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Duke Clinical Research Institute
United States, North Carolina, Durham
300 West Morgan Street (Show on map)
October 23, 2023

Work Arrangement:

Requisition Number:

Regular or Temporary:


Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:


Nov 3, 2023

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America's leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Occupational Summary

The Office of Campus Research Development (OCRD), part of the Office of the Provost at Duke University, serves the Campus faculty community to conceptualize, develop, and write proposals to federal agencies to seek extramural funding. OCRD works across all Campus disciplines, schools, and departments, with the overarching mission to make the proposals as compelling and competitive as possible as well as making the proposal development process as straightforward and streamlined as possible. To perform this overarching mission, OCRD works closely with the Office of Research Support (ORS), Duke Office of Research Initiatives (DORI), research development liaisons, and grants administrators across the Campus units in proposal development coordination.

The Senior Research Development Associate (Sr. RDA) will report to the OCRD Director and work to support proposal development in all Campus units.

Work Performed

  • Oversee and support the development of multiple, simultaneous, individual, and complex funding proposals through effective interactions with all involved parties and by providing proposal management, proposal editing, and/or writing integration service, and other requested proposal development support based on OCRD's menu of services.

    • Review agency program goals and guidelines to ensure all proposals align with both agency and institutional goals and capabilities.
    • Work with individuals at all levels in the proposal development process (e.g., PIs and their teams, members within ORCD, Duke leadership, departmental grant managers, ORS representatives) to ensure successful integration of all grant application components and full compliance with all funding program and sponsor requirements.

  • Manage and meet deadlines of one or more proposals at a given time, ensuring timely and excellent customer service to each.
  • Edit proposals and write or provide writing support for non-scientific/technical sections for complex and individual grant applications; provide comprehensive editorial review of all sections; provide subject matter expertise for proposal development, when applicable; and independently advise investigators on proposal strategy, content, and organization.
  • Contribute to updates and maintenance of OCRD resources (e.g., web content, reference guides, etc.).

  • In conjunction with the Director, work with other campus leaders to identify opportunities to strengthen faculty proposals and work collaboratively to implement solutions, with a particular focus on School/College or Departmental inquiries.
  • In conjunction with the Director, represent Duke to external entities (including as part of Oak Ridge Associated Universities).

Required Qualifications

  • Education/Training and Experience

  1. A minimum of a Bachelor's degree in STEM, social sciences, biomedical, or related field. A doctoral degree is highly desirable with demonstration of an understanding and familiarity with a broad range of science or technical subject matter.
  2. Minimum of five years of experience working with faculty and federally-funded extramural funding in an academic setting.
  3. Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Essential Skills

  1. Regarding identifying funding opportunities:

    1. Provide guidance in identifying appropriate extramural research funding opportunities.
    2. Understand, explain, and clarify various sponsors' proposal requirements and review processes.

  2. Regarding research compliance responsibilities:

    1. Ensure compliance with sponsor requirements.
    2. Coordinate and collaborate with proposal development functions with the PI, their teams, departmental grants administrators, and ORS to ensure timely and compliant proposal submissions.

  3. Regarding proposal editing and writing abilities:

    1. Facilitate faculty teams in preparing proposals, ranging from single project-based to more complex proposals.
    2. Help develop strategic, persuasive, and compelling proposal narratives.
    3. Provide high-level, substantive comments, suggestions, and questions on the scientific, technical narrative sections of proposals.
    4. Write non-technical sections of proposals.
    5. Perform careful, line-by-line revisions and edits of the scientific, technical, and/or non-technical sections of proposals.
    6. Develop a visually pleasing proposal with both text and graphics.
    7. Assists the Director in preparing ad hoc resources, such as boilerplate materials, proposal writing tips, and reports.

  • Preferred Skills

    1. At least 2 years of significant editing and advising responsibilities regarding scientific and administrative components for federally-funded opportunities, including for NSF, NIH, DOE, and/or DoD.

In summary, the ideal candidate has outstanding technical writing and editing skills, excellent abilities to organize/shape proposal narrative from early to final stages of proposal development, great attention to detail, knowledge of various funding agency requirements and proposal submission procedures, a positive attitude and an ability to work well as a team within OCRD and with faculty and their teams across a variety of disciplines, and the ability to multi-task and work effectively under deadline pressure.

With your application, please include a cover letter that:

  • Highlights the experience you have working with university faculty and various sponsors on individual or complex federal funding proposals.
  • Indicates why you want to work in Duke's OCRD. In other words, how do you see your values and approach to research development aligning with those of OCRD?

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Minimum Qualifications


Bachelor's degree in STEM, social science, biomedical, or related field. A doctoral degree is highly desirable with demonstration of an understanding and familiarity with a broad range of science or technical subject matter.


Minimum of five years of experience working with relevant extramural grants and contracts in an academic setting, with such experience to include at least 2 years of significant editing and advising responsibilities regarding scientific and administrative components. Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

Nearest Major Market: Durham

Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh