Skip to main content

This job has expired

Executive Director of Federal Agency R&D Relations, IU Research

Indiana University, Research
Indianapolis, Indiana (US) or Washington, D.C.
$175,000- $235,000
Date posted
Apr 29, 2024

Executive Director of Federal Agency R&D Relations, IU Research


The Executive Director is a senior position at IU Research and plays a key role in leading and directing IU’s responses to the grand funding opportunities in the U.S. federal agencies. With a keen understanding of the operations of the federal funding agencies and a proven ability to build coalitions with both internal and external partners, the Executive Director’s main functions include:

  • represent IU to the federal funding agencies;
  • work side-by-side with the IU National Defense R&D Relations Director to monitor and analyze federal funding initiatives on grand challenges and with the IU Associate VP for Federal Relations on legislative strategies to achieve IU’s federal research goals;
  • advise IU Research on grand-scale federal funding opportunities and trends, and disseminate upcoming funding programs, relevant to IU research initiatives and strengths, to the IU community;
  • facilitate IU R&D team building in a timely manner to respond to federal funding opportunities and programs;
  • design and execute advocacy strategies to meet the IU 2030 Strategic Plans R&D goals.

This position reports to the Associate Vice President for Research Development and requires working collaboratively with IU Research’s National Defense R&D Relations Director and IU University Relations through partnering with the D.C.-based Associate Vice President for Federal Relations to coordinate, optimize, and synergize grand-scale federal funding programs, relevant to IU’s research strengths and big idea initiatives and IU 2030 Strategic Plan. The position also needs to communicate with IU faculty and staff on a wide range of matters related to their efforts in pursuing federal R&D funding, particularly those at a grand scale, and develop trusted relations with federal funding agency staff. For qualified candidates, an academic appointment with tenure eligibility is negotiable.

Primary Responsibilities:

Serve as the top advisor to IU Research on matters involving federal funding trends, grand challenge opportunities, and upcoming funding programs; coordinate IU-wide advocacy efforts for federally sponsored research.

  • This includes serving as the university's primary liaison to federal funding agencies and their staff on matters related to IU’s research strengths (IU’s research pillars); and disseminating agencies’ large-scale funding program calls (over $1M/project in general), relevant to IU, to IU stakeholders.
  • Identify, develop, and steward productive relationships with representatives from all funding agencies toward the achievement of IU’s research strategic vision. As needed, help solicit and engage with external lobbyists and firms.

Analyze large-scale Request For Proposal (RFP) calls that impact IU.

  • This includes leading on IU research matters related to federal research initiatives, serving as co-lead on issues related to IU’s research strengths, and working closely with the Office for Research Development, Associate Vice President for Federal Relations, and National Defense R&D Relations Director on all large-scale RFPs relevant to IU Research.
  • Monitor and track key R&D funding trends and milestone moments; advise IU Research staff and leadership on emerging research issues and action at the national and international levels.

Develop and implement advocacy strategies on behalf of the University and faculty for the wide range of research strengths.

  • This includes helping to set the day-to-day agenda and activities for IU Research’s pursuit of large-scale proposals, providing input on which research goals to pursue and how to accomplish them, and executing those plans.
  • Assist faculty members and researchers in identifying and acquiring federal research funding, identify opportunities for faculty to share expertise with policymakers, as well as inform them on federal funding-related policies and regulations.

Serve as a leader on a team that advises IU Research Vice President for Research, AVP for Research Development, and other campus research leaders on matters related to research funding, research security, science policy, higher education, and other issues that lead to the pursuit of large-scale proposal development and submissions.

  • This includes organizing & leading meetings with campus leadership and drafting research funding announcements to the IU research community.

Liaise with and advise campus stakeholders on research regulatory changes in federal funding agencies that could impact IU research operations.

  • This includes participating in, and helping prepare for meetings with campus leadership to set priorities; writing background memos and summaries, as needed, for campus stakeholders; and meeting with academic administrators (i.e., Dean and Associate Dean for Research) and department chairs to provide updates on federal research funding and policy and learn about IU research priorities.

Assist with administrative duties of the office.

  • This includes overseeing the work of the Office for Research Development associates and assisting with the completion of the monthly large-scale federal funding opportunities report.
  • Lead and develop training and skills for IU faculty building toward federal funding affairs.

Represent the university in association meetings.

  • This includes volunteering for or accepting leadership positions in organizations such as the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), the Association of American Universities (Council on Federal Relations), and the Coalition for National Science Funding.  



For full consideration please include a cover letter along with a full and updated resume and a list of four references with full contact information when applying for the position.

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • A terminal degree is required.
  • At least 3 years demonstrated partnership and/or working with one more federal funding agency.
  • Experience in analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing complex federal agencies’ funding program calls.
  • Familiarity with key federal funding agencies, particularly NSF, NIH, Department of Energy, Department of Education, EPA, NASA, DoD, and others.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of federal funding agencies.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Reliable and organized, with an attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in an environment with people from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated ability to coalesce, facilitate, and/or lead diverse research teams to achieve important results (R&D, clinical trials, technology transfer, and/or commercialization).
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and build and sustain productive teams.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in any STEM discipline, health sciences, or M.D., is strongly preferred.
    • At least three years of experience in either of the following is preferred: serving as a Program Director/Manager for a U.S. federal agency, working at a senior level within a research-intensive university research development office, or leading a multidisciplinary center or institute within a research-intensive university that received recurring and large-scale federal funding.
  • Experience developing and leading successfully funded research and/or education-based teams as a Principal Investigator is preferred.  



Flexible (DC-based or Indy-based). Travel is required to Indiana University for one week per month, if DC-based.



Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert