Associate Director-Science in Society center at Northwestern

Feb 28, 2020

Associate Director, Science in Society
Job opening ID#38176

The Science in Society (SiS) Associate Director provides key leadership for a community-focused STEM education center at Northwestern.

With a strategic focus on supporting underserved youth, local schools, and community partners, the position will provide senior leadership in the areas of program operations and development for the Center's portfolio of in-school and out-of-school STEM initiatives.This includes strategic and operational program management, cultivating and maintaining authentic partnerships with community groups and education partners, initiating proposals for extramural funding to federal, state, foundation, and philanthropic agencies, authoring manuscripts and reports, and working with the center director to lead the office's strategic planning efforts.

This position is for an initial 3-year term. Opportunity for renewal will be based on performance and available funding.

Please note: projects may require work on evenings and weekends, as dictated by center priorities, staffing, donor prospect availability, and event schedules. Access to a car and valid drivers license are required.

Specific Responsibilities

Educational Program Leadership

  • Provides senior leadership for and strategically manages the center's portfolio of ~ 5 core initiatives occurring in formal and informal education settings (in-school and out-of-school) across a variety of stakeholders, including federal and extramural agencies, corporations, school districts and teachers, local/regional higher education partners, NU departments and centers, and community groups
  • Directs all aspects of programmatic development, design & implementation including development of inquiry-based curricula/activities; volunteer recruitment, training, and support; and managing program-related technical infrastructure (computer/iPad hardware, websites, etc.)
  • Directs research- and evaluation-related project components, including design and implementation of basic evaluation methodologies, and data collection/analysis; oversees Institutional Review Board (IRB)/human subjects protocol development and ensures all research projects adhere to IRB guidelines
  • In collaboration with the center director, lead the center's mission to train and support Northwestern students, faculty, and staff in best practices for science communication and community engagement

Internal and External Partnerships

  • Develops and maintains internal and external partnerships to advance the center's strategic mission. Acts as a primary point of contact for stakeholders wishing to collaborate or partner with the Center, including NU groups (student organizations, staff and administrative units), school districts (Chicago Public Schools, Evanston/Skokie K-8 and 9-12 districts), and community organizations (Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, Family Focus, etc.)
  • Also serves as primary contact for Northwestern faculty interested in developing new or leveraging existing STEM education programs as a component of faculty-led basic research proposals (e.g. NIH/NSF/Dept. of Energy research center proposals, Broader Impacts component of NSF proposals, etc.)

Staff Supervision and Office Management

  • Directly supervises staff members, providing quarterly Performance Excellence reviews, mentoring, and professional guidance. Serves as primary hiring manager for staff reporting up to Associate Director
  • Manages day-to-day operation and administration of the SiS Center office, in collaboration with SiS Business Coordinator

Reports and Grant Writing

  • Prepares and authors progress reports and "white paper" summaries of SiS initiatives for internal and external stakeholders including NU units, external funders (federal, foundation, philanthropic), K-12 schools, and community/civic partners
  • In collaboration with the Director, conceptualizes, initiates and authors grant or philanthropic funding proposals for extramural funding. Works with SiS Business coordinator on various pre-award administrative tasks, including proposal budget and justification; sponsor and university proposal form completion; co-investigator agreements, and sub-recipient/subcontract coordination

Budgetary and Fiscal Management

  • Proactively oversees budgetary and fiscal management of center projects directly under his/her control. Includes monthly budget review, forecasts, provides information on the financial status of projects, including complex multi-PI, interdisciplinary proposals such as NIH, NSF, or other federal awards in the range of $100-$250K direct costs over multiple years
  • Ensures that all policies, regulations, rules, and requirements are met per federal, foundation, or other sponsor guidelines


  • Authors manuscripts, position papers, and reports for publication in journals or for other sources. Generates appropriate data, writes and edits content, and finalizes documents for distribution


  • Performs other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master's degree in the basic sciences (chemistry, biology, or related), in STEM education, or the equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired
  • Five or more years' experience in progressively responsible positions in STEM education program development and management, including evaluation
  • Five years' experience with K-12 STEM education curriculum development and/or teacher professional development, both in school and out of school (afterschool or summer programs)
  • Five years' experience as a supervisor for multiple direct reports
  • Outstanding program/project management skills for multiple education projects across a range of settings, both in and out of school; includes resource allocation for STEM program implementation in K-12 schools and community settings (staffing, budget, supplies)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of STEM education project issues and research, including an understanding of the related research literature and evidence-based best practices
  • Demonstrated experience forming, cultivating, and growing STEM education partnerships involving universities, K-12 schools, and community partners
  • Ability to use independent judgment to make decisions and guide projects, balancing the center's mission and long-term program/project goals while also attending closely to immediate needs
  • Flexibility and adaptability when presented with unexpected changes of course; willingness to fill a need or solve a problem through creative initiative that strategically advances the Center's partnerships, programs, and priorities
  • Strategic initiative-taking skills, especially in problem-solving, and anticipating/mitigating risks
  • Flexibility in schedule, including work at off-site locations (schools and community sites), as well as some evening/weekend work
  • Demonstrated experience organizing, implementing, and rigorously evaluating science education initiatives and events
  • Demonstrated experience with projects requiring Institutional Review Board approval for human subjects research

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in a STEM- or STEM education-related discipline¬†
  • Experience as principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator with extramural grant-funded programs (federal, foundation, or corporate)
  • Software/web-based technology development
  • Experience administering deployment and support for laptop/iPad carts (e.g. Apple Configurator or Mobile Device Management software)
  • Knowledge of Adobe Design Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat)

How to Apply

All applications should be submitted through Northwestern's online employment website,

Search for job ID#38176, or click the following link to be taken directly to the job

Each applicant should include a curriculum vitae and a 1-2 page cover letter detailing the applicant's STEM education experience and research interests. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

As per Northwestern University policy, successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment. Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Category: Jobs


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