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Director, University & Industry Relations

Apply now Job no: 501041
College / VP Area: Exec VP & Univ Treasurer
Work type: Staff
Location: Newark
Categories: Development & Alumni Relations, Full Time



The Director of University and Industry Relations will play a pivotal role in strengthening the University’s strategic external partnerships within the life sciences sector, fostering greater industry collaboration across technology development and joint research programs, support for entrepreneurs and ecosystem engagement. This work will accelerate advancement of the objectives of key University of Delaware research centers and institutes including the Institute for Engineering Driven Health, the Data Science Institute and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. This position requires a dynamic and visionary leader with a proven track record in building and sustaining business relationships, securing funding, and enhancing industry engagement to drive innovation and translate research. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing and executing an engagement strategy that aligns with the goals and priorities of these institutes, the Delaware BioScience Association and the university.

This role will be jointly funded by the Delaware BioScience Association and the University to grow and build a thriving life sciences ecosystem in Delaware and the greater Delaware Valley region. The partnership with Delaware BioScience Association and the University will enable this role to operate with external credibility and access to industry stakeholders at every level, uniquely positioning the Director to make a significant and immediate impact. The role with have dual reporting lines to both organizations.


Strategy Development:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that aligns with the university’s mission and goals for life sciences industry engagement and economic impact.
  • Identify key life sciences industry subsectors and companies, investors and institutions for potential collaboration, ensuring a strategic fit with the university’s research and educational mission.
  • Highlight gaps and opportunities to enhance university-industry relations and create innovative approaches and initiatives to catalyze sustainable, long-term ecosystem growth.
  • Work closely with university leadership to integrate business engagement goals into the overall institutional strategy.

Partnership Development:

  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with key external partners, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical device manufacturers, technology firms, and relevant industry organizations.
  • Collaborate to identify opportunities for industry-sponsored research and collaborative projects.
  • Facilitate the creation of partnerships that enhance research, funding, and experiential learning opportunities for students.

Fundraising and Grant Administration Support:

  • Collaborate with the University’s development office to develop and execute fundraising initiatives that secure corporate sponsorships, grants and investments that support the University’s research enterprise as well as identify and funding opportunities from foundations and philanthropic entities.
  • Support compliance with grant requirements and facilitate reporting obligations with corporate partners.

Program Development:

  • Collaborate with workforce development and career center colleagues to develop internship programs, co-op opportunities, and other experiential learning initiatives for students.
  • Facilitate the development of executive education programs and customized training solutions to meet the unique needs of corporate and small business partners.
  • Identify opportunities for joint research projects, technology transfer, and intellectual property collaborations.
  • Partner with University and key economic development organizations including the Horn Entrepreneurship program, the Small Business Development Center, the Delaware Technology Park, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and others to strengthen the state and region’s entrepreneurial and technology startup infrastructure through new initiatives and federal and state policy changes.

Communications and Marketing:

  • Collaborate with the Office of Communications and Marketing to develop and execute a comprehensive communications plan to promote programs, activities and achievements with external partners and key stakeholders.
  • Partner with industry and state economic development leadership to raise Delaware’s regional and national profile as a hub of science and technology innovation.
  • Represent the university and Delaware Bio at life sciences industry conferences, events, and networking opportunities to enhance visibility and engagement.
  • Conceive new events and initiatives to convene industry and university stakeholders and strengthen ecosystem capacity.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Engineering, or related discipline and minimum of seven years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Proven experience in corporate engagement, business or economic development, or a related function.
  • Strong understanding of the life sciences sector and its intersections with industry.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate and influence at all levels.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement strategic plans that align with organizational goals.
  • Ability to think critically and creatively to address challenges and optimize processes.
  • Ability to effectively summarize and present information.
  • Experience working with a university or research institute environment is desirable.
  • Demonstrates an understanding and consideration of the differing needs and concerns of individuals with varying identities, cultures, and backgrounds.
  • Committed to fostering a workplace culture of belonging, where diversity is celebrated, and equity is a core value.

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

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