Research Development Associate for a Sustainable Earth

Fairfax, VA
Commensurate with education and experience
Nov 17, 2022
Feb 17, 2023
Full Time
Research Development Associate for a Sustainable EarthGeorge Mason University's Research and Innovation Initiatives office invites experienced research development professionals who are collaborative, strategic, and insightful and who have a proven track record of success to apply for this exciting position. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research Innovation, the Research Development Associate for a Sustainable Earth will work closely with leadership of the Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) and the Virginia Climate Center (VCC) to provide strategic planning for external funding opportunities and proposal development support to help secure external funding for transdisciplinary sustainability research at Mason.George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment.About Research and Innovation Initiatives:The Research and Innovation Initiatives (RII) office nurtures and promotes state-of-the-art research and scholarship at Mason, providing resources that assist the Mason faculty-postdoc-student community with the identification of external funding opportunities and the development of high-quality proposals, sponsored projects and activities. The office provides services that: introduce Mason PIs to new and existing funding opportunities; facilitate the formation of effective multidisciplinary teams both within Mason and with other external partner organizations; result in the creation of higher quality, collaborative proposals; ensure productive relationships with colleagues in the other Mason organizations including the Office of Research Services, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and Mason Enterprise. The office also supports Mason's three University Research Institutes (Institute for BioHealth Innovation, Institute for a Sustainable Earth, and Institute for Digital Innovation) as well the Transdisciplinary Centers for Advanced Study, other University Level Research Centers, and Mason Core Facilities.About the Institute for a Sustainable Earth:ISE works to catalyze partnerships and support transdisciplinary research efforts that advance solutions to local, regional, and global sustainability challenges. Mason and ISE utilize the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals framework to focus research and action across the many interconnected dimensions of sustainability. Through strategic partnerships and programs that enable deep engagement with local, state, and federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, communities, and other organizations, ISE is creating opportunities for Mason's sustainability research and scholarship have impact.About the Virginia Climate Center:Mason recently received approximately $2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the launch and development of the VCC; a Community Project Initiative sponsored by Representative Gerry Connolly in the FY22 federal budget. The Center will provide products and services to Virginia municipalities and firms to adopt risk prevention and mitigation strategies for wise resource management and sustainable entrepreneurship. Local decision makers will gain access to an unprecedented range of observational data, environmental models, and experts in climate science, sustainability, and engineering solutions. The Center's data-driven decision support will save tax dollars and improve the livelihoods of Virginians, increasing resilience to severe weather, air pollution, drought and floods, with an emphasis on the underprivileged communities that are most susceptible to adverse effects of climate change.The Community Projects funding for the VCC is situated as pilot funding to support the launch and development of this program in Northern Virginia, in partnership with the jurisdictions belonging to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. Mason ultimately intends to scale this effort to serve communities throughout the Commonwealth.Responsibilities:Operating as a de facto member of the ISE Team, the Research Development Associate will be responsible for identifying external funding opportunities and supporting ISE-affiliated faculty as they develop complex and institutionally important proposals for transdisciplinary sustainability-focused research. At least 50% of the Research Development Associate's time will be dedicated to identifying opportunities and helping secure funding to maintain and scale the Virginia Climate Center beyond the initial two-year pilot project. Duties will include:Proactively identify external funding opportunities from federal, state and foundation programs that align with ISE and VCC goals and objectives;Work in close collaboration with Mason's Corporate and Foundation Relations team on foundation funding opportunities to ensure a harmonized approach to existing and potential funders;Work as part of the ISE Team to leverage research strengths and coordinate across the university to enhance the competitiveness of proposals for targeted opportunities;Advise ISE and VCC leadership on strategic opportunities for research development by maintaining and expanding knowledge of and familiarity with federal and non-federal funding opportunities as well as personnel at funding agencies and partners in the sustainability research;Provide the necessary support and coordination for major multidisciplinary proposals - including facilitating team meetings of interested faculty, conducting project management activities (e.g. developing timelines, scaffolded deliverables), providing or securing grant writing services, identifying and contacting outside consultants or partners, and drafting supplementary documents;Collaborate with VCC, ISE, RII leadership, and the offices of Government and Community Relations and Corporate and Foundation Relations to develop and implement a fundraising strategy and business model to sustain and scale the VCC and explore and advance opportunities to obtain direct funding for the VCC from the Commonwealth of Virginia; andIdentify and perform other research development tasks as needed that support the enhancement of Mason's transdisciplinary sustainability research portfolio and the VCC.Required Qualifications:A Master's degree in a field aligned with climate change adaptation, sustainability or resilience or equivalent combination of education and related experience;Demonstrated experience (typically 5+ years) working in research and/or sponsored projects development, including direct experience with large-scale, multidisciplinary proposal development;Experience identifying funding sources and solicitations, proposal development and/or proposal editing or writing; andOutstanding communication (written and verbal) skills with the ability to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to diverse, multi-disciplinary and non-technical audiences. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diverse faculty across multiple disciplines, university administrators, and funders.Preferred Qualifications and Desired Competencies:PhD in a field aligned with climate change adaptation, sustainability or resilience;Substantial experience (typically 8+ years) working in research and/or sponsored projects development with demonstrated success obtaining funding for large-scale initiatives;Broad knowledge of sustainability; climate change science; the hazards, risks, vulnerabilities, and social and ecological impacts of climate change; and/or the strategies for increasing resilience and adapting to climate change;Excellent project management skills with experience managing multiple, simultaneous workstreams;Experience working with businesses and/or private foundations to secure project funding; andExperience in a large, dispersed university environment.

For full consideration, applicants must apply for FA25Kz at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

"Great Careers Begin at Mason! George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research. Mason holds a top U.S. News and World Report "Up and Coming" spot for national universities and is recognized for its global appeal and excellence in higher education.Mason is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason's diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create.If you are interested in joining the Mason family take a look at our current opportunities and catch some Mason spirit at!George Mason University, Where Innovation is Tradition."

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