Director of Research Programs

California, United States
Saturday, 14 December 2019
End of advertisement period
Friday, 14 February 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Research Technical Manager 2

The Director of Research, Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute (HAI), reports to the Co-Directors of HAI and is responsible for the overall HAI research program. The Director assures that research programs advance the mission, purpose, and agenda of HAI, and is responsible for translating the strategic vision and goals of HAI into tangible programs, as well as collaborating with faculty, fellows, and students across campus to promote a vibrant intellectual community around HAI’s research goals. This role requires strategic leadership, effective management, and hands-on work.  An ideal candidate would be an established AI researcher or possess deep domain knowledge.

Major Responsibilities

The HAI research program is one of the most important parts of HAI. The research program is a primary means by which HAI defines itself and assures long-term success. The research program assures alignment with Stanford’s mission of research, scholarship, and education. In developing and implementing research programs, the Director works closely with HAI leadership including the Co-Directors, Deputy Director, Associate Directors, Senior Fellows, and advisory boards. The design of specific projects and Requests for Proposals involves consideration of the goals of HAI leadership, the interests of Stanford faculty, societal needs, and external funding opportunities.  Community building across the University will be a central responsibility of the Director, including supporting the formation and continued operation of dynamic interdisciplinary communities of interest.  These communities will be a primary means by which new research directions and collaborations will emerge, and will contribute to the emergence of a vibrant, committed, and engaged HAI intellectual community that attracts collaborators from all Stanford schools and institutes, and draws top external researchers and students to Stanford.

The HAI research budget is expected to begin with a baseline of several million dollars per year, which is projected to grow over time and also include in-kind resources such as cloud computing credits and research fellowships.  The Director will ensure efficient and effective management, distribution, and oversight of these resources to benefit the University as a whole, and will create a management and organizational structure to accomplish these objectives, and to contribute to efforts to obtain additional resources through grants and other funding mechanisms.  The Director will also provide staff supervision and programmatic oversight for HAI’s affiliated research programs, such as the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI 100) and the AI Index.

The Director works closely to align and leverage strategy, research programs, faculty searches, data resources and computational infrastructure with the Data Sciences Initiative as part of Stanford’s Shaping the Digital Future initiatives, the Social Sciences Accelerator, and other existing and emerging activities on campus that will use and explore human-centered AI in their research.

Other Responsibilities

The Director of Research Programs is expected to contribute to HAI strategic planning and to lead planning for research programs and external engagements, typically involving considerable complexity and scope. The Director may be assigned additional tasks.

Leadership Style, Organizational Aspects, and Requirements

The Director of Research Programs will be responsible for developing an organization to accomplish the Institute’s objectives for developing and implementing research programs. The Director represents HAI across Stanford and externally in diverse venues and must be an effective ambassador and communicator. The Director must develop excellent relationships with faculty, researchers, and students across campus, as well as with other organizations including the Office of Development, Dean of Research, Industrial Contracts Office, Communications, and other institutions such as Freeman Spogli, Hoover, and Data Science.

The Director is expected to be responsive, transparent, and creative. The Director must embody a collaborative leadership model, getting input from broad and diverse stakeholders and constituents—discovering interests and capabilities of faculty, opportunities and challenges faced by companies, and strategic directions of foundations—and then crafting programs that build upon those ideas. The Director is expected to display the highest standards of integrity and comply with the letter and spirit of all Stanford University policies.

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description


Provide strategic leadership and direction of complex scientific, engineering, or technical research organization(s) or program(s) with responsibility for overall success. Achieve mission and goals through the management of staff and/or managerial staff engaged in developing, advancing and applying science, engineering and technology.


  • Provide strategy and vision; make decisions that establish objectives for the overall direction or operation of a significant project(s) or area(s).
  • Manage staff of a large science, engineering, and/or technical research area, which includes recruiting, hiring, developing, evaluating and setting priorities; manage business, technical, and educational activities for direct reports including managers and technical experts.
  • Identify, clarify, and resolve issues with strategic impact and substantial significance, which span multiple areas, using advanced technical and professional knowledge requiring broad discretion and judgment.
  • Collaborate with others on the direction of activities relevant to long-term objectives. Develop strategies to ensure effective achievement of objectives.
  • Develop policies and procedures as they relate to academic or program activities.
  • Implement, evaluate and maintain quality control standards to ensure program success.
  • Establish, oversee and manage financials and schedule for large programs and/or multiple projects.
  • Recommend the adoption of emerging technologies and the development of new methods and approaches.
  • Negotiate with internal departments and external agencies with authority to commit resources and effort.
  • Serve as a liaison to senior management, cross-functional areas, schools and external organizations such as sponsors and government agencies.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and eight years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience. Advanced degree may be required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Experience leading, managing, motivating and developing technical staff.
  • Experience leading complex scientific, engineering or technical research projects or programs.
    • Familiar with university, industry, and government programs and able to translate effectively between diverse groups.
  • Detailed understanding of relevant business and technical knowledge and problem resolution.
  • Ability to synthesize and articulate technical and scientific methodologies, specifications, and information.
  • Knowledge of emerging technologies, trends, methodologies, and resource management principles.
    • Familiar with AI technology and its application in industry, academia, and society.
  • Demonstrated ability to work and communicate effectively with others.
  • Exceptional customer relationship and consensus building skills.
  • Ability to influence and establish effective working relationships in a diverse environment.
  • Ability to resolve complex issues quickly and make decisions that meet university objectives in a collaborative culture.


  • Frequently perform desk based computer tasks, seated work, use a telephone and use light/ fine grasping.
  • Occasionally write by hand, lift, carry, push pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Rarely stand, walk, sort, and file paperwork or parts.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.


May require extended hours, evenings and weekends


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4987
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: M