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Research Development Manager - Office of Proposal Development

The University of Illinois' Office of Proposal Development (OPD) is seeking a dynamic, goal-driven individual to join our team as a Research Development Manager. The OPD is a service unit working with Illinois faculty and other researchers to prepare proposals to secure external funding. The office provides support and editing of proposals ranging from large-scale, interdisciplinary proposals to single-investigator proposals. The OPD is a resource for the campus grants development community, serving as an information clearinghouse and repository for best practices in the field. In addition, the office manages the limited submission selection process to ensure that the most competitive proposals go forward to funding agencies.


The Research Development Manager will address the research development and proposal preparation needs of the Illinois Research Community by identifying funding opportunities, coordinating teams across academic departments to respond to funding calls, analyzing and reviewing both technical and non-technical content with principal investigators, and collaborating, coordinating, and managing teams and timelines.



·                     Connect Principal Investigators (PIs) with university resources to facilitate the development of high-quality, competitive funding proposals.

·                     Identify potential funding sources and strategic funding opportunities for the campus and connect researchers with these opportunities.

·                     Lead teams of scientists and staff in the preparation of funding applications.

·                     Organize and manage project teams which involves fostering collaborations, convening and facilitating meetings, creating action plans and timelines including contingency planning, and establishing goals, roles and responsibilities.

·                     Plan and draft technical and non-technical sections of proposals, as well as edit drafts produced by others.

·                     Analyze funding announcement objectives and ensure they are addressed in the proposal process.

·                     Organize “red teams” of peer reviewers to review scientific narratives before submission to the sponsor and analyze feedback from those reviews to apply comments to the scientific narrative.

·                     Conduct training sessions on proposal development for faculty and staff based on the best practices.

·                     Support the overall development needs of the Illinois Research Community.



Required: Ph.D. or terminal degree plus 3-5 years operating in a team environment generating proposals with a significant success rate. Experience with timeline development and the ability to plan backwards from a sponsor submission deadline. Must have experience analyzing PAs, RFAs, RFPs, and other funding calls. Knowledge of training grants, shared instrumentation grants, and limited submissions. Familiarity with large-scale proposals and major federal funding agencies. Excellent writing and editing skills, as demonstrated with writing samples. Effective oral, communication and follow-up skills. High-level interpersonal skills with a track record of grace under pressure and successfully meeting competitive proposal deadlines. In-depth understanding of proposal preparation and submission process, including major federal agency requirements, and a general understanding of related issues, such as intellectual property rights, allocation of facilities and administration costs, and cost-sharing. Proficiency with commonly-employed software. An attention to detail.

Preferred: Experience as a Principal Investigator; experience leading distributed teams.


Proposed Start Date:  as soon as possible after closing date.


Salary:  Commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Appointment Status:  Regular 100%-time Academic Professional appointment on a 12-month service basis. Eligible for full University benefits package.


Applications must be received by Sunday, July 23, 2017. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload: 1) a letter which details qualifications noted above; 2) resume; and 3) the names and contact information for three professional references. All requested information must be submitted by closing date for your application to be considered complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


For further information, please contact Kate Day, Human Resources, at


The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit