About the Opportunity
This job description is intended t
o describe the general
nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this
classification. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive
list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of
personnel so classified.
The Contracts Manager plays a key role in the success of the
technology transfer process at Northeastern University. This
position will support the mission of the Center of Research
Innovation (CRI) through its contracts and compliance functions and
work closely with the commercialization and IP teams in the
pursuit, negotiation, and execution of a broad suite of agreements
for the development and acceleration of the University's
intellectual property portfolio and ventures. This position reports
to the Executive Director of CRI and works closely with the Office
of General Counsel (OGC) to provide guidance to University
stakeholders, represent the University's position on matters
related to intellectual property and agreement terms, and provide
guidance to CRI staff and the University ecosystem regarding
compliance issues related to the CRI. This person must establish
and maintain relationships with University customers based on trust
and effective outcomes.
A strong managerial capability, solutions-based mindset, and
ability to manage a complex portfolio of contracts, intellectual
property, and compliance issues, are mandatory for success in this
position. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success
in effectively interacting with a diverse group of University
customers and stakeholders, efficient time management with strong
prioritization skills, and a history of proposing and executing
creative solutions through contract and compliance frameworks while
maintaining professional discretion. The Contracts Manager must
independently draft, negotiate, and analyze all agreements related
to CRI while mitigating risks to the University, including but not
limited to licenses of rights to University IP assets, options to
license, inter-institutional agreements and other joint owner
agreements, non-disclosure agreements, material transfer
agreements, memorandums of understanding, agreements supporting
mergers/acquisitions/sales of University licensees, and various
other formal agreements. The Contracts Manager must demonstrate an
ability to communicate and negotiate effectively and professionally
with external parties (start-ups, larger companies, external
counsel, agencies), an ability to identify and resolve complicated,
sensitive, and cross-functional problems creatively, and an ability
to function successfully as a member of a team as well as
independently, creating trust, in a deadline-driven, fast-paced
academic, entrepreneurial, and research environment. The successful
candidate is expected to use independent judgment where appropriate
while keeping supervisors and stakeholders informed and
Minimum Educational Requirements:
- Self-starter and an entrepreneurial attitude seeking
opportunities to continuously improve operations and service
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and ability to
interact creatively and harmoniously with CRI and University
leadership, colleagues, inventors and other stakeholders.
- Ability to proactively seek and develop solutions to complex
problems and manage multiple projects simultaneously through
completion while maintaining professional discretion.
- Experience in and knowledge of technology transfer, especially
the dependencies between intellectual property, contracts, and
commercialization, in a University setting and detailed knowledge
of the regulations and laws that relate to intellectual property,
sponsored research, research compliance, and venture support
- Strong principle-based negotiation and agreement drafting
experience and knowledge of and experience in complex agreement
types and terms, technology particularly arising from an academic
setting, and licensing and business principles are essential.
- An understanding of areas of key concern to academic
institutions in the negotiation of contracts with industry is
strongly preferred, with a particular focus on agreement provisions
related to intellectual property, publications, data ownership and
rights, and risk management.
- Ability to work effectively in support of business development,
research, and technology transfer professionals.
- Ability to obtain a security clearance as necessary for
performance of role and responsibilities in particular supporting
KRI LLC and the Burlington, MA and Arlington, VA campuses.
Contracts Function of CRI (60%)
- A minimum of 3-5 years of experience successfully demonstrating
the required skills and knowledge for this position including 1-3
years of technology transfer experience.
- Industry and/or venture experience plus experience in a higher
education setting or research-oriented non-profit setting advising
clients on a variety of transactions and business matters are
- Must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and be a
member of the Massachusetts Bar in good standing.
CRI and University Compliance and Education (30%)
- Independently draft, negotiate, and analyze all agreements
related to CRI while mitigating risks to the University, including
but not limited to out-licensing University IP assets through
licenses, options to license, inter-institutional agreements and
other joint owner agreements, non-disclosure agreements, material
transfer agreements, memorandums of understanding, agreements
supporting mergers/acquisitions/sales of University licensees, and
various other formal agreements.
- Address and work towards a favorable solution to non-compliance
issues and other sensitive matters with licensees in collaboration
with the commercialization, intellectual property, finance, and
venture teams to protect the University's legal and financial
interests and manage risks and exposure.
- Work with the Executive Director of CRI and the
commercialization team to resolve post-execution contract issues
including interpretation of terms, changes in requirements,
terminations, and other disputes in consultation with OGC as
- Anticipate and identify issues and communicate solutions and
consequences of contract terms in plain language to CRI and
University stakeholders including the commercialization, IP,
finance, and venture teams within the CRI.
- Collaborate with the Senior Research and Sponsored Programs
Counsel and Assistant General Counsel Research and Sponsored
Programs in support of NU-RES on review and negotiation of IP terms
while managing risks to the University and recommending education
for stakeholders affected by terms in research-related agreements
and awards including sponsored research agreements and complex
issues related to IP, research, and research compliance.
- Formulate guidelines, procedures, and the development of
templates and other tools for industry agreements.
- Continuously assess the needs of CRI and its stakeholders to
improve processes, templates, and procedures related to contracts
- Manage communication among the parties involved in an
agreement; and keep faculty members and other stakeholders advised
of the status of pending agreements.
- Coordinate with OGC and Advancement, when required, to review
and advise on other contracts and terms including fee-for-service
agreements, international agreements, gift awards, data use
agreements, foundation awards, and fellowship and appointment
letters and related contractual or compliance issues.
- Create new templates, contract types, and approaches to
contract structures and implement updates to existing templates to
support business needs, operations, and growth of CRI.
Strategic Projects (10%)
- Support the business operations and mission of CRI and the
University by providing advice on intellectual property policies,
other policies related to the CRI, and procedures at the
- Participate in education of the University community regarding
policies and best practices in areas that may include intellectual
property, transactions and contracts managed through the CRI,
overlapping issues between technology transfer/IP and
research/research compliance, and corporate engagement including
University strategic partnerships across global campuses.
- Advise CRI and other University stakeholders and customers on
disputes related to contract terms especially IP ownership,
University IP rights, and third-party rights.
- Remain current and knowledgeable on changes to Federal, state,
and local laws and regulations affecting CRI's operations and
University IP assets and maintain knowledge of current trends and
developments in the field.
- Participate in strategic planning and implementation of
long-range plans with the Executive Director to ensure efficient
and effective agreement and contract processes which increase deal
flow for CRI and mitigate/manage risks.
Legal and Regulatory Administration
Northeastern University considers factors such as candidate work
experience, education and skills when extending an offer.
Northeastern has a comprehensive benefits package for benefit
eligible employees. This includes medical, vision, dental, paid
time off, tuition assistance, wellness & life, retirement- as
well as commuting & transportation. Visit
for more information.
Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking
to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and
staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its
forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect
that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.
All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive
consideration for employment without regard to race, religion,
color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability
status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable
To learn more about Northeastern University's commitment and
support of diversity and inclusion, please see
To apply, visit https://northeastern.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/careers/job/Boston-MA-Main-Campus/Contracts-Manager_R110452