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Executive Director for Team-based Research Development (TBRD)

Indiana University, Research
Indianapolis, Indiana (US)
Date posted
Apr 26, 2024

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Position Type
Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details

Executive Director for Team-based Research Development (TBRD)
Office for Research Development, IU Research



The Executive Director for Team-based R&D (TBRD) of the Office for Research Development (ORD) in IU Research leads the development of large and interdisciplinary proposals, strengthens relationships with funders, and participates in strategic efforts to dramatically increase IU’s research profile. The position is responsible for increasing Indiana University (IU)’s competitiveness in capturing large-scale extramural funding opportunities that are aligned with the IU 2030 Strategic Plan’s research objectives.

The Executive Director, reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research Development in ORD, manages the day-to-day functions of the TBRD unit within ORD. The TBRD unit provides expert guidance and service to IU faculty and research staff in helping identify competitive extramural grant and contract opportunities, build competitive teams to pursue large-scale extramural grant and contract opportunities, and assist with the design and development of competitive proposals that will be submitted directly to funding sponsors or a partner leading a proposal submission. The incumbent will help ensure that major proposals delivered to funding sponsors and proposal partners are of the highest quality, compelling written, and maximally responsive to the solicitation. The Executive Director is responsible for the management of staff, processes, and effectiveness of the TBRD unit in service to IU’s schools, colleges, and research institutes and centers. The proposal-related activities will primarily capture substantive and highly impactful research opportunities for IU in close collaborations with other IU Research divisions, particularly ORD’s units, e.g., Proposal Development Services (PDS) and Federal Agency R&D Relations (FARDR).


Primary Responsibilities

Large-Scale Proposal Development and Strategic Initiatives (60%)  

  • Manage the vision and leadership for the TBRD unit. Analyze IU campus proposal and award data and sponsor funding trends and develop strategies to increase institutional competitiveness for extramural funding that are aligned with the IU 2030 Strategic Plan. Manage identifying and pursuing any related planning grants that would enhance IU’s competitiveness for securing large-scale federal funding. Direct the end-to-end development of highly complex proposals that are aligned with the strategic interests of IU research enterprise and assigned to TBRD. Manage proposal development and business capture for large, impactful proposals, including teaming strategies, partner negotiations, business intelligence collection, proposal writing, editing, professional-quality graphic illustration, production, internal and external review, oral presentation, and site visit preparation, from assignment and receipt of the Request For Proposal (RFP) through award selection by the funding sponsor. Manage and lead large-scale proposal development meetings such as kick-off meetings, budget and pricing strategy meetings, and both tactical and strategic reviews. Provide detailed guidance to proposal contributors; manage writing assignments and the receipt of all proposal materials from proposal authors and teaming partners within a proposal development timeline. Monitor and remain current on all amendments/modifications to the solicitation for assigned proposals. Manage individual faculty members and research staff with large-scale proposal review, editorial, and design services as they conceptualize, develop, and write grant proposals to federal agencies and other entities for research funding. Maintain and provide access to the IU repository of templates, toolkits, and guides for commonly used proposal components, such as Postdoctoral Mentoring Plans, Data Management Plans, Responsible Conduct of Research Plans, Current and Pending Support Templates, and CV and Biosketch Templates for common major agencies including (not limited to) NSF, NIH, DOE, DoEd, NASA, and DOD.


Communication (30%)

  • Collaborate with IU Research divisional leadership, as well as the IU research community, on large R&D program strategies and goals, long-term planning, and procedures. Partner with Deans and Associate Deans for Research to further research priorities. Manage, identify, and disseminate potential large-scale funding opportunities (at least $1M/project) that are aligned with the research capabilities and growth interests of the IU research enterprise. Identify and communicate proposal-related resource requirements and proposal development/delivery status to IU leadership, as appropriate. Build awareness of TBRD services within IU’s schools, colleges, research institutes and centers. Maintain a familiarity with federal agency funding trends, strategies, and priorities, and arrange and host campus and virtual visits from, and to, funding agency representatives. Provide training opportunities to improve the large-scale proposal writing and proposal development skills of IU’s faculty and research staff. Identify and implement programming opportunities to foster a culture of collaboration, creativity, and innovation across IU’s schools, colleges, and research institutes and centers.


Services (10%)

  • Directly supervise and evaluate the performance of personnel employed within TBRD. Participate in professional organizations to stay current on the best practices in large-scale proposal development. Serve on university committees as appropriate. Other duties as assigned by the Associate Vice President for Research Development.


Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline or education. 5+ years of progressively relevant experience, such as collaborative work experience in proposal development. Exceptional analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, organizational, and time management skills. Familiarity with the federal funding landscape for research-intensive universities. Demonstrable experience with strategizing, writing, reviewing, and editing successful complex and technical proposals. Superior verbal communication, written communication, and presentation skills.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D., Ed.D., or equivalent in STEM, Health Sciences, or other related disciplines. 3+ years of full-time work experience in the large-scale proposal development field working with researchers at a research-intensive university to develop successful proposals to major federal funding agencies. A strong understanding of the federal funding landscape for research-intensive universities. Experience with engaging program/project managers at various federal agencies. Familiarity with various sponsoring agency submission mechanisms and electronic research administration systems. Basic understanding of grants administration, policies, and procedures; basic understanding of Uniform Guidance; basic understanding of federal regulatory compliance requirements, including conflict of interest, export controls, and research involving animals and humans. Understanding of topics such as intellectual property rights, facilities and administration costs, and cost-sharing within the context of academia, and the ability to explain IU positions on these topics. Experience with university collaboration with national laboratories. Experience with the direct supervision of employees.


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