Senior Director - Research Partnerships

The Roux Institute at Northeastern University | Portland, ME, United States

Posted Date 9/07/2023

About the Opportunity

The Roux Institute is hiring a Senior Director of Partnership Development, to build and optimize partnerships to drive the ambitious growth plans of our research enterprise. The successful candidate will be enthusiastic about developing partnerships to achieve the mission of the Roux Institute. They will possess the ability to set a vision for each partnership and to see that vision through to contract execution. This person will manage a high-performance team that delivers on value. The right fit for this position will be comfortable building relationships with C-Suite level counterparts and negotiating agreements with complex, sophisticated businesses. At its essence, this position is the consummate “player-coach”.

This role leads a team that works to fund the institute’s research enterprise to advance the success of our partners, the regional economy, and society. This is accomplished by identifying -corporate, academic, government, philanthropic, and non-profit strategic research partners, developing progressively rich relationships targeted at mutual positive return on investment, and closing collaborative partnership agreements. It is expected that the research will be performed at the Roux Institute in Portland, ME, and/or within the partner company if located in (or relocated to) Maine. This team supports the strategic goals of the world-class researcher directors that lead the research enterprise at the Roux Institute.

This is a strategic business development role where you will develop and foster key sponsor relations and build relationships with strategic partners from Maine, New England, nationally and internationally to bridge the gap between higher education and the corporate world and bring research through to translation. Your role is to uncover business problems associated with strategic plans of partners and design and co-create solutions with faculty at Northeastern University.

This role combines the dynamic “we will learn as we go” nature of a young organization – our research enterprise is essentially in its second year – with the institutional power and backing of Northeastern University. You will constantly be able to learn and grow your own knowledge and expertise, while delivering results that increase research funding and contribute to the innovation and long-term economic development of Maine and the region.

Travel Requirement

  • You will be required to travel, mostly regionally, to meet partnership prospects.
  • Occasional travel to Northeastern’s Boston campus may be required.
  • There is limited travel further afield to meet companies who wish to move offices to Maine or to visit Northeastern regional campuses.


Essential Experience & Education:

  • 10+ years’ experience in business development, relationship management, corporate strategic planning or related field
  • Deep knowledge of relevant funding agencies in public and private spheres and established professional networks. This includes a track record of securing multi-million-dollar proposals from federal agencies, foundations and/or corporations for applied research programs.
  • Significant experience building strategic donor relations with companies and foundations, and possesses a proven track record of developing deep personal and professional relationships to key contacts in customer organizations.
  • Demonstrated skill in negotiating complex agreements that balance the interests of both academia and industry. Ability to find common ground, navigate challenges, and reach mutually beneficial solutions.
  • Familiarity working with stakeholders within varying types and sizes of organizations.
  • Experience leading successful teams to achieve specific financial goals.
  • Experience and comfort working with research faculty across disciplines and building a knowledge base in technology domains.
  • Proven strategic interdisciplinary program development, coordination and management.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional project management skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills with demonstrated ability to work independently and make decisions in a timely manner based on thoughtful analysis and critical judgment.
  • Organizational tact and diplomacy; possesses superb people skills required to develop close relationships with key collaborators across the University.
  • Self-motivated, proactive, risk-taking, and possesses a drive to succeed.
  • A culturally responsive mindset?and the ability to cultivate positive relationships across lines of difference.
  • A commitment to Maine and its people

Preferred Skills, Experience?

  • Experience with Salesforce?
  • Experience with Budget Development
  • Master's degree in Business, Technology, or other relevant field preferred.
  • An understanding of IP terms and commercialization strategies in an industry/higher education setting


1) Strategy & Team Management

  • Play a leading role in shaping the strategic vision of The Roux Institute in the area of research partnerships supporting ambitious research projects
  • Identify, build, and maintain relationships with companies, foundations, and federal agencies to establish sustainable funding sources for Roux’s research enterprise and that will support the strategic vision and growth of The Roux Institute YOY
  • Lead, engage and motivate employees. Actively support a positive, collaborative, high-performance team culture.
  • Provide an effective process for performance management and development that provides measurable goals, clear expectations and solid direction to each team member.
  • Provide frequent feedback, recognition and coaching to ensure high performance, professional growth and development. Plan for and support employees in career and professional development opportunities aligned with organization’s needs.
  • Address unsatisfactory employee performance including developing, delivering and monitoring performance improvement plans.
  • Facilitate the resolution of employee conflicts.
  • Lead and guide employee/team to develop new skills, knowledge and abilities that will enhance their work and development.
  • Manage change by providing the needed structure and transparent environment. Coach employee/team through changes that impact their day to day work.
  • Assist employees in navigating business processes and resolving issues.
  • Administer and ensure compliance with university policies and procedures.
  • Review staffing needs including developing job descriptions and recruitment plans. Lead the selection and onboarding process.

2) Develop Research Partnerships

  • In collaboration with faculty, build relevant domain knowledge and facilitate translational research opportunities with industry and other stakeholders
  • Identify key funders that align to Roux’s research enterprise and collaborate with faculty to establish long-term relationships that sustainably fund Roux’s applied research
  • Design and communicate partnership models to prospective partners so that partners understand the value in what Northeastern has to offer
  • Facilitate workshops and discussions to jointly define the roadmap and milestones for each partnership. Ensure that the partnership's objectives are clear, achievable, and measurable, and that both parties are committed to the success of the initiatives.
  • Develop strategies to accelerate the translation of innovative ideas from the lab to the market, ensuring a robust pathway for technology transfer and successful commercialization.
  • Identify, approach, and develop corporate, philanthropic, non-profit, and government partnerships that will support the strategic vision and growth of The Roux Institute YOY
  • Use consultative selling skills to discover the specific value proposition and use case for partners and faculty and ensure alignment with the Roux Institute research strategic plans
  • Negotiate NDAs and MOUs as needed and move those to formal partnership agreements
  • Steward all partnerships through agreement phase; ensure client retention and high satisfaction
  • Work with partners to establish critical programmatic goals utilizing key performance indicators
  • Provide benchmarking data and reports to aid partners in achieving their goals in line with The Roux Institute strategies
  • Continuously work to identify new opportunities for corporate and other partnerships

3) Operations

  • Work with colleagues across the University to deliver excellent value to our partners
  • Advocate for partner needs/issues cross-departmentally.?
  • Support internal operational teams in ensuring the smooth delivery of services to partners.?
  • Function as a liaison between The Roux Institute and the other Northeastern University campuses

4) Storytelling and Reporting

  • Implement best practices in Salesforce.?
  • Diligently record, analyze, and report to leadership on the status of partnerships, related initiatives, and what you are learning about your partners and their needs.
  • Provide benchmarking data and reports to aid partners in achieving their goals.
  • Tell the story of the partnerships you develop through data and narratives.

Emergent work

  • Pursue new opportunities with partners as they arise.
  • Pivot to meet changing partner needs and interests.
  • Respond to new priorities and initiatives with energy and enthusiasm.

Position Type

General Administration

Additional Information

Northeastern University considers factors such as candidate work experience, education and skills when extending an offer.

Northeastern has a comprehensive benefits package for benefit eligible employees. This includes medical, vision, dental, paid time off, tuition assistance, wellness & life, retirement- as well as commuting & transportation. Visit for more information.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

Job Type
Education | Management | Science - Research

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