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Director , Bridge to PhD Program

  • Requisition no: 527627
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of Engineering and Applied Science Admin
  • Grade: Grade 13
  • Categories: Stdnt Affairs/Educational Admn
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science with support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, invites applications for a Program Director to provide leadership and operational support for the Bridge to the Ph.D. Program in STEM. The Bridge Program’s goal is to increase the number of underrepresented scholars entering and successfully completing STEM Ph.D. programs. To this end, the Program provides underrepresented post-baccalaureates with intensive research, coursework, and mentoring experience. Program alumni have gone on to Ph.D. programs at Columbia and other prestigious doctoral programs in the country.  The Program’s website,, contains more information about the Program and its scholars and alumni.

The Program Director (PD) will be responsible for setting the priorities and direction of the Program in collaboration with a faculty advisory board. These activities will range from reviewing the Program’s structure to pursuing new funding sources for it. The PD will also manage the Program’s day-to-day logistics.


  • (15%) Coordinate the admissions process for the Program, which includes managing the on-line application system, forming an admissions committee, setting up interviews with finalists, and coordinating the hiring of newly admitted participants with their host laboratories. Lead recruiting activities for building a competitive applicant pool by informing colleges and universities’ STEM departments; engaging with scientific societies, organizations & undergraduate research programs; conducting virtual information sessions; and responding to prospective applicants’ inquiries about the Program.

  • (15%) Organize information about the financial and administrative aspects of hiring the Bridge scholars as research assistants. This entails: Organizing information about salaries, fringe, and other benefits for the scholars; Coordinating the flow of information between the Office of the Vice Provost and the administrative officers in each department where Bridge scholars work; Responding to questions from department administrators about scholars’’ funding.

  • (15%) Communicate with the scholars’’ PIs as often as needed (at least twice a semester) to receive feedback on the performance of the scholars, and then communicate this feedback to the Bridge scholars. Collate scholars’’ monthly progress reports and discuss ways of solving any problems identified. Serve as a liaison to the Office of the University Registrar and Student Financial Services to manage academic registration for the Bridge scholars. . Help the scholars find tutors for their courses if needed. This includes assisting with hiring and managing timesheets & payroll for the tutors. Collect feedback from tutors about the productivity of tutoring sessions. Facilitate the matching of each scholar with a career mentor upon matriculation into the Program. Assist the scholars with preparing applications for graduate programs, conference abstracts, funding proposals, and travel awards.

  • (15%) Organize events through which the Bridge participants meet underrepresented researchers to learn about these individuals' work and career paths. Schedule workshops on e.g., presentation skills, scientific writing, and time management. Serve as liaison to the instructors for these workshops. Help organize the Program’s orientation and the end-of-year research symposium.

  • (15%) Manage the Program’s website and expand the social media presence of the Program, which currently maintains accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and promote the Program and its scholars through these resources. Prepare partnering proposals for internal and external collaborations. Complete yearly reports and surveys for existing collaborations with Bridge partner sites.

  • (15%) Help with tracking of Program alumni and with organizing of data about the performance of participants, both while they are at Columbia and during their post-Columbia trajectories. Additional tracking includes monitoring various segments of the applicant pool for each application cycle.

  • (10%) Collaborate with the Columbia Engineering Student Affairs and Graduate Admissions teams on initiatives synergistically aligned with the Bridge program.

  • (5%)Performs other tasks, duties, and responsibilities as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required.  Advanced degree desirable.

  • A doctorate in a STEM discipline (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) preferred

  • 4- 6 years related experience

  • Must be sufficiently informed about the students’ areas of research that he/she/they can engage meaningfully with the scholars and their PIs about the scholars’’ projects, approaches, and results, and provide useful comments on written and oral presentations about these projects when necessary.

  • Demonstrated success in program management with a record of accomplishment of having implemented new educational programs or of generating significant growth of existing programs.

  • Proven ability to work effectively in cross-departmental teams and task forces in either lead or support roles depending on the project/initiative.

  • Sound ethical business judgment and experience or familiarity with the higher education culture as well as the regulatory and economic realities of a not-for-profit university.

  • An entrepreneurial spirit with an ability to thrive in an environment that is characterized by significant growth and change. 

  • Strong computer literacy/proficiency required; an understanding and appreciation of student services database software and on-line resources, and the willingness and enthusiasm to respond to the needs of students in an increasingly technologically-oriented society. Proficiency with Google suite of products, MS office (Excel with pivot tables, vlookup), PowerPoint, publishing software, social media, etc.

  • Must be willing to work on occasional evenings and weekends, on a needed basis.

  • Possess excellent interpersonal and administrative skills. Ability to work independently and under pressure, with high level of attention to detail. Candidate must exercise good judgment and flexibility.

  • Must be able to prioritize multiple tasks with minimal supervision. Must be able to communicate effectively and tactfully with staff, faculty, students, alumni, and other key constituents in small and large group settings.

  • Positive, mission-oriented, forward-thinking attitude and sense of humor a must.


Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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