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Managing Director of the Cooper Center Research Collaborative


Managing Director of the Cooper Center Research Collaborative

  • R0043302
  • Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • Research
  • The University of Virginia
The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service seeks a Managing Director to lead our newly formed Research Collaborative, delivering demographic and economic analysis and survey research in service to public sector clients. Our nonpartisan research and analysis are specifically tailored to help governmental and legislative leaders, policy makers, and public service organizations make well-informed, data-driven decisions in service to the public good.

This new position will oversee and evaluate a team of 12 and coordinate alignment of individual goals to the Cooper Center’s strategic plan in the context of the University of Virginia’s commitment to public service. The ideal candidate will actively seek research funding opportunities and work to add client services to our expanding portfolio. The Managing Director reports directly to the Executive Director of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service is dedicated to helping informed, innovative, and inclusive civic leaders build thriving regions and communities. The Center’s strategic plan, Reimagining Public Service , outlines how we will extend the University’s public service impact through researchers, faculty, students, and our partners in communities across the Commonwealth. The Cooper Center is also one of the six original affiliates of the Karsh Institute for Democracy at the University of Virginia, founded to foster participation in and the study of healthy democracies. The Cooper Center works intentionally to engage the talents, expertise, and energies of previously underrepresented individuals and groups.

The Managing Director is a full-time management position at the University of Virginia and oversees:

Daily Operations of the Collaborative (30%)

Provides management, training and mentoring to project coordinators and research teams.

Coordinates the fiscal management of the Collaborative in collaboration with the Center’s Executive Director and Associate Director, including the development / management of an annual budget and the monitoring of project budgets.

Working with project coordinators, oversees all the Collaborative’s data collection, analysis and reporting activities so they are on time and within budget, and ensures quality control and compliance with all University project protocols.

Ensures that all operations conform to University standards for the ethical treatment of human subjects and secure data handling.

Convenes project scan meetings to review project progress, needs and plans.

Ensures good communication among project teams and with clients.

Serves as the Principal Investigator and/or Project Coordinator on projects and works directly with clients when needed.

Contributes to written research and methods reports when needed.

Works with Collaborative staff and the Center’s Communication Director to publicize the Collaborative’s research products and emphasize their positive impact.

Vision, Mission, and Strategic Goals (5%)

Assists the Executive Director and Associate Director in conducting strategic planning efforts for the Center and maintaining both long-range and short-term strategic goals and objectives for the Collaborative, to fulfill the vision and mission of the Center.

Communicates goals and objectives to the Collaborative staff through periodic meetings, activities, and training opportunities.

Coordinates alignment of individual goals to the Cooper Center’s strategic plan and the University of Virginia’s commitment to public service.

Expanding Research & Analysis and Funding Opportunities (55%)

Actively seeks to add new services and areas of expertise to our portfolio in response to client and public sector need. Responds to inquiries by prospective clients along with other management staff. Builds relationships and collaborations with UVA schools and departments. Actively seeks out funding from state agencies, foundations, local governments, federal agencies, and not-for-profit organizations and ensures projects meet funding agency standards. Responds to “requests for proposal” as appropriate and directs preparation and submission of contract proposals. Evaluates the type of projects undertaken by the Collaborative to assure they meet the goals of the Collaborative and the Cooper Center. Works with Development Director when needed to develop gift proposals and steward existing donors.

Staff Management and Administration (10%)

Oversees the staff management for the Demographics, Economics, and Survey teams within the Collaborative, including senior team leads.

Ensures proper quality control measures for research projects are understood by all staff and directs / assists team leads in their quality control efforts.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: Master's degree
Experience: At least seven years of relevant experience.

This position will involve some travel, and a valid driver’s license is required for this position.

Preferred Qualification:

  • Experience in designing and testing data collection instruments, data analysis, project management, and writing reports.
  • Understanding of advanced statistical techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide effective oral presentations for professional and nonprofessional audiences.
  • Strong management and organization skills, excellent research and technical writing skills, excellent interpersonal and team-building skills.
  • Experience in successfully managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ph.D. in sociology, political science, economics, demography, or related social science area or equivalent work experience
  • A minimum of seven years’ experience in conducting and/or administering research.
  • Project management certification a plus.

For additional information about the position, please contact Michael Philips, at mwp2q@virginia.edu.

Physical Demands

This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings, and programs.

This is position is hybrid located in Charlottesville, VA.

This position will require travel up to 25% of the time.

The anticipated start date is February 2023.

This position is a restricted position and is dependent upon project need, availability of funding and performance.

This is an Exempt level, benefited position. For more information on the benefits at UVA, visit www.hr.virginia.edu/benefits.

To be considered applications must be received by January 15th. Review of applicants will begin January 16th.

This position will sponsor applicants for work visas.

The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.

To Apply:
Process for Internal UVA Applicants : Please apply through your Workday Home page, search “Find Jobs”, and search for “R0043302“

Complete an application online with the following documents:

  • CV
  • Cover letter

Upload all materials into the resume submission field, multiple documents can be submitted into this one field. Alternatively, merge all documents into one PDF for submission. Applications that do not contain all required documents will not receive full consideration.

References will be completed via UVA’s standardized process Skill Survey. A total of five references will be requested via SkillSurvey during the final phase of the interview process.

For questions about the application process, please contact Jon Freeman, Academic Recruiter, at jf2sw@virginia.edu.

For more information about UVA and the Charlottesville community please see http://www.virginia.edu/life/charlottesville and https://embarkcva.com/.

COVID Vaccination Requirement and Guidelines

Please visitthe UVA COVID-19 Job Requirements and Guidelines webpageprior to applying for current information regarding vaccination requirementsandguidelines for employment at UVA.

The University of Virginia, i ncluding the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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