Senior Director of Compliance for Strategic Research Initiatives

Senior Director of Compliance for Strategic Research Initiatives

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 1/27/2024
Laboratory and Research
Full Time


Senior Director of Compliance for Strategic Research Initiatives

University Administration


Job Summary

Within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the Senior Director of Compliance for Strategic Research Initiatives (SDCSRI) is responsible for the oversight of institution-wide efforts toward securing large-scale funding opportunities for strategic research initiatives. The successful candidate will lead the development and coordination of institutional research management (including research administration and compliance) procedures to align with the external and internal regulatory and policy requirements.

The SDCSRI assumes the university’s primary leadership role in overseeing and coordinating – among Harvard’s schools and with external partners (e.g., Commonwealth, affiliated hospitals, academic institutions, industry) – proposals and strategic plans for major research opportunities. This includes state and national collaborative funding opportunities (e.g., I-ARPA, ARPA H, Mass Tech Quantum Hub), private collaborative funding opportunities (e.g., Chan Zuckerberg Biohub), and cross-departmental limited submission opportunities in areas designated as research priorities.

The SDCSRI also acts as the representative of the Chief Research Compliance Officer in managing operational aspects of grant management activities at the intersection of research administration and compliance-related activities. This includes but is not limited to leading efforts with Central and School research administrators as well as compliance offices in developing institutional policies and procedures for management of sponsored research; managing institutional implementation; acting as a liaison with faculty and academic leadership in identifying trends and emerging research fields and ensuring that the relevant policies and procedures are developed institutionally to facilitate such research; and managing overall compliance activities with local offices to ensure consistency across the institution.

Reporting to the University Chief Research Compliance Officer (CRCO), the SDCSRI will engage directly with external entities and partners toward identifying and organizing efforts – both between institutions and within Harvard – to secure support for research priority areas. The incumbent will represent Harvard University in the management and submission of multi-institutional or multi-department funding proposals. They will work closely with members of University leadership, school leadership, Harvard Public Affairs and Communications office, University Development Office, and individual faculty members. In addition, they will establish points of contact within collaborating institutions and funding entities.

Position Description

The SDCSRI acts to support activities under the CRCO, with responsibility for overseeing all delegated strategic and operational aspects of university-wide research compliance/management as well as the oversight and management of institutional programs developed for management of multi-school projects. This requires examining regulatory and agency policy requirements and working with University-wide stakeholders including departments and schools to assess the needs for new, or modify existing, policies and procedures necessary for an exemplary research management program that is consistent with University-wide policies as well as the compliance programs implemented at other schools. The incumbent represents the OVPR and the CRCO on a number of university-wide committees and is expected to engage at the national level, as Harvard’s representative.

The SDCSRI will have primary responsibility for planning, implementing, and monitoring various grant management programs. Specific activities cover a wide range of topics such as pre-and post-award management policies, agency and university disclosure requirements, financial Conflicts of Interest in research, Export Control, protection of Human Subjects in Research, Animal Care and Use programs, Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, Research Misconduct, Stem Cell Research, Research Data, and Privacy, International Research Compliance, research Security, etc., requiring close cooperation and coordination with multiple offices across the institution with operational responsibility with many of these activities.  

The range of the SDCSRI’s activities include, but is not limited to:

  • Coordinating, authoring, and submitting multi-institutional grant applications for large-scale research funding opportunities.
  • Representing the CRCO in managing operational and other delegated activities across the institution.
  • Collaborating and/or coordinating with other offices and stakeholders across the University to facilitate effective integrated grant management (research administration and compliance) policy development and implementation. The coordination and collaboration may include multiple stakeholders including school academic and departmental leadership, the Office for Sponsored Programs, School level Offices of Research Administration, the Office of Technology Development, Risk Management & Audit Services (RMAS),  the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), School based research compliance and administration offices, Research Data Management and Computing Units, and Research Administration and Compliance Systems.
  • Managing the development of policy (as required) and procedures for new and large multi school grant applications.
  • Managing internal compliance review and monitoring activities, including periodic reviews of policies and programs with relevant offices.
  • Identifying, reviewing and communicating changes to the regulatory landscape as they impact the research management functions and operations.
  • Participating in the investigation of matters related to compliance, including designing, and coordinating internal investigations (e.g., with Risk Management and Audit Services, School units, or OGC) and implementation of any resulting corrective action.
  • Serve on various University-wide committees reporting to, or ad-hoc committees appointed by, the OVPR.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications to be considered for this role:

  • Ph.D. or J.D. required
  • Proven track record in developing and implementing effective research administration and compliance programs
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in research administration and compliance in an academic setting with responsibility for researching with analyzing complex laws and regulations, agency policies, and other documentation (previous laboratory research experience may count toward years of experience)
  • Experience in managing multi-stakeholder teams

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Thorough understanding of a broad spectrum of the regulatory and policy requirements related to research administration and compliance.
  • Ability to assess existing university operations to determine the need for new or enhanced policies and procedures.
  • Ability to coordinate, establish, and implement effective research management (encompassing both research administration and compliance), policies, procedures, and guidelines, in accordance with the seven elements of an effective comprehensive research administration and compliance program pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate complex issues both verbally and in writing to diverse group of constituencies (e.g., leadership, faculty, staff, students).
  • Demonstrated highly effective interpersonal skills for working closely with internal organizational units and for the effective representation of organizational positions on issues with external parties and groups.
  • Exemplary communication and organizational skills.
  • Thorough knowledge of project management, operations analysis, and legislative work procedures.
  • Ability to lead and manage complex projects.
  • Ability to work independently on multiple issues concurrently and to exercise independent judgment in establishing priorities.
  • Ability to organize work, make sound decisions, and exercise good judgment.

Additional Information

Harvard University supports a hybrid workplace model which will actively support some remote work. Specific days and schedules for on campus work and remote work will be discussed during the interview process. Please note hybrid workers must reside in a state where Harvard is registered to do business (CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA).   

Harvard University continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider community. Please note that all new employees will be required to provide confirmation of primary series COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, as detailed on our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Webpage. Harvard University Health Services employees and other health care individuals are also required to be up to date on vaccination as described by the CDC. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Additional information regarding this requirement, exemptions, verification of vaccination status, and other related policies and resources may be found on the University’s COVID-19 Information Website.  

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function

General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

361062 Administrative Manager

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Office of the President and Provost

Salary Grade



Office of the Vice Provost for Research


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

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EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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