Senior Industry Contract Officer
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Posted in Education and Training

This job has expired.

Job Info


Provost URA: Research Contracting

About the Department

University Research Administration has the responsibility to review and provide institutional endorsement for all proposals to federal and other external sponsors (excluding gifts), assuring compliance with University policies and sponsor terms and conditions. URA is the institutional authority for the negotiation and acceptance of financial support or other contractually-binding obligations in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, including material transfer agreements and clinical trials. To support faculty research goals and institutional partnerships, the University is launching a Strategic Alliances Initiative. The Initiative will support complex sponsored research and collaboration agreements, particularly with strategic corporate sponsors. This new initiative is overseen by the Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation, and Global Initiatives as a key institutional priority that ties in various parts of the University including University Research Administration, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Academic Divisions, and the Office of Legal Counsel. Over the last ten years, UChicago has increased our presence in applied science, technology, and innovation with the launch and expansion of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, more faculty doing translational research across the physical, biological, and medical sciences, expansion in fields such as Computer Science and Data Science, growth of our entrepreneurial and innovation activities through the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and a sharpened focus on doing science at scale through partnerships with the national labs, industry, and global partners. The Strategic Alliances Initiative will increase support for faculty who aim to partner with companies and will create a roadmap for complex collaboration agreements moving forward.

Job Summary

The role of Senior Industry Contract Officer will join the Contracting Group within University Research Administration to further Corporate Engagement Initiatives. The Contract Group plays key role in a team-based approach to faculty-centric development and execution of sponsored research, collaboration, and related agreements.

The job uses best practices and knowledge of activities to support the functional areas of University Research Administration. Supports research, training, and other sponsored activities at the University, building upon knowledge of the University, processes, and customers. Assists in the development of research compliance education programs.

Requires in-depth knowledge and experience. Uses best practices and knowledge of internal or external University issues to improve products or services. Solves complex problems; takes a new perspective using existing solutions. Works independently, receives minimal guidance. Acts as a resource for colleagues with less experience.

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research Administration, this position will be an integral part of advancing faculty and Institute research initiatives by developing, drafting, negotiating, and reviewing complex agreements with industry and commercial sponsors as determined by the Strategic Alliances Initiative and University leadership.


  • Partners with and supports the Associate Vice President for Research Administration in establishing consistent and high level of service provided to faculty researchers and administrators by URA Contracts Team.
  • Partners and works closely and collaboratively with the Office of the Vice President for National Laboratories, Science Strategy, Innovation, and Global Initiatives in developing, negotiating and completing complex agreements in support of faculty/researchers and University needs.
  • Plays a key role with the Corporate Engagement Office with colleagues in the Office of the VP for National Labs, etc., the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Office of Legal Counsel. Consult with initiative team members, faculty/researchers, and outside partners as needed on explanation of, and compliance with, University policies and practices as they relate to contract terms and conditions.
  • Drafts, negotiates, and comments upon complex sponsored research and collaboration agreements with industry partners, international and philanthropic organizations, as well as consortium agreements and other related agreements.
  • Acts as part of the Contracts Team to independently manage various agreement types from initiation to completion/execution in a timely, efficient, and thorough manner.
  • Serves as a Project Manager and Subject Matter Expert to facilitate unique Research Programs developed at the University with Industry and Corporate elements with cradle to grave support.
  • Advises leadership on complex contract issues that arise and ensures clear understanding of potential resolution options.
  • Communicates clearly and consistently with stakeholders during the negotiation process.
  • Reviews, drafts and negotiates confidentiality, data use and material transfer agreements as necessary.
  • Works closely and collaboratively with University Leadership in support of faculty and various University needs.
  • Collaborates with Post Award Administrators to resolve post-execution contract issues, including interpretation of terms and conditions, changes in requirements, terminations, disputes, etc., in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and the Polsky Center, as necessary.
  • Coordinates with colleagues and Associate Vice President for Research Administration to develop approaches and solutions for novel or atypical terms requested by faculty or potential sponsor.
  • At direction of Associate Vice President for Research Administration, participates in developing team strategies, processes and/or procedures to ensure effective, efficient and timely completion of contract development negotiations.
  • Maintains knowledge of current trends and developments in the field by attending professional development training, workshops, seminars and conferences and by reading professional literature in the related technical field.
  • Has delegated authorization to sign agreements on behalf of the University under delegations authorized by the Associate Vice President for Research Administration.
  • Through interaction with a variety of federal and non-federal funding agencies, faculty, and staff, provides professional assistance with full authority in the administration and coordination of proposals and awards in research and training.
  • Provides faculty and administrators with application preparation, analyzing possible solutions to problems that arise using standard procedures. Reviews, interprets, and negotiates contract and grant terms to determine compliance and/or conflict with federal regulations and procedures.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Law degree strongly preferred.

  • Paralegal or legal experience.
  • At least five years experience working in a university contracts-management environment, law firm, or in-house legal department or at least seven years of relevant experience drafting complex research or commercial agreements.
  • Demonstrated experience in the management and/or negotiation of complex contracts.
  • Proven ability to grasp complex legal and business issues.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in support of business development and/or research administration and technology transfer professionals.
  • Familiarity with intellectual property concepts and federal laws and regulations as well as NIH guidelines pertaining to university technology transfer.
  • Proficient in academic research principles and research integrity policy (Conflict of Interest, IRB, IACUC, etc.).
  • Knowledge of intellectual property law (copyright, patent).

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Must be highly proficient at Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Acrobat; must be comfortable learning multiple new software packages.
  • Familiarity with Huron Software strongly preferred.

Preferred Competencies
  • Excellent collaboration skills with a strong customer focused approach.
  • Comfortable with scientific concepts and terminology; able to understand the significance of various agreement terms in view of the nature of the materials/confidential information to be transferred and proposed research.
  • Must possess strong reading and analytical abilities and be detail oriented and organized.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated maturity and sensitivity to the needs of multiple constituencies in a complex academic environment.
  • Able to prioritize and meet deadlines and adhere to University policies, raising questions when necessary.
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with strong administrative/problem solving skills.
  • High level of creativity, energy, integrity, thoughtful judgment and problem solving, decision-making, and teamwork.
  • Willingness to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and ability to effectively interact and collaborate with all levels of university administrators and faculty members.
  • Customer service is a high priority of the office with a demeanor of civility and professionalism at all times.
  • Make decisions independently that will have downstream impacts on the management of sponsored projects.
  • Manage detail-oriented workload, to organize and prioritize workload during high-pressure, high-volume workload periods and to manage stress.
  • Exercise sound judgment, absolute discretion regarding confidential matters discretion, and tact.
  • Handle multiple, concurrent tasks.

Working Conditions
  • Interact by phone, email or in person with faculty and administrative staff at the University and occasionally with staff of federal government, non-federal sponsors, and other institutions and organizations.
  • Sit for 4 hours or more.
  • Use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.
  • Travel to various on-campus locations on a daily basis.
  • Use standard office equipment.
  • Occasional travel.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)
  • Professional References Contact Information (3)(preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Financial Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

This job has expired.

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