Director of Research

Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 20, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Director of Research

Discovery Partners Institute

University of Illinois System - Chicago

The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of Research, the Institute's chief research officer.

The Discovery Partners Institute entices people to jumpstart their tech careers or companies in Chicago. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with local and global research universities, it does two things: tech talent development and applied R&D. DPI prepares students and workers to step into high-demand tech jobs. It also builds research teams and matches them with new funding. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer - and keep them.

This position offers an extraordinary opportunity to a bold and inspirational leader with intellectual breadth, strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated expertise in research-driven programs and policies, experience developing and leveraging research partnerships, and success leading diverse, complex teams and/or organizations. They will bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds and different DPI partner institutions to form and enhance research collaborations across those institutions, influencing and establishing research spaces and DPI's programs in the planned 500,000 square foot facility.

The Director of Research provides intellectual, strategic, and visionary leadership for DPI's research enterprise. They will develop research strategy and programs to enhance discoveries, build partnerships to advance research, and raise the R&D profile of Chicago and Illinois. The Director develops plans for research and guides faculty, research teams, and administrative staff and collaborates to achieve DPI's 10-year goal to generate $200M in research funding annually through government and foundation grants and the corporate community. To this end the Director of Research will work with scientists leading research initiatives in different sectors, applying computation, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to societal challenges with an emphasis on economic development and income in the State of Illinois.

Additional responsibilities include:

  1. With a deep understanding of faculty and department research goals in Tier One Research Universities and National Laboratories, partner with faculty members and scientists to develop research teams and proposals for government and foundation grants, and industry-sponsored R&D.
  2. Maintain active knowledge of research innovation to facilitate excellence in proposal development.
  3. Manage and facilitate large-scale projects focused on strategic opportunity road-mapping, proposal development, initial budget design, and award oversight involving members of the University of Illinois community, DPI partners, and other external collaborators.
  4. Liaise with higher education and national laboratory partners to identify new opportunities in alignment with strategic initiatives and prioritize opportunities that are in the mutual interest of partners.
  5. Represent DPI R&D capabilities to industry partners and prospects and align faculty through community-building activities that cultivate and grow research teams to respond to industry interests.
  6. Work with research leaders and support staff to organize and convene R&D workshops for DPI partner institution faculty, scientists, and industry partners, aimed at shaping DPI R&D directions and informing federal programs through community input to research priorities.
  7. Act as a resource with internal and external stakeholders including deans, department heads, and budget offices, providing knowledge and guidance on all research-related matters.
  8. Lead, or support DPI research leaders, in the development of funding proposals engaging DPI stakeholders.
  9. Develops process for tracking faculty and scientist expertise and activities, across partners, to maintain a faculty research database to facilitate research partnership formation and to inform strategy and communications for research and partnerships.
  10. Oversee research policy related to conflict of interest, research integrity, IP, and IRB.
  11. Works with research leaders to ensure that all research activities comply with state, federal, university, and other relevant policies.
  12. Represent DPI on internal and external committees, and in state, national and international research forums and conferences, as appropriate.

Candidates must possess an advanced degree in a relevant field. Substantial experience in securing large external research grants from public and private sectors, managing multi-million dollar multidisciplinary research projects, building research teams, and leading research collaborations across institutions. Candidates should have the qualifications and experience that meet the criteria for consideration for appointment as full professor with tenure in the University of Illinois. Current University of Illinois faculty are encouraged to apply. Current tenured faculty will retain tenure within their college.

This is a full-time, 12-month Academic Professional position. For full consideration, candidates must apply and submit a letter of application, resume, and names/addresses/phone numbers of three professional references by November 30, 2020 at

The System Office conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer of employment. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit

System Human Resource Services
(312) 996-5130

The System Office is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer dedicated to building a community of excellence, equity and diversity. The System Offices welcome applications from women, underrepresented minorities, individuals with disabilities, protected veterans, sexual minority groups and other candidates who will lead and contribute to the diversification and enrichment of ideas and perspectives.

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