Director for Research

Job Summary


Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks a Director for Research to oversee the office of RISD Research. As an opportunity to build and steward research activity at RISD, this position will also play a critical role in enabling engagement with RISD's strategic commitment to the creation of just societies, sustainability, and new ways of making and knowing.

Reporting to the Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships, the Director will develop and implement standard research policies, facilitate faculty and departmental research goals, including coordinating funding proposals, managing project budgets, and ensuring sponsor compliance. The Director will lead administrative staff to meet the short and long-term goals, in alignment with the Strategic Plan.


Essential Functions

  • Maintain active knowledge of research innovation in arts, design, and scholarship so as to facilitate excellence in proposal development;
  • Manage and facilitate large scale projects focused on proposal development, initial budget design, and award oversight involving members of the RISD community and external collaborators;
  • Liaise with regional higher education partners to identify new opportunities in alignment with strategic initiatives and prioritizes opportunities that are in the mutual interest of partners.
  • With a deep understanding of faculty and department research goals, partner with faculty to develop timelines, decoding guidelines and to provide research expertise across arts, design and humanities disciplines;
  • Run or organize technical assistance workshops for faculty such as proposal writing and budget development, in concert with appropriate RISD offices;
  • Act as a resource with internal stakeholders including deans, department heads, and budget offices providing knowledge and guidance on all research-related matters.
  • Lead the development of funding proposals engaging internal RISD stakeholders including, but not limited to RISD Government Relations and Corporate and Foundation Relations offices;
  • Collates faculty activities, across RISD, to begin developing faculty research database to inform strategy and communications for research and partnerships;
  • Develop, implement and manage standard research policy related to conflict of interest, research integrity, IP, and IRB;
  • Ensures all research activities comply with state, federal, and school policies.
  • Serves on school-wide committees as assigned such as internal grant review panels;
  • Attends annual higher education research meetings to make sure RISD policies maintain highest standards;
  • Analyze RISD research-related strategic initiatives, including scoping studies, budget models, sustainability planning and reporting to inform decision making;
  • Communicate with external sponsors and program officers to promote RISD research activities and inform proposal development;
  • Represents RISD research at local, regional, national and international meetings and conferences, as appropriate;
  • Manages the engagement of internal and external research communications, including web presence, hard copy publications, and social media;
  • Hire, train, develop, evaluate and supervise the members of the research and sponsored projects staff. Delegate and ensure staff accountability for excellence through clearly defined and measurable goals. Hire and supervise student and graduate student workers.



  • Graduate degree in art, design, or related field preferred.
  • Significant experience in research administration, including demonstrated success in developing grants narratives and securing grant awards.
  • Experience in higher education research compliance preferred, including managing federal grants and state/federal compliance policies.
  • Proven ability to keep current in developments in arts and design research and sponsored programs nationally and internationally.
  • Ability to develop clear policies and priorities related to research and sponsored projects, including but not limited to sponsor project agreements, intellectual property, research integrity, and/or IRB practices, to successfully integrate this in the RISD environment and align with RISD strategic plan is required.
  • Must be able to effectively work with complex project budgets.
  • Full, yet flexible understanding of the current and potential role of collaborative research, with proven ability to implement creative alliances and partnerships with colleagues, domestic and international external partners, and organizational cultures from a diverse range of fields, disciplines, and perspectives as an integrative and innovative dimension of RISD’s educational and research mission is expected.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including acute attention to detail and ability to document research activities and outcomes; ability to communicate across the organization at all levels; and ability to negotiate and match the expectations and financial commitments of prospective partners with the mission and values of RISD.
  • Prior supervisory experience and the ability to manage complex project teams.

Contact Information

Rhode Island School of Design


da Cruz

Two College Street

Providence, Rhode Island 02903


Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • College/University
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Research Administrator/Manager
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs


Target Job Information


  • Full Time