Director of Foundation Relations and Research Development
Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH

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Reporting to the Assistant Dean, the overriding goal of this position is to assist creating an entrepreneurial culture in the College of Arts and Sciences in which faculty proactively, continuously, and successfully apply for external funding from organizational sources. To achieve that goal, the director functions as an internal consultant and resource to faculty for foundation, government, association, and corporate funding. In that role, the director assists faculty in raising funds from those sources by researching and disseminating information about funding opportunities, assisting in preparing proposals and reports, and arranging faculty skills development programs. In addition, the director will spend approximately 80 to 85% of their time on direct contact cultivation, solicitation and relationship management with foundations, associations, and corporations in coordination with the university’s centralized offices of foundation relations and corporate relations; and will liaise and manage relationships with government agencies in coordination with the university’s Office of Research Administration.


Strategic Planning and Relationship Building with Organizational/Government Funders

1. Assist the dean, chairs, center and program directors of the college to secure funds from local, state, and national organizational sources such as foundations, government agencies, associations, corporations and corporate foundations in support of the strategic priorities of the college and its departments, major programs, and research centers and institutes.

2. Develop plans to support the college’s highest strategic priorities from organizational funding sources, especially from foundations and government agencies.

3. Arrange meetings and develop productive relationships with prospective organizational funders in coordination with the dean and/or key faculty or staff.

4. Steward the college’s relationships with organizational funders to the college, assisting the dean and faculty project directors to arrange regular meetings with funders and fulfill reporting requirements.

5. Consult with faculty on funding for a sabbatical leave, which faculty are required to do by the Executive Committee of the college as part of the sabbatical leave approval process.

Direct Cultivation

1. Develop foundation funding plans and goals.

2. Cultivate, solicit and manage a portfolio of foundation prospects with a goal of securing grants in the range of $100,000+.

Communication of Research and Research Opportunities from Organizational/Government Funders

1. Serve as a primary source of information about organizational funding for the college, with a focus on foundation and government sources.

2. Monitor funding trends.

3. Identify funding opportunities relevant to the disciplines and programs within the college.

4. Disseminate timely, relevant information about new funding opportunities to departments within the college and in some cases, directly to heads of specific program, centers, and individual researchers.

Internal and External Liaison

1. Act as the central point within the college for college faculty to request access to foundations, match their funding needs with foundation priorities, and channel requests for foundation proposal and budget approval to the dean of the college.

2. Serve as the college’s primary liaison with the university’s Office of Foundation Relations and Office of Corporate Relations and coordinate college foundation and corporate funding priorities, plans, and proposals with those offices.

3. Participate as a member of the campus-wide team of foundation and government relations development officers that is convened regularly by the vice president of government and foundation relations.

4. Provide coordination with other units of the university on research development plans and activities.

5. Meet regularly with the university-wide group of research development directors and other staff who are convened by the associate vice president for research and in regular meetings with the college’s associate dean designated for research.

6. Coordinate and work collegially with and in partnership with colleagues on the college’s development and external relations team, as well as with central development offices and in other units on campus.

7. Serve as liaison between college faculty members and federal agencies.

8. Contact agencies to gain information about the scope and timing of upcoming solicitations.

9. Develop relationships with federal program directors.

Proposal Writing, Preparation, and Support

1. Serve as an in-house consultant and resource on writing proposals to foundations, government agencies, corporations, and associations for the college.

2. Working with faculty teams or meeting one-on-one with individual faculty members, assess their funding needs and goals, and provide the following assistance as needed—tied to organizational funding sources:

a. Review guidelines and strategize with faculty members about how to align a proposal with the funder’s priorities to help make the proposal competitive in the review process.

b. Edit proposals and their required attachments, such as biosketches.

c. Draft non-technical sections of proposals.

d. Draft letters required by funders from the dean and partnering organizations.

e. Help manage the application preparation process, especially for faculty group projects, such as developing internal deadlines, proposal outlines, templates for attachments, assembling components of the application package, etc.

f. Coordinate, organize, and/or staff faculty group proposal planning sessions.

g. Instruct and assist faculty with uploading online applications.

Faculty skills development

1. Strengthen faculty members’ confidence and skills in successfully seeking organizational funding.

2. Present external experts and programs to build faculty skills, such as webinars on a specific funding opportunity.

3. Create internal faculty development programs about grant seeking to meet faculty members’ expressed interests and needs, such as panels of faculty winners of specific grants.

4. Provide access to and disseminate useful resources to faculty in their seeking of funds, such as successful applications and guides to writing specific kinds of proposals.


1. Draft proposals about college programs for major individual donors.

2. Identify external grant writers and consultants for special projects and proposals.

3. Perform other duties as required.


Department: Frequent contact with the dean. Regular contact with the college’s associate dean for development and external affairs and staff of the college’s Office of Finance and Administration. Contact with faculty and staff as required to perform essential functions.

University: Contact with the university’s central Office of Foundation and Government Relations, Office of Foundation Relations, Office of Corporate Relations, and Office of Research Administration. Occasional contact with the President’s Office, vice presidents, deans, and other development directors of other schools on campus.

External: Regular contact with the college’s organizational funders.

Students: Minimal contact.


No supervisory responsibility.


Experience: Must have 7 to10 years of experience and successful track record in research development, including in foundations fundraising. Extensive experience with and superior skills in grant writing for foundations, government agencies, and associations. Previous experience working in higher education is desirable.

Education/Licensing: Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred.


1. High degree of energy, creativity, flexibility, organizational, and interpersonal skills as well as excellent communication skills required.

2. Must be able to work independently and also collaboratively with colleagues.

3. Must have ability to multi-task, prioritize, manage simultaneous projects, and meet internal and external deadlines.

4. Extensive and successful experience with proposal writing is preferred.

5. Computer proficiency (including Microsoft Office) and the ability to learn new software programs.


General office environment, some evening and weekend work hours will be required. Some travel required.

Diversity Statement

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Reasonable Accommodations

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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