated experience engaging decision makers to advance strategic objectives and translate science into public policy, including knowledge of University governance, state, and federal legislative processes.   Experience in research development at an institution of higher education. Direct experience with management or supervision in team environments; experience with sponsored program funding.

    Associate Director of Research Development knowledge Requirements:  Ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with colleagues, administrators, faculty, community partners, students, and other university staff. Aptitude for working without close supervision, make decisions independently, accept constructive feedback, prioritize tasks across simultaneous projects, and adapt to changing priorities. Demonstrate strong work ethic and ability to take initiative and follow through. Strong problem-solving skills, with ability to resourcefully obtain information and overcome obstacles with skill and tact. Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, including the use of collaborative technology to facilitate work with geographically distributed stakeholders. Communication skills to address a broad range of stakeholders within and outside of academic environments. Knowledge in database and information technologies.  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 https://jobs.illinois.edu/. For further information about this specific position, please contact Megan Weeks, mkweeks@illinois.edu. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

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