Assistant Director of Research and Operations | POGO

Assistant Director of Research and Operations

POSITION: Assistant Director of Research and Operations Southern Ocean Research Center


REPORTS TO:  Director, Southern Ocean Research Center


SUMMARY OF POSITION:  Princeton University is establishing a new interdisciplinary research center to conduct groundbreaking research on the southern ocean and to determine its influence on climate. Housed within the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University, the Southern Ocean Research Center will involve multiple principle investigators from Princeton and other major research institutions and participate in international observation and simulation efforts. The Assistant Director of Research and Operations is a newly created senior position reporting to the Southern Ocean Research Center’s Director.  This individual will be charged with leading, managing, and optimizing the administrative functions of this new Southern Ocean Research Center and facilitating its overall goals. The Assistant Director of Research and Operations will play a critical role in the successful day-to-day operation and long-term sustainability of the Southern Ocean Research Center, and act as principal administrator and outreach liaison, managing program activities for the Center’s faculty, students, and staff to ensure that the research and development projects move forward and goals are achieved.


PRINCIPLE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Additional responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Research Implementation and Management

• Establish and execute the Center’s implementation plan for: (1) Southern Ocean float based observations and state estimation; (2) Southern Ocean modeling; and (3) education, diversity, and outreach. This implementation plan will establish the schedule, cost phasing, and allocation of resources needed to carry out the Center’s activities involving Princeton University and approximately 15 other institutions, 24 senior personnel, 11 graduate students, 7 postdocs, and additional support staff.

• Oversee the planning, coordination, organization, and execution of high-profile activities including the annual implementation plan in support of the Center Director, Associate Director, Faculty and External Advisory Board.

• Coordinate activities of the Center’s Research support staff to establish and achieve common goals and milestones.  Make recommendations for streamlining Center processes and procedures.

• Assist the Center Director in developing and writing research proposals for additional funding for research relating to the Center’s activities. Coordinate with PEI administrative staff to facilitate the submission of same.

• Draft correspondence and written reports such as the annual report to the External Advisory Board; preparation of updates; analysis, evaluation, and preparation of reports on the efficacy of various funding programs.

• The incumbent must be able to become sufficiently conversant in the scientific and technical dimensions of the Center’s mission to be able to clearly convey opinions and findings/data through detailed analysis.

• Represent the Center at scientific meetings including presentation of report results and exchange of information with the scientific community.

• Provide programmatic support to the Center’s leadership team including the Center Director and Associate Director and coordinate activities of Education & Outreach Manager, Data Manager, Web Developer and Business Manager.

• Participate in the Center’s Executive and Advisory Committee meetings.  Operations and Administration

• Responsible for budget development, budget oversight, and related business plans, including coordinating the annual allocation of Center funding to support research, education, outreach, knowledge transfer, and Center operations’ projects across partner institutions and research teams.

• Responsible for overall adherence to policies and procedures as well as for financial oversight of the entire project.

• Facilitate the sub-award process with all institutions involved in the consortium. Review and evaluate concurrence with the statements of work, review invoicing for work performed, and ensure that the timeline for the work is met, including receipt of deliverables.

• Participate in the development and enhancement of standard operating procedures and guidelines for all matters related to the Center.

• Plan and implement all project meetings and annual summer workshop.

• Direct the activities of the Business Manager with responsibility for administrative support functions and details of project management including project financial status and forecasting; verification of documentation; cost and schedule tracking; approval of major purchasing decisions; subcontract management; and procurement.

• Develop, implement, and evaluate programs and strategies designed to enhance professional development and career advancement opportunities for Center students, post-doctoral scholars, and research staff.

• Direct the preparation and distribution of marketing and promotional materials about the Center’s people, activities, and events to organizational constituents via online and printed newsletters, written correspondence, and social media in coordination with PEI administrative staff.

• Coordinate assistance and information to visiting scholars, including international scholars, as needed.

• Coordinate visits involving Center sponsors, high-ranking university, government, and industry personnel, and other visitors. 

• Collaborate with PEI administrative staff to coordinate student, post-doctoral scholar, and staff recruiting, hiring, training, and classification as well as ensuring the completion of forms and documents including those related to Human Resources and Payroll.



• Minimum 5-10 years of work experience in related science area or the equivalent combination of education and research experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities have been acquired.

• Strong organizational and management skills and good judgment; responsiveness with the ability to handle multiple tasks in a timely manner.  Project management experience. • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills, the ability to work in a dynamic environment.

• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written. 

• Active listening skills to develop relationships and build trust and credibility with a diverse set of stakeholders. High level of emotional intelligence, judgment, astuteness, and strategic thinking. Ability to resolve conflict thoughtfully.

• Leadership and staff development skills which exhibit qualities of integrity, trustworthiness, respect and team collaboration.

• Proven ability to work independently with limited supervision, as well as the ability to manage others. • Ability to work with confidential information, manage information and data, work independently, and exercise good judgment.

 Preferred Qualifications:

•         Ph.D. in related technical or scientific field is strongly preferred.



Website hosted & developed by VLIZ
Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans is a charitable incorporated organisation registered and regulated by the Charity Commission of England and Wales, No 1171692