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Jun 29 2022

Administrative Assistant Director, Princeton Neuroscience Institute

Princeton University Anywhere


The Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) is a world-class, interdisciplinary hub for research and education in the dynamic field of neuroscience at Princeton University. PNI seeks a professional to provide administrative and operational leadership for the Institute, to represent the Institute within the University by building effective relationships with campus partners, to provide oversight for scientific facilities in the PNI building (constructed in 2014 and located in the natural sciences neighborhood), and to help manage relationships with potential donors and other stakeholders. 

The Assistant Director reports directly to the Director of the Institute, and works closely with the faculty Director to execute policy and strategic direction for the operation of the Institute, participating in short and long-term planning for PNI operations and activities. While the Director, together with faculty, establishes the academic and intellectual direction of PNI, the Assistant Director provides leadership for implementation of the Director’s vision. The Assistant Director is responsible for ensuring that the faculty, students, and staff in the Institute have the necessary assistance to carry out their academic, research and administrative duties. The Assistant Director ensures that all internal deadlines are met and that the Institute is compliant with all internal policies and external regulations.


  • Personnel management: The Assistant Director supervises the Institute’s administrative and technical staff (>20 individuals), including hiring, merit increases, and performance reviews. The Assistant Director is also responsible for supporting the personnel needs of all laboratories within PNI (currently 26 laboratories).
  • Budget and financial management: The Assistant Director develops the administrative budget for the Institute, in collaboration with the Director. The Assistant Director is responsible for careful and appropriate management of the administrative allowance, endowed / restricted funds, and grants or sponsored research. The Assistant Director monitors spending and provides regular and timely analysis and projections of the available funds to the director.
  • Academic management: The Assistant Director supervises the administration of the teaching and training component of PNI activities, ensuring that the Institute meets all deadlines for the offices of the Dean of the Faculty, Registrar, Dean of the College, and the Graduate School. The Assistant Director is responsible for the teaching budget; appointments for faculty and postdoctoral researchers; budget for faculty leaves; submissions for faculty summer salary; appointments of visiting fellows and visiting students; course and enrollment information; graduate student teaching assignments (AIs); and summer study/research programs.
  • Management of sponsored research: The Assistant Director is involved in oversight and management of all sponsored research that occurs within PNI. Currently there are more than 100 active awards with direct operating costs of ~$17M/year. The Assistant Director works closely with departmental grants staff, ORPA, SRA and RIA to ensure that all pre- and post-award activities occur in a timely manner and that all research activities are compliant with university policies and federal regulations.
  • Facilities management: The Assistant Director supervises the operations of several scientific facilities and recharge centers within PNI. This includes regular meetings with the technical staff that manage the facilities and centers, review of budgets, and negotiations with suppliers and service contract providers. The Assistant Director is also directly involved with all building renovation and maintenance projects.


Essential Qualifications

  • Minimum of a Master’s degree, preferably in a science or engineering discipline. 
  • 5-7 years experience in an administrative position that includes supervisory experience. 
  • Demonstrated experience in budget management and oversight of financial operations. 
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple priorities; the ability to work independently and make sound judgments without close day-to-day supervision.
  • Ability to anticipate and initiate appropriate action in support of the Director and Institute faculty 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, as well as superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated administrative leadership, problem-solving and decision-making skills. 
  • Demonstrated tact, diplomacy, and discretion; appreciation for the values of higher education and sensitivity to the nuances of academic culture.

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in neuroscience or related field.
  • Research background in science and/or technology.
  • Proficiency in University administrative applications and enterprise systems.
  • Experience managing sponsored research projects.
  • Prior experience with facility management or renovation projects.
  • Experience leading strategic planning efforts in higher education or non-profit background.
  • Conference and event planning experience.
  • Strategic marketing and/or brand management experience.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW 

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Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Administrative.

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