Research Development Specialist - Humanities, Arts and Interpretative Social Sciences

92004 Requisition #

Research Development Specialist - Humanities, Arts and Interpretative Social Sciences

(Immediate Opening)

Stanford University is one of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As a major Silicon Valley employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. In turn, the university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives.

The Stanford Research Development Office (RDO) is a new, central research development office, housed within the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research (VPDoR) and led by the Director of Research Development. VPDoR provides guidance and support to facilitate, nurture, and safeguard a thriving research ecosystem. Within this framework, the newly founded RDO aims to strengthen competitiveness of proposals by Stanford faculty for collaborative or strategic research and scholarly or artistic activities through support for project-opportunity alignment, early preparation, and proposal development. With a focus on the concept/narrative side of the proposal, RDO complements other pre-award services such as budget development by local research administration support and compliance review and submission by the Office of Sponsored Research. RDO supports PIs from across the University, with an emphasis on strategic or complex proposals (within the context of the application’s field or unit).

Join us at RDO as we build a team of 5-6 collaborative, talented and dedicated staff from the ground up. This is an exciting time for Research Development (RD) at Stanford, with a unique opportunity to help shape the direction of our office. We aim to sustain a culture of integrity and operational excellence. We operate on the basis of accountability, collaboration, empowerment, equity and inclusion, growth and adaptability, and open communication.


Our VPDoR Diversity Journey:

  • We create a hub of innovation through the power of diversity of disciplines and people.
  • We provide equitable access and opportunity to all members of the community in order to do their best work, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • We listen to and value all colleagues who bring diverse perspectives to the advancement and development of a respectful community.
  • We promote a culture of belonging, equity, and safety.
  • We embed these values in excellence of education, research, and operation.



We are hiring one (1), full time (100% FTE), fixed term Research Development Specialist for three (3) years. Although not guaranteed, there will be potential for an extension/renewal following the initial 3 years contingent upon additional funding commitments and/or programmatic needs.


The Research Development (RD) Specialist will support applications for funding by faculty and teams from across the University, with a focus on proposals in the fields of the Humanities, Arts and Interpretative Social Sciences.

As we build up the Stanford Research Development Office (RDO), you will have the opportunity to help define and fine-tune our programs, processes, and activities. Under the general direction of the Director of Research Development, you will have a crucial role in creating RD activities and resources at Stanford. You will support Principal Investigators (PIs) and proposals teams in the development of responsive and competitive proposals for funding through grantsmanship, consultations, and project management. You will also have a central role in facilitating early preparation and concept or team formation for strategic opportunities. This may include workshops, networking events, funding opportunity dissemination, written guides and resources, and more.

This position is a unique blend of a central office position with a topical emphasis area in which to build deeper content knowledge and closer relationships. As such, the RD Specialist will work closely with faculty and staff at Stanford – in particular with those at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), and in departments and institutes in the topical focus area – and at collaborating institutions, as well as with colleagues within RDO and VPDoR. This position thrives through a skilled approach, a collaborative spirit, a solution-oriented attitude, and a willingness to go the extra mile.



  • Provide individualized grantsmanship advice, writing and editing support, and project management assistance/expertise to faculty and proposal teams from across the University, with emphasis on those in the Humanities, Arts and Interpretative Social Sciences. In consultation with the Director, provide level and type(s) of support to best meet the needs of the PI or proposal team and maximize RDO’s impact:
    • Analyze sponsor guidelines and past awards to advise the PI on sponsor expectations and help guide responsive concept development
    • In consultation with the PI and in collaboration with the research administrator, help manage the entire proposal process, from concept development through proposal submission, including management of meetings, task assignments, timelines, document sharing and version control.
    • Advise on and draft specific sections and attachments, as appropriate
    • Review, edit, format, and proofread any or all proposal components
  • Identify, create, and implement new or improved proposal resources for faculty PIs, including RDO webpages; tools, tips, templates and other written resources; newsletters; presentations and workshops.
  • Teach and/or support workshops and programs to support grant writers and grow knowledge of extramural funding opportunities in the Humanities, Arts and Interpretative Social Sciences. Example topics may include Introduction to a Sponsor (e.g., NEH, NEA) or Program, Grant Writing Skills, etc.
  • Contribute to targeted funding opportunity dissemination
  • Under guidance of the Director, contribute to RDO’s stakeholder engagement, data collection and analysis, collaborations, and communications to the University community.
  • Be an active RDO and SHC team member; share experiences, knowledge and best practices, and collaborate on projects as appropriate.


Please note that Stanford University has several COVID-19 safety measures in place that evolve as the situation evolves. This position will be based on the Stanford campus and an option of a hybrid work schedule will be considered, subject to satisfactory job performance and operational need.


The San Francisco Bay Area is a wonderful place to call home, with a rich and diverse culture, activities for a variety of lifestyles, and some of the country's most beautiful scenery. We recognize that living in this area often comes with a higher cost of living than other areas of the country and that is reflected in our salary levels. In addition, as you consider coming to Stanford, know that we can provide relocation support for your move to the Bay Area and will partner with you to make this your new home   .  

For consideration, applications must include, as separate documents, a letter of interest and a resume. This position will remain open until filled, with a first review date of November 15, 2021.



Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant experience or combination of education, training, and relevant experience.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • A broad, interdisciplinary base of understanding of Humanities, Arts and Interpretative Social Sciences research, methods, theories, and scholarship
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to communicate collegially and knowledgeably with faculty in an array of HASSE disciplines using diverse methodological approaches
  • Experience designing professional development and instructional techniques to advance faculty success
  • Knowledge of sponsor guidelines and pre-award proposal processes
  • Demonstrated ability to operate in a service-oriented way, with dedication, follow-through, and team spirit
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, critical analysis, problem solving, and decision-making skills
  • Demonstrated planning and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as a self-starter, and collaboratively as part of a team
  • Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working-relationships with a variety of persons
  • Fluency in relevant technology/platforms (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google docs, Google sheets, Google slides, file sharing services, funding opportunity databases, event and survey platforms, etc.)



  • Advanced degree in a related field and/or 5+ years of relevant experience preferred
  • Demonstrated expertise in proposal development for various funders (e.g., NEH, NEA, Mellon Foundation)
  • Demonstrated expertise in grant writing (i.e., correct, clear, concise, and compelling writing)
  • Demonstrated experience with preparing PIs and proposal teams leading up to an opportunity
  • Prior experience working in an academic environment with teams, faculty, and staff



  • Frequently stand/walk, sitting, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Occasionally use a telephone, writing by hand, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 40 pounds
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh >40 pounds.
  • Ability to use voice to present information/communicate with others.
  • On-campus mobility.


* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.



  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,


Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:


  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more!


The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and 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, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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