Reporting to the Executive Director of Research Initiatives and Development, the Director of Research Proposal Development (DRPD) partners primarily with teams of scientific, engineering, and biomedical research faculty to develop innovative and high-impact grant proposals that support the University???s long-term research vision.
Working closely with the Executive Director of Research Initiatives and Development, and through close partnership with school and institute senior leadership, the DRPD supports collaborative faculty teams in the complex planning, execution, and submission of large proposals requesting funding typically of $10M+. The goal of this position is to increase the funding for new research efforts that often bridge disciplines, schools, and campuses. These multimillion-dollar, multi-year, multi-investigator centers build interdisciplinary communities, advance cutting-edge research, develop junior faculty, attract high-quality faculty, postdocs, and students, and provide a platform for follow-on small and large research grants. The DRPD will build a proposal development service, and lead efforts to support faculty to develop high-impact grant opportunities that align with the strategic goals of the University???s research enterprise.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Project Management of Proposal Development (70%)
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 DRPD will often temporarily ???embed??? alongside investigators in the academic unit for part or all of the proposal preparation.
Coach interdisciplinary faculty teams through proposal strategy and resource allocation procedures, including assembling Senior Personnel teams, dispatching writing assignments, engaging external partners, and editing proposal drafts.
As requested by faculty teams, take responsibility for drafting and editing material, such as non-scientific proposal components (Governance and Management Plans, Communications and Outreach Plans, Diversity/Equity & Inclusion 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
Represent senior faculty teams in establishing strategic partnerships with external organizations ??? other academic institutions, K-12 schools, non-profits, corporations, and city and state governments ??? often in order to gather letters of support or collaboration for submission with research grant proposals. Conceptualize meaningful partnerships, communicate and plan with senior executives at external organizations, draft letters, set deliverables timelines, and coordinate the project???s development with all constituencies
Liaise between faculty and relevant University units, particularly the Offices of the President, Office of the Provost, Sponsored Projects Administration, Columbia Technology Ventures, Research Compliance and Training, Office of Alumni and Development, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, CUIT, the Library, and multiple Dean???s Offices and Institute Director???s offices.
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.
Maintain document version control; provide a comprehensive editorial review of all drafted content; advise investigators on proposal organization; and contribute to formatting and figure editing.
Develop check-list of requirements from exacting reviews of RFPs.
Human Resources and Administration (20%)
Supervise the Center Grant Proposal Development team responsible for administrative management, communications, procurement, and other objectives supporting faculty grantsmanship.
Assign tasks to the Center Grant Proposal Development staff to meet project plan goals and internal and sponsor deadlines.
Work closely with departmental administrators in planning budget drafts, which may often involve highly confidential and protected information.
As needed, hire external consultants, casual employees, and student employees to support project management, data collection, and/or communications needs.
Facilitate the flow of communications to internal and external audiences, including committees, leadership, and staff. Develop a culture of appreciation for large research grantmaking across administrative offices not typically knowledgeable about the research funding landscape.
For proposals ultimately awarded funding, and as directed by the Executive Director of Research Initiatives, support faculty teams in hiring key Officers of Administration to solidify the new unit, including drafting job descriptions, conducting interviews, and engaging senior faculty and staff leadership.
Special Projects (10%)
Represent the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research on internal governance committees and working groups, as appropriate.
Lead short-term working groups of senior Columbia administrators in developing content, particularly templates for administrative components of research proposals.
Host and speak at informational sessions for faculty seeking to pursue specific center-level funding mechanisms.
Other opportunistic projects as assigned by the Executive Director of Research Initiatives, including high-profile event planning, preparation of training documents, staff mentorship, and initial launching of internally-funded projects.
Bachelor's degree and at least eight years of related experience or PhD with grant writing experience.
Six or more years of progressively responsible experience in program management, preferably in an academic or non-profit setting.
Experience in complex proposal development, with a record of accomplishment in successfully obtaining external funding, preferably from the federal government.
Experience in providing optimal customer service, preferably to faculty and other academic audiences.
Outstanding organization and project management skills required.
High level of discretion and good judgment, ability to take initiative, integrity, trustworthiness, diplomacy, respect, and team collaboration are required.
Demonstrated ability to work effectively with faculty in a support capacity.
Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with a number of stakeholders, including executive leadership, government employees, vendors, and external partners.
Demonstrated ability to develop written content for internal and external audiences, and alter narrative styles for promotional, instructional, and analytical purposes.
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
Highly organized, enthusiastic, and personable approach.
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.