Director, Research

Arlington, Virginia
Mar 16, 2020
Apr 15, 2020
Position Type
Full Time

Bring your passion and leadership to join the fight against ALS!

The ALS Association has an exciting opportunity for a Director of Research. The Director of Research will help use the ALS Association’s research program to develop effective treatments for ALS and improve the lives of everyone harmed by this disease. The Director will be responsible for a broad portfolio of research activity, including concept development, application solicitation, review, and scientific oversight of award activity, closeout and evaluation.


In addition, the Director, Research will cultivate the trust and confidence of national staff, chapters and other partners to establish effective relationships and communications. Director, Research will be accountable for a current knowledge base of ALS research, including research impacting caregivers and people at risk for developing ALS.


The Director, Research reports to the Vice President, Research and will collaborate closely with colleagues in the research, development, and finance departments. The position will be based in the Washington DC office of The ALS Association (or remotely from a major metro location) and will involve travel to other Association offices, its chapters, scientific meetings and other events as determined by business needs.



Core duties and responsibilities include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

  • Develop, solicit, review and manage a portfolio of ALS research that drives Association scientific and strategic goals. Develop and implement new research initiatives as needed to build upon our existing global research program.
  • Identify and recommend new ideas in unexplored areas of ALS research that may lead to opportunities for The ALS Association funding and impact.
  • Ensure research programs are transparent, accountable, and scientifically sound.
  • Develop and make presentations to scientific, clinical and policy audiences, as well as potential donors about research progress in ALS.
  • Ensure the Association is apprised of the latest impacts of portfolio areas and how the portfolio aligns with other funders. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with research leaders and organizations in the field of ALS and related diseases. Attend scientific meetings and meet with awardees, collaborators, chapters and potential donors as needed.
  • As needed, plan, implement and administer periodic scientific workshops designed to identify scientific issues; encourage scientists to apply for ALS Association grants; and facilitate the formation of collaborations among scientists.
  • Convey a professional and positive image at all times that reflects favorably on The ALS Association.


  • A graduate (PhD) degree in Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, public health, clinical sciences or a related medical or health profession discipline. 
  • At least 3-5 years of proven experience with an organization that is closely allied with and focused on scientific and medical advancements, including academic, drug-development, government or non-profit organizations. 
  • Experience as a research funder/portfolio manager is preferred but not required.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively across internal and external teams.
  • Excellent communicator, with a proven record of public speaking and writing to multiple stakeholders, including people suffering from serious illnesses, and government, academic and industry partners.
  • A proven track record of sound judgment and an analytical approach to decision-making.
  • Familiarity with ALS, neuroscience or neurodegenerative diseases preferred.
  • Proficient computer skills, especially with Microsoft Office products. 
  • Ability to travel as required or requested for business purposes.
  • Computer skills required: Accounting Software; Contract Management Systems; Development Software; Human Resource Systems; Inventory Software; Microsoft Office; Payroll Systems; Project Management Software.