The Director of Research Administration provides leadership in reviewing, recommending and executing policy and procedure designed to enhance the administration of CURE’s research program in relation to the organization’s overall mission and strategic goals. This role reports directly to the Chief Scientific Officer and oversees the operations and budgets of the entire research program portfolio inclusive of investigator initiated grants, signature initiatives, federal grants and contracts, scientific conferences, and seminars. Maintaining relationships with internal and external stakeholders, U.S. based and international, is critical to the role. The position is based in the Chicago Headquarters office. Limited travel is required.
This position ensures the effective, compliant, and efficient daily management of operational functions in support of the mission and strategy. The Director researches and leverages best practices and partners with the Chief Scientific Officer, Program Directors, volunteer leaders and external partners to develop new program/project plans regarding new and existing funding opportunities, research initiatives, science and education outreach and collaborations that will increase and improve overall research activities and associated financial management and performance.
The Director of Research Administration will play a key role in assisting program leaders in organizing and executing their plans by seeking advice and counsel from foundation staff, legal, board/committee members and other experts as needed. Additionally, he/she will coordinate efforts with the development, marketing communications and finance departments and with the research administration team provide administrative and operational support directly to the CSO and Program Directors.
Administration of all grants and CURE-driven initiatives including but not limited to the following duties:
Partner with internal stakeholders to define scientific milestones, goals and objectives of programs and initiatives
Plan and execute the Requests for Applications (RFAs) process
Assist potential applicants with scientific and program-oriented questions
Cultivate, train and lead teams of peer and lay reviewers
Manage review and selection of Letters of Intent (LOIs) and full proposals in conjunction with scientific and lay reviewers
Select and invite reviewers for LOI and full proposals
Schedule and chair review teleconferences and assist in selection of awardees
Lead the development, execution and review of research program contracts to institutions of awardees
Develop and communicate comprehensive intelligence on CURE research programs and grantees for strategic planning purposes
Develop and execute on departmental and project budgets and timelines
Manage direct reports who perform daily management of grants, contracting, reporting and other scientific programs
Lead and/or oversee development of proposals for federal funding opportunities
Collaborate with Market and Communications team to effectively support goals of the Research program via strategic communications that include but are not limited to: audience-appropriate research summaries, development of promotional materials including announcements of new awardees and progress reports to key stakeholders
Provide input to the Development team to identify private and corporate funding opportunities and fundable research opportunities
Collaborate with Development team on donor-related materials that inform on use of financial gifts and how they are used, and provide summary updates on sponsored research projects
The preceding description is not designed to be a comprehensive listing of all duties and responsibilities required of the Director of Research Administration.
PhD in Neuroscience or related field with 3 or more years of experience in academia, non-profit, industry or governmental agency or MS in Neuroscience or related field with 7 or more years experience in academia, non-profit, industry or governmental agency
Direct experience with grant review process (either as administrator/program officer or reviewer)
Experience contracting and working with governmental agencies
Familiarity with proposalCENTRAL
Proven ability to successfully manage people and teams
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Demonstrated results focus and initiative
Adaptable to a dynamic and fast paced environment
Committed to the development of team, self and others
Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with both staff and volunteers
Leads with a collaborative, flexible and inclusive style
Proactively communicates issues, risks or concerns
Highly accountable for own and direct report actions
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) is the leading nongovernmental agency fully committed to funding research in epilepsy. The organization was founded by Susan Axelrod and a small group of parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back, they joined forces to... spearhead the search for a cure.
Since its inception in 1998, CURE has been at the forefront of epilepsy research, raising more than $28 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure for epilepsy. CURE funds grants for young and established investigators and has awarded more than 160 cutting-edge projects in 13 countries around the world to date.
In May 2014, CURE launched a new signature program, the Epilepsy Genetics Initiative (EGI). With an initial $1 million in funding, EGI will create a comprehensive, interactive database where patients can have their genetic data repeatedly analyzed in an effort to identify the cause of their epilepsy. These data will also be made available to epilepsy researchers in an effort to find new causes of epilepsy and use these findings to guide treatment. EGI brings patients, medical professionals, and researchers together in a mutually beneficial way to advance the genetics of epilepsy and to help create a culture of personalized medicine for people with epilepsy.
The leader in Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) research, CURE has awarded 21 SUDEP-related grants, totaling more than $2 million, since 2004. In 2012, the organization pioneered the first-ever Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy (PAME) meeting and launched the Infantile Spasms (IS) Research Initiative to accelerate the understanding of IS and advance a new, innovative therapy into the clinic. With $2.1 million in grant funding to date, eight teams of investigators are focusing on cutting-edge research for IS, a rare childhood epilepsy syndrome. The project involves investigators at multiple institutions around the country and uniquely promotes a multidisciplinary, team science approach that encourages collaboration between researchers.
CURE boasts an internal scientific team made up of three accomplished epilepsy researchers, committed to helping find a cure. There is a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of five esteemed epilepsy specialists and more than 300 scientist volunteers who lend their expertise in the field to review grant applications. CURE has a Lay Review Council (LRC) made up of volunteers who have a special interest in understanding epilepsy research. Members of the LRC participate in CURE’s grant review process and read research proposals to ensure the stakeholder point of view is critically represented at all stages.
In 2000, CURE co-sponsored the National Institutes of Health Conference—the first of its kind to focus on a cure for epilepsy. In addition, CURE was one of the key sponsors involved in shaping the direction and outcome of a newly commissioned report released in March 2012, The Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies. The organization was instrumental in the creation of the NIH Epilepsy Research Benchmarks, which were created to help guide the community toward a cure.
CURE has led a dramatic shift in the epilepsy research community from simply treating seizures to enhancing understanding of underlying mechanisms and causes, so that cures and preventative strategies can be found. CURE's research program is cutting-edge, dynamic and responsive to new scientific opportunities and directions through both investigator-initiated grants and unprecedented scientific programs and initiatives.
Tireless in its efforts and determination, CURE won’t stop until a CURE is found for epilepsy.