Associate Director of Research Development Support

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime


Provost Research Development Support

About the Department

The Research Development Support (RDS) team within the Office of Research is a key strategic partner for faculty across divisions in the pursuit of funding for visionary, large-scale interdisciplinary research centers.
We offer support during the entire pre-award timeline – from a nascent idea to curated federal funding calls to project management across institutions to the proposal submission. We also administer the Big Ideas Generator (BIG) seed funding program, coordinate the internal competition for limited funding opportunities, and manage the appointment of affiliated researchers into the UChicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering (CASE).

Job Summary

The job works independently to administer pre-award and/or post-award activities relating to grant and contract proposals/funding within a department or unit.


  • Coordinates with senior research leadership to develop and facilitate faculty working groups and research collaborations that lead to grant proposals.

  • Works with multidisciplinary faculty teams to develop funding and research growth strategies by analyzing funding opportunities and/or funding agency priorities to facilitate and prioritize proposals of high quality. Coordinates with other departments/units/divisions regarding multi-investigator proposals and grants.

  • Manages proposal development processes by setting timelines, assigning responsibilities, coordinating writing production, and ensuring efficient document sharing and quality control. Reviews proposal components for completion and compliance.

  • Prepares and edits supporting documents of proposals for numerous federal agencies including NSF, NIH, DOE, and DOD. Edits technical sections of proposals and writes introduction and/or summary text.

  • Contributes to building best practices and processes for preparing large interdisciplinary federal proposals and strategic institutional research activities. Mentors junior members of the RDS team in research development practices.

  • Collects metrics and conducts analyses of research grant awards, publications, partnerships, etc. to inform strategic planning for future research proposals and projects.

  • Ensures service and communication to PIs, standardized information, best practices development, and that all faculty and research staff are aware of any new grant policies and changes.

  • Analyzes industry trends and remains current with agency and regulatory changes. Monitors department/ unit compliance with University, Divisional and Department policies and procedures and implements corrective actions for issues identified.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Master's degree preferred.

  • Ph.D. in the physical, biological or medical sciences preferred.


  • The Associate Director will have a record of success in complex environments where collaboration and influence management are critical to success.

  • The successful candidate will have professional experience that includes at least 3 years progressively responsible experience in academia and/or DOE National Laboratories in project management, research administration, complex proposal development, research program development or capture management.

  • Experience in a research environment with knowledge of relevant federal agencies, policies, and procedures.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office, with strength in Excel.

  • High level of fluency in word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software (e.g. MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook). Comfort with technical platforms and databases.

Preferred Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to work across groups and coordinate multidisciplinary teams and intra and interinstitutional partnerships.

  • Proven ability with grant-management software and databases.

  • Demonstrated experience with scientific grant writing and proposal development.

  • Proven ability to work effectively and diplomatically with fellow staff members, as well as with students, faculty and agency contacts.

  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills, as well as organizational skills and attention to detail.

  • Independence, initiative, and strong organizational skills.

  • Ability to multitask, prioritize and manage multiple simultaneous projects.

  • Ability to work on multiple tasks within strict deadlines.

  • Strategic and analytical thinking skills with an ability to solve problems and make effective decisions.

  • Professionalism, discretion, tact, and an ability to maintain confidentiality.

  • Ability to negotiate on behalf of the unit and build consensus among a large number of diverse stakeholders.

Working Conditions

  • The position is eligible for a hybrid schedule

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Financial Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward .
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


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