Director of Research Programs

New York City, New York (US)
Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. Benefits Included
June 24 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

The Parkinson's Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson's community. 

The Director of Research Programs will be one of two Directors responsible for the scientific execution of the Parkinson’s Foundation annual research programs, facilitating both pre- and post-award activities.  The primary responsibilities of this position are both to ensure a high level of scientific accountability within the Foundation’s award program and to foster strong relationships with the scientific community. This role is responsible for supporting communications and fundraising efforts by leveraging these relationships to meet program goals of the organization.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Directing Pre-award
  • Implement research initiatives related to the Foundation’s annual award program such as drafting requests for applications (RFAs) for new and existing grant programs.
  • Work closely with Grants Coordinator to coordinate proposal submissions, including assistance with the planning, design and implementation of all application templates, instructions and online forms for submission of proposals.
  • Serve as point of contact for all applicants and applicant institutions with scientific questions regarding suitability of projects for Parkinson’s Foundation funding mechanisms.
  • Recruit and nominate new scientists to the Grant Review Committees, as required.
  • Directing Scientific Review
  • Communicate review cycle related information to internal stakeholders (e.g., communications, development, finance, etc).
  • Perform preliminary scientific review of proposals prior to formal merit peer-review.
  • Manage the annual award program scientific peer-review process, with attention to identification of any conflicts of interest between applicants and reviewers.
  • Determine appropriate expertise required to review proposals.
  • Make decisions regarding review scoring, procedures and deadlines based on evaluation of reviews in prior years and communicating these guidelines to the scientific peer review committees.
  • Collaborate with the Community Engagement Department in recruiting and training Research Advocates (people with Parkinson’s and care partners) to serve as PD community members of the Grant Review Committee.
  • Represent Parkinson’s Foundation during in-person meetings of the Grant Review Committees.
  • Directing Post-Review
  • Negotiate Intellectual Property agreements between funded institutions and Parkinson’s Foundation as it relates to approved awards. Work in concert with Grants Coordinator to ensure proper merging of Terms and Conditions and Intellectual Property agreements.
  • Manage all aspects of scientific progress report evaluation, and follow-up with grantees for matters like impediments and requests for readjustment of specific aims. The Director of Research Programs receives, evaluates and reports on quantitative and qualitative progress of all projects during the award and following termination (i.e., publications, intellectual property, subsequent funding, grantee testimonials, etc.).
  • Ensure recommended projects are not duplicative of other funding support through database searches as well as communication with related funding agencies.
  • Manage questions from applicants about reviewer critiques.
  • Recommend appropriate administrative actions related to research outcomes.
  • Responsible for the final approval of Grantee requests for complex post-award changes regarding specific aims, changes in key personnel, and other requests. The administrative aspects of these requests are executed by the Grants Coordinator.
  • Scientific Liaison duties
  • Develop and maintain relationships with grantees, academic research community, and other mission-related organizations.
  • Travel to academic conferences or other Parkinson’s relevant venues in order to conduct research on Parkinson’s Foundation projects and build expertise in disease areas.
  • Serve as a scientific liaison to internal staff, keeping internal stake holders apprised of developments in Parkinson’s Foundation-sponsored awards, and review select documents, web pages, and other forms of external communication for scientific rigor, as needed.
  • Serve as spokesperson for Foundation, as required by organizational needs. 
  • Assist Chief Scientific Officer in reports to the Board of Directors regarding progress as necessary.
  • Work closely with the Chief Scientific Officer and other team members to identify and recruit expert speakers for panels, conferences and meetings.
  • Work on special projects, as directed by the Chief Scientific Officer.

Individuals Reporting to Incumbent: none


  • Ph.D., preferably in related field, and minimum 3 years related experience.
  • Strongly preferred non-profit grants management experience.
  • Detailed knowledge of scientific research, as relates to Parkinson’s Foundation programs.
  • Ability to translate scientific research into value for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Ability to garner the respect and support of all levels in the organization, scientific and academic communities.
  • Successful experience in planning, prioritizing, organizing, and follow through.
  • Proven experience with public speaking on scientific topics.
  • Experience with performing on collaborative projects.
  • Experience with volunteer/scientist management/coordination.
  • Familiarity with proposalCENTRAL or related grants management software strongly preferred.
  • Ability to travel.


Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.


Please email curriculum vitae and cover letter to  Applicant review will continue until the position is filled. Please indicate, “Director of Research Programs” in the subject line. Resumes without cover letters will not be considered. No phone calls please.

The Parkinson's Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

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