Program Officer, Culture & Global Perspectives
Organization and Position
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries of relevance to Big Questions that have animated human thought across times and cultures, about fundamental realities and how we might live well in light of those realities. We support research in disciplines ranging from fundamental physics, astronomy, evolutionary biology, and genetics, to psychology, sociology, philosophy, and theology. We encourage open-minded and rigorous intellectual engagement between scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between scholars, public intellectuals, journalists, and the general public. In all our work, we strive to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery. To accomplish this, we make grants to build capacity for and support academic research on a wide range of topics within the Foundation’s mission, as well grants to disseminate information about that research and stimulate popular enthusiasm for more.
To advance the Foundation’s mission and strengthen our team, the Foundation is seeking a Program Officer, Culture & Global Perspectives. The Program Officer, Culture & Global Perspectives is responsible for the management of the full life cycle of the grant process and the ongoing development of funding initiatives that draw on scholarly expertise across various traditions and academic disciplines in order to synthesize fresh understandings of how human flourishing might be pursued in pluralistic contexts and on local and global scales. The Program Officer’s specific activities include reviewing grant proposals, communicating with applicants and grantees about the application and review process, collaborating with an evaluation team to assess programmatic impact, developing new projects to advance the mission and vision of the foundation, and representing the foundation at relevant meetings and conferences.
Areas of Responsibility
- Review and analyze grant proposals, prepare funding recommendations, monitor grant activity, help grantees with change requests, and manage the Foundation’s relationship with principal investigators
- Develop and manage strategic plans that advance the Foundation’s efforts to understand and promote human flourishing in various cultural contexts, both within and outside of the Western world. A current priority focuses on the theme of “Islam, Science, and Society”
- Cultivate scholarly excellence and operational efficiency in all aspects of the grant submission and grant review process for the department’s strategic funding priorities
- Collaborate with colleagues in other grant-making departments to develop and implement projects that benefit from a range of disciplinary perspectives and professional expertise
- Evaluate the performance of grants and grantees in collaboration with the Planning and Evaluation department
- Communicate the mission of the Foundation both internally and externally, especially to researchers, academic institutions, and in related networking opportunities
- Participate in professional development opportunities
Required Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities
- Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in a relevant field
- 5+ years of professional experience within philanthropy, academia, or research institutions
- Familiarity with research methods and peer-review processes in the humanities and the sciences
- A record of excellence in writing and editing proposals, papers, presentations, etc.
- Analytical skills and detail-orientation when gathering information, evaluating ideas, reviewing budgets, and making decisions
- Ability to work efficiently and reliably as a member of various teams within the Foundation
- Ability to communicate and network with scholars and members of academic community
- Ability to travel globally as a representative of the Foundation
- Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission
Preferred Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrated skill in the following areas: administrative organization, grant management, program/project evaluation, use of database systems, and relationship-building within scholarly networks
- Experience in non-Western contexts and competency in multiple languages is highly desirable; proficiency in Arabic would be especially beneficial.
- While a candidate with a PhD and an interdisciplinary track record is preferred, consideration will also be given to a candidate with a Master’s degree who has relevant skill and experience
We are committed to caring for our employees and their families through exceptional benefits. We pay for 100% of employee medical, dental and vision premiums, and generously contribute to family premiums. We provide life insurance, short-term disability coverage and long-term disability coverage at no cost to employees. We offer a 401(k) retirement savings plan with an employer match and additional discretionary contributions. Paid time off includes generous vacation, sick, and personal days. The Foundation offers a unique donation program, enabling employees the ability to direct a $5,000 donation to a mission aligned organization of their choice, with no employee donation required.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the role will be a remote-work
position through at least May 2021. The Foundation does plan to
resume in-office operations when it is safe to do so
notice will be provided), and the position will be based in the Foundation’s offices, located in West Conshohocken, PA.
West Conshohocken, PA, a short drive (~15 miles) from Philadelphia and within walking distance of a commuter train station into downtown Philadelphia. The offices are close to residential and commercial districts with multiple restaurants, as well as Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs where Villanova University, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College are located. The surrounding area has many walkable communities with an affordable cost of living and a robust variety of cultural and entertainment opportunities, including a vibrant food scene, five professional sports teams, world-class museums, galleries, gardens, and a broad array of music venues and other performing arts institutions. The offices are in close proximity to major highways, with New York City, the Jersey shore, the Pocono Mountains, and the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country all within a two-hour drive. The offices also provide easy access to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (making New York City or Washington, D.C. an easy day trip) and to Philadelphia International Airport, an American Airlines hub serving destinations throughout the U.S. (more than a hundred routes),