Careers at Virginia Tech

Assistant Vice President, Research and Innovation for Sponsored Programs

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Work type: Administrative & Professional
Senior management: Vice President for Research
Department: Sponsored Programs
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Categories: Executive / Director / Management

Job Description

The Office for Research and Innovation (ORI) at Virginia Tech is seeking a transformational and inspirational leader with a breadth of experience in research administration to serve as Assistant Vice President for Research and Innovation, Sponsored Programs. Providing strategic oversight and administrative support for all research and scholarly activity for Virginia Tech's $592 million research enterprise, the office supports nine academic colleges, nine university research institutes, and three affiliated corporations. As the university pursues strategic growth across its Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Northern Virginia locations, the AVP will be joining at a pivotal time. As such, the AVP is key to the ambitious plans Virginia Tech is taking to be a top ten land grant university that delivers innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges.

Reporting to the ORI, the AVP will work collaboratively across the research enterprise to develop, implement, and oversee a full-service, customer-focused, and fully integrated sponsored programs office in support of a broad research portfolio. The Office of Sponsored Programs is a comprehensive, full-service organization that includes pre-award, contract negotiation for funded and non-funded agreements, post-award, and financial compliance for all sponsored work at the university. In 2023, the office enabled nearly $2 billion in sponsored proposals, more than $450 million in sponsored awards, and $375 million in sponsored expenditures. This is an outstanding opportunity for an established research administration leader with a successful track record of supporting cutting-edge research. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in both high-level strategic planning and day-to-day execution within a large, complex research-intensive university, institute, or center. Working in concert with senior leaders, the AVP will ensure compliance through the implementation of effective processes and transparent, open communication and delivery of proactive, user-friendly customer service aimed at furthering research initiatives across the university, while ensuring that all compliance standards are fully maintained. In doing so, the AVP will provide strategic leadership in support of collaborative research initiatives while creating a working environment that rewards new ideas and innovation, builds collaborations, encourages and nurtures teamwork, and promotes diversity. The AVP will have a thorough understanding of and commitment to best practices within research administration and compliance.

The successful AVP will be someone who can create and sustain a balance between a high level of faculty and staff service, operational efficiency, and a culture of informed, self-directed compliance with institutional and sponsor regulations. Given the overall scale and complexity of Virginia Tech's research activities in Blacksburg, Roanoke, the greater Washington DC metro area, and across the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is essential that the AVP be a strategic, engaging leader who can develop relationships with senior administrators, faculty, and staff.

The successful candidate will be expected to lead along several key opportunities:
• developing and implementing a strategic vision;
• strengthening and supporting research excellence;
• developing and implementing practices and metrics for success;
• ensuring a culture of continuous improvement and customer service;
• facilitating collaboration with key constituents; and
• recruiting, retaining, leading, mentoring, and inspiring staff.

This position is eligible for a hybrid work arrangement within a commutable distance to Blacksburg, VA each week.

Required Qualifications

• Proven track record leading research administration within a large, complex university, institute, or center coupled with a broad and deep knowledge of federal, state, and private funding sources as well as regulatory compliance.
• Demonstrated professional skills, experiences, and personal qualities in exceptional leadership including a big-picture, forward-looking, strategic orientation; strong communication skills; and proactive, collaborative style; and the capacity to inspire and motivate others
• Advanced degree in a relevant discipline or a post-secondary degree with significant professional experience and certification
• Demonstrated understanding of academic research funding with a sophisticated grasp of the changing funding landscape
• Ability to energize audiences, current and potential partners, staff and faculty; possess effective public speaking skills; and
• Demonstrated strong relationship-building and networking skills, with successful experiences engaging traditional and nontraditional partners to make critical linkages
• Demonstrated experience in leading change management
• A commitment to diversity with demonstrated examples of institutional leadership that advance inclusion and diversity
• A collaborative leadership style with demonstrated facilitation skills and the ability to influence and lead through building strong relationships
• A dedication to the mission and vision to the institution; an advocate for access, interdisciplinary research and teaching, and engagement
• A person of high energy, enthusiastic optimism, and the perseverance to bring initiatives to fruition

Preferred Qualifications

• Possess a top-secret security clearance or the ability to obtain and maintain one


Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

April 29, 2024

Additional Information

This position is eligible for a hybrid work arrangement within a commutable distance to Blacksburg, VA each week.

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Lynn Byrd at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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