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Research Development Specialist

University Of California
University Of California
Job Functions:
Data Science
Employment Types:
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
85,000 – 105,000 USD per year
Posted on:


This position may be considered for hybrid work, subject to the terms of a telecommuting agreement and dependent on the needs of the research community, with the potential requirement to come to campus for some meetings or events. While telecommuting/remote working, the employee is responsible for ensuring a worksite environment suitable for accomplishing their regular job duties during scheduled hours of work and, if applicable, arranging for dependent care just as they would if they were working in person at a UCSC worksite.

UC Vaccination Policy: With limited exceptions, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for Covered Individuals under the Policy. Covered Individuals include all employees, students, or trainees who physically access a University facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training.

Covered Individuals do NOT include employees who work 100% remotely with NO expectation that they will physically access any University location or program at ANY time. If 100% remote work ends, the employee is subject to policy.


UC Santa Cruz staff jobs are posted until filled. Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. NOTE: Materials submitted after the IRD will be forwarded only at the request of the hiring unit. Submit your materials before the IRD to ensure consideration by the hiring unit.

The IRD for this job is:** 06-27-2022**


UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It's known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus's DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.


Part of the Office of Research, UCSC's Office of Research Development (RD) is a small, service-oriented team that works collaboratively with internal and external partners to advance the UCSC research enterprise through increased funding, visibility, and engagement. RD professionals help individual faculty members, teams of researchers, and administrators attract extramural research funding, build relationships, and develop and implement strategies that increase institutional competitiveness. Specifically, RD staff support researchers across UCSC in developing concepts, funding strategies, and teams; identifying and evaluating funding opportunities; and preparing competitive proposals. The RD team works together to promote cross-campus research communications; facilitate collaborations; conduct workshops and training; and develop resources to streamline proposal development. Additionally, the Office of Research Development supports initiatives such as seed funding, symposia, program officer visits, and structured programs focused on high-priority opportunities.


The Research Development Specialist will support individuals and teams pursuing grants in the general domain of environmental research. Subject matter may include (but is not limited to) marine science, climate resilience, ecology, agriculture, and environmental justice. Environmental research at UCSC formally spans two academic divisions: Physical and Biological Sciences (Environmental Sciences) and Social Sciences (Environmental Studies). The Research Development Specialist will serve as a liaison to both divisions.

Support for environmental researchers will reflect divisional and departmental priorities and may include direct outreach to individuals, teams, and divisional leadership; portfolio analyses; opportunity scouting and evaluation; assistance with strategy development and teaming; and training on various aspects of finding and securing funding, including grant writing. Proposal support may include assisting with proposal planning, coordination, and management; advising on concept and structure; contributing to non-research components such as broader impacts and management plans; editing proposal documents; and reviewing proposal packages for clarity, consistency, and competitiveness. Depending on the scope and context of extramural funding opportunities, Research Development Specialists may collaborate to support large cross-divisional or multi-institutional initiatives, or training and education grants. Research Development Specialists work as part of a team to provide consistent support for UCSC researchers across divisions and are expected to contribute to campus-wide RD programs, resource and process development, and strategic planning. The Specialist may be asked to lead specific programs relevant to their domain, interests, and skills.


Salary Information: Salary Range: $85,000 - $105,000/year. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.

No. of Positions: 1

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:

  • Full-time, Fixed
  • Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week
  • Days of the Week: Mon-Fri
  • Shift Includes: Day

Employee Classification: This is a Career appointment

Job End Date: None

Work Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Campus

Union Representation: Non-Represented

**Job Code Classification: **008826 (RSCH GNT PRG OFCR 3)

Travel:  Never or Rarely


45% -

  • Provides coordinated, hands-on support to the UCSC research community in developing and submitting competitive extramural research proposals. This may include, for example, helping Principal Investigators (PIs) plan and manage proposals; refine concepts and strategies; connect with potential collaborators or support units; facilitate outside reviews; shape and edit proposal narratives; and review supporting documents to ensure a complete, compelling, and cohesive proposal package.

15% -

  • Provides general consultative support to the research community outside the development of specific proposals. This may include, for example, opportunity evaluation; positioning and long-term strategy development; team building; and discussions of funding trends, sponsor priorities, proposal processes, and sponsor requirements.

10% -

  • Helps develop and implement workshops and training activities, networking events, write-a-thons, structured support programs, and other outreach and capacity-building activities.

10% -

  • Conducts proactive outreach to UCSC's research community on strategic extramural funding opportunities.

5% -

  • Works with team members and other support units to develop and maintain processes, resources, repositories, and dissemination mechanisms relevant to proposal development and outreach.

5% -

  • Contributes to RD unit planning, team learning, communication, and reporting.

5% -

  • Maintains currency in disciplinary and research development fields through professional development activities such as webinars, workshops, research, conferences, and publishing.

5% -

  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Advanced degree in related area and/or equivalent experience and/or training.
  • Direct post-degree experience in related area of research (e.g., agriculture, climate science, coastal resilience, ecology, environmental justice).
  • Substantial experience conducting a range of research development activities, preferably at an academic or non-profit institution.
  • Direct experience writing successful research proposals.
  • Excellent grant and technical writing skills.
  • Strong oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills, with the ability to synthesize complex information and creatively solve problems.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups to achieve results.
  • Demonstrated project management skills.
  • Well-organized, with the ability to work independently, effectively set priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to adapt the presentation of information for different audiences and requirements.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of relevant research sponsors and funding mechanisms.


  • PhD in related area.
  • Direct experience engaging in or facilitating cross-disciplinary research.
  • Experience facilitating workshops or trainings.
  • Experience developing and maintaining online resources and tools.
  • Knowledge of the academic research environment.
  • Familiarity with federal sponsor policies.
  • Familiarity with UC policies related to sponsored projects.


  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.
  • This position may be considered for hybrid work, subject to the terms of a telecommuting agreement and dependent on the needs of the research community, with the potential requirement to come to campus for some meetings or events. While telecommuting/remote working, the employee is responsible for ensuring a worksite environment suitable for accomplishing their regular job duties during scheduled hours of work and, if applicable, arranging for dependent care just as they would if they were working in person at a UCSC worksite.
  • The University of California has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, covered employees must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exception or deferral, eight (8) weeks from date of hire.


All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


Attach your resume and cover letter when applying for this job opening. Do not attach any documents to 'My Activities'. Visit our How to Apply tutorial for detailed instructions on our applicant process.


The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. 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. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

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