Research Development Specialist

Apply now Job no: 500048
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 460600 - Office of Proposal Development
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Office of Proposal Development provides an array of research development services to raise the number and quality of applications for funding from external sponsors. This position reports to the Director for Proposal Development and ultimately to the Assistant Vice President at the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED). The Research Development Specialist will develop and facilitate activities and resources which encourage and support innovative interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative activities that support the goals and mission of Mississippi State University.

The Research Development Specialist will support project development and proposal preparation activities across all colleges and facilitate and lead development of basic to complex proposals with minimal direct oversight. The successful candidate will be a strategic asset for identifying appropriate funding opportunities, design and preparation of competitive funding proposals, and grantsmanship education for faculty and research support personnel.

Salary Grade:  

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Serve as primary proposal development manager for single PI proposals, working with individuals at all levels in the proposal development process (e.g., other research development liaisons, grant managers) to ensure successful integration of all grant application components and full compliance with all funding program and sponsor requirements.
2. Identification and dissemination of funding opportunities via targeted and standard communications with faculty and research administrators. Independently research information about grant programs, sponsors, agencies, and potential collaborators. Use this information to strategize development of proposals.
3. Edit proposals and write or provide writing support for non-scientific/technical sections for complex and individual grant applications; provide comprehensive editorial review of all sections; provide subject matter expertise for proposal development, when applicable; and independently advise investigators on proposal strategy, content, and organization.
4. Planning, preparing, and presenting a wide variety of educational and training programs and workshops to strengthen the capacity of prospective applicants and research administration personnel to develop high quality proposals;
5. Assist with the development, maintenance and connection of faculty to toolkits and other quality proposal development resource materials including detailed proposal outlines in conformance with solicitations, templates, guidance, and samples for standardized proposal components to the extent possible.
6. Assist with initiating, recruiting and supporting teams for projects and proposals that are strategically important to the institution, such as mid-scale proposals, planning grants, and other mechanisms that serve as steppingstones to future large-scale proposals in priority areas.
7. Create marketing materials and communications about research development services and successes, such as web content, email campaigns, brochures, and periodic reports, for dissemination through a variety of channels.
8. Developing and maintaining a “knowledge base” of faculty, staff and University interests to assist in the effective identification, distribution and selection of funding opportunities and the development of collaborations.
9. Serving as a liaison to sponsors and related agencies by establishing professional contacts with program officers, attending technical assistance sessions, and obtaining information on trends, opportunities and changes related to funding opportunity.
10. Help mentor junior research development personnel

Supervisory Responsibility
Does not have supervisory responsibility.

The above essential duties are representative of major duties in this position. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary based upon departmental needs. Other duties may be assigned to the above consistent with the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. Not all of the duties may be assigned to a position.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education - Bachelor’s in a related field

Experience (yrs.) Five (5) years in extramural grants and contracts in an academic setting.

Preferred Qualifications:

1. Master’s degree in a related field; higher education, public policy, communications, management
2. Demonstrated successful experience in research development with proven record of funded projects
3. Beyond five years experience with progressive responsibility for research development activities, including significant editing and advising responsibilities, and coordination of multi-organizational projects at all phases of project and proposal development
4. Evidence of having achieved a positive impact in a previous role, for example statistics tracking enhanced faculty engagement in collaborative activities, increased grant applications, higher percentage of grants funded, etc.
5. Active membership and engagement with one or more research administration or research development organizations.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
1. Knowledge of higher education infrastructure and ability to analyze, interpret, and apply federal and non-federal regulations related to the development of proposals for external funding.
2. Proven ability to work with researchers on proposal submitted to federal and other funding agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH, Dept of Ed., foundations, etc.); in-depth knowledge of some of the typical funding opportunities within some of these organizations, agency priorities, review processes, organizational infrastructure and regulatory authority.
3. Demonstrated experience in designing, creating and presenting high quality educational and informational resources; Excellent presentation skills including multi-media presentations, desktop publishing, etc.
4. Demonstrated leadership skills, including the ability to convene and motivate a team; ability to establish and maintain positive and sustained relationships that foster a high level of trust.
5. Strong personal initiative, service-orientation, and willingness to perform tasks that range from strategic to detail-oriented.
6. Ability to positively interface with various constituencies of the university community, including faculty and staff, as well as sponsors on issues in a cooperative, responsible manner.
7. Ability to organize, analyze, and interpret complex or technical data; proven ability to make complex information understandable to a broad range of audiences is desirable.
8. Outstanding written and verbal communication skills; Proficiency in report and proposal writing, presentation skills.
9. Proficiency with relevant office technology and software, and management of database information, including experience with funder-specific and federal technology resources and platforms;
10. Ability to work under pressure of internal and external deadlines in a calm, efficient, and confident manner.
11. Demonstrated successful experience in proposal writing and project management.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

• No unusual physical requirements. Requires limited lifting of files and records and nearly all work is performed in a comfortable indoor facility.
• Frequent- External imposed deadlines; set and revised beyond one’s control; interruptions influence priorities; difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position; involves conflict-resolution or similar interactions involving emotional issues or stress on a regular basis.
• Job frequently requires walking, sitting, reaching, talking, hearing, handling objects with hands.
• Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Attach resume, cover letter, and list of references

Restricted Clause:

Position contingent upon funding availability.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

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Applications close:

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