University of Kansas Office of Economic Development-Director of Industry Partnerships

University of Kansas Office of Economic Development-Director of Industry Partnerships

The Director of Industry Partnerships at the University of Kansas will be responsible for identifying, developing, and executing mutually beneficial research partnerships with high level corporate partners and other entities as appropriate. The Director will work closely with the Vice Chancellor for Research, engineering and physical sciences Deans, and their faculty and staff to develop key ideas (including patented technologies), research projects and programs into successful partnerships with corporations and other entities. This person will be a conduit between KU research and industry, developing relationships that lead to industry sponsored research programs that leverage university expertise while solving industry challenges.  They will also be responsible for developing strategic research partnership relationships that interface with industry and other federal, state and/or community partners.

  • Organization: The University of Kansas Office of Economic Development
  • Title: Director of Industry Partnerships
  • Salary range: $110,000-$140,000, commensurate with experience
  • Work environment & Location: Hybrid-Ideally reside Lawrence/Kansas City region
  • Visa Sponsorship: Yes

Reporting directly to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, the Director will be expected to develop a robust portfolio of new and ongoing corporate partners by engaging appropriate strategies to grow these relationships in a mutually beneficial manner.  They will interact with a broad array of KU faculty and staff, organizational units, and key external stakeholders. This individual will also be expected to work independently and to be self- motivated in initiating contacts with both internal and external partners.

Position Goals:

  • Increase the number of new corporate partners working with the School of Engineering and the Physical Sciences as defined by a company engaging the university across multiple levels (e.g., sponsored research, capstone projects, workforce development, seminars, equipment use and other engagement strategies).
  • Foster new and support existing research partnerships by engaging faculty, research staff and centers within engineering and physical sciences that interface with industry.
  • Hold an in-depth knowledge of faculty research expertise in engineering and the physical sciences that promotes mutually beneficial partnerships targeted at increasing industry sponsored research.
  • Develop and manage corporate partners while interfacing with campus units to maximize KU offering to the company by both broadening and deepening the relationship.
  • Liaison with KU Innovation Park, the Office of Technology Transfer, KU Endowment Association, Career Services, Jayhawk Community Partnerships, and others to identify and build new partnerships while leveraging ongoing activity to expand existing partnerships

Job Duties

45% Program Development

  • Identify, develop, and execute corporate partnerships that integrate a portfolio of approaches including mutually beneficial research and workforce development.
  • Plan, develop and implement effective corporate partnership models and identify new methods and approaches that will further relationships with corporate partners.
  • Provide effective coordination and facilitation of corporate interactions on the KU campus, at corporate sites, and virtually.
  • Develop and implement marketing tools focused on KU capabilities and research expertise that can be shared with industry.

25% Collaboration

  • Enhance collaborative relationships with other units, schools, departments, and faculty to promote the breadth of KU expertise in support of industry needs.
  • Work collaboratively with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Deans to effectively develop and manage high level strategic partnerships for KU.
  • Work with the Faculty and staff, KU Endowment Association, the Office of Technology Transfer, KU Innovation Park, Jayhawk Community Partners, and others to develop engagement strategies that broaden and deepen industry partnerships. 
  • Represent the industry partners’ needs and interests to KU and support communication among different units to ensure the companies’ interests and KU’s strategy are enhanced.

25% Strategic Development

  • Leverage federal opportunities and programs to enhance industry/academic partnerships. 
  • Support faculty and research staff through training and one-on-one guidance to assist them in developing and maintaining industry partnerships.
  • Foster the development of new engagement strategies, stay abreast of, and incorporate best practices in the broad domain of academic-industry partnerships.  Actively participate in national organizations that have as their mission the development of industry partners for the translation of research (e.g., AUTM, UIDP).
  • In partnership with KU Innovation Park, develop programming and engagement strategies to facilitate retention, recruitment, and growth of industry presence at KU.

5% Other Duties

  • Other duties as assigned by the AVC for Economic Development.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree plus five (5) years of related experience OR Bachelor’s Degree and seven (7) years of related experience
  • 5 years of relevant, progressively responsible experience in a business development, research, commercialization, external innovation and/or partnership management role.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing effective, collaborative relationships in a large, complex environment.
  • Effective written communication skills as demonstrated by application materials.
  • A background that illustrates successful use of interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated customer service experience that allows for effective engagement with both internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree
  • Demonstrated experience working in engineering, physical sciences, business, or other related fields.
  • Experience working with federal and/or state agencies in tandem with industry partners.
  • Proven experience bridging academic and industry cultures.  
  • Awareness of intellectual property (IP) attributes and an ability to support the development of statements of work that are consistent with companies’ IP interests and needs.  

Read more here:


Closing date: 
Sunday, March 31, 2024
Originating organisation: