Northeastern University seeks an accomplished, proactive senior research administration professional to play a strategic leadership role ensuring that the institution’s dynamic and fast-growing research enterprise, focused on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability, is effectively supported to achieve its ambitious goals. This is an outstanding opportunity to lead vital research support functions, innovation and tech transfer activities at a top tier research institution that is on a more-than-decade-long trajectory of unparalleled accomplishment.
The new Vice Provost for Research Administration (VPRA) will join Northeastern University as it continues on its path of unprecedented growth in student enrollment, faculty, staff, and physical space along with tremendous advances in academic and research rankings. Since 2010, Northeastern’s research funding has nearly doubled, growing from $81.3M to $160.2M with federal funding seeing comparable growth increasing from $64.1M to $121.9M in the same timeframe. Foreign, industry, and foundation support have also seen remarkable growth over the past eight years. Northeastern is home to 30 federally funded research centers and its research environment includes many state-of-the-art facilities, including the brand new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, a 220,000-square-foot innovation ecosystem that serves as a hub for collaborative research.
The new VPRA will be charged with leading the evolution of Northeastern’s research support infrastructure, organizational structure, processes and systems to keep pace with the rapidly-growing needs and expectations of the University’s research community. Reporting to and working closely with the Senior Vice Provost for Research, and supported by a strong team of Associate Vice Provosts, Directors and staff, the VPRA will lead Northeastern’s recently integrated Research Administration, Research Finance, and Research Compliance functions now under the new umbrella of Research Enterprise Services (NU-RES), and the rapidly-expanding activities of the Center for Research Innovation. In this highly visible role within the research organization, across the University, and with a range of external stakeholders, the VPRA will play a critical role planning, advocating, problem-solving, and driving efforts to enhance overall quality and execution of research services to the benefit of the university. The VPRA will lead and participate in ongoing and ad hoc research-related committees and working groups, serve as a key liaison for research administration with college administrators, and collaborate with colleagues in the General Counsel’s and Provost’s offices on a range of issues from contracts and compliance to space planning and core facilities.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success leading a research support organization through significant growth and change, including overseeing the development and implementation of electronic tools to enhance quality and efficiency. They will have proven ability to work collaboratively and effectively with faculty and administrators, and to lead and manage a group of high-performing research support professionals. Candidates must have deep knowledge of federal, state, and private funding sources and requirements, and a strong track record of establishing and stewarding relationships with external constituents and entities. The ability to thrive in a consistently fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential. Success will require at least 5-7 years of experience in increasingly responsible leadership positions, including both high-level strategic planning and day-to-day operational execution in a research intensive university or comparably complex research environment. A master’s degree along with a record of success in roles involving extensive work with faculty and a deep appreciation for the culture of the academy are required; a PhD is helpful.
Northeastern University offers more than 150 undergraduate majors and concentrations and more than 210 graduate programs, ranging from doctoral programs to graduate certificates, in nine schools and colleges, as well as select advanced degrees at regional campuses in Charlotte, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto. The University enrolls approximately 13,500 undergraduates, with the majority attending classes on its 73-acre urban campus in Boston. With its research profile and external funding levels seeing a sharp increase, in 2015 Northeastern moved into the top tier for research activity among higher education institutions. In 2018, the institution was ranked 44th among national universities in US News and World Reports, a remarkable increase of 58 places in just 12 years. To learn more about Northeastern University, go to: www.northeastern.edu.
Northeastern has retained the national executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller to assist with this search. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, referrals, and application materials, including resumes with cover letters, in confidence to:
Rebecca Kennedy and Sarah Herman
263 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
Electronic submission of materials is encouraged.
Northeastern is an EEO/AA Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by the law. Northeastern is an E-Verify Employer.
Boston, Massachusetts 02115