NRRI Research Support Manager 3: Water Research

Mar 1, 2022

NRRI Research Support Manager 3: Water Research

Job Opening: 346482

Open until filled

About the Job:

    The Research Group Manager is an Institute-wide leader who coordinates and manages programs, interactions, and collaborations with other researchers across the Institute, the UMN system and the collection of NRRI partners and collaborators. The manager also leads, assists, or collaborates in efforts to obtain sponsored research funding from multiple agencies/sources, foundation/industrial sponsorships and/or internal research funding for projects. The Manager must be highly skilled and recognized in multiple aspects of their area of research including research leadership, program development, project and personnel management, mentorship, report writing and peer-reviewed publication. The manager integrates work across the Institute to solve complex, real-world environmental and research problems, receives minimal guidance from leadership and consistently works to ensure achievement of NRRI Core Values and Strategic Initiatives (

    The Water Research Group Manager is expected to lead their own research program and supervise Research Associates who run their own programs. Thus, the manager must have demonstrated expertise and accomplishments in one or more aquatic science disciplines (aquatic ecology preferred, but exceptionally qualified applicants in any area of aquatic science will be considered). The Manager must establish and maintain a funded, vibrant research program and continue to develop personal research acumen through active participation in professional organizations/societies, presentations, and reporting including publishing in peer-reviewed journals. The Manager must develop a strategic vision and implementation plan for their research programs that follow Institute project and budget management practices and develop researchers within the team. The Manager must demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively communicate research goals, program outputs, outcomes from their research and impacts on the management of natural resources relevant to Minnesota.

    Job Duties: 

    • The Water Research Group Manager (RGM) will take an active role in developing research networks and mentoring, both within and outside of NRRI, to expand the capability and impact of the Institute. They will also develop their own externally funded research program. Along with that expectation comes skills such as study design, sample collection strategies, data analysis, and writing articles for peer reviewed scientific journals. There may be opportunities for the candidate to engage in teaching, arrange symposia and workshops, and participate in graduate programs. (55%)
    • The Water RGM is responsible for developing the strategic goals, operational plan, budget, and funding for the research group and for individual researchers including objective setting, development, and performance. The Manager uses Institute project management practices to ensure the effective planning, execution and oversight of unique projects and programs. This includes maintaining high standards for safety, quality, research rigor, ethics and peer review in all research group activities and collaborations. The Manager must model behavior consistent with NRRI Core Values and assist program and project staff in doing the same. The Manager will integrate their work and that of the group with that of other Institute research groups to achieve organizational goals through interdisciplinary research. The Manager promotes and recruits as appropriate to achieve goals. The Manager ensures resources and technical capabilities align with initiative and program requirements; ensures that staff have the proper training, tools, and equipment to perform job tasks; and devotes adequate time developing and maintaining a professional team dynamic. (25%)
    • The Water RGM collaborates with NRRI leadership to define annual financial budgets and technical needs for their group. The Manager is responsible for the development of the research group’s strategic plan and ensures alignment with the NRRI Strategic Plan. They work collaboratively with other research team leaders to understand non-Water Group related research needs and integrate these operational plans and budgets for their team members. The Manager provides leadership and works with team leaders and staff in the development of a dynamic and strategic funding portfolio to support the group research activities. The manager monitors and audits budgets and group resources periodically to ensure financial stability and compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and/or grantor requirements, ensuring transparency and understanding of group finance status and performance. (10%)
    • The Water RGM helps create and represent the strategy and capabilities of both the Institute and the research group to internal and external partners, collaborators, and stakeholders. The Manager works to develop and maintain strategic external relationships with partners and collaborators through one-on-one contacts, presentations, or by participating in partner or public events. The Manager will represent the NRRI on technical or governance committees as defined by leadership and the needs of the Institute and the University. (10%)

    Required Qualifications:

    • MS/PhD with at least 8 years’ experience in aquatic sciences (aquatic ecology preferred, but exceptionally qualified applicants in any area of aquatic science will be considered).
    • At least three years’ leadership experience supervising researchers and multidisciplinary research teams; must include e.g., objective setting, performance appraisal, personnel development, mentoring, strategic planning.
    • Documented track record of attracting and maintaining external research funding from federal, state, and/or private sources, including project leadership and management.
    • Documented record of publishing research in peer-reviewed publications, as well as writing technical reports, extension publications, patents, or for trade journals.
    • Documented record of public speaking and outreach.
    • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Experience leading and working in diverse teams, collaborating respectfully with staff of various educational and cultural backgrounds, and appropriately navigating complex team dynamics.

    Preferred Qualifications:

    • Demonstrated experience in project management and quality assurance.
    • Experience recruiting and mentoring, DEI candidates and staff.
    • Industry or agency work experience or record of active collaboration.
    • Experience in developing and managing relationships with agencies, business, or industry; e.g., outreach delivery, trademarking, or commercialization of work outputs.
    • Knowledge of management of critical data sets and intellectual property.
    • Demonstrated experience in laboratory facility planning and safety.
    • Evidence of participation in other professional activities including manuscript reviews and editorial duties, advisory committees, review panels, and other activities associated with the discipline.

    How to Apply:

    Applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position, go to and search for job opening 346482.

    Complete applications must include:

    • A cover letter expressing interest, availability, experience, and strengths as they relate to the position.
    • A current resume/curriculum vitae.
    • Contact information for three professional references. 

    Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.

    To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

    About NRRI:

    The Natural Resources Research Institute was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision-makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. NRRI is guided by the forward-looking charter provided by the Legislature to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.

    NRRI’s mission is to deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment, and economy for a sustainable and resilient future. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship. With industrial-scale facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN, NRRI works across five strategic research platforms. These platforms address Minnesota’s soil, forest, water, and mineral resources:

    1. Applied Ecology and Resource Management
    2. Minerals and Metallurgy
    3. Materials and Bioeconomy
    4. Data Collection and Delivery
    5. Commercialization Services


    The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

    The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

    Employments Requirements:

    Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

    Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit: