Director of Research

Director of Research

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 Research

Job Profile Title
Associate Director D

Job Description Summary
Perry World House is a center for interdisciplinary scholarly inquiry, research, international exchange, policy engagement, and public outreach on pressing global issues. Perry World House facilitates critical conversations about global policy challenges and fosters interdisciplinary research on these topics. It organizes workshops and colloquia, welcomes distinguished visitors, and produces content for global audiences and policy leaders so that the knowledge developed at Penn can make an impact around the world.
Perry World House's mission is to bring the academic knowledge of the University of Pennsylvania to bear on some of the world's most pressing global policy challenges, and to foster international policy engagement within and beyond the Penn community.

Perry World House leverages the extraordinary range of expertise found across Penn's 12 schools and dozens of research centers, connecting Penn with policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from around the world to develop and advance innovative policy proposals.

The Director of Research will play a critical role in focusing, deepening, and strengthening Perry World House's (PWH) research agenda and impact, as PWH enters the next phase of its development. She/He/They will draw on their own research, policy, and advocacy expertise and have primary responsibility for managing Program Mangers and Research and Program Fellows as they design, implement, and manage research and policy work rooted in PWH's two primary research themes: 1) Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Climate Change and 2) the Future of the Global Order: Power, Technology, and Governance and its related subthemes.

Job Description

The Research Director will manage PWH's relevant staff members on researching, writing, and producing materials for distribution or publication. Products include reports, opinion pieces, fact sheets, white papers, thought pieces, explainers, and others. S/he/they will also supervise the conceptualization and implementation of workshops, visits, and colloquia in support of PWH's research, education, and policy goals.

In addition, the Research Director plays a central role in supporting Penn faculty, visiting fellows, visiting scholars, etc. to leverage and translate their research to shape global policy outcomes to help fulfill PWH's mission of bridging academia and the policy worlds. The Research Director will work with these stakeholders to leverage their research for global policy engagement to influence key policy audiences in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Responsible for PWH research strategy and implementation. Provide strategic and effective research guidance and support for program and research staff; effectively manage research projects, including workshops, colloquia, and other types of convenings; supervise program and research staff.
  • Identify research and collaborative opportunities for written outputs (including reports, policy briefs, whitepapers, factsheets, briefing memos, etc.) and other products and manage the various processes of output prioritization, optimization, and production by staff, visiting fellows, visiting scholars, affiliated faculty, etc. Support donor proposal development and reporting.
  • Produce content (on-line and other) for compelling, well-written, finished written materials, including reports, policy briefs, whitepapers, factsheets, memos, explainers, etc.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


A Master's Degree, terminal research degree (e.g, J.D. or M.D.) or Ph.D. or more and 7 years to 10 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and professional work experience is required. Commitment to global policy influence.

Demonstrated ability to work in fast-paced environment, while maintaining quality of outputs, adherence to deadlines, and collegiality. Excellent researcher, writer, and editor. Outstanding project management skills with the ability to deliver high quality results on time; advanced problem-solving and decision-making skills and the ability to multitask. Excellence in effective research and innovation planning and linking academic research with global policy. Open, strong communicator. Demonstrated project and staff management experience delivering research materials from design to publication in coordination with colleagues and allies.

Ability to manage multiple and simultaneous projects. Capacity to provide leadership in aligning research and written material to advance PWH's mission. Experience working with diverse and global communities. Familiarity with academic institutions. Ability to work independently and to collaborate effectively with colleagues within the University and outside of Penn. Ability to manage multiple and simultaneous projects.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Budgeted Pay Range:

$100-110K commensurate with education and experience.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Penn Global

Pay Range
$61,046.00 - $95,972.00

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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