Wisconsin Energy Institute

Associate Director

Date Published: 

December 17, 2013

Position Type: 


Job Location: 

Madison, WI

Job Description: 

Degree and area of specialization:

M.S required, Ph. D.preferred in Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Microbiology or related areas with administrative experience. Significant experience is needed in modern bioscience, high throughput technologies, cross-disciplinary research, and developing scientific programs to meet the research goals of large projects. Experience with collaborating and building relationships with staff, subcontractors and industry collaborators.   

Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:

Minimum 7 years experience in performing or coordinating scientific research in a large team in an academic, laboratory, center/institute, or corporate environment. Demonstrated ability to start and develop teams for programs designed to enhance capabilities and meet goals. Experience in heading administrative units dealing with research coordination and project management. Excellent analytical, writing, oral and interpersonal skills; strong project management skills; and success in managing activities of a complex interdisciplinary research project. Experience in goal-oriented scientific research in the context of a large, multi-site national or regional academic research lab. Individuals must have budgetary and supervisory experience and a proven ability to engage with industrial partners.

Principal duties:

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) is housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with collaborators at Michigan State University and other academic, private sector and national laboratories. The GLBRC is one of 3 Department of Energy centers to conduct fundamental, genomics-based research on microbial and plant systems required to realize the national need for low-cost biofuels. The long-term goals of the GLBRC are to improve: the characteristics of biomass plants; procedures for processing plant biomass and converting the plant-derived constitutents into fuels and commodity chemicals; and the economic and environmental sustainability of the biomass to biofuel pipeline. To achieve these goals, the GLBRC will combine biological, physical, and computational approaches to resolve currently limiting factors in biofuel production. Imaging, high-throughput genomic, proteomic or metabolomic technologies, synthetic biology, and computational modeling will be vertically integrated into GLBRC research activities.

As part of a team lead by the GLBRC Director, Dr. Timothy Donohue, the successful applicant will work closely with the GLBRC Management Team, plus researchers and scientists from many different disciplines to support the activities of the Center. The individual will be charged with defining objectives and setting priorities in collaboration with the GLBRC Management Team. This position will be responsible for directing and structuring the supporting programs that enable the research priorities of the Center to be accomplished, while facilitating teamwork among the parts of the Center. Through defining objectives and setting priorities, this individual will be responsible for identifying technical problems and opportunities, designing methodologies for project completion, project review, management of the enabling technology activities within the Center, and coordination of the GLBRC communications and outreach areas of the Center. This will include developing programs to track successful completion of projects through experimental design, team formation, execution and closeout.

This individual will oversee the enabling technology areas of the Center, including core facilities, computational biology, and LIMS systems as well as working collaboratively with the Wisconsin Energy Institute administrative team supporting GLBRC. Primary duties will include: developing, prioritizing and planning solutions to problems associated with the enabling technology activities of the Center; supervising the core facilities coordinator and the computational biology director; overseeing the identification of new technologies; developing new methods, optimizations, and standard operating procedures to ensure research and scientific coordination within and across research teams; providing training, research mentorship and project management advice to researchers and research teams; providing administrative and technical advice on function of GLBRC facilities; preparing research results generated by GLBRC researchers for presentation to internal and external bodies; making presentations on GLBRC research programs and products; and facilitating the submission of scholarly publications and reports by GLBRC researchers.

This individual will be responsible for building and maintaining effective partnerships with subcontractors, other GLBRC research partners such as the Joint Genome Institute or the DOE Knowledgebase activities, and industry collaborators. The individual will be responsible for developing an industrial outreach program that facilitates interactions between industries involved in bioenergy activities and the research staff within the Center. The individual will be responsible for maintaining good relations with WARF and the members of the Technology Transfer Working group to ensure that IP generated from the research activities of the Center are properly handled. The individual will participate in developing elements of the GLBRC strategic plan and in defining metrics for how well procedures and teams meet the research milestones of the Center. 

This individual will support and act on behalf of the GLBRC Director in day-to-day direction, management and planning related to the Center's infrastructure, quality assurance programs, environmental health and safety issues, and business functions. As needed, the individual may represent the GLBRC Director with various institution, business, or external stakeholders. The individual will participate in all management team meetings.

This position offers an opportunity to play an important role in creating a keystone research center for the first great national challenge of the 21st century, sustainable energy independence. For additional information regarding the GLBRC, visit our website: http://www.glbrc.org.

Job Application Deadline: 

May 08, 2014