Vice Chancellor for Research

University of California San Diego

Vice Chancellor for Research 

The University of California San Diego seeks applications and nominations for the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) to provide strategic leadership at a leading global research powerhouse. The next VCR will be innovative, dynamic, and collaborative to continue UC San Diego’s success in the areas of research and innovation. The new VCR has the opportunity to develop and articulate a strategic vision for the research operation at UC San Diego, while fostering a strong interdisciplinary focus across the University.

Established in 1960, UC San Diego ranks as one of the top 15 research universities in the world, with a commitment to driving innovation that advances society, propels economic growth, and makes the world a better place. In FY 2020, UC San Diego received sponsored research awards and gifts of $1.5 billion. In FY 2019 the University ranked sixth in the nation in total research and development expenditures in the HERD data. UC San Diego also helps sustain an active, entrepreneurial ecosystem in the surrounding community, with 2,900 inventions disclosed and more than 1,000 companies utilizing technology created at the University. With more than 35,000 full and part-time academic and staff employees, UC San Diego is the largest employer in San Diego County, with a significant economic footprint in the region. UC San Diego enrolls a diverse student body of 40,000, including nearly 32,000 undergraduates and more than 8,600 graduate, medical, and pharmacy students. The University’s focus on student success, inclusive instruction, and social mobility serves students of wide-ranging socioeconomic, cultural, and academic backgrounds.

The VCR will oversee the University’s Office of Research Affairs, which supports the campus's ambitious research goals with high-quality expertise and services. Foci within Research Affairs include support for research and research compliance. Core services include: managing contracts and grants, research development, facilitating international collaboration, spurring innovation and commercialization, and supporting postdoctoral scholars. The VCR will also engage regularly with University Organized Research Units (ORUs), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and UC San Diego Health.

The Vice Chancellor for Research reports to the Chancellor and provides strategic direction for the University’s research efforts in collaboration with the Chancellor’s senior team. The VCR provides oversight of the University’s research-support services, operations and administration, research compliance, economic development, and innovation programs. 

The VCR is responsible for promoting partnerships and collaborations that support the research goals of the University and for promoting University programs to potential partners, community and business leaders, government officials and federal agencies, donors, and other key stakeholders. The VCR is expected to support the University’s core mission, strategic goals, and values, and to support and sustain a highly effective work environment and a culture of inclusion and collaboration. The VCR is responsible for contract and grants administration, innovation and commercialization, research development, the natural reserve system, research compliance and integrity, postdoctoral and visiting scholars, and research affairs.

Key opportunities for the Vice Chancellor for Research include extending the vision and strategic priorities for research and innovation; promoting interdisciplinary collaborations; driving innovation and creativity; further developing and building external relationships; and leading a high-performing team. 

The successful candidate for this position will be an experienced, strategic, and visionary leader with an earned doctorate and the academic credentials required for a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of professor in an academic department of the University. The candidate of choice will also have a documented record of extramurally funded research and significant individual research accomplishment. A record of demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, a collaborative and respectful demeanor, effective communication skills, and the interest in and ability to interact successfully with internal and external constituencies including government and industrial entities are desired. Competitive candidates for this role will appreciate all scholarly disciplines, including those outside of STEM fields, and have experience in fostering transdisciplinarity and supporting cross-campus projects or programs. Technology transfer and commercialization, entrepreneurial activities, conflict of interest, sponsored programs, and competitive grant processes, procedures, and regulations are among the most important domains the successful candidate will have had prior experience leading.

For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications to:                                 

Jim Sirianni, Partner

Julie E. Tea, Partner

Brian Bustin, Senior Associate

Storbeck Search


The University of California San Diego is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Diversity is a defining feature of the University of California, which embraces it as a source of strength. Differences —of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, experience and more —enhance the university’s ability to achieve its core missions of public service, teaching, and research. UC welcomes faculty, staff, and students from all backgrounds and wants everyone at UC to feel respected and valued.