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Job ID: 209643

Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships (4936)
Northern Illinois University

Date Posted Apr. 24, 2023
Title Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships (4936)
University Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL, United States
Department Presidents Office
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Vice-(President/Provost/Chancellor)
  • Development/Institutional Advancement


Northern Illinois University (NIU), a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university located 65 miles west of Chicago invites applications for the position of Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships (VPRIP). NIU seeks an accomplished, visionary, research leader to advance NIU’s strong culture of scholarship, research, creative activities, and innovation.

Reporting to the President, VPRIP is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the research and innovation enterprise portfolio providing creative, efficient research administrative operations; promoting a bold, collaborative, innovative research environment; engaging and supporting investigators to promote multidisciplinary research projects; overseeing campus-wide planning efforts for research facilities; increasing opportunities with local, regional, federal, and other funding agencies, national laboratories, industry partners, and other constituencies; supporting intellectual property and technology transfer; and providing strategic guidance and decision making on matters relative to resource planning, policy development, promotion of research, scholarly and creative activity, and exploration of innovative interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaborations in a shared governance environment.

The ideal candidate is a distinguished national scholar, researcher, and educator commensurate with the potential for an appointment as a tenured full professor. While academic experience, both professional and administrative, is strongly desired, exceptional candidates who have demonstrated a high degree of national or international scholarly and administrative success outside of academia will be considered. The successful candidate must also exhibit substantial administrative leadership experience at a research university or comparable setting, have knowledge of and commitment to research compliance and integrity, possesses the ability and acumen to help translate research for societal gain enhancing workforce development for economic growth, and have a knowledge of and commitment to shared governance.

Position Summary

The VPRIP serves as the chief research officer and is responsible for developing and implementing the vision, plan, and policies guiding the university’s research portfolio, and overseeing all aspects of the university’s research infrastructure, operations, research facilities, and compliance.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

• Develops and implements the vision, plan, and policies to guide the NIU research portfolio and consults regularly with university faculty, staff and administration to achieve the organizational research, scholarship and artistry goals;
• Serves as the primary advocate on research activities and as a representative in efforts to produce major new research programs within the scientific community as well as expanding the organization’s reputation in research, innovation and creative works;
• Champions, supports, and develops ways to catalyze the research and innovation pipeline through education, awareness, and utilization of resources;
• Develops a research and innovation strategy building on current assets, supports the regional needs of the community, and positions the institution for scholarly excellence.

• Advises, mentors, and collaborates with NIU leadership and investigators to strengthen output and success rate of high- quality publications, extramural grant proposals and research initiatives;
• Develops sustainable relationships with local, regional, federal, public, private and industry sources to increase innovative, collaborative scholarship and externally sponsored funding opportunities;
• Stimulates and supports the growth of innovative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and scholarship throughout the NIU enterprise; and
• Promotes and assists with opportunities for intellectual property and technology transfer in partnership with the NIU senior administration (general counsel, financial and appropriate leadership team, etc.).

• Advises senior administration on research initiatives, policy, and operations;
• Develops and promotes research support policies, practices, and programs fostering the professional growth and development of the NIU community including investigators, students, and staff;
• Ensures compliance with all federal, state and university regulations governing research ensuring research is conducted according to the highest ethical and safety standards;
• Directs activities of senior staff responsible for pre-award and post-award research administration, and staff charged with the preparation of grants that provide university-wide research support;
• Effectively supervises administration of the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration, Office of Innovation, Office of Research Development, Center for Burma Studies, campus-wide research facilities, and the Office of Research Compliance, Integrity, and Safety;
 • Serves as President of the Northern Illinois Research Foundation providing oversight for the Board of Directors and strategic direction of the research foundation; 
• Develops administrative infrastructure supporting and enabling successful, focused research across the NIU enterprise;
• Prioritizes and allocates internal budgetary resources for research opportunities; and
• Effectively collaborates with university shared governance.

Minimum Required Qualifications (SPS)

  • Earned doctorate or other terminal degree from an accredited university and a distinguished record of research, and/or scholarly productivity;
  • For hire with tenure, the candidate must have a demonstrated record of teaching, research and service commensurate with rank in a department or school related to the candidate’s area of expertise;
  • At least 10 years of demonstrated, progressive leadership experience in academic administration, research, and/or innovation and commercialization.

Additional Requirements (SPS)

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs) & Characteristics
  • Commitment to excellence on both a personal and professional level, with the highest level of personal integrity and ethical standards, and be known for compassion, fairness, and objectivity;
  • Proactive, innovative, creative, and visionary, with an ability to apply creative solutions to complex problems and constructively embrace and lead change initiatives;
  • Collegial, highly collaborative, and visible leadership style;
  • Adaptive and resilient, inspires others to develop multi-disciplinary collaborations;
  • Strategic thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Inclusive, and personally committed to ensuring diversity, both in perspectives and in personnel, with the ability to bring out the best in others and develop a spirit of collaboration within and among stakeholders;
  • Facilitator and problem-solver who earns the trust of the community, instilling a sense of “fair play” and placing the goals of the institution ahead of those of any individual, group, or department;
  • Executive presence with an engaging personal presentation style encouraging consensus-building and cooperation.

Preferred Qualifications (SPS)

    • Distinguished national scholar, researcher and educator commensurate with potential appointment as a tenured full professor;
    • Demonstrated success as a principal investigator of substantial competitive federal research grants (or equivalent) and success in attracting support for research from private partnerships, government agencies, industry, and other funding entities.
    • Demonstrated ability to foster an inclusive and diverse office of research, and expressed commitment to promoting equity in research funding and participation.


Research Administration
  • Extensive professional experience in research and research administration with a demonstrated ability to support the needs of faculty artists, scholars and researchers;
  • Extensive scholarly interest and commitment promoting the full spectrum of scholarship, including that conducted by undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, interdisciplinary research, and creative works;
  • Extensive knowledge of, and experience with, research funding issues, policies, and sources;
  • Demonstrated ability to administer a large research-support enterprise with a focus on outcomes, including exercising fiscally sound oversight of the budget.

Partnership, Innovation, & Commercialization
  • Experience in building and sustaining collaborative partnerships with industry, venture capital institutions, philanthropic organizations, state agencies, and other universities;
  • Demonstrated ability organizing programs to support the commercialization of research and intellectual property generated across the university;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance of promoting and leveraging Hispanic/Minority Serving/ Emerging Research Institution funding programs to achieve overarching university research innovation and commercialization goals;

Physical demands/requirements

  • Regular office related duties
  • Sitting for extended periods of time
  • Using computer/electronic equipment for extended periods of time
  • Occasional lifting and moving items weighing up to 25 lbs

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