Assistant Director of Research Operations

George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia
April 26 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Assistant Director of Research Operations

The Quantum Materials Center at George Mason University invites applicants for the position of Assistant Director of Research Operations to be involved in the creation of a nationally and internationally recognized research and scholarship program on quantum materials. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment.

The Quantum Materials Center (QMC) was recently chartered by the Office of the Provost as part of a University-level initiative for establishing Transdisciplinary Centers of Advanced Study. The vision for the QMC is to adopt a rational approach to the design, creation, and implementation of new technologies based on quantum materials. QMC researchers in electrical and mechanical engineers, data scientists, and physicists from four academic departments across George Mason University who have networks of collaborators at multiple universities and national laboratories. The successful candidate will play a major role in synchronizing research and education efforts within the QMC, enhancing the development of transdisciplinary research and scholarship and support QMC members in efforts to grow the base of research support.

About the Quantum Materials Center:
QMC researchers focus on transdisciplinary research on quantum materials by utilizing machine learning to design new materials, growth capabilities to realize the materials, quantum characterization to study their properties, and device engineering to create proof-of-concept next-generation computing and sensing technologies. Major technological areas of interest include topological quantum computing, non-classical light sources, neuromorphic computing, spintronics, photonics, and quantum-enhanced sensing technologies. The primary challenge in realizing the above technologies is materials-based. The QMC addresses this challenge by utilizing machine learning to rationally design novel materials, grows and characterizes these materials at George Mason University, and constructs prototype devices which are benchmarked against the state of the art. This transdisciplinary approach promises to make substantial advances in research areas that are currently handicapped by the lack of quantum materials. Most QMC researchers have experimental laboratory space on the Mason Fairfax campus and the Mason Sci-Tech campus. A new shared materials assembly facility is currently under construction and will provide shared cryo-spectroscopy as well. The new cleanroom on the Mason Sci-Tech campus will be utilized to construct prototype devices.

Project management responsibilities:
Establish and implement a project management pipeline to ensure submission of high-quality research proposals on time, both for small proposals as well as large interdisciplinary proposals. Organize planning and preparatory meetings, assist with development of proposal drafts, coordinate an internal review and feedback process, draft and maintain supplementary documents, and work with the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Research Development to develop competitive proposal submissions.

Grant writing responsibilities:
Understand the QMC research portfolio and faculty expertise and identify appropriate funding sources. Work synergistically with QMC faculty to pursue external funding sources.

Research administration responsibilities:
Develop and maintain the QMC budget, coordinate financial and research progress reporting, coordinate with Office of Sponsored Programs and post-award support personnel across academic units, work with QMC faculty to coordinate and support interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives.

Outreach responsibilities:
Facilitate efforts to increase the visibility of QMC nationally and internationally by planning and implementing outreach strategies, developing and maintaining internal and external stakeholder relations, and generating content for the website and other publicity materials.

Team building responsibilities:
Facilitate and host workshops, seminar series, research retreats, team-building events and open houses aimed at fostering a vibrant environment of research and scholarship in collaboration with QMC members.

Required Qualifications:
The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic and energetic individual who is comfortable working in highly interdisciplinary research settings, has high-level relationship building skills and excellent communication skills, and have experience developing and implementing research development or support programs. Additionally:

  • A Masters or PhD degree related to the QMC member disciplines;
  • Exceptional oral, written, interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • Significant demonstrated experience working in interdisciplinary teams and supporting team science; and
  • Experience in project management.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with a range of stakeholders including industrial partners and community partners;
  • Experience with research proposal development;
  • Experience working in an academic research or policy environment; and
  • Experience with fundraising.

Special Instructions to Applicants:
For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number FA04GZ at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a curriculum vitae, a writing sample, cover letter, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

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