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Job Summary

Overview of the Unit: The Medical School Office of Research (OoR) supports the research mission of the University of Michigan Medical School.  Its units touch virtually every facet of the Medical School research enterprise. 

Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) is a strategic program under the OoR.  FFMI is “fast forwarding” medical innovation at the University of Michigan Health System, nurturing commercialization, entrepreneurship and industry partnerships with the ultimate goal of translating research more quickly and getting more products to market sooner where they can have a greater impact on patients.  Led by Executive Director Kevin Ward, M.D., and Managing Director Connie Chang, M.B.A., Fast Forward Medical Innovation offers a holistic approach to biomedical innovation at the University of Michigan, including:

  • Accelerating innovation and commercialization of research from idea to impact for devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and health information technology.
  • Collaborating with commercial partners via novel partnership models to diversify the research funding portfolio to Medical School researchers.
  • Enhancing medical education by inclusion of innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship at all levels.
  • Partnering with collaboration units, institutions and other entities both inside and outside the university to drive biomedical innovation and contribute to the overall innovation ecosystem of the region.

FFMI’s Business Development team’s specific mission is to foster and drive strategic partnership activities between external organizations and UM Medical School researchers, as well as UM campus. To that end the team provides a wide variety of services including strategic partner analysis, industry partner targeting and engagement, faculty engagement, partner proposal development and negotiation, as well as follow-up and implementation. These services provide a bridge between industry, private foundations, and governmental communities and people and resources at the Medical School, and increasingly through our collaborations across campus, the region and nationally.  


The Business Development Professional is the primary interface between external entities interested in partnering with the UM Med School and the Med School’s faculty and other resources.  This person is the key link between UM Med School and strategic partners across the entire spectrum of partnership activities including prospecting and strategic partner targeting, initial engagement, ongoing development of partnership programs and activities, structuring collaboration deals to bring industry research revenues into the university, as well as post-deal implementation and management.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve as the Med School’s primary point of contact for external inquiries and requests from both external and internal constituents.
  • Conduct business analyses to determine strategies for partner targeting
  • Manage a portfolio of external relationships.
  • Manage key UM Med School faculty relationships
  • Schedule and host corporate visits to campus.
  • Drive proposal development, follow-up and deal implementation
  • Participate and potentially help drive portions of the team’s strategic planning process
  • Partner with other schools, colleges and institutes at UM, particularly UMOR’s Business Engagement Center (BEC), Corporate and Foundation Relations for U-M campus and Michigan Medicine, and other corporate relations groups within U-M units (e.g., Engineering)
  • Partner with "community" organizations (economic development, business and support organizations).

Related Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintain knowledge of University faculty and research interests, capabilities and activities, particularly those of the Medical School and related to healthcare.
  • Maintain knowledge of technology, research, and recruiting needs of industry.
  • Identify synergies for collaboration (internal and external to UM).

Supervision Received: Direct supervision is received from the Director of FFMI/Business Development 

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor degree required
  • 10 years of cumulative experience working in business functions with at least 5-7 years of experience in the healthcare industry
  • Customer service, sales and/or marketing experience
  • Strong organizational, presentation and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Ability to set priorities for themselves and others
  • Ability to interact effectively with a wide variety of people, internally and externally
  • Ability to act effectively both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Flexibility to meet changing priorities.
  • Fluency with computer software (spreadsheet, word processing, PowerPoint).
  • Working knowledge of the commercialization process (especially relating to intellectual property).

Desired Qualifications*

  • Masters or higher preferred (MBA and/or biomedical scientific background a plus)
  • Successful candidates have a strong sense of the biotech commercialization process; experience in related fields such as pharma, biotech or medical devices is a plus.

Background Screening

Michigan Medicine conducts background screening and pre-employment drug testing on job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent job offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background screenings.  Background screenings are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Report Act.

Mission Statement

Michigan Medicine improves the health of patients, populations and communities through excellence in education, patient care, community service, research and technology development, and through leadership activities in Michigan, nationally and internationally.  Our mission is guided by our Strategic Principles and has three critical components; patient care, education and research that together enhance our contribution to society.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.