The Director of Sponsored Research Services (SRS) works collaboratively with the Institute’s President, Vice President for Science (VPS), other members of SFI Leadership, and researchers to develop, oversee and direct the sponsored research enterprise at SFI, including research development and research administration. The Director works closely with the Chief Financial Officer and other staff in the SFI Finance Office responsible for grant financial management. The position reports to the Vice President for Science, and is based in Santa Fe, NM.

The Director supports and nurtures partnerships among researchers at SFI and other institutions, and public and private funding agencies to enhance institutional research competitiveness and to catalyze new research and institutional collaborations. The Director develops strategic initiatives to support research development and research administration efforts at SFI; identifies and disseminates appropriate federal and private foundation funding opportunities for institutional themes and for individual research and education and outreach programs; participates in the development and submission of collaborative and transdisciplinary research proposals; oversees management and reporting on the SFI sponsored research grant portfolio; and ensures the Office of SRS is meeting its federal compliance responsibilities. The Director supervises the Sponsored Research Services Manager and the Sponsored Research Services Specialist, oversees SRS team activities, and oversees SRS tasks performed by the Manager, Office of the VPS.


  • Monitors the extramural sponsored research landscape, including federal and private foundation funding trends. Engages with federal and private funding agencies and provides strategic direction to address those trends on behalf of SFI.
  • Serves as Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) for assigned researcher submissions and post award matters. Negotiates and signs agreements with Sponsors on behalf of SRS.
  • Assigns researchers to SRS staff members (i.e., the Director, the Manager, and the Specialist) for vertical integrated research development and research administration services. Provides research development and research administration services to their own portfolio of researchers / Principal Investigators (PIs), typically those who are engaged in large collaborative projects and projects of institution-wide significance and with new researchers in need of more expert service development and support.
  • Works with assigned PIs and Finance Grants Accounting staff on proposal planning and development, grant receipt, reporting, budget and scope of work changes, sub-award recipient monitoring, grant closing, and other aspects of grant pre- and post-award services.
  • Serves as the Compliance Officer for SFI. Reviews and implements compliance policies and prepares required agency reporting on overall compliance efforts with VPS involvement. Assures compliance with federal reporting mandates. Oversees contracted human subjects/IRB compliance agreement with the University of New Mexico and refers researchers to the UNM compliance offices as necessary.
  • Advises SFI leadership on new policies, procedures and practices related to sponsored research. Overseas SRS and funder required research administration policies and procedures in conjunction with the SRS Manager. Engages as needed in audit functions and interactions with SFI Finance and Grants Accounting. Participates in SFI wide initiatives and projects such as automation of reimbursement and approval processes.
  • Develops and leads training programs on funder requirements, processes, and opportunities for early career researchers. Directs special internal projects including the Lou Schuyler Internal Postdoctoral Research Grant Fund. Manages the selection process for any limited submission research opportunities.


  • Advanced research or professional degree strongly preferred, with expert level knowledge of and experience in research development and sponsored research administration including both pre-and post-award processes and/or related equivalent combination of education and professional-level work experience. 
  • Prior experience working in academic environments and supervising staff teams strongly preferred.
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills to facilitate transactions with Researchers, SFI leadership and staff. 
  • Proven track record of successfully identifying, developing, and nurturing relationships with federal agencies and private foundations. 
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and prioritize projects in a fast-paced environment, particularly working with significant deadline pressure and dealing gracefully with researchers and staff as deadlines approach. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven experience working both independently and as an effective team leader and member. 
  • Extensive experience interacting effectively with all levels of employees including executive and supporting staff, early to late career researchers, and researchers, staff and officials from external organizations. 
  • Strong knowledge of team scholarship principles and best practices preferred.
  • Ability to independently apply a broad range of technical and specialized knowledge and significant job-related experience to handle complex situations. 
  • Ability to learn, implement, and use relevant sponsored research software (e.g., Cayuse) for tracking and reporting purposes, as well as other relevant software. 
  • Discretion in dealing with sensitive and confidential information. Awareness of and sensitivity and commitment to issues related to inclusion and cultural diversity.

Apply here

The Santa Fe Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Women and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply, as are individuals who have taken unconventional paths in their careers.

SFI is a vaccinated community; to be employed by SFI and on-site you must provide proof of primary vaccination against COVID-19.