Strategic Partnerships Agreements (SPA) Administrator

The Strategic Partnerships Agreement Administrator (Administrator) is responsible for initiating and managing strategic partnership agreements between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and non-federal entities (industry, academia, state, local and foreign governments, non-profits, etc.).  Specifically, the incumbent will be expected to skillfully and proactively emplace various types of research partnership agreements [Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA), Strategic Partnership Projects (SPP), Agreements for Commercializing Technology (ACT), User Agreements, etc.] between ORNL and various nonfederal research partners.  The incumbent will manage a portfolio of assigned pending and existing agreements and will be responsible for the successful negotiation of agreements and amendments with terms acceptable to both UT-Battelle, LLC and the Department of Energy (DOE).  Additionally, the incumbent will have the responsibility to counsel research staff involved with nonfederal research partnerships on the statutory and policy requirements that must be met in working under such agreements, and on procedural requirements for implementing such agreements at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Work with prospective non-federal partners to identify partnering opportunities.
  • Educate and assist ORNL research staff members seeking to enter partnerships with non-federal entities. 
  • Negotiate and emplace various types of agreements.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert for ORNL research staff and external collaborators on partnering mechanisms.
  • Ensure that all negotiated terms of nonfederal research partnership agreements in incumbent’s assigned portfolio comply with all federal laws and regulations, and with DOE Orders, regulations, and policies, and protect the interests of UT-Battelle, LLC and DOE.
  • Work with internal stakeholders to obtain required reviews.  This includes division proposal coordinators, export control, classification, environmental safety and health, and other offices that contribute to the agreement approval process.
  • Assist ORNL research staff in the preparation of effective and appropriate statements of work for various types of nonfederal research partnership agreements.
  • Proactively work with other internal and external organizations to provide appropriate and satisfactory customer solutions.
  • Establish strategies, negotiate and process all standard agreements via personal interaction with customers.  Use internal systems such as Strategic Partnership Projects System (SPPS) and customer relationship systems and databases to submit and track agreement status.
  • Work with group management to develop operating procedures, group metrics, and track objectives.
  • Independently develop amendments and extensions to existing technology transfer agreements.
  • Work with internal and external organizations by reporting and reviewing performance metrics and providing suggestions for process improvement.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Qualifications Required:  Bachelor’s degree in a technical or business-related field is required, plus a minimum of 8 years of experience in contracting, procurement, contract negotiation or negotiating research agreements between a federal or academic research institution and nonfederal research partners, or equivalent. The successful candidate must possess demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and must be self-motivated and self-directed.  The successful candidate must possess demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of professionals in various fields including science, legal, business and marketing. Excellent written and oral communication skills and good interpersonal skills are required. Proven ability to work as a team member in a collaborative environment is required.  Demonstrated ability to understand and communicate technical and legal information. The successful candidate must possess the ability to perform consistently and professionally while under pressure and must be able to achieve results while maintaining the integrity of the contracting process.


Qualifications Desired:  Graduate degree in a science or engineering field, combined with significant experience in research proposal writing and developing research collaborations/partnerships with nonfederal entities is a plus.  An MBA or other graduate business-related degree is a plus.  Familiarity with basic contract laws, intellectual property laws (patents, copyright, trademark) and procedures is desired.  Experience in managing a portfolio of intellectual properties in a Bayh-Dole environment especially desired.  The incumbent would ideally possess a working understanding of the policy, financial and market issues involving federal laboratory based research and technology transfer.  Detailed knowledge of DOE Orders and/or Federal Acquisition Regulations is desired.  Familiarity in working in a federal laboratory environment is highly desirable, and familiarity with working in a university laboratory environment is desirable.


Work Direction and Interfaces:  This position reports to the Group Leader, Strategic Partnerships Agreements for all aspects of job performance as well as task assignments and priorities. The incumbent will interface with ORNL researchers, management and staff including commercialization managers, patent attorneys, and contract/subcontract managers representing foreign and domestic industry, university partners, senior level state and local government officials, representatives of foreign governments, and not for profit agencies.


Measures of Effectiveness:

  • Successful preparation, negotiation, and execution of nonfederal research partnership agreements and/or amendments in a way that meets ORNL timeliness standards and protects the interests of UT-Battelle, LLC and DOE.
  • Rapid demonstration of successful preparation, negotiation, and execution of nonfederal research partnership agreements and/or amendments as an independent contributor, with little or no assistance necessary.
  • Proficient in establishing partnering strategies, and negotiating and processing all standard agreements, through personal interaction with customers as well as using internal systems.
  • Ability to provide detailed and informative reports on performance metrics and recommend process improvements.


Apply Here

Contact Information

Oak Ridge National Laboratory



1 bethel valley road

Oak Ridge, TN 37830


Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • Government
  • Administrator or Administrative

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information


  • Full Time