Position: Infectious Disease Fellow
Status: Full time, exempt
Reports to: Senior Advisor
About the Science Philanthropy Alliance
The mission of the Science Philanthropy Alliance is to increase philanthropic support for basic scientific research. Since its inception in 2013, the philanthropic community has shown broad interest and support for the Alliance’s mission. The Alliance provides its employees with an incredible opportunity to influence the basic science research philanthropic community.
The Science Philanthropy Alliance is a group of funders that have come together to increase philanthropic support for basic scientific research to accelerate scientific discovery in the twenty-first century. We accomplish this by understanding the opportunities and complexities philanthropists face in their quest to fund basic science. We provide advice and networking and convening opportunities for individuals and foundations so they can help answer scientific questions, solve big problems, and further our knowledge about the natural world. We empower them to advance their own science interests and priorities. We do this by utilizing our deep connections in the worlds of science and philanthropy. By serving as impartial advisers to philanthropists, promoting collaboration among those who are interested in this vital stage of scientific discovery, and bringing together donors and top scientists, the Alliance aims to substantially increase philanthropic funding for fundamental research and to create a community of funders for discovery-driven scientific inquiry.
About the Position
The fellow will work side-by-side with the Alliance staff and esteemed senior science advisors to guide investment decisions across the science sector. In the broadest sense, the fellow will utilize their scientific expertise to support our mission and simultaneously learn about how philanthropy works in the scientific community. In particular, the fellow will support the Alliance’s short-term and long-term work related to basic science research, with an emphasis on infectious disease initiatives. This position is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The ideal candidate for this position will be able to handle multiple diverse projects and work as part of a team. They will be passionate about basic science research, will be an advocate for increasing support and will be curious to learn about the philanthropic landscape.
Key Areas of Responsibility
The fellow will have a unique opportunity to develop an understanding of the basic science philanthropy landscape, primarily through supporting the work of the president, senior advisor, advisor, and senior science advisors in managing the relationships with members, advisees, and other organizations and individuals. Reporting to the senior advisor, the fellow will be working actively as a part of a team to ensure a high level of advising services to high-net-worth individuals and foundations. Activities may include analysis of best practices in science philanthropy, reviewing research proposals, and creating “how to” materials for new philanthropists. The fellow may also undertake research projects, some of which will be in partnership with Alliance member organizations. In addition, the fellow may assist in other Alliance projects, such as organizing scientific workshops in support of advising efforts or providing content for the Alliance website and social media about the importance of basic science and basic science philanthropy.
Upon completion of the fellows program, the fellow will be knowledgeable about philanthropy, understand the basic science philanthropic landscape from the lens of multiple stakeholders, and be well prepared to transition to a future position in a role that serves to support effective funding for basic science research.
Specific activities may include mapping and tracking basic science philanthropic funding, reviewing proposals, and identifying and facilitating funding for critical data collection. Longer-term activities over the two-year fellowship period will support the Alliance’s work to assess basic science needs and activities may include organizing a series of workshops and identifying gaps in funding and research.
- Deep curiosity about a wide variety of physical and/or life science fields with particular expertise in microbiology, virology, immunology, epidemiology and/or disease ecology
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, particularly in writing and editing materials with scientific content (letters, white papers, summary documents), as well as preparing presentations with scientific content (PowerPoint)
- A creative approach to problem solving and the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities
- Be proactive with projects, share innovative ideas, and demonstrate a sense of urgency, a clear set of priorities, and a strong work ethic
- Unimpeachable integrity and trustworthiness; a fine-tuned sense of discretion in the handling of confidential and sensitive matters
- Ability to inspire enthusiasm about the Alliance mission
- Ability to forge close working relationships with staff at Alliance member organizations and with Alliance advisees
- A high level of energy, self-confidence, persuasive charm, self-motivation, and initiative to function at peak levels in a fast-paced, high-expectation environment
- Consistently identifies, gathers, and applies relevant information to their work
- Demonstrates the values of diversity and inclusion
- Ability to maintain composure under pressure
- Comfortable working with Microsoft Office suite and ability to learn to use relational databases (Salesforce)
Background and Education
- Candidates should possess a Ph.D. in a relevant field and at least three of the following:
- Experience as a scientist with expertise related to life or physical sciences
- Experience with nonprofit or governmental organizations
- Experience in research, communications and/or marketing within a research- related institution, foundation, or a non-profit organization dedicated to science
- Experience in science communications for a lay audience
Term of Employment, Compensation, Location and Start Date
The fellow will be appointed for one year with a potential for extending the position based on funding availability and significant review after the first year.
Compensation / Benefits
The Alliance offers a robust compensation and benefits package including a competitive salary, full medical/dental/disability/life insurance benefits, retirement plan participation and flexible spending accounts, vacation, personal, and volunteer leave benefits. The annual salary range for this position is $80,000 – $90,000.
Please submit a cover letter and resume to the following to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Infectious Disease Fellow” in the subject line.
The Science Philanthropy Alliance is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in science philanthropy and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
New Venture Fund Careers
Science Philanthropy Alliance is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.
Revised December 2021