Job Listings

Director of Strategic Research Planning - Office of Research

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, Illinois
Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts

Director of Strategic Research Planning

Office of Research

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is seeking a dynamic and dedicated individual with exceptional communication and organizational skills to provide leadership in the Office of Research (OR). Reporting directly to the Associate Dean for Research/ Director of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, the Director of Strategic Research Planning will handle a variety of strategic, administrative, operational and confidential matters with faculty, staff, students, alumni, senior University administrators, research facilities and government and community leaders. The incumbent will help develop and implement strategic priorities and initiatives to support the research mission of the College of ACES.


Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

Be a part of our story.

Duties and Responsibilities include:

Strategically Lead Research Operations
  • Direct and implement projects and initiatives of the OR in order to achieve strategic goals set by the Associate Dean for Research.
  • Represent the Associate Dean for Research as needed at meetings, conferences, committees, and task forces engaging with issues related to research administration.
  • Provide guidance and process development related to research administration for ACES departments. Issues may include, but are not limited to, research safety, sponsored research, conflict of interest, research integrity, effort-reporting, cost-sharing, research contracts and intellectual property.
  • Provide tools and resources to units and the OR to create efficiencies, ensure compliance, or build consistency in the management of research activities and facilities.
  • Continuously improve services for the College of ACES research community.
  • Guided by the OR's goals, College of ACES policy, and campus policy, review and approve administrative documents on behalf of the Associate Dean for Research.
  • Supervise and provide strategic support to the Plant Care Facility Coordinator in the operations and management of the research facility and research staff.
Office of Research Administration
  • Provide strategic management and supervision of the OR and reporting units, including Information Technology and the Plant Care Facility, and the OR. Including managing OR staff on a day-to-day basis. Responsibilities include conducting performance evaluations, approving time/leave, recommending salary increases and assigning/reviewing work.
  • Work with Grants and Contracts Post-Award (Office of Sponsored Projects Administration) and Governmental Costing Divisions to address issues related to sponsored research. Using data from these divisions and other sources, conduct data analysis for the College of ACES leadership.
  • Collaborate and build on existing relationships with IAES partner land-grant institutions, United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
  • Manage the yearly request for proposal process and annual financial reporting for Capacity Funds through the IAES.
  • Coordinate with Sponsored Programs monthly Federal ASAP draws related to Capacity Funding.
  • Monitor the operating budget of the Office of Research and the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station (IAES), ACES IT, Division of Nutritional Sciences and the ACES Plant Care Facility and manage budgetary control, budget analysis, and reports as needed.
  • Manage OR research initiatives that may include but not be limited to the Dudley Smith Initiative and internal competitive grant opportunities.
  • Coordinate with the College Office of Budget, Finance and Resource Planning.
  • Other duties as assigned that further the mission of the Office of Research and College of ACES.
  • All candidates must hold a Masters' degree
  • The position requires at least five years of professional experience in a management-level position with responsibility for administrative projects and processes.
  • The candidate must have a proven ability to maintain confidentiality and ensure managerial discretion.
  • Candidates must possess excellent analytical, project, and time management skills, including the ability to prioritize work and manage a variety of complex projects simultaneously with accuracy and detail in a complex environment.
  • The candidate must have exceptional interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and effective conflict resolution skills.
  • Candidates must have a demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate with all levels of constituents and possess a strong work ethic and ability to see the big picture, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • The candidate must have good communication skills including professional writing ability and verbal communication.

Preference will be given to candidates who have more than five years of experience in a professional-level management position in an academic institution with responsibility for supervising staff and managing administrative projects and processes. Clear evidence of initiative and self-direction is preferred. Other preferred qualifications include: Sponsored programs and research administration certification; Grant proposal experience; and a general understanding of Federal Capacity Funds, BA4, and University of Illinois financial systems.


The Director of Strategic Research Planning is a 100% full-time, benefits-eligible academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Applications must be received by October 16, 2022. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of the posting on . Upload a cover letter and CV/resume. An online application will require names and contact information for three professional references. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact search committee chair Dr. Nicki Engeseth at . For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1011824

Job Category: Research

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