The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is
seeking a Director, Research Policy to lead the administration of
the Council on Research (COR) and work on research policy issues
related to sustaining the excellence of public research
universities. COR is the nation’s largest organized group of senior
research officers of research universities and focuses on
communicating the importance and impact of university research;
ensuring the resilience and security of the research enterprise;
lowering the burden of regulatory compliance for research; and
preparing and sustaining an expert and diverse scientific
workforce. The Director collaborates closely with the Office of
Public Affairs, Office of Governmental Affairs, and others to align
efforts supporting policies around innovation and competitiveness.
Successful candidates will have a deep understanding of how
university research is conducted and supported, an ability to
analyze policy issues, and exceptional representational skills.
This full-time position is based in Washington, DC. APLU staff must
reside in DC, MD, or VA, be
up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations, and pass standard
background checks. Employees of APLU are eligible to telework at
least two days per week. For more information, consult www.aplu.org.
Background on APLU
APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated
to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in
the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 245 public
research universities, land-grant institutions, state university
systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on
the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic
success, advancing scientific research, and expanding
engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million
undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million
degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.5
billion in university-based research.
The Council on
Research (COR) is composed of the senior research and
graduate officers: vice presidents for research and graduate deans.
CoR provides a forum for the discussion of research development and
management, research policies and regulation, budget strategies,
faculty roles, graduate education, research collaboration among
universities and across sectors, and the importance of research to
the overall mission of APLU member institutions.
- Direct COR initiatives, executive committee, and working
groups, in coordination with supervisor, the Sr. Vice President and
- Oversee the COR Fellows program and member engagement
activities such as COR officer nominations and elections.
- Design, lead and facilitate sophisticated workshops and
conferences, including COR monthly meetings, webinars, summer
meeting sessions and annual meeting sessions.
- Support COR members in creating more diverse faculties and
inclusive research environments on their own campuses as well as
fostering greater diversity among the ranks of university senior
- Develop and implement the COR communications and marketing
strategy, including the newsletter, website content, member
announcements, meeting content etc. Work in close collaboration
with the Office of Public Affairs on APLU-wide communication
- Manage other members of the office team to track and analyze
COR member engagement, seeking particularly to engage
underrepresented members and institutions.
- Collaborate with the Associate Vice President for Research
Policy and Government Affairs, members of COR, APLU’s Office of
Public Affairs, other APLU vice presidents and association staff to
identify emerging policy issues, monitor federal research agencies’
policies and legislative proposals and help develop APLU’s position
on research policy and the university research enterprise. Policy
issues could include:
- Research Policy: Science and security; diversity and
demographic change in the scientific workforce; engaging Minority
Serving Institutions in research partnerships; regional and
institutional diversity in federal research programs; sexual
harassment; open and public access to data and publications; data
reproducibility; and research integrity.
- Regulatory Policy: Cost, administrative, and merit review
policies. Working with federal partners and other stakeholders to
reduce unnecessary regulatory compliance burdens impacting research
universities. Additional matters may include engaging in regulatory
discussions and initiatives focused on export controls, select
agents, dual use research, bioethics, human subjects research,
animal research, and others as needed.
- Research Promotion and Advocacy: Develop more effective means
of conveying the value of research as part of the overall societal
importance of public research universities and incorporating work
in all scientific fields, including life, social, and physical
sciences as well as engineering.
- Develop expertise and track key federal policy issues in close
collaboration with other APLU staff and engage a wide array of APLU
research leaders and other stakeholders and relevant external
audiences to achieve APLU objectives. Analyze policy and write
position papers, collect best practices and other data from COR
membership, speak at national meetings, etc. on issues of
importance to CoR and APLU.
- In collaboration with Governmental Affairs, establish APLU’s
research policy positions and represent APLU at stakeholder
meetings, including with White House, federal agencies, industry
groups, and professional societies; and educate relevant
stakeholders about the university research enterprise and the
impact of proposed regulatory actions.
- Participate as an integral member of the STEM Education and
Research Policy team, and APLU employee, and contribute to an
inclusive, welcoming, and collegial workplace.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- A Ph.D. in a relevant field (or equivalent experience) plus at
least four years of relevant work experience, preferably in a
policy fellowship or similar program (such as AAAS) in a federal
executive or legislative branch office.
- Deep understanding of university research, including
significant expertise in a STEM field. Working knowledge of
university structures, organizations, and cultures. Experience and
understanding of university issues and experiences of individuals
from underrepresented groups in STEM.
- Demonstrated outstanding communication skills, including
interpersonal, public speaking, and writing, including the capacity
to describe technical matters to a lay audience.
- Ability to facilitate committees, working groups, and networks
to develop and implement common objectives.
- Experience analyzing federal, university policy, and/or
- Working knowledge of federal policymaking, legislative, and
- A creative mind that can translate complex, detailed
information into compelling content for multiple audiences.
- Self-starter with ability to identify opportunities and develop
and implement initiatives.
- Ability to work under minimal supervision and as part of a
- Excellent Microsoft Office Suite skills.
- Willingness to travel several times per year.
- A deep commitment to advancing higher education issues,
particularly in the area of research and science policy.
- A great sense of humor, particularly in times of tight
deadlines and a heavy workload.
Applications should be submitted to APLU’s Human Resources
Department at email@example.com
with the subject line of Director, Research
Policy. Applications should include the following: (1)
cover letter; (2) resume; and (3) A 500-word assessment of a
pressing public policy issue facing public research universities.
Applications will be reviewed as received and continue until the
position is filled with preference given to applications received
by July 1, 2022. APLU provides a generous benefits
APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is
committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment
and promoting a sense of belonging, which includes recruiting,
employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of
race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression,
sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or