Director, Office for Research Development

Northwestern University ( invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of the Office of Research Development (ORD). The Director is responsible for maintaining a compelling vision for ORD and its role in advancing Northwestern Research; for implementing that vision in programs, resources, and results; and for leading the ORD staff in effective and efficient work that is consistent with the mission of ORD and the research enterprise of the University and that upholds the highest professional and ethical standards. In FY 2018, ORD supported the submission of proposals for a total of approximately $100M. $52M in grants awarded to Northwestern in 2018 are associated with ORD’s work.  For more information about ORD, see

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research, who in turn reports to the University’s Vice President for Research, the Director works closely with other Office for Research AVPRs as well as with research deans, faculty, and administration at schools across the University. The Director leads and oversees ORD’s array of activities, all of which enhance and promote Northwestern’s research eminence and the strategic growth of its research enterprise. Research Development activities include: bridging disciplines and schools to catalyze interdisciplinary research programs; facilitating the development of complex multi-million-dollar proposals to federal agencies; enabling the selection and submission of outstanding proposals by administering the University’s limited-submission process; disseminating funding opportunities to faculty; hosting outreach events for internal and external researchers; and providing faculty consultation as it relates to securing research funding.

Qualified candidates will have a PhD in an engineering or physical/biological sciences field.  Previous work experience (at least five years) must have been in research, or research development, or research administration. Candidates should bring at least two years of experience supervising and motivating professional and administrative staff in a team environment as well as proven ability to prioritize and to work under pressure with multiple deadlines while ensuring that staff are setting priorities and managing projects effectively against. A proactive, service-orientated, consultative working style is essential. It is crucial that the Director engages faculty across Northwestern as a trusted and collaborative partner and champion.

Northwestern University is a private research-intensive doctoral institution founded in 1851. It uniquely combines the assets of several kinds of academic institution – the power of a major research university, the creative energy of arts and music conservatories, the intimacy of a liberal arts college, the rich diversity of an international institution, exceptional professional schools, and the excitement of Big Ten athletics. The University is global in its scope, with 12 schools located on two campuses in Illinois (in Evanston and in Chicago) and one in Doha, Qatar.  Ranked 10th among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, Northwestern has over 3,400 full-time faculty and 7,500 full-time and part-time staff. In FY 2018, its annual sponsored research awards topped $700M.


Northwestern University is an Affirmative Action / EEOC employer. Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.

Opus Partners is assisting Northwestern University in this search. Please contact Craig Smith, Partner, or Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, to apply or to seek additional information: /

Contact Information

Northwestern University



Evanston, Illinois 60208


Background Information



  • College/University
  • Research Administrator/Manager

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Full Time