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Assoicate Director, Research Programs

Parkinson's Foundation
Working from home
Competitive, based on experience
Closing date
Feb 20, 2022
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Job Details

Reports to: Chief Scientific Officer
Position Status: Full-Time, Exempt
Location: New York or Remote


The Parkinson's Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson's community.


The Associate Director of Research Programs will be part of a collaborative team that is responsible for the scientific execution of the Parkinson’s Foundation annual research programs, facilitating both pre- and post-award activities.  The primary responsibilities of this position are both to ensure a high level of scientific accountability within the Foundation’s award program and to foster strong relationships with the scientific community. This role is one of several responsible for identifying research and researchers for the Foundation to support with the funds entrusted by the Parkinson’s community.

Directing Pre-award:

  • Implement research initiatives related to the Foundation’s annual award programs, such as drafting requests for applications (RFAs) for new and existing grant programs.
  • Work collaboratively with the Research team to coordinate proposal submissions, including assistance with the planning, design and implementation of all application templates, instructions and online forms for submission of proposals.
  • Serve as a point of contact for all applicants and applicant institutions regarding suitability of projects for Parkinson’s Foundation funding mechanisms.
  • Recruit and nominate new scientists to grant review committees, as required.

Directing Scientific Review:

  • Communicate review cycle related information to internal stakeholders (e.g., communications, development, finance, etc.).
  • Perform preliminary scientific review of proposals prior to formal peer-review.
  • Help manage the annual award program scientific peer-review process. Identify conflicts of interest between applicants and reviewers. Determine appropriate expertise required to review proposals. Make decisions regarding review scoring, procedures and deadlines. Communicate these guidelines to the scientific peer review committees.
  • Collaborate with the Community Engagement team to recruit and train Research Advocates (people with Parkinson’s and care partners) to serve as PD community members of grant review committees.
  • Work with the Research team to coordinate and facilitate Parkinson’s Foundation scientific review meetings.
  • Ensure recommended projects are not duplicative of other sponsored projects through database searches as well as communication with related funding agencies.
  • Summarize and distribute reviewer critiques to applicants.

Directing Post-review:

  • Evaluate scientific progress of funded research grant and fellowship programs. Serve as a liaison for grantees regarding no cost extensions and specific aim progress.
  • Monitor post-award progress (e.g. publications, intellectual property, subsequent funding, grantee testimonials, etc.). Report relevant advancements to appropriate internal and external stakeholders.
  • Manage approval processes for program changes (e.g. specific aims, key personnel, etc.).

Scientific Liaison Duties:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with academic and industry scientific communities and other mission-related organizations.
  • Attend Parkinson’s related scientific convenings. Keep abreast of developments in Parkinson’s and other areas of neurodegenerative disease.
  • Serve as a scientific liaison to internal staff. Keep internal stakeholders apprised of developments in Parkinson’s Foundation-sponsored award programs. Work with the Communications Department to review program collateral and other forms of external communication (website, social media, blogs, etc.) for scientific rigor.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the Foundation for both scientific and lay audiences. 

General Functions:

  • Provide program updates to the Chief Scientific Officer and Research team.
  • Work closely with the Chief Scientific Officer and other team members to identify and recruit expert speakers for panels, conferences and workshops.
  • Work on special projects as directed.


  • Ph.D. in appropriate subject area of biomedical sciences; one to two years postdoctoral experience in an academic or industry setting is ideal but not required.
  • Ability to assess research beyond your primary field of study. Ability to translate complex scientific information into language accessible to non-scientists.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to communicate professionally with a range of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work across departments and to organize multiple parallel projects with tight deadlines. Meticulous attention to detail while maintaining a broad perspective.


  • Experience with public speaking on scientific topics.
  • Experience with grant writing and program management.


Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.


The Parkinson's Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson's community.
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200 SE 1st St ste 800
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