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  • Full Time
  • St. Louis County
  • Salary: n/a
  • Organization Type: Education

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

Director of Research & Innovation

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Washington University in St. Louis.

To apply, visit and search Job ID 51246


The Director of Research & Innovation leads all aspects of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ research enterprise with a focus on building a robust research support infrastructure, fostering collaborative research ventures across departments and schools, initiating and managing industry and corporate partnerships, increasing external funding through grants and sponsored research, and ensuring that individual faculty and students achieve success in their research endeavors. The Director is charged with providing strategic direction and vision for the School’s research portfolio to realize innovation at the leading edges of art, architecture, and design and to fulfill the school’s vision for a more just, sustainable, humane, and beautiful world. The incumbent is responsible for managing day-to- day research administration, disseminating research activity to grow distinction and reputation, and building a network of internal and external partners to support the School’s research efforts. In addition, the Director oversees the School’s IT staff and operations with an emphasis on strategy, communication, and instructional technology with a goal of strengthening connections between research, innovation, teaching, and technology across the School.


This is a full-time, exempt position working approximately 37.5 hours per week.


This position is for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, located on the Danforth campus. Work may be remote until such time as public health allows otherwise.


Research Enterprise (70%)

• Outline the vision and goals for the Sam Fox School research enterprise based on the school’s strategic planning, core strengths, academic programs, and leadership aspirations.
• Become familiar with the research and creative activity portfolios of the School’s tenured and tenure-track faculty; proactively seek opportunities to advance faculty work; support faculty in developing proposals and managing awards.
• Cultivate relationships with external industry and corporate partners to pursue mutually beneficial research collaborations with faculty and students; work with WU Corporate Relations to draft MOUs; support and manage partnerships, ensuring that joint goals are achieved.
• Work with the School’s leadership team (deans, directors and chairs), faculty, Sam Fox School Advancement Team, Foundation Relations, the Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS), and collaborative functional teams to prioritize and secure research funding from government agencies and private foundations.
• Manage research administration activities such as faculty proposal development, tracking, analysis, budgeting, evaluation, and reporting; partner with Foundation Relations, OSRS, and WU research colleagues as appropriate to manage grants, foundation relationships, and collaborative projects.
• Build relationships and teaching initiatives in the SFS in support of the Center for Health Research and Design (CHRD); provide administrative management to CHRD activities.
• Track and report research-related data and indicators for the Sam Fox School.
• Support initiatives to educate faculty and students on best practices for pursuing and managing a wide range of research funding; reinforce and provide guidance to faculty and students regarding effective practices for partnership and collaboration in research and practice.
• Serve as a liaison between faculty and potential research partners and help direct faculty to University resources to support their research activity.
• Maintain an accessible, active, and responsive research presence in the Sam Fox School; work with the Communications Office to develop tools for internal and external communication; regularly share research opportunities with faculty and students; ensure web site and intranet content is up- to-date; ensure ongoing storytelling around research successes to build reputation and distinction for the Sam Fox School.
• Participate in national forums, symposia, and conferences around art, architecture, and design research/dissemination.
• Build and strengthen partnerships with campus research-related entities, including the International Center for Energy, the Environment, and Sustainability (INCEES), the Center for the Humanities, the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the CORTEX Innovation Community, among others.

Information Technology (25%)

• Manage the Information Technology team, including the Computer Systems Manager and the Technical Support Specialist; ensure responsive services operations; lead weekly IT team meetings and build strong connections between the team and Sam Fox School faculty, staff, and students.
• Ensure a productive and clear relationship with WUIT Shared Services; work with Computer Systems Manager to review and adjust service agreement as needed.
• Develop and disseminate IT-related communications for the Sam Fox School community in partnership with IT team; ensure technology information is up-to-date on the website and intranet; create easy access to technology resources for faculty and students.
• Work with IT team and school leaders to coordinate and manage annual IT budgets.
• Support departments and teams in evaluating and implementing new and ongoing technology needs to facilitate innovation and sustain optimal operations; recommend strategic decisions; draft proposals for adoption and implementation of new technology solutions.
• Engage student and faculty stakeholders to evaluate and adjust service delivery to maximize the School’s educational mission through the use of digital technologies and equipment.

Leadership & Service (5%)

• Serve as a member of the Dean’s senior staff; work to collaboratively implement strategic plans for the School and colleges; address urgent situations as needed; execute special projects or activities as directed by the Dean; sit on Sam Fox School committees and ad hoc task forces as assigned.
• Provide leadership for initiatives at the intersection of research, technology, and teaching that support the educational and research mission of the school, including support and guidance for online instruction.
• Sit on research- and technology-related committees across the University to represent the Sam Fox School.


• Bachelor’s degree
• Minimum five years research administration experience in higher education or a related field
• Proven success securing and managing government and foundation grants
• Demonstrated ability to build and manage fruitful industry partnerships
• Demonstrated project management experience
• Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe CC, and other administrative systems related to research and IT management


• Master’s degree
• Research administration leadership experience
• Experience securing research funding in the fields of art, architecture, and design
• Experience working with and/or leading Information Technology teams
• Experience developing communications for internal and external audiences
• Experience using or developing digital teaching tools and online teaching platforms
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Ability to advocate for the School within the University context
• Ability to give expert advice on the submission, award management process, policies, and procedures related to research grants and contracts
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Ability to be efficient and effective in a high-pressure environment and ability to meet deadlines
• Ability to exercise a high degree of autonomy, using strategic skills in planning, prioritization, and problem solving.
• Ability to work with different constituencies in the University and external agencies, both public and private.
• Strong analytical and organizational skills with attention to detail
• Knowledge of standard accounting procedures
• Ability to work with a team in the processing and preparation of highly important and confidential documents
• Strong customer focus
• Strong people management skills


Pay is commensurate with experience.


All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. Current employees applying for a new position within the university may be subject to this requirement. The screenings will include a criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.


This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position. Please click here to view a summary of benefits.


Washington University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

Interested candidates should visit and search Job ID 51246 Questions? Please contact Melissa Meinzer at