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Req ID:  12797
Date:  Nov 1, 2019

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  UNIVERSITY

Duke University:


Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


Occupational Summary

The Office of Campus Research Development (OCRD), part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), provides an array of research development services to help lead a campus-wide effort to raise the quality of submitted applications for funding opportunities from external sponsors. OCRD works closely with the Office of Research Support (ORS), research development liaisons across the Campus schools, and the Office of Foundation Relations (for foundation grants) in these research development endeavors.


The Senior Research Development Associate (Sr. RDA) will report to the OCRD Director and work to support proposal development across the Campus units, with a particular focus on projects from Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering. The Sr. RDA should be able to facilitate and lead development of basic to complex proposals with minimal direct oversight. Facilitation will encompass comprehensive guidance to faculty and other personnel from early to final stages of proposal development.


Work Performed

  • Oversee and support development of multiple, simultaneous individual and complex funding proposals through effective interactions with all involved parties and by providing proposal management, proposal editing and/or writing integration service, and other requested proposal development support based on OCRD’s menu of services. (20%)
    • Work 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.
    • Balance leadership of multiple complex proposal development efforts simultaneously with working exceptionally well under pressure.
    • Review agency program goals and guidelines to ensure proposals align with both agency and institutional goals and capabilities.
    • Help to mentor the junior RDA in the office to guide this individual in their contributions to proposal development.
  • 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. [60%]
  • Work with the Director to develop toolkits and other OCRD resource materials to help the campus community with proposal development [10%]
    • Contribute to updates and maintenance of OCRD resource template materials.
  • As requested by the Director, work with other campus leaders to identify opportunities to strengthen faculty proposals and work collaboratively to implement solutions, with a particular focus on Departmental or School inquiries. (5%)
  • In conjunction with the Director, represent the Duke campus’s research development effort to other Duke entities and nationally. (5%)


Preferred Qualifications at this Level


  • Proven ability to work with researchers on proposal submitted to federal funding agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH, DOE, defense funding opportunities); in-depth knowledge of some of the typical funding opportunities within some of these organizations
  • High-level relationship-building skills, including track record of effective interaction with individuals at all levels in the organization
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including the ability to convene and motivate a team
  • Strong organizational and customer-service skills, which includes being timely and having excellent communication skills (e.g., communication via email, in-person, over the phone when working with faculty)
  • Ability to organize, analyze, and interpret complex scientific, medical, or technical data; proven ability to make complex information understandable to a broad range of audiences is desirable
  • Must possess excellent written and communication skills in developing proposals while balancing the needs of multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced, often deadline-driven environment where priorities change in response to external needs and opportunities
  • Must be able to work both independently and as part of a team, offering appropriate leadership and guidance
  • Knowledge of grant opportunities for different stages of faculty life




Minimum Qualifications




Bachelor's degree in STEM, social science, biomedical, or related field. A doctoral degree is highly desirable with demonstration of an understanding and familiarity with a broad range of science or technical subject matter.




Minimum of five years of experience working with relevant extramural grants and contracts in an academic setting, with such experience to include at least 2 years of significant editing and advising responsibilities regarding scientific and administrative components. Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Nearest Major Market: Durham
Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh