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The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Dec 17, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Other Science & Technology, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois is a world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. Illinois is widely noted for research excellence and applied science solutions. In 2020, Illinois pioneered a saliva-based COVID-19 testing program for use on campus, the state, and across the nation that continues to be a model for how to manage the pandemic. The Illinois scholarly community has also earned 24 Nobel Prizes and 18 Pulitzer Prizes, and the university regularly leads the nation in NSF research funding.


The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit


The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign invites applications and nominations for the position of director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and especially encourages applications from women, underrepresented minorities, and those who can contribute to a climate of inclusivity. The director will lead the Beckman Institute, where University of Illinois researchers come together to cross disciplines and break barriers. A collaborative and empathic leader, the director is expected to promote new interdisciplinary collaborations, lead large teams, engage in significant outreach activities, and maintain and enhance the institute’s relationships with the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. With strong management skills, the director is expected to coordinate research, education, and outreach activities and initiatives with faculty, staff, and student groups. An inclusive servant leader of high integrity, and exceptional listening and communication skills, the director must have a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through expanding existing programs and establishing new programs to provide an inclusive and welcoming culture at the institute. For more information about Beckman, visit


The Beckman Institute opened in 1989; it was one of the first interdisciplinary research institutes in the nation. Today, the Beckman Institute’s research portfolio is organized into the Intelligent Systems, Integrative Imaging, and Molecular Science and Engineering major research themes. Within these themes, researchers share expertise from psychology, electrical engineering, neuroscience, biology, bioengineering, mechanical engineering, and other fields.


Beckman’s residents include nearly 200 faculty members, 400 graduate students, 230 undergraduates, and almost 90 postdoctoral researchers from 13 colleges and 40 departments across campus. A dedicated staff of 130 people and several dedicated core research facilities support them. Those facilities, the Biomedical Imaging Center, Microscopy Suite, and Visualization Lab, offer capabilities such as magnetic resonance imaging, a full range of microscopy tools, and specialized visualization and image processing software.


The Beckman Institute’s unique space was designed to bring people together. The six floor, 313,000 square foot facility offers extensive wet and dry lab space, faculty and student office and workspace, and shared research facilities. It offers common spaces where researchers can bump into each other, share their ideas, and begin new collaborations. These include the Beckman Café, a variety of conference and meeting rooms, and a 230-seat auditorium. The institute hosts a range of seminars, endowed lectures, and other events meant to bring together potential collaborators.


In the last five years, the institute’s average sponsored research awards from national funding agencies and industry partners totaled about $25 million per year. Annual research expenditures averaged about $22 million. Additionally, a substantial portion of funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, and the state of Illinois provides additional support for operating expenses. Beckman was the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s first interdisciplinary institute. Today, it’s one of nine such units within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation. Others include the Prairie Research Institute, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications; the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology; the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute; the Humanities Research Institute; the Center for Social and Behavioral Science; the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment; and the Cancer Center at Illinois.


The Director of Beckman Institute should be a collaborative and creative thinker, as well as a strong and engaging leader with an exceptional record of scientific achievements that demonstrate an understanding of multi-investigator, interdisciplinary activities. The successful candidate will be a strong advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, demonstrate energy and enthusiasm for expressing the value of diverse cultures, fostering empathy, and improving organizations in the areas of access and representation. The candidate should provide visionary leadership ensuring the institute’s position as a world leader in interdisciplinary and convergent research, training, and outreach of the highest quality, transcending the traditional university organizations and structures. The successful candidate shall hold an outstanding record of scholarly accomplishments appropriate for a full professor at a leading research university and be a strong leader with an exceptional record of scientific achievements that demonstrate an understanding of multi-investigator convergent research, education, and outreach activities. Candidates will also demonstrate management experience leading groups, organizations and/or programs in academia, government, or the private sector, and imbue energy and enthusiasm for expressing the value of convergent research at the national and international scale. Effective leadership, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills, including interacting with various constituents of the campus and external communities will be needed to meet the vision and mission of the institute. Excellent budget management, resource allocation, and decision-making skills in the candidate will be important to the further success of the institute.


Among the responsibilities of the Director are the following:


Vision and Leadership:

  • The director is expected to provide overall leadership and vision for the Beckman Institute guided by the Institute mission and core values, and advocate for convergent research, education, and outreach at large. With strong management skills, the director coordinates research, education, and outreach activities and initiatives with faculty, staff, and student groups. An inclusive servant leader of high integrity, and exceptional listening and communication skills, the director must have a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging through expanding existing programs and establishing new programs to provide an inclusive and welcoming culture at the institute.
  • A collaborative and empathic leader, the director engages and guides the institute researchers and staff in developing the strategic and implementation plan for the Institute. The director is expected to provide direction and overall administration for the development, coordination and implementation of interdisciplinary research, facilities, service programs, initiatives, activities, and professional services undertaken and provided by the institute. This includes identifying new programs and evaluating existing programs. The director is to support the institute theme leadership and staff to foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance both at the individual and organizational level.
  • The director actively solicits input from faculty researchers, UIUC institute directors, and campus leadership regarding challenges, opportunities, concerns, and priorities for the institute, and integrate the advice from their management team for continuous improvement. The director is expected to be a mentor to institute’s faculty, assist them in acquiring external support for research, and support activities that enable technology transfer.
  • The director provides support for development and fundraising activities, in collaboration with campus and college leadership and stakeholders, and continues to steward the unique relationship between the institute and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The director is expected to cultivate and maintain collaborative relationships with external entities, for example, collaborating with Carle Foundation Hospital to lead, manage, and provide strategic vision of the Carle Illinois Advanced Imaging Center.


Research Administration and Operational Management:

  • The director manages and oversees the institute’s staff, human resources, and operational processes for maximum impact to the institute. Enablement and creation of opportunities for professional development of the faculty, staff, and students should be a priority. The director is expected to work enthusiastically and creatively to analyze problems and develop innovative and workable solutions and identify opportunities for innovation and excellence in administrative and operational management.
  • The director represents the mission, vision, and research accomplishments of the institute to audiences within and outside the University of Illinois to steward and grow the financial resources to invest in advancement of the infrastructure and the institute’s strategic priorities and success. The director is expected to identify and secure state, federal, and private sources of funding for the institute and the university to actively support collaborative efforts in sciences, engineering, arts and the humanities.


Personal and Collaborative Scholarship:

  • The director is expected to be a renowned scholar in their chosen area of research, as well as an accomplished educator, and is expected to continue their research program and scholarly activities at Illinois while serving as the director of the institute.


The successful candidate will hold a tenured position at full professor rank in the appropriate department on campus at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. This appointment has a start date that is negotiable. Salary is commensurate with experience.


Application Process


Complete applications received by January 19, 2022, will receive full consideration, but applications will be accepted until a candidate is identified. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. Please create your candidate profile at and upload your letter of interest, curriculum vitae, Vision and Leadership statement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement, and names/contact information for three references by January 19, 2022. Finalists will be notified prior to their references being contacted.


The Vision and Leadership statement should include 1) a broad vision for research and innovation in grand challenge areas of critical global need, 2) how the Beckman Institute and the University of Illinois could address those challenges, and 3) how the leadership experience and style of the candidate can advance this vision.


The DEI statement should address your commitment to past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, by including your 1) Knowledge of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 2) Experience working to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and 3) Plans for advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


In addition to direct applications, we are also accepting nominations. To submit a nomination, please send name of nominee and a short statement of their qualification to Sue Key, by January 12, 2022. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (OVCRI) will solicit additional required information from the candidate.


For further information, please contact Sue Key, Human Resources,


The university is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana situated in Champaign County in east-central Illinois, and is situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 125 miles west of Indianapolis, and 180 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community,

visit: or


University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.


The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.


We have an active and successful dual-career partner placement program and a strong commitment to work-life balance and family-friendly programs for faculty and staff (


University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.


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