Director of Operations and Administration for the Colton Center

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Director of Operations and Administration for the Colton Center

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Director of Operations and Administration for the Colton Center

Job Profile Title
Director D

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the Director of Operations and Administration of the Colton Center for Autoimmunity at Penn, the for the Colton Center will play an integral role in the successful development, implementation, and advancement of the programmatic initiatives of the Center, which unites research and patient care programs across Penn to drive advances in autoimmune diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. The COO will work with research and clinical teams at Penn Medicine as well as interface with peer Colton Centers at New York University and Yale University

Job Description

Core Penn-Based Functions

-Oversee and implement the annual pilot grant program administered by the Colton Center, including, but not limited to, developing and publicizing RFPs, coordinating the selection process, supporting awardee notification, managing distribution of funds, and ensuring progress of funded projects toward their defined preclinical and/or clinical goals. The position requires experience and proven success in leading and managing preclinical drug development projects.

-Lead the planning and execution of meetings of the Internal Advisory Board under the direction of the Director of the Colton Center.

-Take an administrative lead in developing a timeline for expected progress milestones, monitor progress among priorities such as pilot grant projects and multi-institutional collaboration, and provide administrative leadership for measuring success across the Center. Participate or coordinate various institutional working groups as needed. As appropriate, serve as spokesperson for the operations of the Colton Center, working with various Centers and Institutes, clinical and basic science Departments, and other leaders to realize the strategic goals of the Colton Center for Autoimmunity.

-Create and coordinate opportunities for open collaboration, new ideas, and scientific discussion among scientists and clinicians in the Colton Center at Penn. This could include, but is not limited to, organizing regular "Research In Progress" seminars for trainees and faculty or coordinating grand rounds or other educational speaking opportunities. The position will utilize Immune Health infrastructure and engage with both the Immune Health and broader Institute for Immunology community.

- Serve as the administrative lead for seeking opportunities for scientific publication, external communications, external grant funding, and private sector investment as appropriate, included working with Penn's Offices of Public Relations and Marketing as needed.

Cross-Institutional Collaboration

-Actively play a role in working with peers at the NYU and Yale Colton Centers, including sharing best practices, connecting regularly, and setting collective goals.

Plan and execute public symposia that encourage idea sharing, research discussion, and catalytic collaboration.

-Maintain knowledge and awareness of the latest development in the field of autoimmunity research, particularly the work of the Colton Center at NYU and Yale, developing strategies to further Penn Medicine's contributions to the field.

-Lead planning and execution of offsite meetings and retreats with collaborators from other institutions with the goal of building bridges and fostering shared purpose.

Partnership with Development

-Serve as a key liaison with the founders of the Colton Center at Penn, Stewart and Judy Colton, including preparing for and attending both informal and formal updates with the Coltons.

-Prepare written annual reports for the Coltons, including a description of the Center's activities, the projects supported, the expenditures incurred, and the IP and commercialization activities related to the Center.

-As requested, work with the Development Office to secure additional support from new donors, meet expectations of major gifts, and participate in development-related events.


Masters degree and 5-7 years of experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience required. A PhD in a health or biomedical research related field or hold an MD, with 3-5 years of relevant experience in drug development and project management in the pharmaceutical industry preferred.

Qualified candidates will have expertise in research planning, administration or leadership, and direct experience or familiarity with clinical and scientific aspects of immunology and autoimmunity. The candidate will be a highly skilled communicator in both individual and group settings, and must be able to function productivity in the cross-disciplinary environment. Must be able to communicate comfortably and effectively with patients, research participants, regulatory authorities/sponsors/investigators, and philanthropic donors. These communication and interpersonal skills will be required to bridge the multiple stakeholders and achieve consensus with respect to project performance, timelines, and resource utilization. Strong planning and organizational capabilities along with problem solving skills are required. Proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Office, and other databases; detail-oriented; able to work independently and as part of a team. Knowledge of current IRB and human research protection regulations is preferred and must be able to work flexible hours. The preferred professional background will include a mix of corporate and academic experience, particularly experience in drug development in which therapeutics have been moved out of basic research into preclinical development.

This is a unique opportunity to join a newly launched Center prioritizing scientific discovery in the field of autoimmunity with the support of philanthropic partners. This work will have a significant impact on the field, offer growth in leadership and administration experience, and have the opportunity to shape the trajectory of the multi-institutional collaboration for years into the future.

Position contingent upon funding.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaDirector D

Department / School
Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range
$90,860.00 - $142,844.66

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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