The Research Development Specialist is part of a team providing research development and support services to Vanderbilt within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The goal of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) is to promote Vanderbilt's distinctive research culture, which aspires to improve the human condition through path-breaking discovery and innovation. The office develops strategies and provides services to enhance extramural support for research, advance a cohesive and vibrant trans-institutional research agenda, and build strategic partnerships around shared priorities in research.
Key Functions and Expected Performance:
Develop (1) deep content knowledge of faculty/center research/university capability, (2) awareness of relevant external funding opportunities, and (3) connections between Vanderbilt strengths and sponsor priorities.
Maintain knowledge of federal and foundation sponsors, long-term strategies, new programs, public events, and program officers. Advise Vanderbilt leadership, faculty, and key research centers on key funding and partnership opportunities.
Develop and provide services including high-level conceptualization to match sponsor priorities; effective team organization; red-team review; and credible administrative, management, education/outreach, and/or data sharing plans to assist investigators in the complex process of developing competitive proposals for prestigious opportunities.
Develop sponsor relationships with VU centers and projects, including visits to VU by program officers, visits by VU teams to sponsors, and communications (such as one-pagers) for distribution to sponsors for relationship-building and shaping sponsor initiatives.
Bring together strategic teams of faculty and academic leadership that cross departmental and disciplinary lines to create and pursue opportunities where trans-institutional support is available.
Work effectively and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders.
Supervisory Relationships :
This position does not have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Director of Research Development and Support.
Education and Certifications:
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary .
A Master's degree or Ph.D. from an accredited institution of higher education is preferred .
Experience and Skills:
Five years of relevant experience, or the equivalent, is necessary .
Prior expertise in research or research administration at a top research university is preferred .
Prior experience with federal, industry, or foundation grant writing is preferred .
Prior experience in developing center-scale proposals for federal agencies or foundations and in working with large cross-disciplinary faculty groups is preferred .
Working knowledge of the principles and current trends in federal and/or foundation funding is preferred .
Strong team building, analytical, technical writing, and communications skills are necessary .
Demonstrated competence in interdisciplinary environments, communications, or research administration and familiarity with inter-university and inter-institutional collaborations is preferred .
Ability to assume a lead role in project management is necessary .
Experience working with private and/or public sector executives and high-level academic officials is preferred .
Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit:
Attention to detail
Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to work with a variety of personalities
Well-developed analytical, organizational, and communication skills with internal and external stakeholders
Ability to work simultaneously on multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment where priorities change in response to external needs and opportunities
Discretion and the ability to work independently in situations requiring judgment and initiative
General Characteristics of a Successful Vanderbilt University Staff Member:
ACCOUNTABILITY:Owns decisions, outcomes, work products, etc. that are within the scope of one's role.
Works through Issues - Recognizes that the work is about successful outcomes, if things aren't going well, outcomes suffer; is willing to have crucial conversations if things aren't going well; doesn't just complain to management... does everything possible to remedy the situation directly first
Reliable - Does what they say they will do, when they say they will do it; shows up for work when expected; doesn't push the burden of work volume or deadlines to others
Integrity - Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together
Acceptance of Feedback - Takes constructive criticism with grace, and makes improvements without taking it personally or holding grudges; when wrong, owns it - freely admits mistakes
COLLABORATION:Works inclusively to build trust and accomplish tasks, goals, and initiatives. Understands, anticipates, and appropriately responds to internal and/or external customers' needs.
Optimism - Is friendly, tirelessly cordial, polite, and genial; comes in to work with a good attitude and doesn't bring their own personal "little black clouds" into the work environment
Teamwork - Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers, makes them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do well; doesn't expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves, finds ways to acknowledge other's strong suits
Honest and Transparent - Doesn't have hidden agendas, doesn't play people against each other; is authentic and forthright
Helpful Nature - Offers to help lighten the load for others in times of need; volunteers rather than waiting to be asked; understands that almost no one works in a silo and needs the help of others to do their job well; recognizes that by helping others first, others will likely reciprocate
COMMUNICATION:Provides information clearly and accurately in various settings, ensuring understanding and participation. Understands how best to present information to different audiences and understands how information may be perceived.
Shares - Shares information. Communicates proactively. Transmits knowledge; recognizes that "knowledge is power" is less effective than "sharing knowledge is power." Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully
Is Nice - Asks caring, interested questions and is a good listener -- smiles and is grateful; sends appropriate notes of thanks to others who have helped; avoids gossip or saying negative things about co-workers; patient and generous; makes suggestions rather than stating hard and fast opinions. Avoids being negative, sarcastic, and cynical
Praises Publicly; Criticizes Privately - When dealing with a difficult co-workers or customers, "pretend your children are watching" how the situation is handled; good manners help keep a cool head; gives credit where credit is due
Responds Promptly - Recognizes that when emails and phone messages aren't returned in a timely way, it sends the message that the other party is not important; responds even if just to acknowledge receipt and provide a timeframe by which the requester can expect a full response
DRIVE & GRIT:Is focused on professional excellence and strives to facilitate and support the same for colleagues in and outside their team, effectively manages through challenges and opportunities while seeking to understand and learn from professional experiences.
Perspective - Maintains a sense of humor and perspective; can laugh first and foremost at oneself
Raises the Bar - Expects and delivers excellence; is a creative problem solver; is proactive; welcomes input on making things better -- places a high value on learning and getting better
Resilience - Is resilient in the face of daunting challenges and setbacks; bounces back readily.
Adaptability - Reads cues and adapt accordingly; adjusts style and approach to accommodate the styles and needs of others; can anticipate and effectively de-escalate potential conflicts
ENGAGED:Appreciates the values and mission of the organization, works to contribute to the university, and understands how their work affects the university and university community.
Eager - Enthusiastic, wanting to learn, wanting to continue one's personal and professional development and expertise
Hard-Working - Is industrious as well as efficient (busy isn't the same as productive); can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed
Believes - Believes in the work being done and in the importance of the organization's mission
Creative Thinking - Goes beyond the boundaries of the job description, willingly takes on new challenges, and finds creative solutions rather than always awaiting direct instructions
JUDGMENT & PROFESSIONAL ACUMEN:Makes appropriate decisions and evaluates risk and uncertainty to create ideal outcomes, exhibits an eye for the macro and the micro, and works to ensure others are able to do the same.
Autonomous - Self-managing; self-motivated; manages time, activities and outcomes well so that progress stays on track; cleans up after themselves
Maturity -- Exhibits professional maturity; doesn't pass the buck to dodge accountability; doesn't engage in petty office politics or inappropriate social conduct
Detail-Oriented - Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicates care about the outcomes
Assumes the Best - Assumes that others are working as hard as you are on things that are as important as what you are working on; just because you don't know what someone does, it doesn't mean they're not doing anything
Additional Characteristics of a Successful Vanderbilt University Leader:
ACCOUNTABILITY & EXECUTION:Owns decisions, outcomes, work products, etc. that are within the scope of one's role.
Holds everyone in the workgroup accountable for accomplishing the outcomes of the unit.
Lets the buck stop with them; owns the outcomes for the work unit and doesn't throw subordinates under the bus if things go wrong
Practices what they preach; doesn't set expectations of others that they don't live up to themselves
Pitches in to help the team when it really needs help
Communicates early and often, even as information is evolving
Is willing to learn from their direct reports.
Welcomes inquiry and recognizes mistakes as learning opportunities
Thinks creatively when tackling a challenge; questions the status quo in search of better ways. Looks for insights, assesses risks
COACHING, DEVELOPMENT & TEAM FOCUS:Leads by example, works to ensure that members of the team have the necessary tools, resources, and knowledge to be successful.
Ensures that team members have the tools and resources to do the job
Praises publicly; is genuinely appreciative of the accomplishments of members of the team
Criticizes privately; focuses more on how to do it better next time than how it went wrong this time
Willingly shares expertise with team members; actively coaches
Is clear with the deliverables and outcomes needed, but allows members of the team to tackle the problems in the way they see fit, without micromanaging every process; understands that the destination - rather than the exact route - is what's important
Cares about their employees as people, not just as "resources"
Makes this a fun place to work; Enhances comradery, builds trust, and invites members of the work group to be their authentic selves
Addresses problems among the workgroup when they arise, rather than letting them fester
DECISION MAKING & DIRECTION SETTING:Takes responsibility for and make effective decisions through understanding the needs of the institution, collaborating and communicating, and identifying the strategic and operational imperatives of the university.
Makes decisions, even in the face of incomplete information, rather than avoiding making decisions.
Seeks first to understand before making decisions; doesn't act first and ask questions later; solicits input from a diverse group of others including members of the work group, others stakeholders, and naysayers/critics, when faced with complex challenges, before making a decision. Identifies options and homes in on pros and cons of each option; Lets others know where they are in their decision-making process
Shares a clear vision for the work of the unit, and is clear about what outcomes are expected.
Provides clear guidance and direction, doesn't change direction with the wind; communicates in ways that are clear and succinct, rather than confusing or ambiguous
Communicates early and often, even as information is evolving
Champions the work unit's cause, and makes compelling business cases for its needs
Is willing to course-correct if things aren't going as planned, even after decisions have been made and communicated
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Internal Number: 10000058
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.