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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

As a premier, research-intensive academic medical center, the University of Michigan Medical School is world renowned with nearly $600 million in external research funding. The Medical School Office of Research proudly supports our internationally-recognized researchers pursuing innovative science to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients, the citizens of Michigan, and beyond. To that end, our team is constantly striving to enhance the research enterprise, including maintaining an investigator-focused infrastructure, facilitating and diversifying investigators' avenues for funding, streamlining research processes, and advancing faculty innovations. 

As such, Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI), an operating unit of the Medical School Office of Research, was established to accelerate the innovation and commercialization of Medical School biomedical research discoveries and attract industry partners. FFMI offers a holistic approach to biomedical innovation, including:

  • Supporting a culture of innovation and aiding in the development of technologies towards commercialization along four verticals—devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and health information technology—in strong partnership with the Office of Technology Transfer.

  • Collaborating with faculty and commercial partners to develop novel partnerships and facilitating sponsored research endeavors.

  • Enhancing the professional development of our faculty and trainees by inclusion of innovation and entrepreneurship training at all levels.

Partnering with organizations across campus to foster an innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University of Michigan and beyond.

FFMI Managing Director Role: The Medical School Office of Research is seeking an experienced leader and administrative professional to serve as Managing Director for Fast Forward Medical Innovation. This individual will work in close partnership with the Chief Scientific Officer and Michigan Medicine leadership with a direct reporting line to the Senior Director for Research. As the leader of FFMI, the Managing Director will have direct responsibility over an experienced team of 16+ professionals who currently work full-time or in collaborative capacities with FFMI. The Managing Director sets the overall team and program strategy consistent with the vision of the Medical School and Michigan Medicine.

Fast Forward Medical Innovation and its Managing Director lead, coordinate, and represent Michigan Medicine in a number of existing strategic and tactical initiatives at the Medical School, such as the FFMI Business Development Team, the U-M Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) for Life Sciences Program, co-management of a pre-seed investment fund in partnership with the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, national engagement through a train-the-trainer model for commercialization education in collaboration with the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, and partners with other U-M schools and colleges on cross-campus strategic initiatives.  In addition, FFMI supports the Medical Student Path of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship curriculum development and execution in collaboration with the Medical School education leadership.


As the chief administrator for Fast Forward Medical Innovation, this position is responsible for all aspects of the program, from top-line strategy to the day-to-day operations and management of the unit.  The Managing Director works collaboratively with the Medical School Office of Research executive leadership in establishing the vision and strategic direction of the program as well as overseeing the successful execution of the strategic priorities. The Managing Director is responsible for the fiscal, personnel, operational, and administrative activities of the program. The Managing Director provides leadership in developing, facilitating and implementing all business functions. Examples of responsibilities include, but are not limited to, sound financial management (budget preparation and management); human resource management of managers and staff; operational and administrative management; oversight of marketing and communications (e.g., print, online, annual report); and designing business plans, as needed, to cost-effectively sustain the infrastructure and offerings of the program.  Fiscal management includes pursuing and securing external funding. Effective leadership and change management to successfully sustain a program, change culture, and foster strong partnerships and collaborations across the university at all levels of the organization.

As an integral member of the Medical School Office of Research leadership team, the Managing Director will work collaboratively in an integrated team approach with other units and programs across the office, university, and beyond.  Through effective leadership and relationship management and being a strong team player, build trustful, lasting partnerships and coalitions with key stakeholders, including the Office of Technology Transfer, U-M Business Engagement Center, College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, and Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. This individual will lead strategic business development deals with industry partners to achieve the Medical School’s objective to diversify its funding portfolio and to facilitate the interests of faculty.

Lastly, the Managing Director serves as the business lead for donor discussions and sustainability planning for Fast Forward Medical Innovation.  Working in close partnership with Michigan Medicine Development, liaise with philanthropic donors and translate the goals and objectives of the program into action that donors can take in an effort to facilitate innovation and commercialization for the research community.

Required Qualifications*

  • An advanced degree, Master’s, Ph.D., or equivalent, with practical work experience in the biomedical sciences and industry.

  • A minimum of five years of higher-level management experience with proven business acumen, preferably in a biomedical research or health care-related setting.

  • Demonstrated experience with responsibility and accountability for the daily operations of a unit.

  • Successful experience leading and managing a team of professionals, including selection, setting direction and expectations, coaching and developing, assessing, and providing formal and informal performance feedback.

  • Strategic thinker, effective communicator, and team-oriented collaborative partner with the ability to distill complex information into actionable steps, including the ability to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and prepare subsequent reports and communications to inform leadership and sponsor agencies.

  • Substantial familiarity with University standard practices and guidelines preferred.

  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills.

  • Competency in organizational navigation and ability to deal effectively and persuasively with individuals of varying levels of institutional authority.

  • Demonstrated poise, tact, diplomacy, and integrity.

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. Pre-employment drug testing applies to all selected candidates, including new or additional faculty and staff appointments, as well as transfers from other U-M campuses.

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.