National Institute on Aging

Pennsylvania State University — Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Strategic Initiatives

Associate Vice President for Research and Director of Strategic Initiatives

The Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR) at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is looking for an Associate Vice President for Research (AVPR).

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Research, the AVPR will serve as a key member of the Research leadership team and will work in partnership with other leaders to implement strategic research priorities and oversee portions of the institution's research administration and infrastructure. We are looking for a creative thinker able to formulate, integrate, and execute multi-dimensional ideas focused on grand challenges while also supporting activities that ensure Penn State's Research is strategically positioned and responsibly executed.

The position carries an academic appointment.

Responsibilities: Responsibilities include:

  • Work with the Senior Vice President for Research and members of the University Research Council (associate deans of research) to support faculty in their pursuits of extramural funding for strategic research.
  • Oversee the Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Office (SIRO) in support of larger, externally funded interdisciplinary research proposals.
  • Work collaboratively across the university to leverage sponsored grants and contract funding with corporate and foundation gifts and grants to expand our research impact.
  • Provide leadership and OSVPR representation on internal and external task forces and committees on behalf of the Senior Vice President for Research to develop recommendations for addressing challenges and opportunities impacting Penn State Research, including managing the strategic planning documentation process.
  • Provide research development support and red team reviews for specific grant and contract proposals seeking the highest levels of extramural funding.
  • Oversee the institutional limited submission process including down-selections for strategic funding opportunities.
  • Work to streamline the Penn State Research infrastructure using best practices and identifying efficiencies, including the review process for research centers, tracking internal seed grant opportunities, and engaging Penn State's commonwealth campuses in research directions.
  • Direct the development of information dissemination strategies and training opportunities in support of interdisciplinary and strategic research.
  • Oversee central resources for post-doctoral training and development.

Qualifications include:

  • A PhD, applied doctorate, or equivalent degree with a record of independent academic achievement at the level of an associate professor or above.
  • Proven success and experience administering grants and contracts at a major research university. Interdisciplinary research development experience is highly desired.
  • Past research administration experience is desired.
  • A strong history of interaction with major federal R&D agencies such a NIH, NSF, USDA, DOE, and DOD.
  • Experience facilitating faculty teams pursuing large interdisciplinary research programs.
  • Experience working on and facilitating faculty committees and taskforces.
  • Experience with management of research facilities.
  • Experience in staff supervision, post-doctoral mentoring, and graduate student training.

The Pennsylvania State University is a public research university with annual research expenditures exceeding $1.034M. As Pennsylvania's land-grant institution, Penn State serves more than 70,000 students across 24 campuses. Penn State is a leading research university with a long-standing tradition of proven success in interdisciplinary research. The 2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey ranked Penn State 26th among the nation's public universities for total R&D expenditures.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by May 1, 2023.

The search firm WittKieffer is assisting Penn State in this search. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Lauren Bruce-Stets and Cathryn Davis;

Apply online at

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.