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The Research University Alliance has an outstanding opportunity for a Part-Time (50%FTE) Program Operations Specialist!
The Research University Alliance (RUA) is an exciting, new nine-member collective of R1 "high research" universities who are all committed to increasing diversity at the postdoctoral and assistant professor levels. We work within the fields of Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Computer Sciences, and Engineering, and we focus our recruitment efforts on those currently under-represented in these fields, including Black or African American, Hispanic/Chicano/Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander students and postdocs. RUA is dedicated to creating community within and across member universities through a set of funded activities, and where each university leads one component of the program. At the University of Washington (UW), our RUA program is responsible for designing, building, and staffing the Postdoc Portal, a digital space for eligible senior graduate students and postdocs to connect with faculty with postdoctoral positions.
The Program Operations Specialist for the RUA-UW will lead this new, exciting initiative, assisting all eligible senior PhD graduate student and postdocs in participating in RUA activities, including but not limited to the Research Exchange, RUA Annual Retreats, virtual and in-person professional development, application to the Postdoc Portal, and interaction with the Postdoc Concierge.
The Research Exchange component funds exchange visits across our nine partnering institutions, matching students and postdocs with faculty hosts in their area of research. Visits allow these early career scientists to share their work and ideas, learn new techniques and approaches, engage in collaborative discussions and innovation, and broaden their career opportunities. Other travel-based components of the RUA include annual retreats bringing all exchange participants together and professional development programming.
RUA-UW is a multi-college (39 academic and research unit) effort, collectively involving dozens of leaders and many hundreds of faculty, students and postdocs. This position is the key staff position for RUA-UW and for the AGEP RUA partnership between the nine participating universities, articulated mainly as management of the Research Exchange and the Postdoc Portal. Duties and responsibilities are divided roughly in half between these highly overlapping projects.
A successful candidate for this RUA Program Operations Specialist position will work in concert with the RUA-UW Leadership Team and project PI, with Chairs/Directors of the participating academic units, with a select faculty mentor group, and mostly with the graduate student and postdoc audience. This position must develop and foster a community within RUA-eligible students and postdocs, providing them with access to services and activities. In addition, this position must develop strong interactions with peer contacts at all RUA institutions, to facilitate the Research Exchange and other shared activities among the university partners. Negotiating these audiences wisely to hone and elevate services that are responsive to the needs of the project audience is key. A significant portion of this position is serving as the key staff person for the RUA Postdoc Portal. These tasks will necessitate working in close concert with the Postdoc Concierge (stationed at Cal Tech), may necessitate developing relationships with postdocs across RUA partner institutions, and will require the ability to troubleshoot in service of maintaining high functionality of the Portal.
This work requires an out-going, social person who is not afraid to reach out to bring RUA-eligible persons into the growing community. At the same time, the nature of the work requires strategic planning across months, quarters and years to set and accomplish goals on time and on budget, and will include the necessity of decision-making about time allocation across potentially competing tasks. A successful candidate will demonstrate superior multi-tasking and prioritization skills, will work flexibly and strategically within a deadline driven atmosphere and where prioritized tasks may change given needs of the Leadership Team and the PI, and will be able to manage up and manage down to identify and address potential issues of concern.
This is a part-time, 50% FTE position.
20% - RUA Activity Management: Develop and lead all RUA-UW activities across the 39 participating units, including all RUA meetings and all RUA site visits from the eight institutional partners. Design and facilitate all RUA Postdoc Working Group meetings to ensure professional development and mentoring goals are being met. Organize and facilitate all UW RUA Leadership Team Meetings to ensure necessary actions are taken and decisions are made leading to program success. Take initiative to organize and facilitate meetings with RUA participants (eligible graduate students and postdocs) as needed. Meet with the PI weekly, using judgement to outline issues and recommend solutions that enhance efficiency and outcomes.
15% - Participant Recruitment and Retention: Partner closely with all participating departments to find eligible senior graduate students and postdocs, and independently identify and pursue other avenues at the UW to recruit participants. Initiate and build relationships with participating departments and other university offices to generate trust and support for the RUA/RE programs. Bring all eligible participants together on a regular basis to support community and share information, and generate and publicize professional development opportunities within RUA. Hold weekly office hours for students and postdocs to provide support and information needed to retain them in the program and facilitate their successful participation Work with and manage confidentiality of FERPA-protected student information, adhering to strict protocols.
20% - Portal Management: Work with stakeholders and consultants to finalize and launch the Postdoc Portal. Once launched, manage the RUA web Portal, the online resource for showcasing participant work and finding available postdoctoral positions at participating universities. Determine the best courses of action to maximize its use and effectiveness for all involved. Promote the postdoc job advertisements and associated lab descriptions from all faculty into the Postdoc Portal. Provide support to students and postdocs using the Portal, working closely with the Postdoc Concierge. Facilitate successful use by developing a "how to" guide and design and hold webinars to explain and encourage use. Evaluate operations and use through qualitative and quantitative methods, and implement improvements as needed.
10% - Promote Mentorship Opportunities: Work with all eligible departments to promote the labs of faculty to RUA Research Exchange partners to attract applicants. Advise and consult on descriptions to improve marketability. Create resources to help these faculty succeed as mentors, utilizing both established professional development resources from partnering institutions and conducting independent research into best mentorship practices. Develop presentations about UW RUA, tailoring and delivering to audiences to generate interest.
15% - Budget and Travel Management: Oversee RUA-UW’s budget, tracking and predicting budget health across all funding sources. Maintain integrity of specific budget lines through accurate expense tracking and budget assignment. Partner with College of the Environment Finance and Administration team to present quarterly budget reports to the RUA-UW leadership team. Manage travel and associated expenses for eligible students and postdocs research exchange travel and visits.
15% - UW-RUA Information Oversight: Regularly update and maintain the RUA- UW website, exchanging information about all programming within and across the RUA member institutions, and all relevant NSF and other funder information. Write and update a RUA- UW Cookbook containing descriptions of all activities of the program, lessons learned, and best practices. Track, retain, and generate all data needed for RUA evaluation and self-study, and for grant reporting by the RUA-UW leadership team. Assist in writing draft grant reports using this information.
5% - Other duties as assigned.
• Bachelor's Degree and at least two years of relevant work experience. • Project management and program assistance experience involving deadline-driven multi-tasking. • Work in higher education directly with graduate students and/or postdocs, and with faculty. • Demonstrated experience with Excel or other spreadsheet program; ability to construct and maintain a budget including but not limited to tracking income and expenses, and projecting expenses. • Superior outreach and engagement skills involving in-person, spoken, written and graphic modes of communication. • Demonstrated writing experience, preferably report and other long-form synthesis documents. • Superior interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with students and postdocs from underrepresented groups, and from other marginalized and/or minority groups. Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
• A Master's degree or more senior higher education direct experience, such that the lived experience of the candidate allows them to identify directly with the experiences of the students and postdocs in the UW RUA and AGEP RUA programs. • Marketing and communications experience. • Website design and/or ability to master entry templates such that management of the UW RUA website and the Postdoc Portal are possible with minimal assistance.
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.