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Director, Research And Venture Grants

Emerson Collective

Remote/Flexible | Palo Alto, CA

Posted March 17

Job Description


Emerson Collective is a Palo Alto based organization focused on driving positive change and innovation in a number of fields including Social Justice and Immigration, Education, Clean Energy, and Health.

The Health Team is currently forwarding its mission in Oncology by partnering with researchers to accelerate transformative science, engaging in venture investing to support promising cancer therapeutics, and empowering patients through a number of other unique projects and partnerships.

To meet the ambitious goals of its founder and rapidly growing team, the Health Team is in search for an oncology-focused Grants Director, reporting to the team’s Managing Director.

Role Description

As a key member of EC’s Health Team, the Grants Director will be expected to lead grant- making efforts by building and supporting a portfolio of partnerships with academic institutions, nonprofit entrepreneurs, and organizations whose missions are to radically improve outcomes for cancer patients by advancing oncology research. This individual will study the grant program, managing our unique portfolio of translational work and engaging bioinformatic tools to enable greater efficacy in our grant making. Finally, the Grant Director is required to explore and test new models of philanthropic resource deployment in consultation with the Managing Director. The role will comprise a number of activities:

  • Creation and Identification of new grants in support of leading academic partners.

  • Managing legacy grant programs by supporting portfolio grantees through ad hoc check-

    ins; strategic or operational support; and other portfolio capacity building activities, as well as informing key decisions upon maturation; i.e. assessing likelihood of successfully raising follow-on grant funding and preparedness for commercialization, such as new company- formation, industry licensing deals, etc.

  • Leading execution of Health grants convenings, such as our annual Cancer Research Health Summit and other health symposia.

  • Managing and leading a team consisting of Ph.D educated grants manager and grants analyst along with the team’s administrative assistant.

  • Coordinating with our scientific advisory board

  • Providing guidance and partnership to other verticals of the Health Team by sharing internal updates, facilitating scientific diligence, and building relationships with prospective partners.

  • Sourcing and evaluating new philanthropic grant opportunities through meetings with researchers, industry professionals, grant-maker management teams, attending conferences, etc; and identifying cutting-edge science and innovative investigators for potential partnerships or company formation.

  • Working with the Managing Director to identify and support venture grant opportunities. These activities will enable EC Health Team as a whole to effectively realize transformative science from the bench to the clinic, from grant funding to venture investment.

  • Analyzing, codifying, and regularly communicating key trends in cutting-edge oncology research to inform our team, our work, and our partners.

  • Software Administration. Ensure business documentation and requests are
    complete. Identify inefficiencies, issues, and opportunities related to proposalCENTRAL, Salesforce, and Dimensions.

  • Contributing to EC initiatives beyond the Health Team. EC believes strongly that crosspollination of ideas and solutions leads to more lasting and catalytic change.


    Education and Work Experience

  • An advanced degree, MD or PhD, in the Life Sciences is required; postdoctoral research

    experience is preferred; as is experience in Oncology

  • Experience partnering with biopharma/biotech

  • Experience managing, mentoring and growing a young and ambitious team of direct

    reports, as well as coordinating with scientific advisors

  • Computational, bioinformatic and/or data management experience and/or interest is


    The Ideal Candidate is:

  • Passionate about dramatically accelerating the pace of oncology research and translating

    discoveries in basic science to improved clinical outcomes

  • Deeply interested in the scientific and business aspects of pushing forward exciting

    research through commercial entities

  • Excited about unique models of patient engagement to enable translational research

  • Highly organized and proactive, capable of handling multiple in-flight projects and

    navigating situations while dealing with high levels of uncertainty

  • Comfortable in a collaborative and ever-dynamic work environment where team members

    are open, flexible, and adaptable to the needs of the organization

  • Exceptional at written and oral communication, and able to engage readily with a highly

    diverse set of external stakeholders


This position is based in Palo Alto, CA. Some travel required but will generally not exceed 30%.


EC offers competitive benefits and salary for this role.

To Apply

Send your resume and a brief note detailing how you would like to see philanthropy work to advance research in Oncology to this posting. Although all applications will be considered, we are unable to respond to inquiries.

Consistent with federal, state, and local law, we are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, Veteran status, or other protected category.

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