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Job ID: 158145

Vice President for Research and Creative Activity
North Dakota State University

Date Posted Apr. 29, 2021
Title Vice President for Research and Creative Activity
University North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND, United States
Department Senior Administration
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Vice-(President/Provost/Chancellor)
  • Research
    Development/Institutional Advancement
    Administration - General
    Senior Administration
    University Administration

North Dakota State University (NDSU)
Vice President for Research and Creative Activity

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist North Dakota State University in their search for Vice President for Research and Creative Activity (VPRCA).

North Dakota State University (NDSU) seeks an innovative leader to serve as its next Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. The ideal candidate is a strong relationship builder with a collaborative, team-centered approach to leadership and promotion of interdisciplinary research.

Proud of and committed to its historic land-grant mission, NDSU is ranked 94th among all public research universities by the National Science Foundation. NDSU has attained the Carnegie Classification of "Research Universities/High Research Activity and may aspire to regain "Very High Research Activity" status again. It is the top-ranked university in North Dakota, and one of the top in its five-state region.

As a leader, educator, and mentor with demonstrated examples of interdisciplinary collaboration, the successful candidate brings a broad perspective in research and development success. The VPRCA joins a strong, motivated group of well-sustained researchers committed to continuing the University’s upward trajectory. The VPRCA will guide, facilitate, and support continued growth in research and scholarly activities across the university as well as work with University leadership in decisions regarding regaining status of Very High Research Activity.

This VPRCA reports directly to the Provost and is supported by a talented, knowledgeable, and dedicated staff ready to support the research vision.

The area offers significant opportunities for economic development and partnerships as Fargo experiences record growth attributed to a robust and diverse economy driven by investment by corporations such Microsoft (with the second largest corporate campus in the nation outside of WA); Sanford Health (one of the largest not-for-profit health organizations in the nation) ; Aldevron, the largest DNA manufacturer in the world; Appareo Systems (one of the largest avionics manufacturers in the nation); heavy equipment manufacturing facilities of Case/New Holland, Doosan/Bobcat and Caterpillar; and Amazon’s recent announcement of a new 1.3 million square foot facility.

The state of North Dakota enjoys a growing economy built on historically strong agricultural productivity that leads the country in twelve commodities, matched by a strong energy industry with an anticipated viability extending many decades into the foreseeable future. North Dakota’s economic strength provides a springboard for steadily increasing opportunities to apply NDSU’s research and discoveries including partnerships with local, regional, national and international entities.

NDSU is located in the vibrant and growing city of Fargo, North Dakota. North Dakota has been one of the fastest growing states in the country over the past decade with the Fargo area in the vanguard of that growth, with a metropolitan population of more than 257,000. Residents of Fargo enjoy a fantastic quality of life with the City continuously earning numerous national awards. Residents enjoy a wide range of cultural and entertainment options from live theater, ballet, opera, galleries and museums. The area also includes an array of restaurants, craft breweries, wineries, as well as shopping options. The area is abundant with natural beauty and activities for the outdoor lover. Fargo offers a lower unemployment rate, favorable tax structure as well as a cost of living that is 8.1% less than the U.S. average. With higher than the national average investment per student, Fargo is proud of its public school system.

The NDSU community prioritizes and values diversity and inclusion. They take collective responsibility for ensuring a sense of belonging, respect, and justice that support the success of each person. They especially encourage applications from women, members of racial/ethnic minority groups, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and other underrepresented classes.

Moreover, Fargo is an increasingly cosmopolitan metropolitan area, with steady and notable growth over the past few years in its racial, cultural and ethnic diversity. Considering these consistent trends, NDSU is actively engaged in attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds. NDSU genuinely values and encourages their contributions to making the campus reflect, embrace and meaningfully promote this diversity.


The Vice President for Research and Creative Activity (VPRCA) provides administrative leadership and advocacy for the research and creative activity enterprise of North Dakota State University (NDSU). The VPRCA works in collaboration with the Provost, other senior leadership, faculty and staff to cultivate and implement the overall institutional strategy for growth of NDSU’s basic and applied research activities and creative endeavors. In addition, the VPRCA works with a wide range of constituencies to support enhancement of research and economic development through technology transfer, intellectual property commercialization, and federal relations.

The VPRCA serves as the primary point of contact for NDSU research; has budgetary, personnel, and operations oversight for the Research and Creative Activity division; and has responsibility for the following administrative units and functions: Sponsored Programs Administration, including pre-award budget and grants and contracts negotiation; Faculty Research Development; Industry Engagement and Intellectual Property; Research Integrity Compliance (Institutional Animal Care and Use, Institutional Biological Safety, Institutional Review Board, and Export Control); oversight of the core research facilities, equipment, and personnel associated with the Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Water Research Institute, Materials and Electronics Research Core, and the R2 ISO5 and ISO7 Clean Rooms. The VPRCA collaborates with the VP for Information Technology to integrate the function and direction of the Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology with the research enterprise and with the Executive Director of the Research and Technology Park to coordinate NDSU’s efforts in technology and entrepreneurship.

The VPRCA ensures institutional compliance with all regulations related to the use of external and internal research funding and serves as the Institutional Official (IO) for compliance issues. The VPRCA oversees policies and procedures for research and ensures that policies are applied fairly and consistently.

The VPRCA is responsible for expanding the university’s capacity for innovative, interdisciplinary, and large-scale programs by creating collaborative platforms within the university and with other universities, agencies, and industry. The VPRCA works with the private sector to advance economic development strategies that encourage and enhance technology transfer activities.

The VPRCA serves as a member of the NDSU Research and Technology Park Board of Directors, the NDSU Research Foundation, the Steering Committee for the ND Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), the State Board of Higher Education’s Research Committee, and the NDSU President’s cabinet. The VPRCA reports to the Provost.


  • In collaboration with NDSU faculty, staff, and senior leadership, develop a culture based on shared principles and sustainable relationships that support established and emerging researchers’ efforts to expand basic and applied research in the arts, education, humanities, social sciences, and STEM disciplines including Engineering and Agriculture
  • Expand NDSU’s capacity for innovation and excellence in research and creative activities of all scales by supporting internal early-stage disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities
  • Establish internal and external partnerships with other universities, agencies, and industry in national and international settings, in which NDSU provides a leadership role
  • Serve as advocate for state and federal government relations as they pertain to funding in support of research and creative activities
  • Act as an advocate for the outcomes of the NDSU research and creative enterprises
  • Work with the private sector on economic development strategies that enhance North Dakota’s economy through the licensing and transfer of innovative technologies developed by NDSU personnel
  • Provide executive oversight and support of the activities performed by central research support units
  • Ensure institutional compliance with all regulations related to the use of external and internal research funding; serve as the Institutional Official (IO) of the compliance committees (IRB, IACUC, IBC); serve as the empowered official (EO) for export controls; oversee policies and procedures for research, the negotiation of terms of grants and contracts, and ensure that policies are applied fairly and consistently
  • Serve as a member of the NDSU Research and Technology Park Board of Directors, the NDSU Research Foundation, and the President’s cabinet


  • An outstanding record of scholarly or creative achievement suitable to the rank of Full Professor in an academic department at NDSU
  • Extensive senior leadership experience in an area of research or creative activity in higher education, foundations, government agencies, industry, or private research enterprises
  • An outstanding record of leadership in obtaining external funding for interdisciplinary research or creative activities
  • Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate the value of research and creative activity to various constituents
  • Evidence of excellent organizational skills, including the ability to manage and facilitate competing priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including evidence of the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships both internally and externally
  • Commitment to and demonstrated experience in supporting diversity and inclusion and creating a welcoming environment for diverse faculty, staff, and students
  • Experience in executive leadership, including budget management, strategy development, and policy administration and personnel management


  • Experience with economic development and diversification and technology transfer
  • Understanding and support of the mission of a contemporary land-grant university, including the broad range of disciplines and programs
  • Working knowledge of federal regulatory environment related to compliance of research and creative activities


NDSU, with an enrollment close to 13,000, is listed at 95 among 404 public universities based on the university’s research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. In addition, NDSU is listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 in several areas, including: agricultural sciences; business management and business; communications; materials science; natural resources and conservation science; social sciences; sociology, demography, and population studies; and visual and performing arts.


Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and CV. Please do not email applications. To be viewed by the firm, you must apply directly at:

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