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The University of Alabama in Huntsville
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Posted: 02/13/2020
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) seeks a dynamic and visionary leader to strategically guide its research and innovation enterprise as it strives to develop solutions of complex global problems, to grow opportunities for interdisciplinary on-campus interaction, and to transform the economic impact of the university’s research activities.  

A Public Research University.  UAH is located in Cummings Research Park and immediately adjacent to the Department of Defense’s Redstone Arsenal, an economic engine of over $100 billion per year. This fortunate proximity enables UAH faculty, research staff, and students to conduct cutting-edge research side by side with world-class experts from NASA, the U.S. Army, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, other important Department of Defense partners, and major components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  As the anchor tenant of Cummings Research Park, UAH collaborates with many of the nearly 300 high-technology companies serving the U.S. Aerospace and Defense sectors, as well as scientists and entrepreneurs at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

UAH regularly ranks among the Top U.S. Universities in research funded by NASA and the Department of Defense and performs cutting-edge research for the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the National Institutes of Health.  UAH has five federally-financed research disciplines ranked in the Top 15 in the nation by the NSF: 5th in Aerospace, Aeronautical, & Astronautical Engineering; 8th in Economics; 11th in Computer and Information Sciences; 12th in Atmospheric Sciences; and 12th in Astronomy & Astrophysics.  UAH’s combination of scholarly research in its colleges with 17 interdisciplinary research centers produces highly competitive fundamental and applied research. Research starts with a robust undergraduate research program and expands into graduate programs with 16 Ph.D. programs in Engineering, the Sciences, and Nursing.

The University:  UAH, founded to provide research and support for the development of the Saturn V and the Space Race, has been a pipeline for the region's professional workforce and a mainstay of the local economy since its beginning.  Its students hail from all 50 U.S. states and over 60 countries. Robust internship, co-op, study abroad, and undergraduate and graduate research programs complement UAH’s curriculum and provide opportunity for our nearly 10,000 students to conduct hands-on research and gain real-world experience.  UAH offers 88 degree-granting programs that meet the highest standards of excellence, including 41 bachelor’s, 31 master’s, and 16 doctoral degree programs through its seven Academic Colleges: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; Nursing; Professional and Continuing Studies; and Science as well as the Graduate School. The UAH Honors College blends traditional emphasis on arts and sciences and critical thinking with a practical, career-oriented education.

The Greater Huntsville Community.   In 2019, U.S. News and World Reports named Huntsville on its list of Best Places as the No.1 most affordable places to live in the United States and No.11 as the Best Places to live in the United States. Other accolades recently bestowed upon Huntsville include a Wall Street Journal headline, “Future of Tech is in Three Cities, including Huntsville” and Livability named “Huntsville #1 on the list of Top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers in America.”  Inc. declared that “Huntsville Grabbing Attention as City for Startups.”  USA Today's 2020 Choice Travel Awards named Huntsville International Airport as the number one small airport in the United States.  Huntsville and the entire state of Alabama are also a growing hub for automotive and aerospace manufacturing.

For more detailed information see the website at:

Job Description:

The Vice President for Research and Economic Development leads and serves as an effective steward for all research, discovery, commercialization, economic development, and creative activities supporting the university’s mission.  The Vice President provides strategic leadership in multi-disciplinary and campus-wide research in the academic colleges and research centers, supports the development of outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities that complement the academic mission of the campus, and ensures the transition of research into the community to provide economic development advances for Alabama and the Nation.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Increase the university’s research portfolio and funding, facilitate a research commercialization pipeline, and enhance the University’s leadership in driving economic development
  • Expand and diversify partnerships with industry, academia, government, state and local communities in order to advance the University’s research and academic missions
  • Provide leadership, guidance, direction, and effective management to the Research Centers, Invention to Innovation Center (I2C), and the research support offices assigned to the OVPRED that include the Offices of Proposal Development, Sponsored Programs, Contracts and Grants Accounting, Environmental Health and Safety, Technology Commercialization, and Research Security
  • Lead the development of high profile, interdisciplinary research initiatives that have state, national, and international impact
  • Build and diversify a strong portfolio of research with federal and state agencies, industry, and foundations
  • Work collaboratively with the president, vice presidents, deans, faculty, research center directors, and others within the University to bring new research opportunities to UAH
  • Provide effective leadership to drive collaboration among academic units and research centers 
  • Engage, coordinate with, and support state, regional and local economic development organizations to bring economic growth to the region and to catalyze startup companies among the faculty, research centers, and community partners
  • Promote the development of intellectual property and grow UAH’s portfolio of patents and licenses
  • Administer, effectively and ethically, all funds and financial processes within the Research Division
  • Develop and maintain congressional support for the University’s academic and research interests
  • Other duties as assigned by the President


Minimum requirements:

  • Ph.D. required
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a high-level security clearance
  • Knowledge of federal science & technology research enterprises and state government operations
  • Experience in research development, research management, research compliance, and economic development
  • Experience in higher education teaching and research
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and the ability to motivate and engage individuals from diverse backgrounds

Preferred requirements:

  • Ph.D. in a science or engineering discipline
  • Ability to be hired at the rank of professor with tenure in a UAH college/department
  • Knowledge of federal and state contractual laws and regulations associated with sponsored research in higher education
  • Experience as Principal Investigator/Project Manager for funded research
  • Demonstrated experience in working with elected local, state, and federal officials

 Application Instructions:

Thank you for considering The University of Alabama in Huntsville in your search.

Applicants MUST submit the following documents online at UAH Careers:

1. UAH Application For Employment (via step 3) Electronic Form

2. Resume/CV (via step 4)

Required - Please submit a cover letter of interest, statement of philosophy of research and economic development administration, names of references, along with your application for employment, for consideration.

Returning Applicants - Login to your UAH Careers Account to check your completed application

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