Executive Director, Spiegel Research Center

Northwestern University – Medill School (Evanston, Illinois)

Posted 2 weeks ago

Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications is a leader in education and research. As the media industry experiences unprecedented change, Medill is at the forefront of innovation. Our expert teaching and thought leadership focus on enduring skills and values as well as new techniques and technologies that are changing the way stories are told and consumed in today’s digital world. In celebrating our 100th year in 2021, our experience in leading the fields of journalism and IMC is unparalleled.

Medill offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism, and an undergraduate certificate and graduate degree in integrated marketing communications. The Medill community is tight-knit and supportive. It consists of 100 faculty, 50 staff, 1,200 students and 18,000 alumni. The diversity of the Medill community has been a source of innovation, excellence and leadership throughout our history. Today Medill continues its commitment to creating an inclusive environment and to providing equity in opportunities regarding research, teaching, administration and student services. We aim to welcome students, staff and faculty from diverse backgrounds and support them so they may thrive at Medill.

Job Summary:
The Executive Director leads the Spiegel Research Center (SRC) focused on evidence-based, data-driven, quantitative analysis to understand the relationship between customer engagement and favorable financial outcomes.  Center priorities include:

  • Mission support: Create and propagate signature frameworks and concepts based on the center’s research
  • Impact and influence:  Expand awareness of the center’s research among various constituencies including Medill, NU, other universities, enterprises/practitioners, alums, current and prospective students and measure the impact of the research; build/strengthen relationships across a broader set of stakeholders in the content and marketing ecosystems (e.g., media, brands, technology companies)
  • Marketing: Sharpen SRC’s branding and positioning, including its digital presence
  • Operations: Grow the Center’s research capacity and bandwidth and ensure that the financial resources are in place to support an expanded capacity with the goal of becoming self-sustaining; manage relationships with key internal stakeholders, including the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), Corporate Relations, Development, and Research Technology Group 

The Executive Director helps set the center’s research agenda, raises money from research sponsors, publicizes the research, and manages day-to-day operations, including liaising with internal and external stakeholders.

This position will be on-site on the Evanston campus for a minimum of two days per week, while the remaining time is allowed to worked remotely. This remote working arrangement will be evaluated on a regular basis and may be changed based on business and operational needs. Overnight travel may be required, as well as occasional evening and weekend hours.

Please note: The target budgeted salary for this position is $135,000 – $150,000 annually. Offers will be based on candidate experience and education, as well as equity within Northwestern University.  

Specific Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with SRC’s Research Director to establish research priorities and determine potential projects.
  • Identifies and recruits research sponsors and funders with the goal of becoming self-sustaining; manages ongoing interactions and communications with research sponsors.
  • Supports the execution of individual research projects, including contracting, project management, data acquisition, communications and interactions with research sponsors, and dissemination of research insights.  This applies to research directly supervised by the center’s Research Director or research affiliates and supported by students and post-doctoral fellows.
  • Creates and executes marketing and communications programs to build awareness of SRC’s research within Medill and NU, as well as more broadly among other universities, enterprises/practitioners, alums, current and prospective students.  Identifies key impact measures (e.g., citations); tracks and communicates performance relative to these measures.
  • Manages SRC’s finances and ensures that spending supports center objectives, complies with NU guidelines, and aligns with overall budget.
  • Manages relationships with key internal stakeholders, including the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), Corporate Relations, Development, and Research Technology Group.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably with coursework in marketing, communications, business, information technology, and/or quantitative subjects
  • Research center leadership (3 or more years)
  • Prior work in marketing leadership roles

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Expertise in branding, marketing communications, marketing metrics, marketing strategy, and media
  • Ability to raise funds for sponsored research 
  • Understanding of the academic research process (topic selection, hypothesis development, data collection, data analytics, insights development)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in marketing, analytics, or computer science
  • Experience with research publishing processes, including the peer review process

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication and collaboration skills, with a flair for communicating the value of SRC research to Medill faculty, other researchers, practitioners, students, and potential research sponsors; excellent promotional skills
  • A strong professional network that can be leveraged in conjunction with the SRC’s research mission
  • Strong personal brand around marketing and analytics
  • Familiarity with journalism and other media, including best practices in audience strategy and engagement
  • Ability to create a compelling research agenda and mobilize sponsors, researchers, and others around this agenda
  • Strong fund-raising capabilities
  • Able to help identify the next “ big idea”; able to envision the SRC of the future
  • Understanding of how academic institutions operate
  • Ability to navigate complex organizations
  • Excellent project/program management skills

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

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Job CategoryAcademic