Employment Opportunity

Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs

Seeking Candidates Immediately; Position Starting Summer 2018

The Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation, a leader in Arizona’s philanthropic and scientific communities, seeks candidates for a cornerstone professional position: Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs. The individual appointed to this position will exercise major responsibility for implementing goals that drive the Foundation’s mission: to improve the quality of life in Arizona, to benefit future generations.

A full position description is below.

Potential candidates should contact Brad Halvorsen, Flinn Foundation Executive Vice President, at bhalvorsen@flinn.org or 602-744-6803.

The Flinn Foundation’s Commitment to the Biosciences

Philanthropy employment life sciencesThroughout its 50+ years, the Flinn Foundation’s primary area of grantmaking, aligned with the interests of its benefactors, Dr. Robert and Irene Flinn, has been health care. Since 2000, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has focused on the biosciences, where its goal in grantmaking and programmatic activities is to partner with others to build Arizona as a global center for research and commercialization in the biosciences and a global leader in such areas as precision medicine.

The Flinn Foundation’s grantmaking in the biosciences aims to foster investment in critical bioscience and biomedical research infrastructure and talent, prioritizing collaborations that promote translational research, to deliver better health outcomes for Arizonans and commercialization opportunities that attract new industry.

In concert with its grantmaking, the Flinn Foundation serves in a stewardship role for Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the state’s long-term bioscience strategic plan, and staffs the Roadmap’s Steering Committee, comprised of leaders from key industry, academia, research, and government institutions, all committed to the success of Arizona’s bioscience sector.

The Flinn Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of nine of Arizona’s foremost leaders in medicine, business, industry, and finance. The Foundation’s professional staff of 22, led by President and CEO Tammy McLeod, implements Board directives in four program areas: the biosciences, arts and culture, the Flinn Scholars, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

Position Description: Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs

Title: Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs
Reports to: President and CEO
FLSA Status: Exempt, salaried

Professional Requirements

  • Minimum of master’s degree in biology, molecular biology, chemistry, pharmacogenomics, or a related field and 10 years of relevant management experience required. Doctoral degree advantageous.
  • Strong technical background and understanding of science. Working knowledge of bioscience, scientific research, health care issues, policy issues and options, and program evaluation. Fluency in contemporary scientific developments, especially within precision medicine.
  • Familiarity with and ability to engage key decision-makers within the nonprofit, research, scientific, academic, governmental, and industrial sectors.
  • Ability to communicate about scientific topics with policymakers and public audiences.
  • Familiarity with the roles and requirements of a private foundation grants officer, including grant opportunity development, grants management, grants reporting and board presentations, and electronic grants-management systems.
  • Familiarity with the roles a private foundation can occupy and actions it can take to facilitate translational research.
  • Professional manner and demonstrated ability to create relationships and work successfully with diverse constituencies, including research and academic professionals, industry and community leaders, health-care providers, staff, and Board members.
  • Ability to build teams to assess grant investment potential, and to problem-solve and initiate solutions.
  • Knowledge of entrepreneurship and commercialization processes.
  • Familiarity with Arizona scientific community desired.

Principal Responsibility

To provide strategic oversight and management of the Flinn Foundation’s scientific and research programs, and guide selected activities designed to promote and secure increased understanding of Arizona’s biomedical and translational research opportunities.

Specific Duties

  • Works to address the goals and actions of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.
  • Manages and coordinates assigned projects that advance strategic activities in building an efficient and effective biomedical and translational research infrastructure in Arizona.
  • In concert with the Executive Vice President, plans and organizes activities that encourage multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration in biomedical and translational research, and entrepreneurship and commercialization; showcases effective collaborative research programs, and shares scientific information and insight that could identify new opportunities or additional financial resources to support these programs.
  • Working with staff and consultants, oversees a systematic effort to compile information and identify areas of biomedical and translational research strengths and emerging opportunities that provide the Foundation’s Board, executive management, and Arizona policymakers a trusted source of data that validates the benefits of investments in the biosciences in Arizona.
  • Identifies national research leaders who comprise the Foundation’s scientific review team, responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on Requests for Proposals, grant proposals, and progress reports, and making occasional site visits with biomedical grantees. Oversees all facets of this review process.
  • Promotes opportunities to cultivate public and private funding sources to learn about Arizona’s biomedical and translational research programs.
  • Follows pending legislation on federal, state, and local levels that could impact Arizona biosciences, and recommends follow-up steps such as communication, convening, or provision of information as appropriate.
  • Works with executive management and the communications staff to assure consistency in messages about Arizona’s research opportunities and the Foundation’s targeted interests, and prepares periodic reports to the Board to describe progress made in growing Arizona’s bioscience enterprise.
  • Develops and maintains working relationships with officials from other foundations in Arizona and nationally that have biomedical funding initiatives in Arizona.
  • Maintains an active professional involvement in relevant state, regional, and national professional gatherings, including the Flinn-sponsored national Health Research Alliance, to assure a broad awareness of new scientific developments and promote Arizona-based programs and resources.
  • Develops annual budgets to support convening activities, special projects, and scientific review team.
  • Administers all aspects of bioscience research programs including working with and supervising Foundation consultants, drafting RFPs, reviewing grant applications, preparing grant proposals and other reports for the Board, planning events, monitoring grants, and related responsibilities.
  • Undertakes other tasks as assigned, and contributes to cooperative and collegial shared responsibility for fostering excellence at the Foundation.


Strategic Thinking and Planning – Develops successful strategies by analyzing trends, identifying threats and opportunities and adapting strategy to changing conditions. Plans effectively to achieve operational goals.

Leadership – Exhibits confidence in self and others, inspires respect and trust, reacts well under pressure, displays courage to take action, demonstrates credibility and accountability, and displays a positive and optimistic outlook.

Impact and Influence – Pursues and gains support for ideas, influences key decision-makers, displays understanding of divergent opinions and develops and sustains professional networks.

Problem Solving and Decision-Making – Identifies problems and makes decisions in a timely way, displays willingness to make decisions, exhibits sound and accurate judgment and includes appropriate people in the decision-making process.

Communication – Clearly expresses ideas verbally and in writing, supports and explains rationale for decisions, exhibits good listening skills, keeps others adequately informed, uses appropriate communication methods, and uses technology to enhance communication.

Managing People – Provides direction and gains compliance, makes solid hiring decisions, is accessible to staff, develops staff teams to address objectives, provides regular performance feedback, develops staff skills and encourages growth, and handles difficult staff situations effectively.

Confidentiality and Ethical Behavior – Understands ethical behavior and business practices and ensures own behavior is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization. Maintains confidentiality of Foundation records and internal operations.

This search is currently active, with the position starting summer 2018. Potential candidates should contact Brad Halvorsen, Flinn Foundation Executive Vice President, at bhalvorsen@flinn.org or 602-744-6803.