Associate Director for Research Administration

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center



The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center (previously known as the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and hereafter referred to as Hillman) is seeking an Associate Director (AD) for Research Administration. Hillman is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated matrix cancer center focused on state-of-the-art cancer research, patient care, training the next generation of cancer researchers, and community outreach. In 2015, Hillman celebrated its 30th anniversary and the renewal of its NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG). Hillman has 344 members, 10 scientific programs, 13 CCSG-supported shared resources, and an FY17 institutional funding base of nearly $157 million. In FY16 the University of Pittsburgh ranked fifth in overall NIH funding.

The AD for Research Administration reports to the Hillman Director, and is a member of the executive leadership team responsible for providing strategic planning, management, and overall administrative supervision for research-related activities at Hillman, including oversight of shared resources. The AD works independently to perform assigned duties, and interacts frequently with other senior leaders at Hillman, the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health, and other departments. The AD is responsible for managing research operations with a team of administrators and PhD-level scientists. As a member of the executive leadership team, the AD collaborates with other senior leaders to advise the Director on strategies for improving Hillman operations, promoting research collaborations, and developing a strategic vision for Hillman that is aligned with NCI goals and requirements and of benefit to the local and surrounding regional communities. During its 2015 CCSG review, Hillman Research Administration scored exceptional.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Strategic Planning. Work with Director and senior leaders to identify high-priority areas of ongoing research and new opportunities for program and shared resource development, by evaluating current Hillman programs, funding, and themes, and conducting SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses.
2. Implementation of Goals. Plan and manage Hillman activities to ensure adherence to funding and membership goals/objectives and NCI requirements. Provide leadership support to ensure that NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center designation is maintained. Work with the Director’s office to coordinate External Advisory Board meetings.
3. Program and Shared Resource Oversight. Work with the Director to monitor existing research programs and shared resources. Develop the rationale and metrics to support consideration of new programs and shared resources, in response to changing NCI guidelines. Monitor the productivity and quality of each program and the cost-effectiveness of shared resources. Oversee the Hillman/CCSG membership process and funding allocations for new and/or expanded programs and services. Review space assignments with the Director annually, and implement the Director’s space decisions.
4. Policy and Procedure Development. Provide administrative support to the Director for developing and implementing Hillman policies and procedures, and ensure compliance with the mandates of various regulatory agencies and the University of Pittsburgh. Establish systems to communicate policy and procedural changes to Hillman faculty members and staff.
5. Financial Oversight. In collaboration with the Hillman Fiscal Office, oversee development of business plans for the shared resources, including planning, market analysis, marketing, break-even analysis, and implementation. Develop strategies for investment, cost containment, and maximizing revenue. Monitor changes to CCSG budgets and CCSG spenddown.
6. Management of Staff. Directly supervise Research Administration Department staff, who assist the AD in implementing principal duties and responsibilities. Develop staffing plans for Hillman, and ensure that position descriptions and performance standards are established for all levels of staff. Ensure that administrative infrastructure supports diverse multi-disciplinary programs. Ensure that effective performance management guidelines are adhered to, and implement reward and disciplinary processes in accordance with University of Pittsburgh guidelines.
7. Facilities Management. Oversee facilities planning for Hillman research, assessing needs against short- and long-term goals. Coordinate all major construction and renovation projects with UPMC Facilities and UPMC Real Estate Development. Ensure that commitments are honored in any large space reallocation, construction or purchase of capital equipment, and are consistent with the guidelines of the University of Pittsburgh. Coordinate the negotiation of capital equipment, and ensure that appropriate levels of analysis/projection, and financial documentation are provided.
8. Research Base Growth. Foster a multidisciplinary approach to improve revenue generation. Identify planned and newly released requests for proposals from the NIH and other granting agencies. Assist multi-investigator proposal development (P01s, SPOREs, U grants) by generating requirements-driven outlines and proposal timelines, and milestone completion dashboards; monitoring progress at meeting the milestone deadlines; reviewing and editing proposal sections for consistency; and assisting with formatting and electronic uploading. Manage processes for selecting candidates to be nominated for limited-applicant grant awards. Negotiate grant and contract terms that are beneficial to the Hillman, with respect to outside regulatory agencies.
9. Effective Communications Management. Distribute funding announcements; update the Hillman website and digital monitors that inform faculty of new grants, honors/awards, and high-impact publications. Notify Hillman faculty of events and encourage attendance. Communicate new policies and procedures and applicable regulatory changes to medical and non-medical staff. Establish mechanisms and processes that facilitate compliance and assist in reinforcing policy changes and regulatory requirements.
10. Faculty Recruitment. Work with the Hillman Director and relevant University of Pittsburgh Department Chairs to develop and implement strategic plans for the recruitment of faculty in areas targeted for growth. Develop relevant business plans for review and approval by the Director, academic departments, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, and Hillman Chief Medical Officer. Work with the Hillman Fiscal Office to develop term sheets and offer letters.
11. Outreach. Increase awareness of Hillman’s research enterprise, and enhance the stature of Hillman within the scientific and medical community. Work with the population science research programs to develop community activities that foster awareness of Hillman research activities and educate the general population about cancer prevention and awareness and services available at the Hillman.
12. Philanthropy. Work with the Hillman Development Office to promote awareness of Hillman research capabilities and identify research programs and projects that are aligned with donor investment goals; meet with potential and established donors; monitor foundation priorities; and work with the Hillman Fiscal Office to develop budgets and monitor spend-down of philanthropic funding lines.
13. Technology Transfer. Work with the Pitt Innovation Institute to capture annual Hillman technology transfer, licensing and patent filings, and granted patents.
14. Grants Management. Directly manage generation and submission of all P30 CCSG competing and non-competing renewals, including supplements. Act as the administrative contact/liaison for the P30 CCSG. Work with the Hillman Fiscal Office to oversee reporting and compliance with regulatory agencies for all grants within the Cancer Center, including the CCSG. Ensure that principal investigators are kept aware of current and upcoming reporting and regulatory requirements. Work with the Office of Grants Administration and the Hillman Fiscal Office to ensure effective grant transition services for new and departing faculty. Oversee the enhancement of information systems to support financial, regulatory and funding agency requests for data. Oversee the development and ongoing coordination of the CCSG and its budget requests and justification. Ensure appropriate allocation of expenses, based on regulatory guidelines.

Candidates with a master’s degree in business, administration, policy, or other research administration-relevant field are encouraged to apply. Candidates also must have 5+ years in research administration, familiarity with NCI CCSG requirements, experience with NCI-funded cancer centers, excellent written and oral communication skills, and excellent computer skills.

To efficiently meet the requirements of the position, the AD for Research Administration will supervise a supporting team of administrators and PhD-level scientists. The Hillman Office of Research Administration is co-located with the Office of the Director in the UPMC Cancer Pavilion, which is directly across the street from the Hillman Cancer Center in the City of Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood. (Pittsburgh is routinely ranked as one of the top-most livable and affordable U.S. cities.) The successful candidate will be hired as an employee of the University of Pittsburgh, with a very competitive salary and benefits package (see www.hr.pitt.edu/benefits).

To apply for the position of Associate Director for Research Administration at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, please send a 1-page personal statement highlighting your qualifications and experience, along with your CV/resume, to Hillman Director Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD (care of thompsonla3@upmc.edu) by October 9, 2017.