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Program Officer -Science Innovation  

Skokie, IL

Title: Program Officer -Science Innovation  

FLSA: Exempt  

Full/Part-Time: Full-Time  

Reports directly to: Program Director, Science Innovation  

Position Summary:  

A Family Foundation is seeking a Program Officer of Science Innovation (PO) to join the Science Innovation pillar. The Foundation’s Science Innovation program is at an exciting point in its evolution and is developing a longer-term strategy which honors our scientific contributions, as well as the values embodied by its co-founders. 

The PO will be an important member of the Science Innovation Pillar. Reporting directly to the Program Director of Science Innovation, the PO will support the Science Innovation Pillar and Program Director in all aspects of grantmaking, including due diligence, communications, and reviewing and managing grants. This position also requires significant research and writing, as well as the ability to coordinate, analyze, and refine activities, projects, and prepare recommendations to further the Foundation’s objectives and to cultivate grantee relationships.   

The position will be based at the Foundation’s offices in Skokie, IL, and will have a hybrid work schedule (with 2 days per week in person). Relocation assistance is available, and a remote option may be available for those not wishing to relocate.  

Job Duties  

The specific duties and responsibilities of this position include the following:  

  • Support the Science Innovation Pillar and Program Director in managing grant applications, grants, and relationships with grantees.  

  • Research and present funding opportunities and recommendations that align with the strategy and priorities of the Science Innovation Program.   

  • Provide technical review, document preparation and shaping of grant proposals.  

  • In partnership with other philanthropic entities, develop and maintain relationships with life science entrepreneurs, high-potential startups, science liaisons and more in support of the Foundation’s Science Innovation funding objectives and investments.    

  • Conduct due diligence on prospective grantees or initiatives, including planning and conducting site visits, reviewing of financial materials, and analyzing program impact.   

  • Review and prepare recommendations, summaries and analyses of grant proposals and grantee progress reports.     

  • Manage day-to-day communications with grantees as needed.  

  • Draft invitations for submission of proposals.  

  • Assist the Program Director in producing analyses and presentations regarding program objectives and accomplishments, as well as trends and opportunities in the program’s giving priorities.   

  • Schedule and plan agendas for program meetings.  

  • Provide coordination support for internal and external convenings, events, site visits, focus groups, etc.  

  • Develop website and social media content for review by supervisor and use by the Communications team.  

 Additional Information   

  • Domestic and/or international travel may be required (when safe to do so).  

Skills & Characteristics:  

 PhD degree in life sciences or relevant field required. 2+ years of experience in life science or relevant field. Master’s Degree in life science considered with additional 5 years of science related experience in industry or academia.  

  • Understanding of issues related to the Chicago Scientific community.   

  • Passion for social impact and the Foundation’s mission and areas of interest.  

  • Strong Desire to work in philanthropy.  

  • Non-profit or philanthropic experience preferred.     

  • Knowledge, interest or experience in the scientific start-up and science entrepreneurial space is a plus.    

  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability and desire to contribute to building an impactful grantmaking organization.  

  • Strong oral and written communication skills.  

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with comfort being in a community-facing role.  

  • Exhibits a high degree of discretion dealing with confidential information.  

  • Strong ethical grounding and professional judgement.  

  • Adaptable and flexible with high emotional intelligence and a positive attitude.  

  • Excellent organizational skills, strict attention to detail and accuracy.  

  • Enjoys working in a highly collaborative team environment but is also able to work independently and take initiative.  

  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize work assignments, and manage projects in a fast-paced work environment.  

  • Commitment to producing high-quality work and accountability for timely and effective results.  

Compensation & Benefits:  

The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package that includes health, vision, dental, 401k, disability and life insurance. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.   

The job description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job, not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible responsibilities, tasks, and duties. The responsibilities, tasks, and duties of the jobholder might differ from those outlined in the job description and that other duties may be assigned. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. SmartHire is not legally responsible for any change of job-holder's responsibilities or activities, by our clients, that differ from this job description.  

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