Vice President for Research


The University of Iowa is seeking an innovative, creative, strategic, and organizationally savvy leader with substantive experience managing an operationally complex institution through change. The VPR will be responsible for developing a strong vision to amplify UI’s culture of research integrity, operational excellence, and competitive innovation. Leading through influence and collaboration, the VPR will emphasize ambition and excellence, interdisciplinary initiatives, generate excitement, enthusiasm, and buy-in to advance the education and research missions of the University.

Official University Seal

Opportunities and Expectations

The next Vice President for Research at UI will fully capitalize on the many and varied opportunities and challenges of the present moment and will be expected to:

  • Shape, manage the growth, and develop the agenda of the University’s research enterprise, accelerating the development of research excellence across the campus and in clinical settings. 
  • Lead the University’s continued development of innovation, with a distinct focus on fostering interdisciplinary efforts. 
  • Create a ‘client service’ orientation to understand the research needs across the institution and be an advocate for resources, structure, and empowerment, to be able to achieve the set goals.  
  • Instill a sense of urgency and energy to encourage UI to sharpen its research vision and gain greater visibility and prominence in tech transfer and commercialization.
  • Serve as the champion and principal spokesperson for the development of efficient and robust research policy and infrastructure. 
  • Partner with the academic units in faculty hiring and retention, playing an active role in mobilizing resources and finding creative solutions. 
  • Create a robust yet agile infrastructure, to be able to respond to the most competitive “big ticket” grants, and the ability to bring together the best Iowa has to bear when responding to these opportunities. 
  • Advocate for the University at the state level with new partnerships and greater resources for research, working with corporate, foundation, and civic entities, as well as with the legislature and Board of Regents while keeping abreast of novel streams of funding and new opportunities.
  • Diversify and adapt to a changing federal funding landscape by participating in the national conversation and ensuring engagement with the major sources of federal funding, including NSF, NIH, Department of Education (DoE), Department of Defense (DoD), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). 



  • Candidates must have a terminal degree and have achieved the rank of full professor with tenure or have demonstrated achievement in research and scholarship sufficient to meet the requirements of the full professor rank. 
  • Demonstrated experience in administrative leadership managing faculty and staff in a complex, multi-disciplinary research environment.
  • Proven record of working with teams from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated expertise in one or more of the basic or applied sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities, with a broad-level appreciation in others.
  • Knowledge of and experience in dealing with federal research, foundation, and grant funding programs and processes.
  • Strong personal record of research, scholarship, mentorship, publication, and funding, as appropriate for the discipline in which they are trained.


  • Experience having established and enhanced ties across schools, including academic health care enterprises.
  • A history of enabling innovation by faculty and students and driving research commercialization.
  • Experience engaging with research in industry settings.

The Search Process

Spencer Stuart, a global executive search and leadership advisory firm, has been retained by University of Iowa to help identify and recruit the new Vice President for Research. For confidential nominations and expressions of interest, subject to the limits of Iowa’s Open Records Law (Iowa Code Chapter 22.7), please contact Spencer Stuart at

Successful candidates will be required to self-disclose any misconduct history or pending research misconduct investigation including but not limited to sexual misconduct in prior employment and provide a related release and will be subject to a criminal background and credential check.


The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.

Candidate Profile

A PDF version of the position description and candidate profile is available.

About the OVPR

The Office of the Vice President for Research provides resources and support to researchers, scholars, and creators