University of Massachusetts, Amherst — Grant Development Specialist

Institute for Social Science Research
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Title: Grant Development Specialist
Appointment: Academic Year (9-month), renewable term appointment Earliest appointment: January 22, 2017
Application: Review of applications will begin on October 17, 2016

The Position: The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is seeking applicants for qualified candidates to serve as our Grant Development Specialist. Primary job responsibilities are:

  • Seeking out funding opportunities through various sources including federal, state and local government channels, private foundations, and corporations; working closely with the ISSR Director to determine strategic plans for funding proposal submission and acquisition; and identifying and understanding funding needs and priorities.
  • Plan, organize, and manage the grant development functions of the Institute under the supervision of the Director; oversee all SBS grant-seeking to prevent duplication of effort; and maximize revenue through external sources.
  • In consultation with the ISSR Director, set an ambitious grant-seeking agenda designed to meet strategic goals; develop relationships with external funding agencies; serve as lead internal consultant on grant development, monitoring grant development trends and applying relevant information to resource development efforts; and anticipate grant development needs and position the Institute to respond.
  • Work with the ISSR grants staff in directing the preparation of complex grants and developing and implementing systems to ensure successful grant-seeking efforts, and develop/maintain systems and procedures to ensure the College is aware of grant opportunities, processes, and awards.
  • Design and implement opportunities for faculty and staff to develop grant-seeking and grant-writing skills, including social scientific focused workshops; and develop and implement means of tracking improvements in proposals and funded awards.

By way of illustrating the duties described above, specific examples could include:

  • Making connections to external funding agencies: communication to lay the groundwork for SBS faculty to connect to the appropriate programs at agencies, allowing faculty to put their time and effort in talking with program officers to best use.
  • Targeting proposals: aiding faculty in strategically positioning and framing their work for specific calls for grant proposals in the social sciences.
  • Convening faculty interest groups for large interdisciplinary proposals: providing the staffing support, matching expertise, and moderating meetings toward the development of large proposals that support the ISSR mission of meaningful interdisciplinary collaboration for social scientists (e.g., the ISSR sustainability and social science research group).
  • Working with existing university offices: coordinating with UMass offices where appropriate, especially the Office of Research Development, but being integrated into SBS with close knowledge of the sciences and scientific community in the college, working with faculty in SBS to find opportunities, and providing workshops to develop grant development skills.

Qualified applicants must have a graduate degree (doctoral degree preferred) in a social science field and a background of grant-related experience in the social sciences. Strong consideration will be given to an individual with demonstrated skills in engaging and managing groups of researchers. Experience in developing relationships with a broad range of people is desired in order to identify and respond to resource development needs. Demonstrated experience in working with grant making institutions is desirable.

This is a non-tenure track position, but with considerable promise for advancement. The initial appointment will be for two years with possibility for renewal contingent on performance and success in procuring external funding.

To Apply: Applicants must apply online through Interview Exchange: Applications must include: 1) cover letter describing interest in this position and funded research plans, 2) curriculum vitae, and 3) short writing sample, such as a published article or research grant proposal; these items must be uploaded in Interview Exchange. In addition, three letters of recommendation from scholars familiar with your research and mentoring capabilities must be submitted via email or U.S. mail to Karen Mason (, Attn: Grant Development Specialist Search, ISSR, 108 Bartlett Hall, University of Massachusetts, 130 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003.

For further information on ISSR, visit our website: Please direct questions to Dr. Jennifer Lundquist (

The University provides an intellectual environment committed to providing academic excellence and diversity, including mentoring programs for faculty. The College and Institute are committed to increasing the diversity of the faculty, student body and curriculum. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.