Job Opportunity: Director of Research Opportunities

The FHI is pleased to announce a newly created position in research development. The Director of Research Opportunities will oversee programmatic and administrative aspects of multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary sponsored research activities for the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), FHI-based Labs/Initiatives/Centers, and other affiliated faculty in the humanities, interpretive social sciences, and other schools and institutes. The DoR will take a lead role in coordinating complex projects across university units, including identifying, facilitating, managing and submitting new interdisciplinary research proposals. The position will assist with inception of program ideas, and coordinate with faculty and grant managers on preparing and submitting proposals for funding. Reports to the Director of the FHI and works closely with the Arts & Sciences Dean of the Humanities, as well as the Office of Foundation Relations, University Development Special Initiatives, and the Office of Research Support.

Work Performed

Program Development (65%)

  • Identify requests for proposals, sponsors and other funding sources of possible interest to the strategic plan and to faculty research interests in the humanities and the interpretive social sciences; organize planning and preparatory meetings of faculty and staff in advance of submissions. Work with faculty to develop concepts fully (articulate who, what, where, when, why, and how much) in order to be able to prepare a proposal for a funder.
  • Track and understand faculty research interests to create and utilize a catalogue of potential projects that are ready for funding, and identifying and facilitating collaborations.
  • Analyze potential funding sources and seek knowledge concerning and humanities, interpretive social sciences, and other interdisciplinary research on a short and long-range basis to optimize funding opportunities.
  • Advise faculty on cultivating relationships with funding agencies.
  • Participate and provide leadership as appropriate in any university-wide research development working groups, whose mission is to identify and employ best practices in conducting research, program and proposal development activities.
  • Assist FHI Director and Associate Director in strategic planning in relation to the humanities research funding landscape.

Proposal Development and Management (25%)

  • Organize and assist Principal Investigators (PIs) and other administrators as needed with preparation, submission, review, and management of large-scale proposed research projects for grants, contracts, and sub-contracts to ensure compliance.
  • Manage proposal submissions, which may include coordination, compilation, and editing of all required proposal components gathered from faculty and grant managers, and other key contributors.
  • Serve as a liaison with the university Office of Research Support, Office of Foundation Relations, University Development Special Initiatives, and, if appropriate, the granting agencies’ program and contract officers concerning policies and procedures, grant administration and budgets.
  • Identify and implement methods to enhance competitiveness of proposals, such as peer reviews or review panels.
  • Evaluate unsuccessful proposals and advise about revision/repackaging for later submissions to the same or other funders.

Post-Award and Program Administration (10%)

  • Serve as a key resource for the FHI and the Duke humanities research community by providing ongoing training to inform PIs and Institute/other relevant Administrators about policies, procedures, regulations and sponsor requirements. Professional capabilities are demonstrated through knowledge management, budget and contract proposal review, award management, and the development and negotiation of agreements as they apply to research administration.
  • Review complex budgets for compliance and recommend financial solutions to PIs and Department Administrators. Responsible for the interpretation of federal and private funding regulations and procedures to ensure that PIs and Department Administrators are aware of proposal submission deadlines and given accurate and timely notice of requirements.

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.


Advanced degree in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. PhD preferred.


5 years experience in Academic or Administrative Management field. Preference for experience with front-end identification of grant opportunities and shaping of project ideas.


Job Skills Required

  • Excellent writing and communications skills; ability to translate humanities research and concepts for multiple audiences.
  • Ability to manage an unpredictable and voluminous caseload of complex assignments and projects from multiple sponsors while providing quality service and meeting deadlines through organization, accuracy, and prioritization of activities. Must have thorough understanding of the policies and procedures of granting agencies and Duke University institutional policies as well as knowledge of purchasing, personnel and accounting systems.
  • Analytical ability to identify and review problem situations, make independent decisions and/or recommend solutions for overcoming obstacles.

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

To apply, visit the Duke Human Resources website and search for Job Requisition Number: 401141481

All inquiries should be directed to...
Christina Chia (Phone: (919)-668-1902 E-Mail:
Pam Montgomery (Phone: (919)-684-6469 E-Mail:

Deadline: September 7, 2016 (review begins August 22)