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Associate Dean of Research

Earth Institute

Associate Dean of Research

  • 530502
  • Morningside
  • Earth Institute
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Oct 19 2022
  • Ungraded
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:
 

Position Summary

Reporting to the Co-Founding Dean of Research, the Associate Dean for Research will build, manage, evaluate, and constantly improve the Columbia Climate School’s research administrative infrastructure, providing operational, programmatic, and strategic support services to 500+ researchers. This is a highly-visible, diplomatic, and cross-functional leadership role charged with fostering an adaptive, efficient, and innovative research community that endures amidst considerable fluctuations and unpredictability in the extramural funding landscape.

As the Climate School’s most senior research administrator, the Associate Dean for Research represents transdisciplinary and high-impact researchers to a heterogeneous range of internal and external clients, including Columbia faculty, students, and leadership, federal program officers, donors, peer universities, non-profit organizations, the press media, and more. This role requires exceptional tact, confidentiality, and discretion, and the ability to coordinate and collaborate across functions and sectors.


Responsibilities

Pre-Award Management

  • Oversee the rigorous and granular review of complex proposal documents, including budgets, subawards, project descriptions, facilities statements, and other documents required by the sponsor.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge about the federal policy landscape, and support Climate School researchers and administrators in understanding and adapting to rapidly-changing requirements and workflows. Broadly communicate policy shifts and emerging expectations in a coherent, customer-focused, and consistent manner.
  • Constantly evaluate processes and efficiencies in pre-award proposal review and submission, and work with the Co-Founding Dean for Research to conceptualize, write, and enforce new policies and procedures designed to reduce researchers’ administrative burden while maintaining full compliance to federal and institutional requirements.
  • Serve as the Climate School’s primary point of contact for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, including for functions pertaining to sponsored projects administration, compliance, training, human subjects, environmental health and safety, and strategic initiatives.
  • Maintain complex and extensive data records of proposal submissions and awards, and report quarterly activities and accomplishments to Climate School leadership, with a special eye towards identifying competitive advantage and opportunistic areas for growth and investment.

Large Proposal Development

  • Coach interdisciplinary faculty teams through proposal strategy and resource allocation procedures (i.e. team formation – especially for broader impacts, writing assignments, partner engagement, resource gathering, and proposal editing).
  • Working closely with Departmental/Divisional Administrators, plan budget drafts that involve highly-complex, -confidential, and -protected information.
  • As requested by faculty teams, draft and edit non-scientific proposal components, including plans for education, diversity, knowledge transfer, management, technology transfer, and/or safety and ethics.
  • Facilitate proposal process by creating internal deadlines, track internal deliverables, reiterate RFP requirements that deserve further focus, acquire resources to support teams, and closely collaborate with other Columbia schools and external universities based upon faculty team composure.
  • Identify and communicate large, multidisciplinary funding opportunities from federal and non-federal sources to faculty and school leadership.
  • Host and speak at informational sessions for faculty seeking to pursue specific center-level funding mechanisms.

Management & Leadership

  • Supervise and motivate a cross-functional team of 12 full-time employees focused on pre-award research administration, research strategy, researcher career development, research programming, and external relations.
  • Lead weekly one-on-one and team meetings for personnel development and growth, project coordination, group strategy development, and deadline tracking.
  • Develop personalized personnel development plans, and frequently track personnel performance against annual metrics, ensuring that personnel exceed expectations and grow into professional careers and sectors of meaning.
  • Establish key performance indicators and assorted quantitative and qualitative metrics for evaluating the efficacy of programmatic interventions, and whether historic operations help to achieve the Climate School’s goals of interdependency, growth, respect, and equity. Develop surveys, focus groups, and other instruments for data collection and analysis, and report frequently to faculty and administrative stakeholders.
  • Represent the Co-Founding Dean for Research and the Office of Research at biweekly Senior Staff Meetings, reporting upon research administrative activities and communicating opportunities for inter-office collaboration.
  • Represent the Climate School on University-wide working groups and at external conferences and venues.
  • Serve as an informed, insightful, and confidential sounding board to the Co-Founding Dean for Research, to test ideas, debate issues, and provide awards, and report quarterly activities and accomplishments to Climate School leadership, with a special eye towards identifying competitive advantage and opportunistic areas for growth and investment.

Large Proposal Development

  • Coach interdisciplinary faculty teams through proposal strategy and resource allocation procedures (i.e. team formation – especially for broader impacts, writing assignments, partner engagement, resource gathering, and proposal editing).
  • Working closely with Departmental/Divisional Administrators, plan budget drafts that involve highly-complex, -confidential, and -protected information.
  • As requested by faculty teams, draft and edit non-scientific proposal components, including plans for education, diversity, knowledge transfer, management, technology transfer, and/or safety and ethics.
  • Facilitate proposal process by creating internal deadlines, track internal deliverables, reiterate RFP requirements that deserve further focus, acquire resources to support teams, and closely collaborate with other Columbia schools and external universities based upon faculty team composure.
  • Identify and communicate large, multidisciplinary funding opportunities from federal and non-federal sources to faculty and school leadership.
  • Host and speak at informational sessions for faculty seeking to pursue specific center-level funding mechanisms.

Management & Leadership

  • Supervise and motivate a cross-functional team of 12 full-time employees focused on pre-award research administration, research strategy, researcher career development, research programming, and external relations.
  • Lead weekly one-on-one and team meetings for personnel development and growth, project coordination, group strategy development, and deadline tracking.
  • Develop personalized personnel development plans, and frequently track personnel performance against annual metrics, ensuring that personnel exceed expectations and grow into professional careers and sectors of meaning.
  • Establish key performance indicators and assorted quantitative and qualitative metrics for evaluating the efficacy of programmatic interventions, and whether historic operations help to achieve the Climate School’s goals of interdependency, growth, respect, and equity. Develop surveys, focus groups, and other instruments for data collection and analysis, and report frequently to faculty and administrative stakeholders.
  • Represent the Co-Founding Dean for Research and the Office of Research at biweekly Senior Staff Meetings, reporting upon research administrative activities and communicating opportunities for inter-office collaboration.
  • Represent the Climate School on University-wide working groups and at external conferences and venues.
  • Serve as an informed, insightful, and confidential sounding board to the Co-Founding Dean for Research, to test ideas, debate issues, and provide critical feedback.

Team & Research Community Development

  • Oversee an internal seed funding program to spur innovative and high-impact research collaborations. Market internal funding opportunities, develop applications and review operating procedures and materials, establish review committees, communicate opportunities and expectations with diverse stakeholders, and manage awarded teams towards project completion and success.
  • Launch and manage new programs that engage academic and non-academic stakeholders in research development, training, and community building. Liaise with extramural sponsors and program offers, provide strategic planning, communications, and other operational support and guidance to researchers seeking funding.
  • In close collaboration with senior administrators at other Columbia schools and institutes, co-plan multiple working groups designed to connect Climate School faculty with faculty in other scientific, engineering, biomedical, social, and humanistic disciplines. Through monthly lecture series, sponsor campus visits, and large-scale proposal development initiatives, these working groups will structure interschool collaborations to define and evolve the Climate School’s Flagship Impact Initiatives.
  • Dictated by strategic environmental analyses and timely opportunities, plan large-scale and highly-visible symposia, conferences, honorary lectures, campus visits, and other events that are directly or indirectly related to research fundraising.

Researcher Career Development

  • Conceptualize, plan, and hire external contractors to co-lead a wide array of training programs designed to up-skill and orient Climate School researchers in topics including knowledge co-production and team science, project management, avoiding implicit and explicit bias, federal grant making (notably for developing CAREER Award proposals), interpersonal communication, networking, presentation skills, and management.
  • Continuously solicit feedback and guidance from faculty for new programmatic initiatives, and endeavor to make these ideas a well-executed reality. Oversee 360-degree feedback processes, as requested by individual faculty. Assemble diverse perspectives and voices in setting School-wide research priorities and evaluation metrics, and advocate for these priorities across School, University, and external meetings and initiatives.
  • Build and continuously support faculty-led committees for researcher mentorship and interdisciplinary collaboration, including assuming as-needed responsibilities in project and financial management, event planning, meeting logistics, and internal communications. Develop new mentoring programs and informal and formal guidance materials targeting all stages of faculty careers, with a particular emphasis on early-career faculty.

Federal Affairs

  • Plan campus visits from senior federal officials, in order to recognize the Climate School’s historic success with specific funding agencies or to identify new agency partners historically underrepresented in the School’s portfolio. Manage the entire campus visit workflow, including invitations, agenda creation, faculty marketing and engagement, event logistics, and post-event follow-up and evaluation. Maintain extremely high diplomacy, professionalism, and tact in order to interact with senior federal officials and their staff.
  • Support faculty teams in conceptualizing novel research programs, and develop comprehensive “pitches” for faculty to give visiting federal officials. Gather institutional data, draft presentations, and coordinate with Columbia leadership. Facilitate post-visit follow-up, including developing unsolicited funding proposals, crafting event programs, and facilitating domestic and international travel.
  • Author approximately two “open letters” per year from the Climate School to the federal government, advocating for and defining Climate School research priorities and how they should translate into new federal funding allocations. Gather input from Climate School researchers and leadership, and converge perspectives into official institutional letters intended to promote and support University research.
  • Train researchers in federal communications and effectively representing climate research priorities when interacting with federal program officers, congressional representatives, lobbyists, etc. Support faculty in participating in policy briefings, testimonials, private meetings, and other visible events that advance and promote the Climate School.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the Climate School’s federal lobbyists, including strategic planning and account management.

Research Misconduct:

  • Serve as the Climate School’s primary point of contact for any and all matters related to research misconduct, specifically for formal or informal allegations of fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism.
  • Conduct as-needed investigations in response to formal allegations and to understand the nature of the incident(s) and how to best ameliorate harms therein.
  • Collaborate closely with the Climate School’s Senior Associate Dean for Finance & Administration, Columbia’s Vice President of Research Compliance & Training, and Columbia’s Office of General Counsel to route incidents through appropriate stages of review and decision-making, and in order to foster a respectful, safe, and fair research community.

Special Projects

In consultation with the Co-Founding Dean for Research and the Senior Associate Dean for Finance & Administration, review School-wide requests for indirect cost returns to PIs, and make decisions regarding which projects to support in order to achieve the School’s strategic research vision as defined by the Co-Founding Dean(s).

  • Embark upon strategic, unforeseen, and opportunistic special projects that advance the visibility, nimbleness, and funding potential of the Climate School’s research community, potentially including partnership formation and new program design.
  • Troubleshoot, participate in crisis management, and manage expectations of leadership and external partners.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree and 10+ years of related experience required, including prior supervisory experience. Academic background in the interdisciplinary environmental studies strongly desired. Must possess prior experience in an academic environment. Strong communication skills required including written, verbal and presentation skills. Must possess strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with all levels of faculty, staff, and administrators across departments. Excellent time management, and the ability to organize events and materials. Ability to compile statistical data and reports necessary.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Type preferred qualifications

Other Requirements

  • Type other requirements and/or special indicators if CUIMC

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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

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