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Director of Research Compliance and Security

North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota
Commensurate with Experience
Posted Date
Mar 23, 2023

North Dakota State University seeks a dynamic and experienced person to serve as Director of Research Compliance and Security. The position resides in the Office of Research and Creative Activity (RCA) and encompasses the implementation, maintenance and assessment of all essential research integrity, compliance and security activities, as well as management of related issues/concerns within the university that fall under the purview of RCA.

NDSU is a land grant university, as well as a Carnegie R1 doctoral/very high research activity institution, and is the only R1 in the state of North Dakota as well as one of only four R1s in a six-state region in the Upper Midwest. NDSU’s impact reaches into every county in the state – extension offices in 53 counties and 7 Research Extension Centers, and the University leads all North Dakota higher education institutions in research funding from the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation. The Research Compliance and Security unit within RCA manages programs for the active research portfolio with these and other federal sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy.

The Director reports to the Vice President for RCA, and will implement the programs necessary to ensure achievement of the objectives of an effective integrity, compliance, and security program and assist faculty, staff and students to understand and comply with federal, state and university regulations/laws/policies for funded and unfunded research.  Areas of oversight and administrative support include [but are not limited to] research security, export controls, research involving vertebrate animals, human subjects, biosafety, dual-use research of concern, controlled substances, financial conflicts of interest or conflicts of commitment related to research, unmanned aerial vehicle compliance, and research misconduct.  Additionally, the Director serves as the Research Integrity Officer and will develop and implement educational and training programs for the responsible conduct of research.  The Research Compliance and Security (RCS) unit is comprised of 4.5 FTEs which includes the Director, with the Director having 2 direct reports.  The Attending Veterinarian is part of the RCS unit, but reports to the VP RCA.  The Director will have expansive knowledge of federal [and potentially state] laws governing research integrity, compliance and security.

NDSU is located in Fargo, North Dakota, recently featured in the New York Times travel section as well as in the Wall Street Journal for its downtown revitalization. The Los Angeles Times calls Fargo “Trendy!” and The Today Show dubbed Fargo “A Hip City!” The Greater Fargo-Moorhead population is just over 180,000, with a low cost of living, thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem, and a vibrant community of New Americans. The state is also home to five sovereign Tribal Nations and five Tribal Colleges.  Fargo has two James Beard-nominated restaurants and is a short drive to the lake country in Minnesota. Western North Dakota offers the Badlands and new Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora.


  • Promotion, oversight and implementation of the policies, procedures and operations, for the Research Compliance and Security unit
    • Coordinate day-to-day operational activities of the campus research security compliance program and develop agile responses to university initiatives to allow researchers to compliantly obtain and use restricted and controlled data.
    • Provide oversight and ensure policies and procedures for the general operation of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Dual-Use Research of Concern (DURC), Conflicts of Interest (COI) and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Export Controls, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), along with all related activities, are developed and maintained for the purposes of risk mitigation and prevention of research misconduct.
    • Oversee of the research security training and certification, including developing procedures to ensure compliance with federal regulations, as well as sponsoring agency policies and procedures related to research security.
  • Provide leadership and subject matter expertise in Research Security and Export Controls
    • Develop and oversee federal certifications (e.g. NSPM-33) and research security programs including federal reporting requirements and trainings for foreign engagement, cybersecurity, foreign travel security, research security training, and export controls.
    • Update and develop training and dissemination programs on foreign influence and research security (e.g. NSPM-33), including international travel, cybersecurity, and required federal reporting obligations.
    • Secondary responsibility for providing back-up support to the Export Control Administrator.
  • Ensure appropriate campus outreach and education for unit's key responsibility areas
    • Create, oversee and deliver unit initiatives for education and training programs related to COI, Conflict of Commitment (COC), and Financial COI (FCOI) to facilitate regulatory compliance, foster a culture of research integrity, and integrate core concepts of Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
    • Take all reasonable and practical steps to foster a research environment that promotes the responsible conduct of research.
    • Provide direction and support and serve as an expert resource for researchers and campus community in the review, determination and management processes related to Significant Financial Interest (SFI) declarations and conflict of interest, conflict of commitment and outside activity disclosures.
  • Ensure appropriate responsiveness and due diligence when issues of concern arise for the unit
    • Oversee response to alleged violations of research integrity and compliance rules, regulations, policies and procedures for the IACUC, IRB, IBC, and report to the VPR as necessary and duly authorized enforcement agencies as appropriate and/or required.
    • Participate in any federal audits/visits related to the IACUC, IRB, IBC, and COI, as requested.
  • Serve as a leader and key subject matter expert and advisor for NDSU and the VPRCA for topics related to Research Integrity, Compliance and Security Issues
    • Advise VPRCA leadership team on strategic prioritization of projects and needs.
    • Propose strategic solutions, solicit project priorities, and recommend new systems and software to the VPR Leadership team.
    • In cooperation with the VPR and university departments, identify project goals to address NDSU research administration and compliance IT needs and requirements.
    • Identify potential areas of compliance vulnerability and risk; develop/implement corrective action plans for resolution of problematic issues, and provide general guidance on how to avoid or deal with similar situations in the future.
    • Serve as the Empowered Official (EO) for export controls and provide oversight for the export controls program including but not limited to: policies, procedures, and certifications related to export controls, compliance, and/or research security.
    • Serve as the Research Integrity Officer. 
    • Participate in national organizations to maintain awareness of regulatory changes and build expertise

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree + 5 years of experience in one or more areas related to research compliance and/or security OR a Bachelor’s Degree + 8 years of experience on one or more areas related to research compliance and/or research security
  • US Citizenship is required upon date of hire as this position must be able to receive and evaluate export-controlled information restricted from disclosure to non-US persons
  • Strong interpersonal skills to lead the unit
  • Demonstrated ability to independently plan, manage and meet deadlines for multiple projects with minimal supervision

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD or JD preferred
  • Experience with Export Control Administration and/or Research Security 
  • Experience with Research Compliance and Security in Higher Education
  • Experience developing and implementing effective research administration and compliance programs
  • Demonstrated understanding of a broad spectrum of the regulatory and policy requirements related to research compliance and security.
  • Ability to support and promote an effective, ongoing regulatory compliance program; through knowledge of compliance issues, law, and regulations relating to research compliance.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate complex regulatory issues both verbally and in writing, to diverse groups of constituencies (e.g., leadership, faculty, staff, students)
  • Demonstrated highly effective interpersonal skills for working closely with internal organizational units and for the effective representation of organizational positions on issues with external parties and groups.

Applicant Materials Required:

  • Curriculum vitae/resumé
  • Cover letter individually addressing the minimum and preferred qualifications
  • Contact information for three professional references with your application materials.

Application Process:

Any questions about the search can be directed to the search committee at While applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled, full consideration will be given to candidates who submit application materials by end of day May 1, 2023. Applications accepted online at


NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university – with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following date of hire. Other benefits include: wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, EAP, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include: supplemental life, dental, vision, long-term care insurance, flexible spending account, and supplemental retirement plans.

About Us:

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student focused, land-grant, research university. We educate leaders who solve national and global challenges by providing affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment.

NDSU is in the highest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, R1, granted to the top research institutions in the country.

NDSU has offices across the state of North Dakota, and the main campus is in Fargo, on the Minnesota border. Along with Moorhead, Minnesota, Fargo forms one of the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. The community is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

No Smoking Notice:

As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

EO/AA Statement:

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable.

Veteran’s Preference Notice:

This position is subject to North Dakota Veteran’s Preference requirements.

Reasonable Accommodation Information:

North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or

Land Acknowledgement:
We collectively acknowledge that we gather together at NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region. (see ).

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