Program Officer - Moore Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Palo Alto, California
Compensation includes a competitive base salary and an excellent package of health, retirement savin
September 09 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

The Opportunity       

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation seeks an accomplished scientist with knowledge of physics, a passion for scientific inquiry, and an interest in advancing philanthropic programs to support research in experimental physics to serve as the Program Officer for the Moore Experimental Physics Investigators (EPI) Initiative. Moore EPI is a new $190-million program that will recognize and provide resources for early-mid career scientists to advance high- risk/high-reward projects across a broad range of experimental physics pursuits.

The Program Officer will be a member of a three-person team, responsible for creating and overseeing high-impact grants that advance experimental physics and promote inclusive participation in the sciences. This is a unique opportunity to serve as a thought partner, key collaborator, grantmaker, program implementer, strategist and evaluator of a major national scientific grantmaking initiative. The Program Officer will also manage and mentor a Program Associate.

The Program Officer reports to Theodore Hodapp, Program Director of the Moore Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative. The position is based at foundation headquarters in Palo Alto, California; however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, foundation offices are closed until at least January 1, 2022, and work will initially occur remotely.

 Key Responsibilities  

The Program Officer will have the following responsibilities:

  • Source, develop and manage investigator grants, making decisions based on knowledge, external input, and stated criteria for the initiative.
  • Help plan and implement grant competitions.
  • Foster productive relationships with the grantee community.
  • Help organize and manage grantee meetings and other community-building activities.
  • Participate in strategic planning, data gathering, impact evaluation and internal reporting.
  • Actively develop and manage programmatic aspects that advance the foundation’s goal of
  • improving equity and inclusion.
  • Use adaptive management to promote successful grant outcomes.
  • Assess and evaluate Initiative outcomes and results.
  • Identify opportunities and implement activities to enhance grantmaking including convening, collaborations and partnerships with internal and external parties.
  • Represent the foundation in the community.
  • Cultivate broad domain knowledge across a variety of experimental physics fields.
  • Track trends and provide analysis of grant portfolio applications and outcomes.
  • Present proposed program strategies and progress reports to foundation staff and the Board of Trustees.
  • Contribute to, and participate in, broader activities within and across the foundation.
  • Manage programmatic staff supporting this initiative.


  • Ph.D. in physics or physical sciences.
  • Relevant post-doctoral work.
  • Demonstrated interest in promoting equity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and think strategically about program design and implementation, to manage projects and budgets, set realistic goals and objectives, and effectively balance multiple priorities.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills. Exceptionally detail oriented.
  • A solid understanding of the research enterprise within major universities. Experience leading a research program in an academic, industry, non-profit or government setting is a plus. First-hand experience in obtaining and managing research grants is desired.
  • Strong interest in disciplines across the physical sciences, the ability to synthesize information and ideas across a diverse landscape of scientific issues and to “come up to speed” quickly in new areas.
  • Experience in program evaluation and assessments.
  • Personal presence to represent the foundation in diverse forums, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to develop constructive relationships.
  • Ability to travel as needed to achieve the goals of the EPI Initiative, Science Program and the foundation.
  • Experience in managing and providing professional development for support staff.
  • Support the foundation and colleagues through commitment and participation in enhancing
  • the foundation’s considerations of diversity, equity and inclusion.


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

  • Committed to Excellence
  • Passionate
  • Collegial
  • 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: science, environmental conservation, 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
  • $9+ billion in assets
  • Annual budget of over $350 million
  • About 100 employees

Compensation and Benefits

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


The Moore Foundation requires that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as required by law. Any employment offer will be contingent upon satisfactory proof that you are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.

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. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and welcome individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.

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