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Program Officer, UC Research Initiatives

University of California Office of the President
Oakland, California, US
$123,000 - $140,000
Posting live until
21 Apr 2024

Program Officer, Uc Research Initiatives

Location: Oakland Full Time

Job ID: 66202

Job Posting

For UCOP internal applicants, please login to the internal candidate gateway at:


At the University of California (UC), your contributions make a difference. A world leader producing Nobel and Pulitzer prize recipients with over 150 years of groundbreaking research transforming the world. Choose a career where you can leverage your knowledge, skills and aspirations to inspire and support some of the greatest minds in the world, and those who will follow in their footsteps. Working at the University of California is being part of a unique institution, and a vibrant and diverse community. At the University of California, Office of the President, we propel our mission through impactful work locally, in government centers and systemwide. We are passionate people, serving the greater good.

The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world.

Department Overview
The Research Grants Program Office (RGPO) is a unit within the Research and Innovation in the Division of Academic Affairs at the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP). RGPO oversees a broad grantmaking portfolio of over $100 million a year to support research that is critical to California, the nation and the world. RGPO programs enhance UC's research capacity and excellence, which helps attract top faculty, graduate students, government funding and companies to our state. These grants enable researchers to collaborate and solve the most pressing problems in the state and the world. RGPO also provides grants for training undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers, whose work will benefit California communities. Organizationally, RGPO consists of several systemwide and statewide grant programs, and administers special state and university research funds and initiatives with an integrated central operational unit that provides core administrative support for the grant-making enterprise. The UC Research Initiatives (UCRI) team within RGPO is responsible for the UC systemwide grant-making programs. UCRI aims to enhance the UC research enterprise systemwide by fostering innovative research and collaboration across the UC campuses, medical centers and UC-managed national labs. The UCRI portfolio includes the Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI), the UC-National Laboratory Fees Research Program (LFRP), the Cancer Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC), Multicampus Research Units, and other systemwide research initiatives.

Position Summary
The Research Grants Program Office invites applications for a Program Officer with a passion for advancing the UC research mission and with research expertise in engineering, computational sciences, atmospheric sciences or physical sciences, including materials science and chemistry, to join the UC Research Initiatives team. Reporting to the UCRI Director, this position would lead data analytics projects and manage research grantmaking primarily in areas of energy, computational sciences, climate science, industry-university, and community-university collaborations. The Program Officer has primary responsibility for program development and planning, peer reviewer and applicant relations, grant application and award management, program evaluation and analysis, and representing the program and disseminating research findings to a broad range of stakeholders concerned with UC research across the system. The ideal candidate has an advanced degree with broad research exposure, and research program administration and/or grants management experience in an academic setting. Enthusiasm for enhancing the UC research enterprise and advancing the University's research mission, and a commitment to diversifying the research workforce at all levels, are key components of this position. In addition to primary responsibilities within UCRI grant-making programs, the incumbent will participate in RGPO-wide special projects and provide cross-functional expertise to other RGPO grant-making programs as needed. This is a remote eligible position within CA.

Key Responsibilities

45% Grant Application and Award Management: Takes lead role in UCRI funding opportunities in the areas of research expertise and related disciplines for both standing programs and special initiatives. Contributes content expertise and effort to the Cancer Research Coordinating Committee, Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives, the UC National Laboratory Fees Research Program and other UCRI and RGPO initiatives as assigned. Works closely with RGPO colleagues to ensure well-run and scientifically sound proposal reviews, and to effectively monitor the research progress and compliance of grant awards. Uses advanced project management and organizational skills to collaborate across units and among stakeholders. Develops solicitations or RFPs for UCRI funding opportunities that clearly communicate the program's research priorities. Ensures application materials are consistent with RFPs and inform a comprehensive review. Identifies a diverse pool of potential expert advisors and peer reviewers and establishes collegial relationships with them. Serves as Research Review Officer during peer review meetings, interpreting program priorities and documenting the research evaluation of applications. Communicates outcomes to stakeholders and applicants. Monitors the research progress of grant awards that span all UCRI research programs. Evaluates change requests and budget modifications, and reviews and approves progress reports. As needed, determines the need for special monitoring or grant actions. Ability to contribute collaboratively across programs and areas of expertise with other team members a must. Assists researchers and grantees in problem-solving, using outstanding judgment in determining the scope and type of appropriate guidance.

15% Content Leadership and Expertise: Serves as a primary consultant and resource for UCRI in content areas of research expertise. Identifies emerging trends in scholarship, and keeps abreast of the latest scholarship and discoveries in UCRI-supported research areas. Serves as UCRI lead program officer for research and scholarship relevant to expertise and develops and expands expert knowledge base in relation to emerging fields of critical research. Contributes content expertise to support broad range of research funded by UC Research Initiatives and other RGPO programs. Serves on RGPO and R&I staff committees, and other ad hoc and expert committees, to advise and provide content leadership in areas of research expertise.

15% Program Planning and Evaluation: Conceives and develops new award mechanisms within the scope of UCRI. Analyzes outcomes and undertakes evaluation projects using data from the grants portfolio, research intelligence platforms, and other sources. Develops meaningful evaluation strategies that inform both program planning and impact assessment. Seeks novel approaches to achieving research program outcomes in relation to diversifying research opportunities and the research workforce. In consultation with key University stakeholders, coordinates review processes of select research programs. Compiles, analyzes, and communicates priority-setting data to UCRI Director, RGPO Executive Director, and VPR&I. Synthesizes data, distills key issues, and summarizes data for presentation. Formulates recommendations based on evaluation metrics. Keeps abreast of research evaluation trends to inform the development of metrics in specific program areas.

15% Research Dissemination and External Liaison: Represents UCRI in the programmatic areas of specific content expertise with faculty, researchers, and committees related to the UCRI portfolio or sharing common objectives. Liaises and provides content to UC Strategic Communications to facilitate dissemination of research findings relevant to California and the UC. Identifies compelling research stories and unique findings, gathers noteworthy information, drafts content and frames key stories or outcomes of public interest. Develops content for presentations to various program stakeholders. Collaborates with team and campus stakeholders to plan and execute symposia or other grantee meetings. Proposes topical and content focus for panels, coordinates presentations and other programmatic content.

10% Cross-functional Teamwork: The Research Grants Program Office is a highly collaborative department. The successful incumbent consistently identifies and supports opportunities for collaboration across RGPO and makes time and resources available for new collaborative projects and initiatives.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant past work experience.

Skills and Abilities
Required Qualifications

  • Experience and leadership ability in research program planning, academic program review, research program oversight, or peer review in a content area relevant to the UCRI Portfolio.
  • Demonstrated experience in research management, including knowledge of research grants administration and policy.
  • Experience with research proposal preparation and with evaluating research reports and budgets to assess compliance and modification requests.
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in research training, research grantmaking, the conduct of research and in supporting the public benefit of research.
  • Proven project management skills and ability to manage multiple projects with a proactive, results-oriented approach.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines with initiative, and successfully lead complex projects with minimum supervision.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and judgment.
  • Advanced skills in analyzing information, identifying solutions, evaluating their implications, and formulating alternatives, particularly in relation to research management.
  • Outstanding collaboration and demonstrated teamwork ability.
  • Excellent ability to establish and maintain cooperative and mutually supportive working relationships with a range of internal and external colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills to both establish trust, and to translate complex scientific concepts into everyday prose.
  • Strong data analytic skills and training.
  • Advanced knowledge of statistical analysis, evaluation tools, and programming languages to lead portfolio-wide data analysis relevant to UCRI and RGPO programs.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Broad exposure to research related to key disciplines in the UCRI portfolio, and willingness to contribute broadly across all areas of scholarship.
  • Ability to assess research outcomes in fields outside that of disciplinary expertise or field of the earned doctorate.
  • Enthusiasm for supporting a range of research endeavors that advance the UC research enterprise.
  • Knowledge of UC policies and procedures and research-related experience at UC or at one of the UC-managed national laboratories.

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in relevant academic discipline and/or equivalent experience/training.

Job Title
Research Grant Program Officer 4

Job Code

Salary Grade
Grade 24

$123,000 - $140,000

Full Salary Range:
$95,300 - $178,100

The University of California, Office of the President, is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience. The full salary range shows the growth potential for this position and the pay scale is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position.

Benefits: For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:



Please be prepared to attach a cover letter and resume with your application.


The first review date for this job is April 4, 2024. The position will be open until filled.


Background Check Process: Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position.

Smoke Free Work Environment: The University of California, Office of the President, is smoke & tobacco-free as of January 1, 2014.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


The University of California, Office of the President, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

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