Position Summary

Over the past ten years the organization has grown substantially, particularly the Research Division. We seek a creative, dynamic, collaborative individual to serve as Director of Research Operations (DRO). This new role will support ongoing organizational transformation and help build and support our internal systems to monitor progress toward strategic goals and promote continued and clear communication across the organization in partnership with other divisions. They will also ensure that our work is high quality, mission aligned, and can drive the change in sexual and reproductive health and rights field we endeavor to see in partnership with the communities most affected.

The DRO has primary responsibility for the administrative and operational functioning of the Research Division. This includes oversight for portfolio management (project budgeting, timelines, strategic planning, etc.), stewardship of division resources (project staffing, skills training, space allocation), federal grant submissions and reporting, regulatory reporting, institutional review board (IRB) issues, and contracts. The DRO oversees the Research Administrative Team (RAT), which consists of six staff. Reporting to the Vice President for Research, the DRO is to facilitate proactive communication with other divisions, while serving on the Research Management Team along with the directors of domestic and international research.


I. Intradivisional and Interdivisional Operations

  • Resource management: ensure portfolios have resources to stay on track and on budget.
  • Project management: oversee monitoring of portfolio and/or individual project work plans. continually assess progress toward achieving project goals and production of deliverables, ensure adherence to research timelines and ensure compliance with funder requirements.
  • Training: support staff in developing and exercising project management and related skills.
  • Supervision: supervise Research Administrative Managers, provide guidance and ensure professional development to the Research Administrative Team; represent RAT perspectives to leadership; participate in personnel and hiring decisions.
  • Staff allocation: optimize allocation of staff across research projects.
  • Fiscal oversight: guide budget development for new projects; audit and monitor portfolio budgets in collaboration with Directors and Finance; oversee budget revisions.
  • Communication: develop and implement approaches to enhance interdivisional communication.
  • Organizational tools: assess organizational tools and software applications to harmonize and standardize project management, coordination, and tracking.


II. Grants, Contracts and Operations

  • Proposal development: oversee support to scientists in preparing federal grant proposals (eg, NIH, CDC, OPA).
  • Pre-award process: oversee submission process; monitor grant review process.
  • Post-award process: ensure response to Just-in-Time requests; oversee administrative processes for initiating new federal grants (staffing, budget modifications, etc.).
  • Funding surveillance: direct the identification of government grant funding opportunities.
  • Contract management: review agreements consultant and partner contracts, data sharing agreements, and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
  • Fiscal oversight: ensure efficiencies in contracts and payments process.

III. Regulatory Compliance and IRB Oversight

  • IRB submissions: oversee compliance with IRB procedures and regulatory requirements and serve as signatory for IRB certifications.
  • Regulatory oversight: remain up-to-date on and ensure compliance with applicable regulations, laws and standards.
  • Registration compliance: ensure compliance with research reporting requirements (Federal-wide Assurance, IRB registration, System for Award Management (SAM) registration, Research Misconduct reporting, PHS-Supported Financial Conflict of Interest reporting).
  • IRB composition: provide input for IRB membership recruitment.
  • Training: oversee training and maintenance of certification for staff who engage in research.


We recognize that strong candidates may not have every qualification listed here, and encourage applications from individuals who bring passion, skills and experience in many or most of these areas.
  • Passion and experience working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Experience overseeing implementation of change management initiatives.
  • Experience with managing large, complex teams and multiple projects with demonstrated ability to successfully engage with diverse internal and external populations.
  • Ability to design clear work plans, facilitate coordination and alignment among diverse stakeholders, and manage and support staff to meet goals and deadlines.
  • Experience developing and/or monitoring progress toward strategic plans.
  • At least 10 years of experience managing research administration and/or operations teams in academia, government, or the nonprofit sector; or 5+ years’ experience and a Master’s degree in a relevant field (administration, policy, public health, business, social work).
  • Strong people management and supervision experience leading the development of collaborative, cross-functional teams; with the proven ability to coach and inspire the leadership capacity of team members.
  • Experience managing federal grant proposals, regulatory reporting, agreements for domestic and international projects.
  • Experience with IRB/human subjects protection management or oversight.
  • Proficient in design, implementation and oversight of budgeting policies and procedures; and strong organizational and project management skills, including implementing new processes.
  • Experience leading the development of collaborative, cross-functional teams.
  • Proven ability to coach and inspire the leadership capacity of team members.
  • Commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Proficiency in Asana, Nexonia, Unanet and/or other project management software.
  • Communication skills including oral, written, interpersonal, and coaching skills are clear, concise and effective at influencing and informing target audiences.
  • Experience in research settings or training public health or reproductive health research is a plus.
  • Commitment to the Institute’s mission and values.

Salary and Benefits

Salary starting at $155,000 to upper $160k commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits that include medical, dental, vision and life insurance; vacation, personal and sick time; paid parental leave; tuition reimbursement; commuting subsidy; and 401(k) with employer match. The Guttmacher Institute strives to provide the training and support staff need to be successful in their positions and to grow professionally.

Competitive candidates for the DRO position will be experienced in research operations with a proven track record of overseeing the implementation of complex projects and working and communicating effectively with a diverse group of partners.