Assistant Director of Research Operations

Assistant Director of Research Operations

The Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities/Institute for a Sustainable Earth


Purpose of the Organization:

The Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities (C-RASC) is being chartered by the Office of the Provost as part of a university-level initiative for establishing Transdisciplinary Centers of Advanced Study. The vision for C-RASC is to develop, implement, test and refine a framework for communities world-wide to create life-changing social and economic opportunities through locally led, bottom-up resilience and sustainability initiatives supported by effective, replicable models. Accelerating rates of technological, social and climate change, along with population growth and concentration, are stressing businesses, governments, and security structures. These require integrated approaches that build the capacity to absorb disruptions and emerge stronger. C-RASC pursues transdisciplinary, translational, integrated research to help communities build the capacity to absorb disruptions and emerge stronger. C-RASC will draw trans-disciplinary talent from across Mason and external partners, including experts in governance, sociology, economics, diverse kinds of engineering, and scientific analysis. Research will include basic, translational and applied efforts at multiple scales (multiscale)—from international and national, to regional, to specific communities.


C-RASC will complement and reinforce Mason’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth by focusing on resilience and its relationship to sustainability. Distinguishing features include: (1) concentrating on bottom-up, community-led approaches, (2) addressing resilience in comprehensive and measurable ways, (3) integrating the impacts and policy implications of converging, accelerating technological changes, and (4) including practitioners with field experience. C-RASC will augment project-specific skills with global knowledge sharing. C-RASC’s 5-yar goals are to: (1) Catalyze and grow a committed trans-disciplinary research and teaching team to develop plans that make a difference for diverse communities, engage with stakeholders, and teach. Provide sustainable funding and effective facilities; (2) Train a generation of trans-disciplinary, community-engaged researchers, teachers and practitioners; (3) Develop a Multiscale Research Framework as a widely accepted standard model of community-led resilience initiatives in diverse environments; (4) Through a series of case studies, help to develop plans for community-led, bottom-up, locally focused resilience solutions in diverse environments with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely milestones; (5) Provide evidence-based support to increase local capacity, develop local leadership, produce results, and build a trusted network of stakeholders to carry out further projects.


Purpose of the Position:

The Assistant Director of Research Operations will play a major role in developing the overall research strategy of C-RASC, with emphasis on development of transdisciplinary research and scholarship capacity and substantially growing the base of research support. The successful candidate will have opportunities to be directly involved in research activities at the Center.



Project management responsibilities: Establish and implement a project management pipeline to ensure submission of high-quality research proposals on time, both for small proposals as well as large interdisciplinary proposals. Organize planning and preparatory meetings, assist with development of proposal drafts, coordinate an internal review and feedback process, draft and maintain supplementary documents, and work with the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Research Development to develop competitive proposal submissions.


Grant writing responsibilities: Understand the expertise and existing research portfolio of C-RASC participants and assist with writing of interdisciplinary research proposals in collaboration with center faculty and research partners.


Research administration responsibilities: Develop and maintain the C-RASC budget, coordinate financial and research progress reporting, coordinate with the Office of Sponsored Programs and post-award support personnel across academic units, work with C-RASC faculty to coordinate and support interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives.


Outreach responsibilities: Facilitate efforts to increase the visibility of C-RASC nationally and internationally by planning and implementing outreach strategies, developing and maintaining internal and external stakeholder relations, and generating content for the website and other publicity materials.


Team building responsibilities: Facilitate and host workshops, seminar series, research retreats, team-building events and open houses aimed at fostering a vibrant environment of research and scholarship.


Research responsibilities: Consistent with the primary responsibilities outlined above and as desired by the candidate, participate directly in research activities consistent with the center’s mission.


Required Qualifications:

The ideal candidate is an enthusiastic and energetic individual who is comfortable working in highly interdisciplinary research settings with diverse teams, has high-level relationship building skills and excellent communication skills, and has experience developing and implementing research development or support programs. Additionally:

  • A Master’s or Doctoral degree in a relevant field such as systems engineering, civil engineering, social science, conflict resolution, public policy, climate science, or business.
  • Exceptional oral, written, interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • 3-5 years of experience working in interdisciplinary teams and supporting team science; and
  • Experience in project management.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with a range of stakeholders including industrial partners and community partners, with international dimensions, and sometimes in civil-military environments;
  • Experience with research proposal development;
  • Experience working in an academic research or policy environment; and
  • Experience with fundraising.


For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number FA63Gz at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.


George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.