Vice President for Research and Innovation

University of California

Vice President for Research and Innovation

The University of California (UC) invites applications and nominations for the newly created position of Vice President for Research and Innovation (VP-R&I). In leading the re-structured Office of Research and Innovation, the VP-R&I will serve as an influential partner amongst a wide range of UC stakeholders dedicated to advancing the University's pre-eminence in research and innovation. In doing so, the VP-R&I will have the uniquely profound opportunity to develop new and enhance existing relationships among UC entities to further leverage the University’s world-class strength in research on behalf of California, the nation, and the world.

The University of California

The University of California opened its doors in 1869 with just 10 faculty members and 38 students. Today, UC is home to more than 238,000 students, over 190,000 faculty and staff, and 1.7 million alumni living and working around the world. UC is comprised 10 campuses (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz), five medical centers (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco), and three affiliated national laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos). UC campuses are routinely ranked among the best in the world, but their reach extends beyond campus borders. UC students, faculty, staff and alumni exchange ideas, make advancements and unlock the secrets and mysteries of the universe every day. Thousands of California jobs, billions of dollars in revenues, and countless everyday household items — from more plentiful fruits and vegetables to compact fluorescent light bulbs — can be traced back to UC discoveries. Similarly, many of the state’s leading businesses are based on UC technology, founded by UC faculty or led by UC graduates. For more information about the University of California, please visit

Research at the University of California

Research at the University of California is conducted by some of the world's best researchers and brightest students in hundreds of disciplines at its campuses, national laboratories, medical centers and other research facilities around the State. UC’s research prowess is reflected in the numerous honors and awards earned by faculty, along with its ability to attract an outsized share of research funding. UC is the nation’s pre-eminent academic research system, performing nearly one-tenth of the nation’s academic research. UC provides a unique environment in which leading scholars and promising students strive together to expand fundamental knowledge of human nature, society, and the natural world. Its basic research programs yield a multitude of benefits for California: billions of tax dollars, economic growth through the creation of new products, technologies, jobs, companies and even new industries, agricultural productivity, advances in health care, and improvements in the quality of life. UC's research has been vital in the establishment of the Internet and the semiconductor, software and biotechnology industries in California, making substantial economic and social contributions.

The University of California spends $4.5 billion on research activities annually, with approximately $2.1 billion from federal sources and another $700 million from other sources outside the state. These funds create jobs and are spent on goods and services across the state that support research. UC research funds support nearly 27,500 full-time employees who live throughout California and UC research activity also spurs strong economic hubs around UC campuses. Over the past two decades, UC has secured more licensable patents than any other U.S. research university. Since 1976, over 1,000 start-up companies have been founded around UC inventions, with about 85 percent based in California. UC researchers submit, on average, five new inventions a day in many diverse areas, including agriculture, technology, biotech, and clean energy, leading to more than 550 U.S. patents issued in fiscal year 2017 alone. In addition, UC currently manages over 2,300 technology licenses. As of 2017, there were over 1,300 active technology licenses granted to more than 600 separate California companies. Clearly, UC research has helped California become the fifth-largest economy in the world.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of California

With a rich history in innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E), UC has helped launch iconic industries and businesses in California in fields such as semiconductors, biotechnology, digital media, and aerospace. The University has served as a powerful engine in making California a global leader in innovation and I&E activities are flourishing on UC campuses. Across the system, there are currently 43 incubators/accelerators, numerous competitions, entrepreneurial training academies, and boot camps. Through assistance from California Assembly Bill 2664, UC’s campus entrepreneurial ecosystems have been strengthened: Each campus has built infrastructure and provides services for entrepreneurs and startups including physical incubator and laboratory space, proof-of-concept funding, education, mentoring, events, and corporate partnerships. Each campus now offers support through the startup stages of discovery, validation, commercialization, and scaled growth.

As a result of UC’s deliberate efforts in promoting a culture of I&E, five of UC’s campuses made the 2018 TechCrunch list of top U.S. public universities ranked by numbers of graduating startup founders who raised at least $1 million in venture investment funding, with UC Berkeley and UCLA in the top one and two positions, respectively. Moreover, a 2017 data compilation by Statistica shows that the UC system ranks third as the alma mater of alumni founders of ‘unicorn’ startups, a term used to describe a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion. Innovation and entrepreneurship are thriving on UC’s campuses and the “startup culture” is now embedded in the fabric of UC campus communities.

Position Summary

The University of California is world-renowned for its diverse array of scholarly research across the humanities, social sciences, arts, and STEM fields and its contributions in these areas. As such, the Vice President for Research and Innovation has the potential to drive the success of UC’s research enterprise through developing and implementing unique, systemwide research and innovation initiatives and programs in partnership with campus, state, industry, and federal stakeholders. These opportunities are often positioned across multidisciplinary fields with potential for wide-ranging impact, addressing issues throughout California, the nation, and the world. These issues include, but are not limited to: climate science, drought and fire prevention and mitigation, urban infrastructure resiliency, inequality, biomedical ethics, foreign influence and intellectual property, building new economic sectors for our future economy, disease prevention and treatment, healthy aging, and many more. Ultimately, the VP-R&I should serve as one of UC’s most effective advocates for continued investment in UC’s research and innovation infrastructure, which is essential to sustaining and nurturing UC’s research enterprise and its beneficial impact on our knowledge- and innovation-driven economy.

The VP-R&I is a transformational senior leader in the UC Office of the President, represents UC research in national leadership roles, and builds awareness of the public impact and economic value of the diversified UC research efforts at the state, national, and international levels. The VP-R&I has an inclusive, empowering leadership style and a future-oriented perspective built from critical insight and analysis of state, national, and international trends. The VP-R&I is a valued and valuable partner for the UC President and Provost in all efforts pertinent to supporting and advancing UC’s research mission – to ever-increasing benefit to Californians and the world. Partnering with key leaders across the system, the VP-R&I works to bring together people and resources from across UC campuses and partner institutions around the world: to organize around common challenges and opportunities; advocate for research needs, policies, and resources; and maximize the effectiveness and impact of research across the University of California and the state.

With deep understanding of UC's strengths and aspirations and of the individuality of UC's campuses, national laboratories, medical centers, and the Office of the President’s division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), the VP-R&I collaborates with campus leaders to build and support world class, innovative programs, services, and facilities for research and knowledge transfer between academia and the non-academic community. The VP-R&I will lead collaborative efforts to generate statewide and systemwide funding and innovations in helping the University fulfill its responsibilities under The Master Plan for Higher Education in California (1960) as "the primary state-supported academic agency for research.” The VP-R&I supports campus, national laboratory, ANR, and medical center research leaders in their creative efforts to: nurture campus research; build mechanisms for enhanced success; cultivate community and global engagements; and encourage efficiency and sustainable innovation in both research and knowledge transfer programs.

Moreover, in developing a keen knowledge of UC’s research infrastructure and capabilities, the VP-R&I will serve as a staunch advocate for the University of California with California’s state government and in Washington, D.C. on all matters related to research and innovation.

For a full position profile and list of qualifications, please visit

Application and Nomination Process

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience. Submission of materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name, position, address and telephone number of the nominee. All nominations and applications will be handled in confidence. Applications will remain confidential until the selection of the finalists, whose names and application materials will be made public.

Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted to:

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates

6512 Painter Avenue

Whittier, CA  90601


Refer to code “UCOP-VP-R&I” in subject line

The University of California is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

This position is a sensitive position and is subject to a criminal background check.