Assistant Director of Research Development

Brown University

Job Description:

About Brown:
Brown University is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Our students, faculty and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world.

Brown University offers a flexible work/life balance; summer hours, winter break and a comprehensive Benefits package including time off, annual paid holidays; benefits offerings including health, dental, vision, tuition assistance, retirement, wellness, employee discounts and more.  To learn about Brown University’s benefits, visit the University Human Resources web page here for further information.

About the Opportunity:
The Office of Research Strategy and Development provides research leadership and guidance by building research capacity and enabling federal funding for research at Brown as articulated in the Operational Plan for Growing the Research Enterprise at Brown, and the work outlined by the major research units to pursue the plan. The group accomplishes this by working with the Vice President for Research and other Brown leaders to develop and support the university’s research priorities; strengthening internal and external research networks, processes, skills and knowledge to continuously grow capacity for research excellence at Brown; and by increasing external research funding to enable world class research at Brown.

The Assistant Director of Research Development serves in a strategic role within the Office of Research Strategy and Development and advances transdisciplinary collaboration and innovation by strategically coordinating the development of complex research teams and their funding proposals.  The incumbent will support current and develop emerging research strengths and capabilities across campus; lead the development of opportunities for strengthening faculty research and teaming capabilities including grant writing workshops and networking events, ideation meetings and brainstorming sessions; provide research development support for large scale multi-institutional proposals; will identify external funding opportunities and proactively build relationships among collaborating entities both internally and external to Brown. Additionally, the  Assistant Director of Research Development  is responsible for developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with strategic partners, locally and globally.  Finally, working with senior leaders from across campus, this position will be the strategic point person for institutional level proposals.


Enable funding for priority research by leading investigators in the preparation of large scale (>$5M) proposals for federal funding

In collaboration with the Research Strategy and Development team, while ensuring projects are in line with areas designated for growth through the strategic efforts of the Provost and VPR, identify resources needed for successful large scale proposal development and provide support as needed. Lead team building, project development, and project management roles to advance research aims and ensure success of research teams. Specialize in building complex proposals involving multiple researchers, often with collaborations and budgets spanning multiple departments, campuses, or institutions. Determine sponsor requirements and provide strategic advice for meeting sponsor requirements. Coordinate with department grant managers. Coach faculty throughout the proposal development process. Advise on specialized services (e.g. broader impacts, diversity plans, cost sharing, management plans) and identify appropriate sources of services. Draft letters of support or institutional commitment from university leaders and facilitate the letter approval process. Where internal or external professional services are needed (e.g. evaluator) identify provider and coordinate services. Provide template language on Brown services and facilities. Review drafts of proposals for responsiveness to sponsor requirements and goals.

Provide research leadership by supporting strategic projects for the Office of Research Strategy and Development

Design, develop and direct events at Brown to connect potential partners to research at Brown; strategically preparing teams in advance of and during proposal preparation. This includes outreach to federal agencies and national laboratories. While representing Brown, engage with federal agencies at workshops, open houses, and /or proposers’ days. Design and establish a database of strategic partnerships ranging from local to global partners, including local industries, national labs, non-profits, and federal agencies. Ensure funding and/or collaboration opportunities are brought to the attention of relevant faculty and department leadership.

Provide strategic intelligence on current best practices within research development, including team science, process optimization and other kinds of research development support.

Lead the submission of proposals for broad, university-wide proposals.

Oversee the proposal development process of institutional level proposals including proposal narrative development, editing, proofreading, integrating content from multiple authors, coordinating meetings with project team members, and evaluating complex funding solicitations to ensure compliance.  Coordinate and collaborate with grants and finance administrators within the department submitting the proposal and within relevant OVPR offices, particularly pre-award in the Office of Sponsored Projects.


  • Graduate degree;  STEM field preferred and at least 5-7 years of related experience in a university or research institute or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in leading large scale multi-institutional proposal development projects


  • Demonstrated knowledge of or experience working with federal funding agencies is required; an understanding of the mission-driven federal agencies preferred
  • Experienced in Team Science (collaboration management, facilitation, and transdisciplinary research development)
  • Project management experience

Job Competencies

  • Knowledge of federal and private research funding organizations and proposal requirements
  • Ability to work independently, coordinating and prioritizing multiple projects
  • Project Management
  • Microsoft and Google suite tools
  • Filemaker or other database platforms
  • Strong organizational and customer service skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and public presentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to support a community of diverse perspectives and cultures in an inclusive environment.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown University.

Cover letter and resume required with application.

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Assistant Director of Research Development

Office of Research Strategy and Development

Grade 11

Worker Type:

Worker Sub-Type:

Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Work Location:
Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Still Have Questions?
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EEO Statement:
Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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