CALS Director of Research Development (Research Administration Director)


CALS Director of Research Development (Research Administration Director)

Office of Research and Innovation

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Ithaca, NY


Who We Are:

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a pioneering practitioner of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being. Since our founding, we have been evolving to meet the changing needs of our world. As our areas of study have diversified, we have established top-ranked programs and over 20 majors in community and rural development, environment and natural resources, food and nutrition, applied economics, agriculture, international programs and life sciences. It is vital to us that we match the excellence of our science with the generosity of our spirit. We want to leave the world better than we found it, so we seek out those not simply driven to master their discipline, but passionate about doing so to serve the public good. CALS is fundamentally invested in improving the lives of people, their environments and their communities both in New York state and around the world.


What you will do:

Under supervision of the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, the person in this position will work directly with the CALS Leadership team, PIs, college and department administrators, Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Development (OSP), and OSP Director of Research Development to identify research opportunities in CALS areas of strategic importance, and assemble teams of staff and external experts to support PIs in proposal development and submission.


Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and provide information, support, training, and other resources for PIs and the broader research community to increase and facilitate participation in CALS-led competitions for external funding in areas of strategic importance as well as in targeted funding areas, such as early career awards for CALS faculty, and to enhance overall proposal development expertise and success in the college.
  • Manage a CALS seed grant program intended for cultivating and promoting early, promising research and innovation projects with exceptional potential.


What We Need:

  • Graduate degree in science with a minimum of 7 years of experience successfully managing proposal development in a multi-disciplinary research organization. 
  • An in-depth understanding of the proposal preparation and submission process and proven successful experience working with researchers to develop successful large-scale proposals to major federal, State, Foundation, industry, Private, international, funding agencies.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing the development of successful grants; familiarity with various sponsoring agency and electronic research administration systems.
  • Ability to understand and explain organization policies and positions on topics such as intellectual property rights, facilities and administration costs, and cost-sharing.
  • Knowledge of grants administration, policies, and procedures; understanding of Uniform Guidance and federal regulatory compliance requirements including conflict of interest, export controls, and research involving animals and humans.
  • Experience, knowledge, and team spirit of developing synergism of basic research, education, technology innovation, and field application.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and understand funding agency and program priorities, policies, politics, and deadlines.
  • Ability to analyze program announcements and work with CALS leadership and PIs to develop proposal strategies.
  • Proven ability to develop effective project plans, timelines, and deliverables and to assemble teams to provide the expertise and manpower to complete projects. 
  • Proven success in managing relationships between sponsors, investigators, and the research organization is required.
  • Ability to understand and navigate formal and informal decision-making networks and to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders within a highly decentralized organization, and with individuals external to the organization. Proven success in leading projects through influence and collaboration.
  • Exceptional problem solving, organizational, and analysis skills. Ability to utilize office software and other electronic tools to successfully and efficiently conduct tasks.  Excellent written and verbal communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  • Service oriented with the ability to make judgments and have integrity to effectively serve faculty while protecting, representing, and advancing the University's best interests.
  • Excellent critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills; a sense of humor and an energy level conducive to working in a deadline-driven environment.
  • Travel is required to visit funding sponsors and attend professional conferences. Approximately 3-4 short trips per year.
  • Must have and maintain a valid and unrestricted NYS driver’s license and be cleared to drive for university business.


If you possess these experiences and skills this may be the role for you!  There are a few other qualifications that we would view as incredibly helpful in this role, to include:

  • PhD or terminal degree in agriculture or life sciences. 
  • Research experience and/or managing a research operation in a large, decentralized organization, preferably in academia.


Rewards and Benefits

  • This position is located in Ithaca, New York and will require a mostly in person work schedule.
  • Comprehensive health care options, generous retirement contributions, access to wellness programs, and employee discounts with local and national retail brands and more.
  • Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 13 holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after, and an end of the year winter break from December 25-January 1.
  • Impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Extramural Study and Employee Degree Program, tuition aid for external education, and Cornell Children's Tuition Assistance Program.
  • We invite you to follow this link to get more information:
  • You can also view additional information regarding job competencies, staff skills for success and pay ranges. Actual compensation offer will be based on available budget and the finalist’s skills and experience.


We invite you to follow this link to get more information:


Visa Sponsorship is not available for this position.


How to Apply: (non-academic and union positions)

You must submit both a resume/CV and cover letter via our career portal at:


When applying through our system, please attach your application materials (resume/CV and cover letter). You can upload documents either by “dragging and dropping” them into the dropbox or by using the “upload” icon on the application page. For more detailed instructions on how to apply to a job at Cornell, visit How We Hire on the HR website. If you are an internal employee, please log in to Workday.


Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


Contact Information

Cornell University
First Name
Last Name
Contact Email
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Background Information

Years of Experience
minimum of 7 years
  • College/University
  • Research Administrator/Manager
Work Authorization
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time