Chess User Office Manager

Administrator IV

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The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world, and its pioneering capabilities are helping to keep the United States at the leading edge of scientific research. We are seeking a CHESS User Office Manager who will partner with CHESS Leadership, CHESS Operations, and our IT team to lead a world-class User Office and support delivery of an exceptional User experience. Approximately 1,500 researchers and students (who we refer to as “Users”) are involved with CHESS each year. The CHESS User Office is the main point of contact for Users and manages a suite of workflow tools, including the User Database – a custom web application that tracks nearly 10,000 Users and 1,500 proposals, and is used to coordinate all aspects of reviewing, approving, scheduling, training, and reporting on the world-class scientific experiments conducted at CHESS. Additionally, the User Office is a main point of contact for our CHESS staff scientists, CHESS Safety Committee, and operations staff with regard to the User experience. The CHESS User Office is comprised of 2-3 staff, along with student employee support, who cover traditional business hours (Monday-Friday in person) with occasional off-hours in the evenings and weekend.

About Our Lab:

Located on the central campus of Cornell University, CHESS is internationally recognized for providing high intensity X-ray beams and advanced instrumentation to scientists and students around the world. The lab is comprised of seven state-of-the-art beamlines, each of which routinely hosts world-leading research in physics, chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, materials science, cultural heritage, and engineering. CHESS is committed to engaging with industry, academia and government through its funding from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Research Lab, National Institutes of Health, and New York State. CHESS is part of a larger organization at Cornell called CLASSE (Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based ScienceS and Education).

Key Job Responsibilities:

The CHESS User Office Manager oversees the business functions of the CHESS User Office. We are looking for a talented individual that excels at building and maintaining effective relationships with multiple stakeholders and supports the research mission of CHESS through efficiently managing the User Office, focusing on delivering a world-class User experience.

  • Responsible for providing world-class level of service to CHESS and its User community in support of the research mission of CHESS.
  • Manages and is the main point of contact for the suite of tools, including the User Database, within the CHESS User Office.
  • Creates workflow for new database development and/or changes to existing ones with an eye toward redundancies that can be eliminated to increase efficiency. Partners with IT to design and implement enhancements that enable a positive end-user experience. Includes scope, schedule and implementation. Anticipates and mitigates the impact on CHESS internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensures database access, database consistency, and data integrity are monitored and managed.
  • Responds to and resolves database access and performance issues in coordination with IT.
  • Manages all aspects of User Program including but not limited to scientific proposal submission, peer-review process, safety review process, scheduling, reporting, etc.
  • Analyzes User Database data and recommends modifications to operations as indicated by findings. Provides standard and ad hoc reporting of data as needed to support requests from CHESS leadership, funding partners, university, etc.
  • Leads and manages, through partnership with CHESS staff scientists, to support service activity including, but not limited to, organization and execution of the annual Users' Meeting and workshop planning, e.g., websites, agendas, communication, registration, overall planning management, etc. and coordination of other outreach activities, e.g., tours, visits from outside scientists, etc.
  • Acts as back-up to CHESS User Office Coordinator.

What We Need:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in field related to business management and 5 to 7 years of relevant experience or equivalent combination.
  • Experience with database management.
  • Proven organizational and time-management skills.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work with diverse audiences in group and one-on-one settings.
  • Strong commitment to quality service, collaborative decision-making, teamwork, and communication is essential.
  • Experience that demonstrates sound judgment, creativity, management, and problem-solving skills.

What We Would Prefer:

Experience within a research laboratory with a user program or higher education.

Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.

Please apply online at (posting #WDR-00028397).

Effective immediately, all new Cornell hires, regardless of work location, must be fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO- authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption by December 8, 2021, or before their start date if after December 8.

Cornell provides great benefits that include comprehensive health care options, generous retirement contributions, educational benefits (Employee Degree, Tuition Aid, Cornell Children’s Tuition Assistance Programs), access to wellness programs, and employee discounts with local and national retail brands. Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 13 holidays, including winter break from December 25th through January 1st.

Cornell has been nationally recognized as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. For more information, follow the link: Benefits at Cornell