Overview: To manage the Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program (LSSURP) and assist in the development of the overall LSSURP in coordination with Faculty Co-Directors. Provide operational support for the Office of Biomedical Graduate Research, Education and Training (BGREAT). Plan and coordinate logistical operations, financial operations, and related recruiting activities for the LSSURP and BGREAT. Serve as a liaison with other University of Minnesota summer research programs.
Duties: LSSURP – Manage Undergraduate Research Program Manage, develop and oversee the Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (LSSURP) and its activities. Develop the planning and operational processes for the LSSURP including programming, budget, and system issues. The LSSURP is comprised of 50-80 highly qualified undergraduates from across the United States each summer to participate in a 10-week residential program on the University of Minnesota’s campus. Plan and organize the summer program each year, which may include 4-8 different programs under the LSSURP umbrella. Work with over 300 faculty across campus to secure commitments for grants and mentoring. Work with the following colleges within the U of MN campus: College of Biological Sciences, Medical School, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy, Graduate School, & College of Veterinary Medicine. Establish partnerships with several non-U of MN institutions such as Macalester College, Carleton College, Fort Valley State University, University of PR-Cayey, Xavier University, University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Direct the use and maintenance of an online application system using the University sponsored Qualtrics system. Develop and maintain data integrity between that application system and LSSURP database system. Consult with several U of M units to negotiate contracts for residential housing, food service, Corporate Travel, UDS catering, Boynton health insurance, Fleet Services, KAPLAN, etc. Consult with General Counsel’s Office to obtain approval to comply with the University of Minnesota’s policies on LSSURP documents for incoming participants. Organize several seminars and meetings throughout the year, in addition to developing the following for LSSURP participants: 4 day orientation weekend at Lake Itasca Biological Station & Laboratories, bioethics seminars, graduate school preparation workshop series, faculty and participant picnic, Graduate Programs Fair, and social activities to introduce prospective graduate students to what the University and Twin Cities have to offer. Coordinate a campus wide poster symposium for over 200 participants to present their research for over 13 programs on campus. Hire, train and supervise 6-10 undergraduate and graduate students.
Preparation and execution of production schedules for promotional materials, statistical reports, annual reviews, and NIH & NSF grant applications and progress reports. Work with 4-10 Program Directors to gather information and prepare grant applications, progress reports and final reports.
LSSURP – Database, Communications, and Program Support Establish protocols and control records maintenance for complex databases, website, and social media for communications with various programs’ constituencies. Serve as a liaison to other U of MN research programs, students, staff, faculty, Directors of Graduate Studies, community members and sponsors. Serve on an Executive Committee to coordinate shared activities with over 13 summer research programs on campus each summer. Establish and maintain partnerships with other institutions across the US. Evaluate LSSURP each summer using an NSF sponsored assessment tool. Make improvements using this assessment tool and feedback from participants and faculty mentors. Review other summer research programs nationwide to remain competitive. Track past alumni and develop various reports for accountability and granting agencies. Carry out year round communication with a variety of constituents to prepare, implement, and execute the LSSURP. This will include day to day contact with students or faculty or the seasonal contacts with the travel agencies, conference planning, residential housing, catering, dining services, hotel vendors, park permit office, federal granting agencies, etc. These communications are required for one or more of the following: giving information, persuading, problem solving, negotiating, receiving instructions. Constant positive communication is a key aspect to be successful in this position.
LSSURP –Budget management Oversee and manage complex budgets totaling approximately $500-600K for LSSURP from institutional, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation & other granting or corporate agencies per year. Execute the policies and procedures from each source of revenue for compliance. Have knowledge of EFS, Purchasing Card, Sponsored Projects Administration, etc. processes and policies. Continually work with faculty in preparation of budgets, progress reports and final reports for various granting agencies. Attend NSF REU meetings bi-annually to receive updates on future grant submissions and present poster to share best practices with REU’s from across the US, typically over 100 other programs. Develop stipend payment process with various funding sources and work with 5-7 different accounting offices across campus.
LSSURP – Recruitment and Fostering Goals for Externally-Funded Grants Maintain data on alumni for reporting to funding agencies on outcomes. These data are to be shared with faculty submitting new grants if requested. Recruit prospective students to apply to the LSSURP in the life sciences disciplines through direct interaction with students, undergraduate program personnel and faculty mentors at other colleges and universities and others. Present informational sessions at local, state, and national conferences and at educational and governmental institutions. Develop poster and materials to present at these venues. Recruit for LSSURP at local institutions. Communicate with alumni to engage them in recruiting with peers about the University of Minnesota. Maintain communication with alumni to encourage and support their career development and eventual application for admission to postbaccalaureate degree programs. Remind alumni of deadlines for abstract submissions to scientific conferences where they can present the results of their LSSURP research and facilitate communications with LSSURP participants and their University of Minnesota faculty mentors.
BGREAT – Database, Communications, Program Support & Recruitment Use the Hobsons Connect prospective student database system to maintain, update and conduct initial analyses of data to inform recruitment strategies. Collect, process and report data on graduate students productivity for use in evaluating graduate program quality. Recruit prospective students for the biomedical sciences graduate programs via relationships built with LSSURP students, providing logistical support for the annual Biomedical Sciences Campus Preview and other activities as requested by the Director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Research, Education, & Training (BGREAT). Participate in regional and national conferences to recruit graduate students. Serves as a liaison to the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance/NorthStar STEM Alliance and local chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).
Budget Responsibilities: Check the item(s) below that describe the incumbent’s involvement in the budgetary process. Plan, prepare, forecast, & monitor. The LSSURP is comprised of many funding sources and has a complex budget. This position needs knowledge of sponsored and non-sponsored accounting policies and procedures. This position needs to plan and prepare each year’s budget by reviewing, negotiating and verifying which externally funded programs will be supported by the LSSURP each year. With 50-80 students per year, we typically have over 10 different sources to meet financial obligations. Once a budget is approved you need to monitor and collect funds from the various sources for reconciliation. We have contracts with other institutions (Macalester, University of PR -Cayey) or organizations (NIH programs such as MARC, MBRS, etc.), or granting agencies (National Institutes of Health & National Science Foundation) with 3 or 5 year terms. Grants need to be monitored each year to forecast any remaining funds and then obtain approval through the agency to spend unused finds. This position prepares the overall budget each year by reviewing all the sources for any given year which continually changes.
Problem Solving. Indicate the nature of problems regularly encountered by this position. Highly varied and unpredictable situations, complex and often non-recurring; new and creative approaches required. Provide an example to support your selection above: During the summer, we have 50+ undergraduates for a 10 week residential program. The LSSURP coordinator must be able to respond to a wide range of issues that cannot be predicted in advance. These have historically included medical issues, mental health or behavioral problems and accidents involving personal or property damage. An experienced LSSURP coordinator is required for producing successful responses to individual situations.
Independence of Action: Indicate the position’s independence of action. Incumbent sets own goals and determines how to accomplish results with few guidelines to follow, although precedents may exist; supervisor/manager provides broad guidance and overall direction. Provide a typical example to support your selection above: Works independently on a daily basis. Is expected to negotiate contracts with University housing & dining, travel services, Itasca Field Station, etc. Continually: evaluates the program, researches other programs and best practices and is expected to generate new processes for data reporting and analysis when needed.
Physical/Environmental Demands: Indicate the typical physical and/or environmental demands required to effectively handle the position responsibilities and their frequency. Specific physical requirements or environmental exposures. Provide examples if the specific physical requirements box is checked (e.g., exposure to hazardous materials): Mostly office setting but does require some weeknight and weekends at Lake Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories, driving U of MN vehicles, meetings with students, graduate students, and faculty in their labs or seminar sessions. There are several events and seminars that meet outside regular office hours at various locations. There is a need to be on call during the summer for any issues or emergencies that arise. Being able to lift 50 pounds (ie. luggage of LSSURP students).
All required qualifications must be documented on application materials
BA or BS and 2 years experience working in a biomedical undergraduate research program; or a combination of related education and experience to equal six (6) years
Experience with the following software: Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, Filemaker Pro, Drupal, University of Minnesota Google Apps, Qualtrics.
Familiarity with social media platforms: Facebook and LinkedIn.
Ability to establish strong, positive relationships with a diverse population of undergraduate students. Skill in multicultural awareness and the needs of students, many of whom are away from their homes for the first time is vital.
Experience with University EFS financial system including completion of Basic Accounting, Chart of Accounts, Receiving purchases, Creating an Expense Report, My Wallet training.
Ability to work independently and prioritize workload. Strong organizational, written and verbal communication skills.
Experience with Hobsons Connect prospect database.
Experience with NIH ERA Commons data system.
Experience in attending undergraduate research conferences such as the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students or the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.