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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

The University of Michigan is one of the world’s most powerful engines for scholarly research, service, and impact. Sustaining and supporting the University’s robust research enterprise are vital for maximizing innovation and economic growth. As a service and resource for researchers interested in commercialization of technologies and research discoveries, Innovation Partnerships is a unit of the Office of Research that plays a central role in helping to ensure that society realizes the benefits of the research conducted at the University of Michigan.

The Associate Director of Corporate Research Partnerships works in Innovation Partnerships and reports to the Director of Corporate Research Alliances. The position takes a faculty-centric approach to identifying, developing, and executing sponsored research and other research partnerships. The Associate Director of Corporate Research Partnerships Identifies and cultivates opportunities for UM faculty to partner with industry, counsels UM faculty on potential and existing research partnerships, and structures research partnerships, including negotiating term sheets and draft agreements. The Associate Director of Corporate Research Partnerships will work closely with the licensing team within the Innovation Partnerships as well as project representatives within the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.


  • Work with UM faculty to understand their research agenda and potential opportunities
  • Identify and cultivate strategic research partnership opportunities for particular UM faculty and departments and schools more generally
  • Negotiate and structure research relationships with industry partners; draft, review, and negotiate term sheets and initial agreements for potential research partnerships
  • Advise faculty on implications of research partnerships, such as foreground and background intellectual property terms; assist faculty in navigating and complying with Conflict of Interest approval requirements for research relationships
  • Counsel faculty and other University leadership regarding proposals for, and structuring of, major research centers, such as NSF Engineering Research Centers, or Industry-University Research Centers

Required Qualifications*

An advanced degree in computing sciences/information technology, and/or sufficient industry experience to allow the Associate Director of Corporate Research Partnerships to understand the technical terminology and trends in software; at least one year experience in academic research commercialization or relevant industry setting; excellent interpersonal skills; written and verbal communication skills; ability to interact effectively in both academic and corporate cultures; ability to interact with scientists, research sponsors, industry representatives, early-stage investors, and attorneys; ability to work independently as well as in a team environment; ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines; interest or experience in contract negotiations, highly self-motivated professional with exceptional sales, marketing and negotiating skills; working knowledge of intellectual property rights, including but not limited to patent rights and copyrights for scholarly publications and software; experience with intellectual property licensing agreements, in particular those involving academic technology transfer arrangements; high degree of energy and enthusiasm, and desire to function as an integral part of a joyous workplace.

Desired Qualifications*

  • 5-10 years relevant experience in licensing, contract negotiation or business development in industry, university or nonprofit setting.
  • Experience with and understanding of industry sponsored research agreements, especially the handling of intellectual property, indirect costs, publication rights.
  • Familiarity with typical frameworks for handling foreground and background intellectual property in industry sponsored research agreements.
  • Familiarity with the research enterprise at a large research university, sufficient to understand and navigate the variety of interested stakeholders, underlying economics, and the unique interests of a university.
  • Experience with taking a customer service approach to work, sufficient to enable a faculty-centric approach to counseling faculty through the discovery, exploration, formation, and execution of industry research relationships.
  • An MBA, or related business experience to allow the Associate Director of Corporate Research Partnerships to understand the perspective of potential industry partners.
  • Superior communications and relationship management skills for diverse stakeholders.
  • Working understanding of open source development and licensing models, as well as a working knowledge of healthcare IT.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening 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.


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.