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The University of Utah is looking for a new Vice President for Research

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Position Overview

The University of Utah (the U) invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Research.

The Vice President for Research (VPR) leads the University of Utah’s research mission of generating knowledge and new discoveries. The VPR is responsible for growing the university’s research enterprise and advancing and supporting research and scholarly and creative work across the university. The VPR reports directly to the university president and serves as a member of the president’s cabinet. The VPR also serves as president of the University of Utah Research Foundation.

The VPR will be an accomplished, dynamic, inclusive, and ethical leader who can articulate and exemplify the vital contribution research makes to the success of a large flagship state university and who is capable of providing leadership on a campus of diverse disciplines that includes a large health sciences center. The VPR will leverage the University of Utah’s unique strengths and be the champion, visionary, and supporter of excellent diverse, innovative, collaborative, and high-quality research across the U as it seeks to significantly expand its research footprint and grow sponsored research funding to $1 billion annually.

The VPR will possess a distinguished record of professional and leadership experience in research and creative activity; strong strategic planning, management, and budgeting skills; an ability to inspire and engage faculty, students, partners, and others to advance the research mission of the U; and experience with research infrastructure development. The University of Utah is an environment where creative individuals in leadership positions are given the latitude and resources necessary to succeed and are challenged to pursue big goals.

Role of the Vice President for Research


  • Develop a strategic vision and direction for the University of Utah's research enterprise
  • Build Main Campus's research portfolio
  • Cultivate increased collaboration and research activities between Main Campus and Health Sciences
  • Foster large-scale interdisciplinary research initiatives
  • Research integrity and compliance
  • Build and strengthen institutional infrastructure to support research growth
  • Collaboration and relationships
  • Foster a strong partnership with the Chief Innovation & Economic Engagement Officer
  • Serve as an integral member of the President's Cabinet
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Research
  • Support Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral research

About the Office of the Vice President for Research:

The VPR Office is dedicated to leading the U’s research strategic initiatives that impact and enhance the research climate at the U. The office is supported by a staff of 335 and operational budget of $49 million.


To cultivate a national and international leading research community through excellence, innovation, and interdisciplinary research at the University of Utah.


Integrity: We value responsible and ethical practices that align with compliance and regulation policies. The importance of honesty and transparency is essential to conducting responsible quality research.

  • Diversity: We value diversity both in faculty and fields of research. Our efforts are dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse environment to create research that represents the global community we serve.
  • Respect: We value a respectful research culture that encourages civility and consideration of others. We strive to facilitate a welcoming and safe research campus that acts on courtesy, compassion, and awareness of all groups and individuals.
  • Collaboration: We value collaboration and teamwork that reflects interdisciplinary fields of research. Working together as a unified institution is integral to achieve the university’s research mission and goals.
  • Innovation: We value innovation and creativity to find impactful solutions that address the challenges we face as a society. We are focused on conducting transformative research that will result in positive social change.


The U’s distinguished research community is cultivated through its 18 colleges, 35 interdisciplinary programs, 100 academic departments, and 120 centers/institutes across campus. With over 100 fields of study, the U is leading discovery in areas as diverse as the following, as well as many others:

Humanities, Education, and Diversity

  • Humanities and philosophy
  • Advanced communications
  • Educational policy
  • Social injustices and inequities

Mental Health and Social Work

  • Opioid addiction and chronic pain
  • Military health and suicide prevention

Medicine and Technology

  • Medical innovation
  • Human genetics and precision medicine
  • Cancer research and infectious disease
  • Neural engineering and rehabilitation
  • Dance, art, and game design for health

Climate and Energy

  • Environmental studies and sustainability
  • Geothermal energy production

Engineering and Computing

  • Computational science, technology, and engineering
  • Utah Array
  • POWDER-RENEW project
  • Computer gaming

With over 963,000 square feet of research space on campus, the U is renowned for its state-of-the-art research facilities, including its leading academic, medical, and basic research programs through the University of Utah’s academic medical center. The U’s Research Park is also located on campus as a hub for technology advancement and real estate prospects that continue to increase growth and development for the state of Utah.

For the ninth consecutive year, research funding across campus has continued to grow. The U’s research portfolio has reached a historic high of $686 million in annual sponsored research funding, with 2,933 awarded grants. The U is recognized for its many notable achievements, including the one-of-a kind biomedical and health-related Utah Population Database, the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Intermountain West, the world’s first permanent artificial heart transplant surgery, the ARPANET fourth node that created the Internet and World Wide Web, a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, and more. More than 7,951 faculty and staff participate in the U’s research enterprise, along with more than 4,244 students, postdoctoral associates, and research assistants.

Position Profile

Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities

The successful candidate for this position will possess: 

  • A Ph.D. or terminal degree with scholarly, professional, and research accomplishments commensurate with the rank of full professor.
  • Record of significant leadership and administrative experience in a research university or complex organization.

The successful candidate will provide evidence of possessing many of the following experiences, skills, and attributes:

  • Demonstrated innovative leadership in cultivating and maintaining a robust, competitive, and highly productive research environment, including large scale interdisciplinary research programs.
  • A systems thinker who understands how to drive effective and efficient research administration operations.
  • Experience driving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and ensuring an inclusive and supportive environment for faculty, students, and staff.
  • Demonstrated experience providing leadership and direction for a team, including mentoring staff, managing workflow, evaluating performance, and supporting professional development.
  • Ability to create and articulate a strong vision and strategy to nurture, grow, and support research, scholarship, and creative activity at the University of Utah.
  • Desire to build understanding and appreciation of the intersection of research and scholarship across the U’s full academic enterprise.
  • Familiarity with current and emerging national and international research agendas, policy issues, and modes of research.
  • Adaptable, entrepreneurial, and strategic in identifying research opportunities and prioritizing funding and efforts.
  • A broad knowledge of a university research enterprise that includes health sciences.
  • Experience with research compliance and integrity, including conflict of interest, human subject research, animal research, export control, safety, and related areas.
  • Experience with the creation and management of large research centers and core research facilities.
  • Familiarity with direct and indirect costs and federal and state regulations associated with sponsored research.
  • Strong strategic planning, management, and budget skills.
  • Superior communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong collaborator with a record of building relationships among academic units, centers and institutes, and external stakeholders to facilitate organizational initiatives.
  • Experience engaging effectively with public agencies and granting authorities, foundations, industry, regulatory bodies, national laboratories, research consortia, and other public and private organizations.

Procedure for Candidacy

AGB Search is pleased to assist the University of Utah with this search.

To apply for the Vice President for Research position, candidates are requested to submit: 1) a curriculum vita or resume, 2) a letter of interest that addresses the leadership opportunities and desired attributes in the profile, and 3) contact information for four references (to be contacted at a later date with candidate’s permission) to by December 30, 2022, for best consideration. The search will remain open until an appointment is made.

Nominations and expressions of interest in the Vice President for Research position are encouraged. Please direct them to or to the AGB search consultants listed below.

All applications and nominations will be held in confidence.

For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations: 

Kimberly Templeton
JD, Principal
Direct: 540-761-9494

Nancy Targett
PhD, Executive Search Consultant
Direct: 302-233-5202

Lynn Della Pietra
PhD, Executive Search Associate
Direct: 202-640-6723

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with university policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or protected veteran’s status. The university does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, as required by Title IX and 34 CFR part 106. The requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or both.

The university is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.

Search Committee

Dean, College of Pharmacy
Randy Peterson (Co-Chair)
Dean, College of Education
Nancy Songer (Co-Chair)
Professor of Finance, Assistant Dean for Research & External Funding, David Eccles School of Business
Elena Asparouhova
Director of Research, Moran Eye Center
Paul Bernstein
Associate Professor, Vice Chair of Research, Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine
Adam Bress
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine
Alfred Cheung
Distinguished Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Associate Dean of Research, College of Health
Julie Fritz
Undergraduate Student, Honors College
Gauri Garg
Associate Professor (Clinical), Department of Theatre, Research Associate, Utah Center for Vocology, College of Fine Arts
Brian Manternach
Executive Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Fred Monette
Associate Professor (Lecturer), Department of Physics & Astronomy and Center for Science and Math Education, College of Science
Tino Nyawelo
Graduate Student, Neurobiology
Paula Flórez Salcedo
Distinguished Professor and Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, College of Science
Matt Sigman
Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
Florian Solzbacher
Chief of Staff, Research Administration, U Health
Amy Tanner
Associate Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication, Marriott Library
Joel Thornton
Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing
Andrea S. Wallace
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Radiology & Imaging Sciences, School of Medicine
Chun Yuan

About the University of UtahThe University of Utah logo

The University of Utah is the state’s flagship institution of higher education, with 18 schools and colleges, more than 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate degree programs, and an enrollment of more than 34,000 students. In November 2019, the university was selected as a new member of the Association of American Universities—an invitation-only, prestigious group of 65 leading research institutions in North America marked by excellence in academic expertise and research impact, student success and securing resources in support of core missions. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Utah as an R1: Doctoral University–Very High Research Institution.

The University of Utah’s success in achieving excellence in research and teaching reflects the values of Utah: An unparalleled work ethic and a spirit of entrepreneurship, collaboration and community service. These qualities have enabled the University of Utah to innovate across many fields and pioneer new programs with social impact, generate path-breaking discoveries, fuel critical research, and inspire innovative approaches to education. More facts, stats and data on the university are available here.

The U is the University for Utah just as it is the University of Utah. It strives to be a model public university in delivering unmatched value in higher education and health care while making social, economic and cultural contributions that improve the quality of life throughout the state, the nation and the world. The University of Utah’s reputation for excellence draws top-tier faculty and attracts motivated students from across the country and internationally. These students bring with them diverse experiences and outlooks—representing traditional and nontraditional students alike—thereby enhancing the exceptional educational experience the University of Utah offers.

The University of Utah honors the fact that its campus is located on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute tribes, as stated in its Indigenous Land Acknowledgment Statement. The U also has a memorandum of understanding with the Ute Indian Tribe to use the Ute name for its sports programs.


The University of Utah fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens. We generate and share new knowledge, discoveries and innovations, and we engage local and global communities to promote education, health and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of our intellectual, physical and financial resources, ensure the long-term success and viability of the institution.

Strategic Vision

In 2020, the main and health campuses at the University of Utah launched a strategic roadmap that ensures a One U approach to the future—a blueprint designed to accelerate the university’s rise as it focuses on four overarching goals: student success, knowledge transfer, community engagement and institutional vitality. Strategy 2025 is the result of a process launched in spring 2019 that harnessed the creative power of our campus community and stakeholders to shape a new vision, with strategies and measurable outcomes to guide us for the next five years. More information about the University’s strategy plan is available at

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