Working closely with the Executive Director of Research Initiatives, the Assistant Director provides direct and indirect support to strengthen large and complex research grant proposals, and administers a major seed funding program awarding funding to highly-innovative and risky research collaborations. The goal of this position is to increase the rate at which Columbia pursues and wins funding to launch major new interdisciplinary research efforts that bridge disciplines, schools, and campuses, and/or that provide key funding for priority initiatives.
Program Management (30%)
Collaborate with faculty to develop project timelines and manage the full proposal lifecycle, from concept to submission. Facilitate proposal process for faculty by creating internal deadlines and tracking internal deliverables. Reiterate RFP requirements needing focus, and assemble human and non-human resources to support teams to develop the most competitive possible grant proposals. The Assistant Director will temporarily "embed" alongside investigators in the academic unit for part or all of the proposal preparation.
Develop check-list of requirements from exacting reviews of RFPs.
Maintain document version control; provide a comprehensive editorial review of all drafted content; and contribute to formatting and figure editing.
Execute the Research Initiatives in Science and Engineering program, the broadest internal seed funding competition for Columbia faculty. Corresponding duties include design of application, evaluation, and promotional materials; customer service for prospective faculty applicants; intake of 300+ confidential evaluations; and preparation of materials for the program's senior leadership. Recommend programmatic innovation designed to expedite the review timeline, and increase the competition's visibility and utility. Manage the annual review, return on investment analysis, and awardee reporting functions.
Liaise between faculty and relevant University units, particularly Sponsored Projects Administration, Institutional Review Board, Columbia Technology Ventures, Research Compliance and Training, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, Alumni and Development, and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
Build, maintain, and expand a comprehensive website for the new Proposal Strategy team, most notably including content creation for a "Center Grant Proposal Toolkit." To accomplish this feat, organize extensive working groups, draft content, and ensure publicity and search engine optimization.
Administer a web-based application form for University-wide faculty teams to request Proposal Strategy services. Provide customer service for faculty applicants; summarize and structure application materials for executive review; and support research leadership in the review and selection of teams that will receive support.
As requested by faculty teams, take responsibility for drafting and editing proposal material, such as non-scientific sections (including Governance and Management Plans, Communications and Outreach Plans, Diversity Plans, Technology Transfer Plans, Education and Student Mentoring Plans, etc.). Coordinate with experts at Columbia and partner universities as appropriate. Facilitate overall coordination between the faculty team and non-academic key experts.
Identify large, multidisciplinary funding opportunities from federal and non-federal sources that capitalize on existing strengths and expertise across Columbia. Ensure appropriate faculty and research leadership are aware of the opportunities.
Quarterly, solicit departmental and school leadership for updates on significant faculty research accomplishments for Provostial presentation at Board of Trustees meetings.
Develop and maintain a strong working knowledge of federal rules and regulations that govern research grants; stay informed about sponsor terms and conditions for submitting and administering grant awards, with a particular focus on the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.
Facilitate the flow of communications to internal and external audiences, including committees, leadership, and staff.
Event Planning (20%)
For funding proposals that include on-campus site visits to formally evaluate, lead event planning efforts, including operations and logistics management, executive communications, financial management, and comprehensive faculty support and engagement.
For research advancement in general, plan and execute a range of team-formation internal promotional events, including workshops, lecture series, symposia, and other large and highly-visible programs.
For special projects already funded or without immediate funding timelines, plan and execute events such as signing ceremonies, workshops, visits, and other high-profile events.
Special Projects and Administration (25%)
Opportunistic projects as assigned by the Director of Proposal Strategy.
Working closely with Sponsored Projects Administration, conduct ongoing and rigorous compliance reviews of necessary proposal documents.
Oversee external vendors and freelance workers, including graphic designers, editors, photographers, event planners, and others, in order to assemble resources that increase proposal impact, effectiveness, and compliance.
Prepares summary reports of applications submissions, outcomes, and metrics for Office leadership;
Manage the Director of Proposal Strategy's complex calendar, and coordinate meetings, agendas, minutes, and follow-up.
Bachelor's degree and either at least four years of related experience or a PhD.
Two years of progressively responsible experience in program or event management, preferably in an academic or non-profit setting.
Outstanding organization and project management skills required.
Experience developing communications content for diverse audiences and perspectives, and communicating via a wide variety of channels, including web, email, and formal report.
Advanced degree strongly preferred, preferably in the natural sciences or engineering.
Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with a number of stakeholders, including leadership, faculty, faculty, government employees, vendors, and external partners.
Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
Demonstrates customer service focus with the ability to interact and collaborate with multiple constituencies as well as capacity to work with a high degree of independence and successfully within a deadline driven, multi-tasking operating environment.
Excellent analytical, organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
Ability to handle multiple projects at once.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 503637
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.