Associate Director, Presidential Scholars in Society & Neuroscience and Center for Science & Society

Columbia University

Job Type: Academic Administration

Application Deadline: October 1, 2014

Reporting to the Faculty Director of both the Presidential Scholars in Society & Neuroscience and the Center for Science and Society, the Associate Director will be a pivotal contributor to strategically plan and immediately develop both nascent programs during their initial start-up phases. Responsibilities for the Presidential Scholars program and the Center for Science & Society will overlap considerably, with a number of distinct responsibilities as well:

Presidential Scholars in Society & Neuroscience

  • Postdoctoral Program – Developing, publicizing, and facilitating competition for Postdoctoral Scholars; Assisting in recruiting mentors and fostering mentor relationships; Supporting day-to-day needs of postdoctoral scholars.
  • Seed Grants – Developing and assisting in the evaluation of Seed Grant applications from faculty.
  • Advisory Committee – Securing the long-term involvement of Advisory Committee members as a fundamental part of Presidential Scholar Community.

Center for Science & Society

  • Research Clusters – Providing support for the six interdisciplinary Research Clusters, led by Columbia faculty, which form the heart of the Center. Research Cluster activities will include scholarly and public programming, curriculum and co- curricular development efforts, development and fundraising efforts, and implementation of new media efforts, public outreach and communications.
  • Grant Competitions – Developing and assisting in the evaluation of Cluster programming grants, and of applications for seed grants and curriculum development stipends from faculty.

Shared responsibilities to the Program and the Center include:

  • Development – Engaging in significant fundraising efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of both the Program and the Center in coordination with the Arts & Sciences.
  • Strategic Communications – Writing and executing comprehensive external communications plans (including the development of new websites).page1image17472 page1image17632
  • Community-Building – Fostering a vibrant and interdisciplinary community of scholars and students in science and society around Columbia and Barnard, and in the greater New York City area, as well as connecting with a wide range of staff, business, and public constituents.
  • Event Planning – Organizing internal and external programming events, including reviewing and negotiating contracts, engaging in vendor relations efforts, and working closely with the University Events Management (UEM) office.
  • Coordinating information- and resource-sharing with other Morningside, CUMC, and Barnard bodies, with a particular focus on the Arts & Sciences as well as the Zuckerman Mind, Brain, and Behavior Institute (Z-MBBI).
  • Establishing and increasing the number of University- and city-wide shared resources.
  • Organizing internal faculty advisory meetings.
  • Hiring, training, and supervising an Administrative Coordinator that also supports both the Program and the Center.
  • Working with administrative offices in the Office of the President and Arts and Sciences, overseeing the purchase and maintenance of furniture, equipment, and facilities, and assisting with space planning, renovations, and improvements to meet operational needs.
  • Maintaining overall responsibility for the human resource processes and compliance obligations of the Project. Providing advice and counsel to staff, advisors, and students on Human Resources (HR) and related policies and procedures in coordination with the Office of the President and Arts & Sciences Human Resources offices.
  • Preparing information for presentations as required by Faculty Director and the University’s senior management.
  • Performing other duties as assigned. Minimum Qualifications for Grade
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required. Minimum of four years related experience.

Additional Position-Specific Minimum Qualifications

  • Demonstrated background in development, with a particular focus in foundation relations and/or major gifts.
  • Some background in external communications, with specific competencies in social media marketing, website content development, and marketing databases.
  • Experience planning high-profile events ranging from small meetings to large fundraising symposia, and everything in-between. Comfort handling logistically- complex vendor relations.
  • Excellent organizational, written, verbal, and interpersonal communications skills essential. Capable of energetic independent work, exercising independent judgment and initiative, and coordinating multiple responsibilities, often with competing priorities and deadlines. Also necessary are flexibility, new media knowledge, and a track record in management and program implementation.
  • Full proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite of applications, most notably Outlook, Word, Excel, and Access as well as the capacity to learn all relevant administrative systems used by Columbia University, is required.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences disciplines.
  • Academic training and/or experience in the brain sciences and/or in science studies is strongly preferred.
  • Four years of work experience in a university or non-profit setting.
  • All applications must be made through Columbia University’s online Recruitment of Academic Personnel System (RAPS): 78820


Review of applications will begin 1 October 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Posted: September 28, 2014