MRSEC Operations Manager
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago MRSEC is an NSF-funded research Center that facilitates innovation by tackling some of the deepest intellectual challenges of materials research through interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts among multiple research groups, spanning three academic divisions (PSD, PME, and BSD) on campus and includes external collaborators. We make a dedicated effort to foster a research environment that promotes creativity and rigor, and where students, postdocs, and faculty alike benefit from interactions with those with different technical backgrounds and research interests. This effort includes a strong commitment to education and outreach, including outreach to our inner-city neighborhoods and the general public. Central to our mission is nurturing the next generation of materials science researchers, and improving its diversity, through the successful training of students at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellows) in our research labs. We operate Shared Facilities that enable state-of-the-art materials preparation and measurement, requiring resources beyond what can be attained by an individual research lab. Coupling these complementary aspects of our program strengthens the entire scientific enterprise and provides a vibrant resource to the University of Chicago, the broader materials science community, our neighborhood, and the general public.
About the Department
Reporting to the Director of the MRSEC, the MRSEC Operations Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the University of Chicago MRSEC department that serves as a central administrator for the center. This role acts within the policies and procedures of the Department, the University, and the current National Science Foundation (NSF) Cooperative Agreement, to achieve MRSEC goals. Specific areas of responsibility include department-wide coordination and organization of all required reports, aiding the planning of activities, fellowship organization, facilities support, proposal preparation and grant administration. The Operations Manager works collaboratively with other MRSEC staff and central offices to ensure that the goals of the department are accomplished.
- Provides direct overall compliance with the NSF Cooperative Agreement, which requires the Department to both report on the previous year's projects and request funding for the next annual increment.
- Facilitates outreach and education programs at the discretion of the Director and the MRSEC Faculty Education Manager.
- Assures MRSEC programs conform to institutional and Departmental goals, policies, and regulations.
- Establishes and directs policies, methods, procedures, and work rules for MRSEC administrative staff.
- In coordination with the MRSEC Executive Committee, ensures the Center's strategic plan and mission are executed to achieve Center goals.
- In coordination with the MRSEC Executive Committee, leads the operations and strategy of the Center’s initiative by directing the planning and execution of key priorities, leading cross-functional projects involving professional staff, and working collaboratively with key leaders across the University to effectively implement the goals of the center.
- Builds and maintains relationships with faculty and students to foster innovation, experimentation, and practice connected to multi-disciplinary object-based teaching and research. Articulates the impactful role art can have in teaching and learning across campus and in the community.
- Provides critical indicators of programmatic outcomes and achievements to the funding agency in order to demonstrate the Center's successes and effectiveness.
- Oversees in organizing reviews of MRSEC Annual Postdoc/Graduate Student Fellowships.
- Adapts and assists to changing needs of the funding agency to be able to continue to provide the necessary metrics to demonstrate success.
- Creates annual reports and contributes to grant proposal writing for external funding (federal and industrial).
- Organizes external advisory board meetings.
- Assists in organizing MRSEC annual meetings and other Center-wide activities for all Department members and additional participants from the industry.
- Collaborates with relevant staff on campus and the MRSEC Faculty Industrial Manager to enhance the industrial and entrepreneurship aspects of the MSREC.
- Collaborates with MRSEC staff in writing and editing publications (op-eds, blog posts, program materials, and handouts) and other written materials, as well as launching and directing the MRSEC website and social media platforms.
- Establishes and maintains an internal database of Department demographics and activities.
- Oversees MRSEC cyberinfrastructure to ensure that all Center members can readily communicate and foster collaborative relationships that are required by the funding agency.
- Assists in organizing and hosting MRSEC Department-wide meetings (research presentations, administrative/outreach updates).
- Organizes UChicago visits from others interested in the Center (academics, industry, or government representatives).
- Aids in engagement with NSF and other NSF-funded programs and program managers (PREM, MIP, etc.).
- Aids in the organization of the calls for the MRSEC seed programs.
- Provides support for the IRG or seed programs as requested.
- Uses in-depth knowledge and experience to administer the delivery of services to program participants and/or beneficiaries such as communicating with program sponsors and academic advising for undergraduate students.
- Develops and communicates program priorities and performance standards and assesses operations using these criteria. Plans and conducts quality assurance reviews and recommends changes as appropriate.
- Performs other related work as needed.
Education:Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
- Master’s degree in STEM or education field.
- Collegiate coursework and/or degree relevant to MRSEC research, such as chemistry, physics, materials science, or chemical engineering.
Technical Skills or Knowledge:
- Knowledge of federal and non-federal grants and contracts administration, including effective budgeting, submission requirements, reporting and administration.
- Work collaboratively and independently within a team environment.
- Excellent organizational skills, problem-solving ability, and attention to detail.
- Manage day-to-day duties of multiple projects at the same time, with a vision for short- and long-term planning and implementation.
- Professionalism, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, and a strong interest in STEM education.
- Commitment to providing a high level of service and working in a team environment.
- High degree of professionalism.
- Handle confidential information with utmost discretion.
- Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
- Handle multiple tasks simultaneously and under tight deadlines.
- Strong analytical and organizational skills.
- Familiarity with basic data organization and analysis.
- Some experience with quality improvement practices.
- Hybrid work schedule.
- Resume/CV (required)
- Cover Letter (required)
- Writing Sample, providing an example of professional-level communications, this should be approximately 1-2 pages in length (required)
When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.
Administration & Management
Scheduled Weekly Hours
Drug Test Required
Health Screen Required
Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
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