Assistant Director, Business Development and Licensing

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

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Sales & Business Development
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023


SING Polsky Business Development & Licensing

About the Department

The Polsky Center brings the power of ideas in the laboratory, classroom, and community to the world. Through education, resources, and programs, the Polsky Center commercializes discoveries, partners with companies, and attracts venture capital. The Polsky Center runs a top-ranked business accelerator, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge; operates a 34,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary co-working space called the Polsky Exchange; manages the George Shultz Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures; and offers a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab for prototyping new products. Finally, the Polsky Center houses the University of Chicago’s technology transfer unit, which manages all University-based intellectual property originating from faculty research and discoveries that can be licensed to industry partners and investors.

Job Summary

As a senior member of the Business Development and Licensing team, the Assistant Director develops and manages strong relationships with faculty members across the University who are engaging in translational research and works with industry partners and investors to bring new discoveries to the market. The Assistant Director is responsible for a diverse portfolio and works as part of the Polsky Center’s Science and Technology team of patent, contract, business development, and entrepreneurship specialists who protect and license inventions to existing companies and startups.

This position develops and implements program related to identification, investigation, and negotiation of licensing opportunities for permission to use intellectual property rights, including trademarks, patents or technology.

Solves complex problems related to the transfer and use of intellectual property. Provides expertise to faculty to transform ideas and discoveries into patents, licenses, products, services, and ventures.


  • Drafts, negotiates, executes, and manages intellectual property licenses and other agreements, such as licenses, options, inter-institutional agreements, material transfer agreements, confidentiality agreements, and negotiation of intellectual property terms in other agreements, as needed.
  • Collaborates with faculty members, researchers, colleagues, and other individuals across campus along with industry partners to achieve shared transactional objectives.
  • Screens inventions for commercialization potential; evaluates and decides which inventions and software to pursue.
  • In partnership with the Technology Development team, provides insights into the commercial aspects of inventions during the intellectual property protection process.
  • In partnership with the Technology Marketing and Innovation Growth team, assists in the development and execution of marketing outreach for intellectual property assets.
  • In partnership with the IP Compliance and Operations, and Finance and Accounting teams, ensures that all agreements are properly recorded in the intellectual property database of record and supports licensee relationship management and compliance activities.
  • Establishes and cultivates strong relationships with inventors, legal counsel, prospective and current licensees, University Research Administration, the Office of Corporate Engagement, and Polsky Center colleagues to promote the University’s mission and its Polsky Center to catalyze ideas into impact.
  • Manages a diverse portfolio of technologies and works with team of internal and external specialists to protect and license inventions for existing companies and startups. Uses transactional expertise and understanding of legal issues to draft, negotiate, execute, and manage intellectual property licenses and other agreements.
  • Uses deep understanding of legal issues concerning patent, copyright, and trademark matters to provides advice and guidance on the patentability of inventions, infringement of patents or copyrights, and the validity of trademarks.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Advanced degree in chemistry, materials science, physics, biology, computer science, bioengineering, molecular engineering, chemical engineering, or related discipline.


  • Experience with technology transfer and commercialization, including internship or fellowship programs, in University or Industry setting.
  • Significant hands-on expertise in negotiating and drafting intellectual property agreements.

Preferred Competencies

  • Build rapport and credibility with faculty members, researchers, and their labs.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property.
  • Excellent analytical and computational skills.
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Effective interpersonal, verbal and written communications.
  • Attention to detail with clear understanding of how to prioritize workload appropriately.
  • Work well under pressure and manage multi-task projects.
  • Work independently with a high degree of initiative.
  • Work effectively in a hybrid environment and within a team.
  • Maintain confidentiality.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Legal & Regulatory Affairs

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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