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University of Massachusetts Amherst Director of Research Development - CNS (Hybrid Opportunity) in Amherst, Massachusetts

Director of Research Development - CNS (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now ( Job no: 515927

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Dean - Natural Sciences


Categories: Sponsored Programs, Grants and Contracts, Research, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Director of Research Development (RD) works under the direction of the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation to develop strategic research and engagement opportunities for College of Natural Sciences (CNS) faculty, to assist in the development of highly competitive research proposals, and to manage CNS programs that support research development. The Director works with the College leadership team to identify and promote strategic research priorities in the college, assists in matching faculty strengths with sponsor priorities, contributes to the development and/or refinement of highly competitive grant proposals to external sponsors, including large-scale, multidisciplinary/multi-institutional and/or training proposals.

Essential Functions

  • Develop strategic research funding opportunities from various sources including federal, state and local government channels, private foundations, and corporations.

  • Advise faculty in the design and preparation of complex proposals for external funding of research activities. Collaborate with faculty on the development of competitive research ideas and narratives that result in compelling proposals for grants and contracts.

  • Supervise the Manager of CNS Research Support Services (RSS), who leads the RSS team that assists principal investigators in the preparation of proposal submissions. Identify resources to help grant writers prepare proposals.

  • Monitor grant development trends and peer and aspirant universities. Apply relevant information to research resource development efforts.

  • Manage the CNS Research Review Council review of draft proposals and provide constructive feedback.

  • Design new opportunities for faculty to develop grant-seeking and grant-writing skills, including focused topical workshops and grant-writing groups.

  • Match engagement and broader impact opportunities related to education, diversity and public outreach with faculty researchers.

  • Assist faculty with identifying appropriate methods for evaluations related to measuring the effectiveness of their grant outcomes.

  • Stay current with evolving research and knowledge base that contributes to effective research development programming and practices.

  • Convene faculty interest groups for large interdisciplinary proposals and provides staffing support, such as matching expertise and facilitating meetings toward the development of large proposals and meaningful interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Assist in the administration of research development programs such as CNS Research Review Council, the CNS Bridge and Seed Fund Program, and the Mahoney Prize. Assess the effectiveness of programs.

  • Provide reports of Research Support Services activities and CNS research grant activity to Associate Dean of Research and Innovation.

  • Coordinate with the Director of Faculty Development and Programs to provide faculty development programming pertaining to research excellence.

Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.

  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.

  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree in Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering or Business Administration plus three (3) years of research development, grant administration or other related experience. A Doctoral Degree in Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering or Business Administration may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.

  • Basic knowledge of major science/engineering funding agencies and the process of federal funding for research.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Strong leadership skills and experience managing staff.

  • Technical or scientific writing and/or editing experience.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and high degree of professionalism and diplomacy.

  • Experience in planning or managing scientific research projects.

  • Ability to participate effectively in professional team efforts and with diverse groups of people.

  • Ability to work effectively with multiple faculty members to develop high quality proposals.

  • Ability to work under pressure and with short deadlines.

  • Experience in facilitating research ideation and planning meetings using methods such as design thinking and innovation development.

  • Trained in professional coaching.

    Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment activity.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.

Salary Information

Level 28

PSU Salary Ranges (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, Diversity Statement (see below) and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. (

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Sep 7 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: