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Executive Director, Integrative Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)

The University of Oklahoma (Norman)
The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma
Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Oct 19, 2022

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Position Type
Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time
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Position Title: Executive Director, Integrative Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)

Position summary:

As one of The University of Oklahoma's new interdisciplinary research institutes launched in tandem with the Lead On Strategic Plan for the OU-Norman campus, the Integrative Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) will develop capabilities in fundamental and applied biosciences as well as social, environmental, and health sciences to tackle grand challenges focused on three strategic areas: molecules to medicine, emergent pathogenic threats, and health disparities. These thematic areas provide the Future of Health initiative framework detailed in the University’s Strategic Research Verticals, developed by a multidisciplinary team of faculty representing the entire Norman campus through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP). As part of the implementation of that strategy, the OVPRP is seeking nominations and applications for the position of inaugural Executive Director of the ILSI and at the rank of Full Professor. The academic home department will be aligned with the successful candidate’s disciplinary interests.

The Executive Director, who will report directly to OU's Vice President for Research and Partnerships, will provide strong leadership in guiding the mission of ILSI, which is to advance positive health outcomes through convergence research to create new diagnostics, therapies, policies, and practices that will enable recognition of and response to continuing and emerging disease threats and address social and environmental risk factors impacting health equity in Oklahoma, the United States and globally. This vision of the integrated life sciences will capitalize on existing strengths on the OU-Norman campus, bridge to the OU Health Sciences Center, and expand in new areas to build productive partnerships with a major goal of growing NIH funding and helping to steer new strategic faculty hires.

The successful candidate will be an experienced and dynamic leader with exceptional scholarly credentials in life sciences research. The candidate will promote and strengthen collaborative efforts between the faculty, students, and staff across our three campuses, to incentivize and develop transdisciplinary teams in areas of strategic importance to the ILSI. Establishing strong partnerships with OU Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is an important objective for ILSI. In addition, the successful candidate will build a robust and sustainable financial portfolio of dedicated internal and extramural funding for the operational costs of the institute and in support of its convergence research mission.

Key responsibilities

The Institute Director is expected to:

  • Provide strategic leadership, direction, and organizational and financial management of the new institute and its personnel.
  • Help develop corporate partnerships and corporate-sponsored research supporting the institute's mission and any commercialization of intellectual property resulting therefrom.
  • Foster engagement in innovative transdisciplinary research related to human health issues and fundamental scientific discoveries.
  • Support research in new therapies, policies, and technologies to address chronic and deadly diseases like diabetes and cancer.
  • Develop methods to predict, prevent, and respond to emerging pathogenic threats.
  • Continue community partnerships with urban, rural, and tribal communities to ensure the feasibility of efforts to intervene on health disparities while furthering the institute’s convergence research and educational mission.
  • Create an environment that, working with the OVPRP and the Center for Faculty Excellence in the Provost’s Office, facilitates the creation of winning proposals by OU faculty teams in response to significant funding opportunities.
  • Work closely with faculty across the three OU campuses, with institutes associated with other strategic research verticals, and other academic centers across the university that represent foundation areas of expertise.
  • Establish strong partnerships with OU Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Qualifications: Education: Ph.D. and/or M.D. in life sciences research or related area Experience:

  • At least two years of relevant academic or corporate leadership experience
  • Evidence of a nationally recognized and well-funded research program


  • Leadership experience in running an organization or large department


  • A deep understanding of the critical importance of the research and creative activity mission at a top tier public university
  • Collaborative mindset and congenial nature to network and work effectively with faculty, administrators, and external partners.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and higher education institutional rules and regulations.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proven experience in fostering and maintaining key relationships with internal and external constituents

To be considered for this position: Applicants must apply online at the University of Oklahoma's Interfolio website at (IEO search #338).

The required application materials are: 1) cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a statement of future research and teaching interests, 4) a statement regarding leadership experience, and 5) the names and contact information for three references.

Review of applications will be on November 1, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled.

For more information contact: Ann West (

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, admissions, employment, financial aid, housing, services in educational programs or activities, and health care services that the University operates or provides.


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