Associate Director, Research Development

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, CA 920371002, USA
  • Apr 07, 2022
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences

Job Description

Application Instructions:

Please include a cover letter describing your experience and expertise in Grant and Scientific Writing; also, describe what areas of science you are most knowledgeable in. Excluding this information could disqualify you from further consideration.

As a member of the Grants Development team, the Associate Director of Research Development (ADRD) reports to the Director of Research Development, and supervises members of the Research Development team, including Research Development Specialists and Grant Writers. This group's primary tasks are to help develop and implement the Institute's funding vision, to identify relevant funding opportunities and communicate these to Salk faculty, to execute competitions for limited-submission and internal funding opportunities, and to increase the competitiveness of Salk's extramural funding proposals, with particular emphasis on large, multi-PI proposals. The ADRD collaborates with diverse teams of investigators and administrative personnel (including External Relations and Communications staff), and must therefore have a broad and deep understanding of the research being conducted at the Salk. Work is performed under the general direction of the Director of Research Development, with the majority of work performed independently.


1) Research Development (45%)

 As an integral part of the Research Development team, the ADRD helps to develop and implement strategies for obtaining funds to support the diverse array of Salk research programs and initiatives, including overseeing efforts to:

a) Match current or potential Salk research programs with the interests and funding priorities of potential funding agencies/entities/individuals.

b) Work with teams of Salk scientists to help formulate collaborative initiatives that both push the boundaries of Salk science and provide avenues for establishing relationships with new funders.

c) Actively participate in the cultivation and engagement of potential donors, including developing specialized communication material and, in collaboration with the External Relations and Communications Departments, preparing materials for faculty and researchers for face-to-face meetings with potential donors.

d) Work closely with faculty members of the Salk Internal Competition and Limited Submission Committee to help run the Salk Innovation program, which seeks to fund innovative new projects and to promote transdisciplinary collaborations. Seeks to continuously monitor and improve this important internal competition.

e) Develop educational slideshow presentations and serve as an instructor in training postdocs, staff scientists, and junior faculty in the best practices for developing their research plans and composing all associated component parts of grant applications.

 2) Scientific Communication (45%)

  •  Collaborates with Salk faculty, the Research Development team, External Relations, Communications, and the Office of Technology Development to customize research proposals and descriptions of research activities to suit the particular interests, priorities, and levels of expertise of potential funding entities (e.g., governmental agencies, private foundations, industry, and individual philanthropists).
  • Facilitates and executes the scientific and administrative development of complex, high-profile research proposals from ideation to submission
  • Coordinates multi-investigator proposal development for grants, foundation awards, and donor gifts. Provides project management for proposal development, establishing internal deadlines and facilitating meetings of key scientists to ensure timely submission.
  • Meets with teams of investigator developing project proposals to build consensus and to facilitate the writing of sections unique to complex, multi-PI proposals (e.g., Project Management Plan, Administrative Core, Data Management Plan).
  • Researches and writes grant proposals as determined by faculty needs. Performs and/or manages all tasks related to the grant writing process.
  • Analyzes reviews of previously submitted proposals and provides feedback to investigators or other Institution officials.
  • Ensures that written candidate proposals are competitive and have a high probability of success.
  • Assists faculty in writing and/or editing technical manuscripts to facilitate timely publication of research findings.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

 3) Staff Supervision (10%)

  • Directs, coordinates and reviews the work plan for assigned staff. Monitors and regulates workflow in accordance with departmental and Institute schedules; directs work between team members, actively manages performance and seeks way to enhance and maintain quality and customer satisfaction.
  • In conjunction with other department leadership, develops long- and short-range departmental goals, develops objectives and activities based on department goals and monitors progress, manages department activities and establishes operating policies and procedures that affect the department.
  • Supervises, hires, trains, and evaluates assigned staff. Works actively with employees to correct deficiencies and recommends and implements corrective action and discipline. Independently evaluates performance of support staff, ensuring work performance is consistent with department and Institute expectations. Independently conducts performance evaluations. 
  • Builds, develops, coaches and supports an effective team.  Provides continuous staff development opportunities to ensure staff possess sufficient training and required skill levels to perform their assigned tasks in a proficient manner; ensure proficiency is maintained in current technologies. 
  • Establishes on-going communication with all staff regarding performance measures, ensuring they are working towards the Institute's objectives.



  •  A minimum five years of experience in successful grant development, writing individual and team proposals, and facilitating submission of grant proposals.
  • Experience in writing grants, including NIH R01 proposals.
  • Experience in coordinating grant-writing efforts of multiple PIs to facilitate the submission of large, multi-PI proposals.
  • Experience writing and coordinating multidisciplinary sponsored research and private grant proposals with multiple collaborators for a variety of funding sources.


  • Experience running internal competitions to select applicants for limited-submission or internal funding opportunities.
  • Experience leading teams of scientists and/or administrative staff.



  •  MS in physical or natural sciences.


  •  PhD in physical or natural sciences.



  •  Ability to perform all tasks related to the grant writing process.
  • Writes precise, well organized, and grammatically correct documents. Excellent written and verbal English.
  • Demonstrated experience in researching, writing and submitting grant applications.
  • Knowledge of research funding sources, including NIH, voluntary health agencies, and other funding sources.
  • Demonstrated experience reading and interpreting funding agency program announcements or requests for applications and development of proposals that are in compliance with agency requirements.
  • Extensive knowledge of contract and grant policies and issues and external funding programs and requirements, including knowledge of national and international trends in scientific research.
  • Strong interest in and ability to quickly comprehend Salk faculty scientific programs.
  • Advanced analytical skills in researching and analyzing scientific research issues. Sound knowledge of scientific research design and methods, and strong ability to interpret and evaluate research results. Ability to codify ideas into coherently written text.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate a number of different approaches to problems and to act as a resource for the exploration of new ideas.
  • In-depth knowledge of institutional functional areas which administer and/or are impacted by sponsored projects, such as grants administration and research accounting.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills to manage the writing process (research, draft preparation, review, and revision) of complex grant proposals and deliver fundable proposals in a timely manner to meet both interim and final deadlines.
  • Ability and specialized skills to take initiative and independently plan, organize, coordinate, and perform work in various situations where numerous and diverse demands are involved.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively and work cooperatively with faculty, supervisors and peers.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office suite to create technical and sophisticated written communication materials.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.


  •  Ability to manage teams of research development professionals


  •  Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be willing to work an adjusted schedule to support research needs.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute's background investigation.


This position will be constantly adjusting focus, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing and working inside. 

Application Details

Apply Here:


 Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities


When inquiring or applying for positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and at other institutions of higher education in the region on