Director of Postdoctoral Affairs

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime


PME Dean of Students (DOS)

About the Department

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) was established in May 2019 and evolved from the Institute for Molecular Engineering, which was founded in 2011. The PME integrates science and engineering to address global challenges from the molecular level up. The PME’s rigorous academic and research programs are made possible through the University of Chicago’s unique partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is the first new school at the University of Chicago in three decades and the first school in the nation dedicated to molecular engineering. In the next phase of growth as a School, the PME will continue to expand its team of world-class faculty researchers and empower students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with faculty in cutting-edge facilities. The PME aims to bring solutions for urgent societal problems to the forefront, while training the next generation of scientific leaders and entrepreneurs.

Job Summary

The Director of Postdoctoral Affairs oversees all administrative aspects of PME postdoctoral program development and delivery. This includes the design, implementation, and management of programs to recruit high-quality postdocs and to provide them resources and support in all aspects of their training and career preparation. The Director leads postdoctoral on-boarding and orientation, partners to offer programming and advising in such areas as career development, mentoring, and international affairs, advances regular and transparent communications on postdoc affairs, and coordinates off-boarding for feedback on the PME postdoc experience. They serve as an advocate for postdocs by raising collective concerns issues with faculty and administration. The Director cultivates and maintains collaborative relationships with University organizations, faculty, administrators, current postdocs, and external entities to support the personal growth and professional development of each postdoc in preparation for their independent research, professional, and academic life.


  • Oversees the creation, development, selection, implementation, and administration of programs and services for postdoctoral researchers. Services include orientation, onboarding (and offboarding) programs, leadership in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) program and other offerings promoting the welfare and advancement of the postdoctoral population; programs include mentoring workshops, health and wellness activities, and opportunities for postdocs to connect with faculty beyond their PI. 
  • Provides leadership, strategic vision, and management of short-and long- term operations and goals related to postdoctoral training, support, policies and procedures, and fellowships and funding.
  • Manages program budgets and expense allocations to achieve maximum impact and return on investment.
  • Works closely with the Senior Associate Dean for Education and Strategy to develop and update quarterly and annual reports in the areas of postdoc affairs.
  • Manages the PME Postdoctoral Association by leading quarterly meetings, supporting postdoc-initiated social activities, providing guidance on University post-doctoral policies and procedures, identifying funding opportunities, managing communications channels and helping to raise collective concerns with divisional and University leadership.
  • Partners closely with the PME Director of Career Development and other University offices to prepare postdoctoral scholars for a competitive employment market and to connect them to employment opportunities through career advising, job search and interviewing resources, career development workshops, and professional seminars.  Engages potential employers to promote the PME, its research, and its postdoctoral researchers.
  • Works with relevant University and PME stakeholders to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the postdoc community.
  • Represents PME at regional and discipline-specific postdoctoral marketing/recruiting strategies and events.  Strategically partners with administrators and faculty in other divisions and universities to raise awareness of PME research and postdoctoral opportunities. 
  • Develops postdoc marketing and recruitment strategies in collaboration with the Communication and Marketing Manager for Student Engagement.
  • Provides resources to assist faculty in the recruitment and retention of a diverse body of high-quality postdoctoral researchers.  
  • Develops and maintains the PME Postdoctoral Handbook.  Manages the PME Postdoctoral website, overseeing all editorial content.  
  • Initiates, designs, and manages monthly communications to the postdoc community regarding opportunities, programming, and relevant news. Establishes and maintains communication with postdoctoral researchers to develop a functional community promoting research collaborations and PME affinity.
  • Partners to offer training and workshops for faculty and staff who mentor and interact with postdocs.  Offers consultation and conflict resolution for postdocs and their mentors.
  • Writes and submits grant proposals to obtain funds to enhance postdoctoral resources, programming, and career exploration opportunities.
  • Advises constituents, inclusive of faculty, lecturers, graduate students, or postdocs on various aspects of scholarly development.
  • Serves as institutional contact for internal and external stakeholders.
  • 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


  • PhD in STEM, higher education administration, or a related field is desirable.


  • Experience as a postdoctoral researcher.
  • Administering or working administratively as part of a campus-wide program.
  • Understanding of personnel supervision, management, and development.
  • Advocating for and fostering career and professional development of postdoctoral researchers and early career professionals.
  • Demonstrated record of achievement in leadership positions associated with postdoctoral career and professional development.
  • Grant proposal writing and reporting.
  • Possess a working knowledge of U.S. rules with respect to international scholars.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Experience in data management and analysis.
  • Experience in using social media.
  • Proficient with Adobe and Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Preferred Competencies

  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and ability to prioritize assignments to accommodate workload and deadlines.
  • Effectively communicate with faculty, postdocs and other research scientists, and various administrative offices at all levels in the University.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Meet deadlines.
  • Handle sensitive and confidential situations and information with absolute discretion.
  • Proactively resolve problems.
  • Work independently and as part of a team.

Working Conditions

  • Office environment.
  • Occasional extended work hours and some weekend days.
  • Work non-traditional work hours in order to meet deadlines.
  • Eligible for a hybrid work arrangement.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • Writing Sample (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

Student Affairs & Services

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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