Director - Research Partnership: Engineering Focus

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

Posted Date 3/04/2024

About the Opportunity

Northeastern University’s Roux Institute is designed as an engine of innovation, talent-building, and economic growth for Portland, Maine, and northern New England. Partnerships set our model of graduate education and research apart. In partnership with industry, academia, government, and community organizations, we are creating programs that are preparing the workforce to stay agile and thrive in a competitive landscape powered by artificial intelligence. We are nurturing an environment for high-impact research and innovation in computer and data science, digital engineering, the advanced life sciences and medicine, and other tech fields. And we are helping entrepreneurs launch businesses focused on and powered by technology. Together, we envision an “innovation corridor” that in the coming years will stretch from Boston to Portland and beyond.

Position Description

The Roux Institute is hiring a Director of Research Partnership, to generate new 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 role will join 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 role will specifically focus on building the research enterprise connected to the Director of Engineering Research and University Labs that are expanding their research footprint in Portland, such as the Experiential Robotics Institute, the Network Sciences Institute, and the Wireless Institute of Things Institute, among others. Given the highly interdisciplinary nature of the Roux Institute research efforts in which partnerships are developed will also cut across other research verticals including Life Sciences and Medicine, Human Data Interaction, and the Institute for Experiential AI.

This is a strategic business development role where you will hunt for 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. This will also include building partnerships with industry to support targeted and comprehensive federal grant opportunities. 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 third 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.

The overarching responsibilities of this position include:

  • Driving revenue for the research enterprise
  • Conduct effective marketing, engagement & outreach efforts, driven by Northeastern research strengths and plans.
  • Understand the specific research goals of the Roux Institute, faculty, and Partner Organizations, at a level of depth that uncovers new collaboration opportunities.
  • Support the development and execution of proposals to and agreements with partners
  • Success in this role will be measured by research revenue to the Roux Institute, growth in the percentage of industry funded research, and the quality and longevity of the research partnerships


Essential Experience & Education:

· 10+ years’ experience in business development, consulting, strategic program management or related field

Familiarity working with executives within varying types and sizes of organizations

· Experience and comfort working in a matrixed organization and with people across reporting structures

· Exceptional written and verbal communication skills

· Exceptional project management skills

· Budget, proposal, and agreement development experience

· 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 external partners and key collaborators across the University

· Detail oriented and analytical

· Thrives in a multi-tasking environment and can adjust priorities quickly

· Self-motivated, proactive, risk taking, and a drive to succeed

· Strong at developing deep personal relationships to key contacts in customer organizations

· Ability to serve as an ambassador for the University

· A culturally responsive mindset and the ability to cultivate positive relationships across lines of difference

· A commitment to Maine and its people

· A sense of humor and enthusiasm

Preferred Skills, Experience

· Relevant industry experience strongly preferred

· Experience with Salesforce

· Master's degree in business, technology, or engineering preferred.

· An understanding of IP terms and commercialization strategies in an industry/higher education setting

Travel Requirement

· You will be required to travel, mostly regionally, to meet partnership prospects

· You may be required to travel to Boston a few days per quarter for meetings at Northeastern’s Boston and Burlington campuses

· There is limited travel further afield to meet companies who wish to move offices to Maine or to visit Northeastern regional campuses

Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities

Develop Research Partnerships

· Shape the partnership development plan from value

proposition to target development to funnel management

· Design and communicate partnership models to

prospective partners so that partners understand the value

in what Northeastern has to offer

· Identify, approach, and develop corporate, philanthropic,

non-profit, and governement 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 75%

· 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


· 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 clear, and consistent communication and smooth delivery of services to partners.

· Function as a liaison between The Roux Institute and the

other Northeastern University campuses 10%

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


The Roux Institute is strongly committed to fostering excellence through diversity and recognizes the strength that diversity in all its forms brings to the research endeavor. We invite applications from all qualified candidates and enthusiastically welcome applications from women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

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 | Engineering | Management | Science - Research

Share this job