Vice President for Research

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Work Unit:
Office of the President
Vice President for Research
Full/Part Time:


Position Summary: Reporting directly to the President of the University, the Vice President for Research (VPR) serves as the principal administrative officer for the Office of Research. The VPR will effectively and collaboratively lead and manage one of the most cutting-edge, rapidly growing units within a multi-disciplinary and highly interdisciplinary research university. S/he will have a track record of strategic leadership success in a complex, quickly changing environment and the capacity to serve as an ambassador for the research function at Penn State and beyond. Experience managing staff, programs, and resources is critical, along with the ability to inspire faculty and students, recognizing all links in the research value chain, from basic discovery to translation to implementation, in a multicultural, global society. The VPR serves as a catalyst for the expansion and support of a thriving innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that allows for university-developed technologies to make their way from the lab to the marketplace, providing benefits to researchers, students, the University, the Commonwealth, and all of society. The Office of Research sustains this ecosystem through programmatic support for intellectual property creation, startup creation, and technology transfer via startups and strategic industry partnerships, which include the utilization of Innovation Park as an asset for incubation and strategic industry partner co-location, as well as programmatic support of the university’s 21 campus community-based innovation hubs (LaunchBoxes). The VPR is a member of the President’s Council, a group of 19 senior leaders providing advice and counsel to the President on a wide range of academic and administrative matters. Responsibilities: As the senior leader of the Penn State’s Office of Research, the Vice President for Research is responsible for: Providing vision for, and strategic and operational leadership of, Penn State’s Office of Research; creating effective and expedient research operations, clearing obstacles that impede efficiency and, where possible, reducing researcher administrative burden; ensuring the necessary research infrastructure is positioned to meet the needs of the University’s current and future research enterprise; leveraging Penn State’s seven research institutes to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research across the University; encouraging a continued focus on the importance of technology transfer as a critical component of the research enterprise; the development and execution of research and economic development-related initiatives tied to the University’s strategic plan (2020), and participation in the new strategic planning process; effectively administering sponsored programs, providing the financial support for a substantial share of the research activity at the University; serving as the University's research advocate and spokesperson and as a representative in activities that will advance the University research agenda; the expansion of research funding, which would include a continued innovative focus on industrial sources, including seed funding, as well as from government and foundations; continued focus on growing international research activity; the oversight of regulatory research compliance, including appropriate standards for the protection of human and animal subjects; engaging external stakeholders and sponsors (federal, state, local, corporate, foundations, etc.) in an effort to continue the expansion of research funding and opportunities; continued sponsorship of cooperative initiatives to enhance technology utilization; with support from the Office of University Relations and others, communicating research accomplishments to the University’s internal and external constituents. Pivotal Experience & Expertise: The experience and expertise that the next Vice President for Research will bring to the position includes: Experience leading an innovative, multi-disciplinary enterprise across a complex organization; knowledge of and appreciation for the critical importance of the Office of Research to the University and beyond; ability to share a vision of the research enterprise with a broad University constituency and provide leadership in pursuing this vision; knowledge of and experience with major funding entities; providing an understanding of the importance of compliance and regulatory matters to all participants in the research enterprise, and the ability to develop an effective and efficient organization for managing them; track record of working collaboratively in shared governance organizations and with faculty, staff, and students; familiarity with national issues in research policy; the ability to attract human and financial resources to the University; a track record of success leading large, complex teams; a track record of success managing multiple, complex projects and initiatives; the ability to obtain federal security clearances; credentials appropriate for a tenured appointment at the rank of professor. Leadership capabilities: Among other qualifications, the next Vice President for Research will also possess: a strong commitment to diversity, ethics, and integrity; excellent written and verbal communication skills; a management style that inspires trust and fosters a collegial and collaborative work environment; a commitment to academic excellence, collaboration, and high academic and ethical standards; the ability to mentor and develop leadership management capabilities and to attract, retain, and develop a high functioning and able team; a passion for entrepreneurialism.

How To Apply On This Position

Please send letters of application (cover letter, curriculum vitae, and names of four references), nominations, and inquiries to The Search Committee will review applications and nominations immediately and will continue to receive them until the position is filled. For more information about the Office of Research, visit the Penn State web site at

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088