Graduate Program Coordinator

Champaign County, Illinois
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Dec 22, 2020
Jan 21, 2021
Job Function
Position Type
Full Time

Graduate Program Coordinator

Neuroscience Program

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 The Graduate Program Coordinator of the Neuroscience Program (NSP) will administer a program that supports 50 – 70 graduate students each year to the successful completion of their degrees, along with developing and implementing recruiting procedures and materials for this program. The incumbent acts on behalf of the Director of the Neuroscience Program on matters relating to the Program.

The Neuroscience Program is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental Ph.D. program designed to provide individualized training in preparation for research and teaching careers in the field of neuroscience. The goal of the program is to produce scientists broadly educated in neuroscience and with technical expertise in a specific research area. The program offers a rigorous yet flexible program designed to foster student growth and discovery through research activities, close interactions with the faculty and other leading neuroscientists. The Program imposes few specific requirements. Students design their own programs leading to the Ph.D., with oversight by faculty committees ensuring appropriate depth and breadth of training. The University of Illinois is a top tier research university with extraordinary research facilities and leading scientists. The NSP promotes an atmosphere of collegiality, goodwill, and frequent interactions, leading to an unusually high number of collaborations among program faculty and with other researchers within the university and beyond. Students interested in a combination of basic research and clinical research and/or practice may be interested in the Medical Scholars Program, the emerging MD-PhD program at the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine. The NSP actively promotes a culture of collegiality and collaboration, and acceptance of diversity in ethnic and cultural backgrounds, gender, and scientific and career interests.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit


Admissions and Orientation

  • Manage the graduate admissions process for the NSP’s graduate student applications for the Ph.D. program. Serve as primary contact for prospective graduate students. Determine admissions eligibility and recommendation to the Admissions Committee and Director of the Program regarding limited status admissions and the formulation of Program funding and admission offers.
  • Oversee intake and orientation for graduate students in neuroscience. Duties include: new student check-in, initiating fellowship paperwork and research assistant offers, course registration, scheduling faculty research talks, hosting information seminars and panels to assist with students' acclimation to graduate school life and finding a thesis lab.
  • Manage the admission, immigration, orientation and matriculation of new graduate students. These activities will include managing the distribution and processing of foreign national documents (I-20, DS-2019) while accounting for lengthy visa approval processes. Certify that admission and enrollment processes are accurate and that students arrive for program orientation activities.

Academic Advising & Mentoring

  • Serve as primary point of contact for current graduate students regarding the NSP and campus policies and procedures.
  • Coordinate the NSP advising process for incoming and current graduate students in collaboration with the Associate Director for Student Success and Admissions Committee. Serve as point of contact for incoming graduate students to orient them with the campus, and the community. Advise incoming students about general program requirements, and answer questions regarding applications for housing, insurance, and student benefits.
  • Oversee the academic progress of students in the Neuroscience Program.
  • Consult with students about research interests and lab selections.
  • Coordinate research advisor selection process. Arrange faculty presentations, collect student preferences, and work with the Director for assignments.
  • Coordinate the core NSP courses and activities including the journal club, seminar series, professional skills and ethics class.
  • Communicate annual review feedback to the students and prepare feedback letters.
  • Coordinate with the Associate Director of Student Success, in helping with retention and success of students, especially students from underrepresented minority groups.


  • Coordinate the recruiting process for the Program. Research and develop new recruitment practices. Organize and plan traditional recruitment practices such as booths at professional conferences, such as the Society for Neuroscience, and targeted distribution of recruitment materials to respective undergraduate programs, especially those    serving under-represented groups, such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs, ASPIRE and SACNAS. Update and provide recruitment materials for these events. Work with campus to recruit underrepresented groups to the Neuroscience Program.
  • Coordinate efforts to enhance diversity of our graduate student body. Work with the Neuroscience Student Organization (NSO) regarding the NSP’s participation in graduate recruiting events at conferences of minority-serving professional   organizations.
  • Organize and oversee graduate recruiting visits for prospective students. Prepare preliminary budget for recruiting visit activities, and work with the Director to revise and finalize. Recruiting events will require oversight during evenings and weekends.
  • Analyze both current and historical data on recruiting success. Process issues and costs to create annual and ad hoc reports used to set future recruiting targets and to manage graduate recruiting budgets.


  • Serve as program liaison for cross-campus committees involving the NSP and the Offices of the Graduate College, Admissions and Records, Minority Affairs, Student Affairs (domestic and international), and other College and campus offices.
  • Manage and resolve complex problems and confidentiality issues involving admission of graduate students, releasing educational record information, and processing center payments to student accounts.
  • Work with the Associate Director for Student Success to design graduate student events, including the NSP Retreat, Neuroscience Night, the Neuroscience Open House, and Brain Awareness Day, welcome events for incoming students, and other official Neuroscience Student Organization (NSO) functions.
  • Coordinate collection of nominations for graduate fellowships and travel awards (internal, Graduate College, LAS, etc). Work as the administrator to determine availability of fellowships. Work with the Awards Committee to select recipients and develop draft letters on nomination. Research and identify fellowship opportunities on campus (e.g., Graduate College, LAS, etc).
  • Manage graduate student appointments for both teaching assistantships and research assistantships each semester. Liaise with NSP partner depts to arrange for grad appointments for neuro grad students.
  • Coordinate research assistant appointments with teaching assistant appointments and supplemental appointments.
  • Work with faculty and graduate student to increase number of graduate students supported by external fellowships and to develop processes for awarding fellowships to the   most deserving students. Research and identify fellowship opportunities off campus (e.g., NSF, NIH, and others) and make recommendations for opportunities and coordinated applications of graduate students.
  • Work with the Director to prepare proposals for support of the graduate program, for internal programs like the block grant from the Graduate College and from corporate partners and Foundations.
  • Other related duties as assigned by the Director.
  • During Neuroscience events such as annual Society for Neuroscience events, retreats, SFN night, graduate recruiting weekend, weekend or evening work would be required.



  • Master’s degree in a Neuroscience-related program
  • Experience working with college academic affairs such as academic advising, student counseling, student affairs or career development


  • A PhD degree in a Neuroscience-related field? and/or degree in Business Administration, Management or a related area
  • Experience creating student-focused communications
  • Experience coordinating and hosting large (50+) events

Successful candidates will have the following: Exceptional communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills.  Ability to work harmoniously with faculty, staff, and students from a wide variety of disciplines.  Working knowledge of and adherence to state, federal, private, or institutional policies and procedures.  Ability to interpret and administer policies. Ability to prepare reports and proposals with minimal oversight.  Ability to exercise initiative, confidentiality, discretion, and sound, independent judgment. Ability to assume responsibility and to work independently with minimum guidance. Commitment to diversity and inclusion.



This is a full-time position appointed on a 12 month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.  All complete applications received by the deadline will receive full consideration.


To apply for this position, please create a candidate profile at, directly apply to our position and upload your cover letter and resume by January 29, 2021.  Online application will require names and contact information including email addresses for three professional references.

For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-6747.  For further information on this specific position, please contact the search committee at

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.