Special Instructions to Applicants: All interested applicants should attach a cover letter and a resume in the Supporting Documents section of the application in a PDF format .

Position Summary

The Rice Synthetic Biology Institute (RSBI) seeks to catalyze collaborative research in synthetic biology and its translation into technologies that benefit society. This Institute serves to strengthen the synthetic biology community at Rice, by coordinating activities related to synthetic biology across Rice schools and serving as the home of the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology Graduate Program . RSBI also seeks to connect the Rice synthetic biology community with regional industrial, government, and academic partners, and to engage with global leaders across all areas of synthetic biology. Research at RSBI focuses on living therapeutics, living materials, and living electronics, as well as foundational work in synthetic biology. To achieve its mission, RSBI seeks to
  • Host programming and events that support, enhance, and strengthen the multi-faceted synthetic biology community at Rice University
  • Identify, connect, and support interdisciplinary teams to apply for and execute center-level grants
  • Partner with the SSPB Graduate program to develop the next generation of leaders in synthetic biology
  • Establish long-term strategic partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, from academia, to industry and federal agencies regionally, nationally, and internationally
In collaboration with the Institute’s Faculty Director and Deputy Director, the Executive Director develops plans to achieve the Institute’s mission and strategic priorities, and is responsible for directing the implementation of these plans.

The Executive Director develops, initiates, and monitors all business development activities, to include (but not limited to):
  • Aligning resources with the Institute’s mission and strategy;
  • Managing and supervising Institute staff;
  • Overseeing the Institute’s administrative workload and programmatic activities;
  • Nurturing internal and external relationships for continued and expanded support of the Institute’s programs;
  • Building sustainable relationships with the Rice faculty, University leaders, domestic and international experts;
  • Serving as a key liaison between internal and external constituents including industry, foundations, and government;
  • Identifying, qualifying, and developing potential funding sources and opportunities that will bring additional research funding to the Institute and the broader Rice community.
The Executive Director reports to the Faculty Director of RSBI and represents the Institute as needed. The Executive Director will work closely with the Institute leadership and associated faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students to fulfill the mission of the Institute.

  • Master’s degree (Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering or related degree)
  • 8 years of related professional working experience including the following:
    • Experience in a higher education setting supporting faculty
    • Working experience with federal/ corporate funding
  • Entrepreneurial with a track record of innovative thinking, analysis and practical activities
  • Capacity to think analytically and creatively, and to develop new and innovative approaches to external affairs
  • Ability to be an effective and coherent leader, and the capacity to lead highly motivated and autonomous staff in an effective and flexible way
  • Exemplary verbal, visual, and written communication skills
  • Ability to build sustainable relationships
  • Demonstrated ability to translate strategy into actionable plans and overseeing execution
Essential Functions
  • Collaborates with faculty, University leadership and Institute leadership to develop, set, and execute the strategic goal and objectives of the Institute
  • Oversees the administrative and financial operations within the Institute
  • Leads and directs the development of programs, initiatives, and plans to advance the Institute’s mission and strategic objectives
  • Coordinates fundraising for major programs / projects across all aspects of synthetic biology
  • Identifies, qualifies, and develops potential funding sources
  • Leads and directs the development and implementation of strategies and plans related to external relations, including fundraising, communications, events, marketing, etc.
  • Identifies and facilitates opportunities for synergy and collaboration between RSBI and the SSPB graduate program
  • Establishes and fosters interdisciplinary research collaborations, both domestic and international, between the Institute, specific industries, and other universities
  • Performs all other duties as assigned
Additional Functions
  • Leads and directs the Institute staff, and directs key administrative and financial functions including administrative operations, human resources, and budget management and forecasting
  • Serves as a key liaison with stakeholders and constituency groups
  • Actively supports and coordinates fundraising strategies and efforts, and serves as a liaison with Development and Alumni Relations
  • Serves as a key liaison with government and industrial partners
  • PhD or other Doctoral Degree (Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering or related degree) or MS Degree and 10 years of experience
  • Highly motivated and creative
  • Advanced problem-solving skills, adept at creating contingency plans
  • Ability to work well under pressure and manage projects simultaneously
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent data analysis skills
  • Attention to detail and flexibility
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team to meet expected deadlines and schedules
  • Ability to lead and motivate others
  • Strategic skills to craft and implement fundraising and/or project plan
  • Effectiveness in collaborating with some of the following organizations: corporations, government agencies, NGOs, and research foundations
Rice University HR | Benefits: https://knowledgecafe.rice.edu/benefits

Rice Mission and Values: Mission and Values | Rice University

Rice University is an Equal Opportunity Employer with commitment to diversity at all levels, and considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.

Faculty and staff are expected (but not required) to have completed a full vaccination series for COVID-19 (currently defined as full course COVID-19 Vaccine (typically two shots of a WHO-approved COVID-19 Vaccine or one J&J) and a COVID-19 booster. Rice does not require documentation for COVID 19 vaccination at this time for faculty and staff. More information can be found here: https://coronavirus.rice.edu/policies

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