Assistant Director--NUIN

Chicago, Illinois
Assistant Director at Northwestern University
August 23 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (NUIN) is a cross-campus interdisciplinary research program serving a community of ~140 faculty members, ~100 postdocs and ~140 graduate students. NUIN's mission is to support scientific training and professional development in the neurosciences, with an additional goal of enhancing diversity in biomedical research. The Assistant/Associate Director is responsible for overseeing all aspects of graduate education and scientific training in NUIN. This position requires an administrator and educator who uses neuroscience training and experience mentoring/supervising, coupled with a strong commitment to student support, to work with NUIN faculty and leadership to enhance graduate education.

*Please Note: Incumbent will be required to have offices and be present on both Evanston and Chicago campus.

Specific Responsibilities:

Student Support:

  • Serve on Advising and Progress to Degree Committee, to help incoming students select lab rotations, ensure that second year students transition smoothly into thesis labs, and senior graduate students develop timelines to completion and to set plans for post-doctoral work; provide additional academic and professional development support when needed.
  • Attends all first year lectures and coordinates discussion sections to provide continuity and quality control in team taught courses.
  • Assigns second year teaching assistantships.
  • Works with students individually who need support achieving milestones and/or remediating from academic probation by helping set goals and establishing timelines.
  • Serve as first line of advising for students with issues arising, either academic or personal, referring to other counseling or advising services as necessary.
  • Work with Program Manager to track and monitor completion of milestones and progress to degree for all students.
  • Serves as a liaison between students and faculty, serving on both the NUIN Student Advisory Committee and the NUIN Advisory Board.

Faculty Support:

  • Invite and orient new faculty to NUIN.
  • Select faculty to join NUIN leadership committees, including Curriculum, Admissions, Advising and Progress to Degree, Communications, Underrepresented Minority Affairs, and International Student Affairs.
  • Serves as point of contact for and advises faculty on issues involving student progress (academic or milestone-related) or other issues; directs to other institutional resources when necessary.
  • Program Administration and Communications.
  • Oversees all scientific and educational aspects of the program.
  • Develops and recommends program strategy, including all operations, student aid and educational initiatives
  • Supervises and/or provides the scientific input in organization and execution of major program events, such as Admissions and Recruitment, Student Orientation, and the Annual Retreat.
  • Represents the Program to all levels of the university from top administration (The Graduate School and Feinberg school of Medicine) to prospective students and outside organizations;
  • Engaged in outreach with and recruitment of prospective students.


  • Supervises 1-3 or more staff &/or provide work direction to others.
  • Provides direction to or coordinates administrative effort of staff within or outside of immediate department or division.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Work closely with NUIN leadership and staff to support NUIN community.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in neuroscience or a related scientific field.
  • Experience teaching and advising students
  • Experience mentoring/supervising others
  • Outstanding organization and communication skills.
  • Ability to prioritize and work under pressure and with deadlines.
  • Ability to multi-task and handle multiple, major projects at once.
  • Work professionally and confidently with faculty, staff, postdocs and students.
  • Strong ethics and integrity with highly sensitive data.
  • Strong technical writing ability.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts.
  • Ability to write precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
  • Ability to plan, organize and schedule in an efficient, productive manner and target projects or initiatives that require special attention and focus on key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate realistic plans and contingencies and establish appropriate measurements of anticipated results.

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

  • Postdoctoral research experience.
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience obtaining extramural funding.
  • Experience advising and/or mentoring students.
  • Ability to learn and adjust across a broad, interdisciplinary science and engineering research portfolio.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Excellent organizational, planning, and time management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Facility/literacy with computer programs for database management and web design.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Enjoys working with students.