Director of Research Development

Director of Research Development
Research Administration Director
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 enjoyed an increase in successful large collaborative grant applications in recent years, both on our Ithaca campus, and as part of an effort to increase multi-disciplinary research between Ithaca and our campuses in New York City, including Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech. The Director will build on this success and work with investigators to raise the quality and quantity of submitted and successful complex, multi-PI, large funding applications for research grant opportunities from federal and non-federal sources. The Director will identify and promote opportunities for collaboration, ensure implementation of strategic planning initiatives, and spearhead new and innovative academic, research and scholarly initiatives to improve and enhance inter-disciplinary research activities at Cornell. The Director will work with early career researchers to identify funding opportunities and to provide strategic support and resources to help to launch their research careers.

The Director will provide leadership to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices within Research Development programming, resources and proposal development activities; cultivate collaborative strategic partnerships and build community relationships to ensure efforts are inclusive of the broader voices that sponsored proposals often aim to serve.

The Director will work with PIs, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) leadership, the Sr. Director of OSP and Research Development, and the Director of Research Development (CALS) to facilitate the strategic planning and submission of select large grant opportunities. The Director will establish strong interactions with research faculty across the campus, understand research strengths at Cornell, and leverage these strengths to assemble diverse research teams to respond to grant opportunities that arise.

The Director will oversee a team of 4 collaborative, talented and dedicated staff on 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 broader Cornell community, partnership development, and coordination of outreach and training sessions. The Director will develop and implement specialized training and outreach including workshops for early-career faculty and agency-specific training such as NSF Career, DOD, NSF, NIH, and USDA. The Director will work with agencies and PIs 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 qualifications are important?

Graduate degree in science or engineering with a minimum of 7 years of experience successfully managing proposal development in a highly decentralized, multi-disciplinary research organization, and ideally in an academic setting.

Proven ability to direct and motivate a team of professionals.

An in-depth understanding of the proposal preparation and submission process and proven successful experience working with researchers to develop successful multi-million dollar grant applications to major federal funding agencies. Ability to understand and explain organization policies and positions on topics such as intellectual property rights, facilities 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 to assemble teams to provide the expertise to complete projects.

Proven success in working effectively with investigators across multiple campuses and disciplines, and with administrative staff and sponsors.

Strong commitment to and understanding of diversity and inclusion in a higher education setting with a proven ability to positively interact with all levels of staff, faculty, university leadership and other constituents from diverse communities.

Ability to understand and navigate formal and informal decision-making networks and to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders within a highly decentralized organization, and with individuals external to the organization. Proven success in leading projects through influence and collaboration.

Excellent oral and written communication skills, including development and delivery of training, presentations to individuals and groups; editing; expertise in scientific writing and grantsmanship; developing written guidance, directions, and procedures that are end-user friendly and focused; and in engaging external and internal stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes. Ability to handle sensitive information and communicate with tact and diplomacy to a wider range of internal and external stakeholders.

Exceptional problem solving, organizational, and analysis skills. Ability to utilize office software and other electronic tools to successfully and efficiently conduct tasks.

Acute sense of the importance of deadlines and excellent time management and customer service skills.

What qualifications might give you an advantage?

PhD in science, technology, or engineering. Research experience and/or managing a research operation in a large decentralized organization, preferably in academia, is desirable.

It is expected that the individual in this role will be primarily working in person on the Cornell Ithaca campus with some flexibility for a hybrid remote work schedule.

For full consideration, please attach both 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 a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

As part of the university's comprehensive vaccination program , all Cornell employees are required to have and provide proof of an FDA-or WHO-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption, regardless of their role and work location.

New hires are required to provide documentation showing full vaccination status (that is, completion of two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one shot of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) before their first day of work. If a new hire's vaccination is not complete or information is not received by their start date, the first day of work will be delayed. It is possible in some cases that an offer of employment may be withdrawn.

For additional information on Cornell’s Vaccination Compliance Program click here .

University Job Title:

Research Administration Director

Job Family:




Pay Rate Type:




Contact Name:

Kristie Devine

Number of Openings:


Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

To learn more about Cornell’s non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator . The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:
  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Unique applicable skills.

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