Research Project Specialist

Classification: Research Project Specialist 1
Full-time position

Apply online and search by Job ID 327260


1. Project and Program Planning Implementation (65%)

  • Manage the day-to-day activities of multiple research projects. Oversee and coordinate research and data collection activities.
  • In collaboration with research partners, create project work plans specifying roles and responsibilities of participants, design of methods, and expected project outcomes.
  • Implement research procedures as described in work plans, including data collection and data analysis, and training and supervision of data collection personnel as needed.
  • In collaboration with project participants, publish and present research findings in relevant outlets.
  • In the case of outreach projects: participate in identifying audiences and partners, and defining goals; develop and coordinate outreach materials and events; plan and implement evaluation.
  • As appropriate to the roles specified in the work plans, coordinate project meetings and reports, monitor budgets, ensure that sponsor expectations are fulfilled.

2. Develop sponsored programs and projects (20%)

  • Identify and monitor funding opportunities from multiple sources including universities, government agencies, philanthropies, foundations, and businesses.
  • Disseminate opportunities to interested parties; identify and assemble teams of scientists/educators to respond to funding opportunities.
  • Work with teams, as appropriate, to develop proposals that fit sponsors’ needs and build on WRC program capacities. Proposal development includes collaborating with team members to identify project goals and write the proposal narrative, as well as overseeing the creation of budgets and other supporting materials.

3. WRC Outreach and Service (15%)

  • Collaborate with WRC Director and Associate Director to develop content streams, such as Policy Briefs, Technical Briefs, and newsletter articles.
  • Implement project-based outreach activities by identifying audiences and partners, defining goals, developing and coordinating outreach materials and events, and planning and implementing project evaluations.
  • Represent the University and WRC leadership by attending events, serving on councils, and sharing information as appropriate.
  • With guidance from WRC Director, contribute to strategic initiatives that enhance the mission of the WRC. Examples include: coordinating and organizing efforts to advance the WRC’s strategic plan, overseeing events such as symposia or visits by guest speakers, overseeing collection of WRC performance metrics.
  • Serve on boards and committees within and outside the University as individual service.Examples include the CFANS Honors & Awards Committee, and committees of professional associations.

The WRC may hire up to two positions to meet this need.


Required Qualifications

  • BA/BS with at least 6 years of relevant experience or advanced degree with 4 years of relevant experience.
  • Training and/or experience in natural resources science or management, geography, hydrology, or other fields related to management of water resources.
  • Training and/or experience in project coordination, facilitation, and grant writing.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to collaborate with partners in government and private sector, and partners in varied disciplines.
  • Competence writing for academic and non-technical audiences.

About the Department:

The Water Resources Center ( is an interdepartmental unit of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and University of Minnesota Extension. It is also Minnesota’s member of the National Institutes for Water Resources, giving it a Congressional mandate to conduct and organize research relevant to water resource concerns in the state. The center is the administrative home of the interdisciplinary Water Resources Science graduate program, involving over 100 faculty members spanning over 20 departments at the Twin Cities and Duluth Campuses. The center also provides professional training programs and hosts numerous events including the annual Minnesota Water Resources Conference.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. Complete the online application and upload: (1) a cover letter describing qualifications, experience, and motivation for applying, (2) current curriculum vitae. Additional items listed below may be added by accessing your "My Activities" page and uploading documents there: (3) transcripts of all post-baccalaureate coursework (unofficial transcripts are acceptable), (4) names and contact information for three professional references. Questions may be directed to Jeff Peterson, Director, Water Resources Center (


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Background Check Information

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.