Research Development Specialist

Job Summary

The Research Development Specialist helps build and enhance the extramural funding of San José State University (SJSU) research and training programs. The Specialist helps position SJSU for emerging funding opportunities, and works as part of a team to provide consistent support for SJSU researchers in various activities, including: opportunity scouting, proposal scoping, pre-award consultations, hands-on proposal development, proposal review, coaching/mentoring, and early career training/outreach, and other support needs related to complex large-scale opportunities. The specialist serves as a liaison to the designated SJSU academic areas for large/complex research grants programs and proposals. The Specialist provides oversight and coordination of research development programs, including program development, planning and evaluation, peer review of proposals and applicant relations, grant application and award management, and synthesis and dissemination of research findings. The Specialist’s designated research area is in the College of Engineering.

This is a position in the CSU - Management Personnel Plan (MPP), and serves at the pleasure of the President. This position will require adherence to University compliance training such as: Conflict of Interest and Ethics, AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Prevention, Information Security, and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. The person hired for this position may be required to complete an outside employment disclosure statement in accordance with Title V of the California Code of Regulations.

Key Responsibilities

  • Facilitate successful proposal development and help increase award rate
  • Assist faculty to find strategic funding opportunities
  • Provide complete pre-award consultations including hands-on proposal development for competitiveness, proposal review and editing, coaching/mentoring, and other support needs related to complex large-scale opportunities
  • Coordinate pre-submission peer reviews of proposal drafts
  • Develop and review budgets and budget justifications
  • Support the development of letters of support, biosketches, COI, and compliance plans
  • Liaise with funding agencies during proposal development process
  • Help increase level of funding for student (undergraduate and graduate) research
  • Support the inception and growth of doctoral programs with targeted proposals
  • Develop strategic relationships with granting agencies and foundations
  • Bring grant officers, program managers, and other agency representatives to campus or taking and introducing faculty to them
  • Collaborate with faculty in the College (and in other Colleges and institutions, depending on the scope and context of extramural funding opportunities) to identify strategic extramural funding opportunities

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Excellent skills in grant and technical writing, including structuring of large documents
  • Skilled in writing and editing competitive research proposals for government agencies
  • Skilled in cultivating relationships with program officers at federal agencies as a liaison to support faculty and gain perspective on funding trends
  • Ability to analyze, present, and critique information in different ways for different end-users
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong ability to think creatively and independently on concepts requiring advanced analytic skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse groups to achieve results
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively with internal and external peers, managers and teams
  • Skilled in program planning and management of projects
  • Excellent skills in data analytics, visualization, and in document production
  • Strong ability to be well organized with the ability to set priorities and meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of external funding processes, including funding agency guidelines and objectives, grant proposal creation and submission
  • Ability to write reports, guidelines and procedures, using extensive software tools
  • Ability to establish rapport with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to perform accurately in a detail-oriented environment

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalence plus five years of experience in research development or Master’s Degree plus two years of experience in research development
  • Experience writing, editing, and managing complex proposals
  • Excellent written communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in Engineering
  • Prior research development experience at a public or non-profit academic institution
  • Experience writing, editing, and managing complex proposals for other principal investigators in variable subjects
  • Experience tracking record with or at federal funding agency


Classification: Administrator II
Anticipated Hiring Range: $6,667/month - $8,334/month

San José State University offers employees a comprehensive benefits package typically worth 30-35% of your base salary. For more information on programs available, please see the Employee Benefits Summary .

Application Procedure

Click Apply Now to complete the SJSU Online Employment Application and attach the following documents:

  • Resume
  • Letter of Interest
  • Writing Sample: Please provide a writing sample that shows your own writing of a document relevant to this job: preferably a proposal (an entire proposal or a section written by you), a report, or a publication (least preferred). Please be sure the part over which you are the author is clearly identified.
  • Supplemental Questions: (1) Please discuss your experience working within a research environment and why you are qualified to work with San Jose State University’s engineering faculty to help them gain extramural funding. (2) Please discuss your experience submitting proposals to or working with funding agencies relevant to the College of Engineering at San Jose State University.

All applicants must apply within the specified application period: September 15, 2020 through October 11, 2020 . This position is open until filled; however, applications received after screening has begun will be considered at the discretion of the university.

Contact Information

University Personnel

Additional Information

Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will issue a contingent offer of employment to the selected candidate, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current CSU employee who was offered the position on a contingent basis.

The standard background check includes: criminal check, employment and education verification. Depending on the position, a motor vehicle and/or credit check may be required. All background checks are conducted through the university's third party vendor, Accurate Background. Some positions may also require fingerprinting. SJSU will pay all costs associated with this procedure. Evidence of required degree(s) or certification(s) will be required at time of hire.


All San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Equal Employment Statement

San José State University (SJSU) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion or lack thereof, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, or protected veteran status consistent with applicable federal and state laws. This policy applies to all SJSU students, faculty and staff programs and activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities operated by the university (both on and off campus).

Advertised: September 15, 2020 (9:00 AM) Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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