at GLBRC at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
Location Madison, Wisconsin
Date Posted September 16, 2020
Category Biotechnology
Job Type Full-time
Address 1552 University Avenue


Position Summary

Working in concert with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Director and Leadership team, the GLBRC Research Program Director (RPD) develops research program objectives, allocates resources (budgetary and staffing) to meet those objectives, defines metrics for progress evaluation, and implements change as needed.

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is a U.S. Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Center led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Wisconsin Energy Institute. With Michigan State University and other partners, we are developing sustainable biofuels and bioproducts made from dedicated energy crops grown on marginal lands. Our mission: creating biofuels and bioproducts that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

This position offers an opportunity to play a key role in managing and directing a keystone research center for what is arguably the greatest national challenge of the 21st century, sustainable energy independence. For additional information regarding the GLBRC, visit our website:

Principal Duties

The Research Program Director is responsible for strategic planning and fiscal oversight of Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Science Support, a large subset of the Center with annual budget of ~$13.5 million dollars which includes Core Facilities, Information Services, and Business Operations. These groups enable research priorities by providing GLBRC scientists and staff with the latest analytical technologies, data analysis, storage and compute resources, and post-award research administration and reporting.

The GLBRC Research Program Director develops systems that facilitate critical cross-Center project coordination through collaboration with and supervision of four Research Coordinator positions. The RPD is charged with ensuring effective communication between the Center's scientific projects, fostering research partnerships and integration, identifying technical problems and opportunities, setting strategic priorities, individual project review and progress reporting.

The GLBRC Research Program Director serves as a primary liaison and spokesperson to a variety of audiences internal to the center, University of Wisconsin leadership, the Department of Energy (DOE) Program Managers, and various research entities and industry partners. The RPD provides direction to Communication and Outreach staff, ensuring GLBRC research and discoveries are disseminated to the broader scientific community, state and federal agencies, and the general public.

The GLBRC Research Program Director is responsible for building and maintaining effective partnerships with subcontractors, the other Bioenergy Research Centers, DOE user facilities that support GLBRC researchers, and external research partners. The RPD serves on the Technology Transfer Working Committee with representatives from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation to enable commercialization of intellectual property generated from GLBRC research and to identify opportunities for industry interactions.

The GLBRC Research Program Director will support and act on behalf of the GLBRC Director in direction, management, and planning related to the Center's infrastructure and internal operations, including quality assurance programs, and environmental health and safety issues.

Degree and Area of Specialization

M.S required, Ph.D. preferred in a related scientific field with experience in large, cross-disciplinary project management and strategic planning.

Minimum Years and Type of Relevant Work Experience

- Minimum 7 years of relevant work experience planning and managing a large research team in an academic, laboratory, center/institute, or corporate environment.
- Excellent interpersonal and written/oral communication skills required, with an open communication style that fosters trust, credibility, and understanding.
-Supervisory experience and proven ability to interact and influence at all levels of an organization and to work collaboratively across functions and departments toward shared objectives.
- Strong project management, strategic planning, and budgetary skills and demonstrated success in managing the activities of a complex interdisciplinary goal-oriented program.
- Experience engaging with external stakeholders (e.g. industry partners).

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