Director, Research and Programs

Pailin Group Executive Search

Our client is a non-profit organization conducting a search for the right person to join our highly passionate, talented and dedicated team. We offer you the chance to put your experience and energy to work for an agile, forward-thinking organization in pursuit of ending childhood cancer. The role comes with responsibility and high demands, but offers the significant reward of feeling good about the work you do and working along side others that share your drive. We, as a team, fight to end children’s cancer.

Job Summary

The Director plays a critical role in delivering on the mission to end childhood cancer. This role leads our Scientific Advisory Council, a best in class group of researchers and researcher/ physicians from renown academic institutions, and works with our other councils and the greater scientific community to set the scientific direction for the organization. The Director follows through on that direction by managing program initiatives.

The Director, Research and Programs also takes the lead role in fostering the understanding and use of the ’s scientific education programs. The Director converts our efforts and expertise in pediatric cancer to easy to understand, engaging language. In collaboration with Communications, the Director executes a communications plan that brings the valuable knowledge we have to share to donors, researchers, sponsors, patients and families. The Director also works closely with the VP, to create synergy between research milestones and donor interest.

The position is full-time and reports to the Chief Operating Officer. The role requires occasional travel and may be performed remotely from anywhere in the United States or from our Bethesda office. We want the best candidate for the job, wherever he or she may live and choose to work. Hours of work are flexible, but a schedule must be agreed upon with the COO.

Responsibilities and Duties

Scientific Strategic Planning

  • Drive the organizational research strategy and scientific initiatives in key areas relevant to pediatric cancer drug development
  • Develop scientific agendas for annual summit, roundtables and forums
  • Lead the Scientific Advisory Council, and facilitate meetings on a monthly basis
  • Coordinate strategic advisory councils that address major obstacles or opportunities in pediatric cancer drug development and foster industry/academia collaboration
  • Present scientific direction and research project updates to the Board of Directors

Oversee and Administer Research Grant Portfolio

  • Oversee all aspects of the scientific review process including drafting requests for applications and helping to identify, evaluate, and prioritize translational and clinical research grant applications in pediatric cancer drug development; coordinate Scientific Review Committee evaluation of grant applications
  • Initiate and develop, in concert with leading scientific experts, requests for proposals in pediatric cancer research
  • Actively engage with funded researchers to monitor progress and manage to milestones, soliciting reporting on a timely basis
  • Provide guidance to applicants and funded investigators in developing research grant applications and fostering connections with industry and regulatory agencies
  • Translate project progress reports into materials (written, video, etc.) that can be used to communicate with various constituents

Content Development and Collaboration

  • Work closely with business development, campaign development and philanthropy teams to support partnerships and fundraising
  • Collaborate with communications team and experts in the field to develop educational, social media and other digital content on pediatric cancer research progress and drug development
  • Provide quarterly research progress reports to donors, Board of Directors and other stakeholders; develop bi-annual impact reports to stakeholders
  • Coordinate education programs such as videos, webinars, and the Company app
  • Develop standard programmatic language for use in grant requests and other fundraising materials

Serve As Organizational Representative

  • Serve as liaison to pediatric cancer advocacy groups
  • Attend relevant scientific research conferences

Position Requirements and Preferences

This position requires a PhD or equivalent degree in a relevant biomedical discipline. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Research experience in cancer biology or a related field. Knowledge of drug discovery, development and approvals; translational or clinical research experience is a plus
  • Experience with research grant applications and peer review
  • Strong project and time management skills with the ability to manage competing requests
  • Excellent oral communications and writing skills with demonstrated ability to effectively communicate to both scientific and lay audiences and customize the information for specific constituents
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work closely with and influence key opinion leaders, partner organizations, donors, and staff
  • Team orientation, able to work cross functionally in a small organizational environment with large impact
  • The ability to give dynamic presentations to large groups with varying levels of scientific knowledge
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience with working with volunteers as the source of labor needed to complete projects
  • Donor-focus, with the ability to create synergy between research milestones and donor interest


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to: regularly spend long hours sitting and using a phone and computers; regularly speak clearly so listeners can understand; occasionally lift 5-10 pounds.

Our client has reviewed this job description to ensure that essential functions and basic duties have been included. It is intended to provide guidelines for job expectations and the employee's ability to perform the position described. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all functions, responsibilities, skills and abilities. Additional functions and requirements may be assigned by supervisors as deemed appropriate. This document does not represent a contract of employment, and reserves the right to change this position description and/or assign tasks for the employee to perform, as may deem appropriate.

We are proud to be an EEO employer.

Job Type: Full-time

Education: Doctorate