Palo Alto, California
September 06 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type


Palo Alto, CA – September 2019


The Opportunity

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is seeking an accomplished scientist with expertise in the physics of solid materials, a passion for broad scientific inquiry and advancement, and excitement for identifying and promoting emerging areas of science.  Our Science Program funds research that acquires new knowledge and asks new questions, enables new science through technology, breaks down barriers to scientific progress, and enhances public understanding of the inherent value of science.

The Position

The Program Officer will be a core member of the Science Program team and will be responsible for creating and overseeing high-impact grants in the physical sciences.  The primary responsibilities of the Program Officer will be related to the foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative. EPiQS is a $185-million funding program in the field of quantum materials—solids characterized by novel quantum phases of matter and exotic cooperative behaviors of electrons. The Program Officer will also have the opportunity to develop grants and engage in program activities outside of EPiQS. The Program Officer will report to the Program Director of the EPiQS Initiative and will be based at the foundation’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. 

Key Responsibilities

This Program Officer will have the following responsibilities:

  • Source, develop and manage grants, making decisions based on knowledge, analysis and external input.
  • Help plan and implement grant competitions within the EPiQS Initiative.
  • Foster productive relationships with the EPiQS grantee community.
  • Help organize and manage grantee meetings and other community-building activities within the EPiQS Initiative.
  • Participate in strategic planning, data gathering, impact evaluation and internal reporting related to the EPiQS Initiative.
  • Ensure successful grant outcomes through adaptive management to increase the impact of individual grants and grant portfolios.
  • Identify opportunities and implement activities to achieve and enhance grantmaking, including convening, collaborations and partnerships with internal and external parties.
  • Lead ad hoc or special projects within the Science Program.
  • Represent the foundation in the community and manage expectations.
  • Cultivate broad domain knowledge across multiple fields.
  • Manage and synthesize knowledge and track trends relevant to the current grant portfolios.
  • Present proposed program strategies and progress reports to foundation staff and the Board of Trustees.


  • PhD in physics, preferably in condensed matter and materials physics.
  • Three-plus years of substantive, relevant post-PhD work, preferably in condensed matter and materials physics.
  • Experience leading a research program in an academic, industry, non-profit or government setting is a plus. Demonstrated capability of obtaining competitive research grants is desired.
  • Strong interest in a breadth of scientific disciplines across the physical science domain, the ability to synthesize information and ideas across a diverse landscape of scientific issues and to “come up to speed” quickly in new areas.
  • A solid understanding of the research enterprise at major universities and other leading research institutions in the U.S.
  • Demonstrated initiative and the ability to plan and think strategically, manage large projects and budgets, set realistic goals and objectives, and effectively balance multiple priorities.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • High motivation to exhibit the foundation’s values and support the foundation’s mission, vision, and goals.
  • Ability to travel locally, nationally and internationally as needed to achieve the goals of the EPiQS Initiative, Science Program and the foundation (up to 25% of the time).


The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following attributes that describe how the foundation strives to do its work with each other and its partners.

  • Committed to Excellence
  • Open and Honest
  • Humble and Self-Aware

About the Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore established the foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. In pursuit of that vision, we foster path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Guided by this vision and the Statement of Founders' Intent, we strive to make a significant and positive impact on the world. We tackle large, important issues at a scale where we believe we can make significant and measurable impacts. We know that our ability to take risks and make long-term and relatively large commitments allows us to undertake challenges not accessible to many other organizations.

We focus on work in the areas that our founders are committed to advancing: environmental conservation, science, and patient care. In addition, we support land conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has provided for the quality of life that Gordon and Betty have enjoyed with their family.

Foundation Facts

  • Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA
  • $6.7+ billion in assets
  • Annual budget of over $300 million
  • About 100 employees
  • Four program areas
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Patient Care
  • San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on these same issues locally

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation includes a competitive base salary and an excellent package of health, retirement savings and other benefits.

Application Process

Martha Montag Brown & Associates, LLC has been retained for this search.  Interested and qualified candidates can apply by sending a cover letter and resume by email to:

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the ordinance.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. All correspondence will remain confidential.




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