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Director of Research Initiatives

The University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Closing date
Sep 20, 2023

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Organization Type

BSD CTD - Administration
About the Department

The Center for Translational Data Science (CTDS) at the University of Chicago is a research center whose mission is to develop the discipline of translational data science to impactful problems in biology, medicine, healthcare, and the environment. We envision a world in which researchers have ready access to the data needed and the tools required to make data driven discoveries that increase our scientific knowledge and improve the quality of life. We architect ecosystems of large-scale commons of research data, computing resources, applications, tools, and services for the broader research community to use data at scale to pursue scientific inquiry and accelerate discovery. Learn more at,,, and This at-will position is wholly or partially funded by contractual grant funding which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.
This at-will position is wholly or partially funded by contractual grant funding which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.
Job Summary

The job manages a team of managers and professional staff responsible for scientific research projects and research facilities. Ensures compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives, and mandates. Manages the production of articles, reports, and manuscripts, and presents research findings at meetings and/ or conferences.
The Director of Research Initiatives serves as the scientific lead and/or co-investigator/co-PI for a number of research projects and programs. The role will draw from their experience in biostatistics, SaaS platforms, basic science, and clinical and population-based research to set requirements for development and operations of cloud-based software and tools to support translational research. As a departmental and project/program leader, the Director of Research Initiatives will advocate for efficiency and usability of all tools while also serving as a subject matter expert on a wide range of topics, including, but not necessarily limited to, platform governance, data privacy, grants and contracts, and general research topics.
  • Serve as Scientific Lead and/or co-investigator/co-PI on projects/programs.
  • Determine direction of research projects/programs alongside Principal Investigator (PI).
  • Lead data coordination efforts with disparate entities connecting to data meshes.
  • Participate in Software Development Lifecycle, serving as delegate product owner role, as needed.
  • Provide feedback on software development demonstrations, determining whether and to what extent acceptance criteria are met.
  • Provide project oversight as relevant, collaborating with technical, scientific, and other management leaders.
  • Write and assist writing research papers and grant and contract applications and deliverables.
  • Seek out and consider research opportunities relevant to the Center's mission.
  • Participate in budget management, as needed.
  • Mentor technical, scientific, and other project staff as relevant to develop the Center's personnel and mission and better pursue project and program goals and deliverables.
  • Develops long-range plans for research projects and oversees the development of research projects. Ensures research projects progress according to plan.
  • Manages, investigates, modifies and applies new procedures, techniques or applications of technology. Oversees the establishment of goals and operating procedures, practices, and guidelines. Develops research in area of expertise. Writes articles, reports and manuscripts. Presents research findings at meetings and/or conference.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in one of the following fields: math, statistics, computer science, data science, physical science, or biological science.

  • Strong foundation in areas of statistics, mathematics, and software development.
  • Experience as PI, co-PI, or co-I.
  • 10+ years of experience in performing, consulting on, and/or leading research.
  • 10+ years of experience in biostatistics, bioinformatics, or data science.
  • Experience using SaaS-based tools for obtaining data and executing research.
  • Experience working in and serving in leadership roles within research consortia.
  • Experience preparing and publishing scientific papers.
  • Experience in research areas including, but not necessarily limited to: opioid use disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, aging, and/or health disparities.
  • Experience with researching over the following data types: imaging, health records, demographics, transcriptomics, biometrics, public record, proteomics, genetics, actigraphy, and/or behavior.

Preferred Competencies
  • Understanding of driving open source software roadmaps based on user and stakeholder needs.
  • Knowledge of opioid use disorder and related research problems and challenges.
  • Knowledge of data governance requirements like IRBs, DUAs, DCAs, etc.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Deep understanding of data coordination centers and the challenges to these centers experience when making data FAIR.
  • Understanding of project management methodologies and software development frameworks like agile, scrum, devops, etc.
  • Understanding of privacy, security, and compliance issues related to modern technology.

Working Conditions
  • Hybrid office/remote.

Pay Range
  • $145K -$170K

Application Documents
  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Role Impact

People Manager
FLSA Status

Pay Frequency

Scheduled Weekly Hours

Benefits Eligible

Drug Test Required

Health Screen Required

Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required

Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Type: Full time

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