Project Manager, Primals Project

Pennsylvania, United States
Nov 25, 2020
End of advertisement period
Jan 25, 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Psychology
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Description Summary

This project will catalyze seminal research on primal world beliefs, also called “primals”. Primals are views on the character of the world as a whole (e.g., the world is beautiful and the world is dangerous). There are several big questions this project will address, such as: How do primals influence human life and how can understanding primals make life better? The Project Manager will manage various aspects of research we conduct in-house, a competition for research awards to scholars at other academic institutions, coordinate meetings, conference presentations, the publishing of articles and a book, and manage progress reporting. This position reports to the Project Director. More details below. To learn about primal world beliefs:

Job Description


The mission of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania is to promote research, education, and the dissemination of Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.

We are looking for a can-do, team-oriented person to join us and play a mission critical role in launching this new field of study in primal world beliefs. This is a good opportunity for someone who is eager to make a difference, learn new skills, take on responsibilities in a fast-paced environment, and develop scientific research skills.

To learn about primal world beliefs:

To learn about our Center:


  • Manage all aspects of the competition for about four research awards totaling $500,000, including extensive outreach to engage the research community, handle the Request for Proposals (RFP) and application process, field inquiries from applicants, handle communications with the steering committee reviewers, notify award winners, coordinate the sub-award process with Penn’s Office of Research Services, business office, and recipient organizations.
  • Manage in-house empirical research with the postdoctoral fellow and project director, including running research participants, conduct literature reviews, compile references, supervise student workers, and draft IRB protocols.
  • Coordinate meetings and presentations at conferences and labs to disseminate info about this new field and RFP opportunity, and manage a conference we host (likely 2024), including space rental, hotel reservations, catered group meals, paying vendors, and reimbursing travel expenses.
  • Coordinate publications that emerge from this research, including manuscripts for peer-reviewed scientific journals and a proposal to write a trade book.
  • Manage research collaborations with additional scholars who are not awardees.
  • Manage the progress reporting process with award winners and the sponsor.
  • Assist Project Director as needed in achieving the goals of the project.


  • Bachelor's degree (a background in psychology is preferred) and 1 to 2 years of relevant professional experience (e.g. research studies experience, project management, administrative support, or other fields is preferred) is required, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • The project manager will work remotely while pandemic restrictions are in place, but is expected to work on the Penn campus when restrictions are lifted.
  • A resume and cover letter are required.


  • Excellent organizing abilities, with a strong attention to detail and process.
  • Proven ability to plan, manage, and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability to thrive under time pressure and workload.
  • Strong competence in MS Office.


  • Strong sense of mission and interest in psychology.
  • Strong interest in primal world belief research.
  • Motivated to take initiative and responsibility for the success of a project.
  • High standard of professionalism, excellence, and accountability.
  • Proven ability to work as a collaborative member of a team.
  • Ability to occasionally work nights and weekends, as needed.

Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

School of Arts and Sciences

Pay Range

$36,401.00 - $65,521.00

Affirmative Action Statement 

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements 

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.