USC Application – Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (Life Sciences)

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.

University Advancement is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which all advancement staff and our stakeholders have the opportunity to connect, belong, and grow while supporting the University of Southern California’s mission, values, and goals.

USC University Advancement division is seeking a Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (Life Sciences) to join its Central Development team. Reporting to the Senior Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations the incumbent will be responsible for coordinating activities, developing strategies, building relationships and raising funds from corporations and foundations.

As a Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR), this role works closely with colleagues on USC’s central Corporate and Foundation Relations team as well as school-based CFR officers, a group of professionals focused on growing external support for faculty-led research. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of effective strategy and proposal development, and stewardship key relationships. Reporting directly to the Senior Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, this Director will focus on advancing key priorities in the broad area of life sciences, including but not limited to convergent biosciences, bioengineering, biology, quantitative and computational biology, chemistry and neuroscience.

This individual will have opportunities to work directly with university faculty, academic leadership, staff, and administrators to understand, synthesize, and articulate research expertise and funding needs for a grant-making audience. They will also proactively identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward corporate and foundation partners on the local, regional, national, and international levels, matching funding opportunities with projects within relevant schools and units. This Director will oversee a portfolio of faculty, corporations and foundations within the life sciences, and will work to achieve an individual production goal.


  • Partners with Senior Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations to increase support and raise funds from corporations and foundations by developing strategies to strengthen relationships with current prospects and to identify and build relationships with new prospects.
  • Works together with Senior Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations to develop an annual corporate and foundations relations plan that includes measurable goals, metrics and specific strategies for expanding both levels and sources of support.
  • Participates in prospect management and prospect strategy meetings.
  • Works with advancement research to identify corporations and foundations whose program guidelines make them likely sources for support of USC’s priorities.
  • Builds internal relationships with faculty and staff across the university to acquire a broad and deep understanding the university’s academic and research portfolio to identify strong matches with potential funders.
  • Identifies, qualifies, cultivates, solicits, and stewards a portfolio of top corporate and foundation prospects.
  • Participates in stewardship discussions and ensures that required reporting on funded projects is completed on a timely basis.
  • Drafts high-quality and timely proposals, grant requests, correspondence, impact/stewardship reports, and other documents to support best practices in corporate and foundation relations.
  • Gathers and shares information about trends in corporate and foundation philanthropy which may be of value to the schools.
  • Collaborates with the Central Major Gifts team, and other USC schools and units, in creating and implementing strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and financial support.
  • Researches data for proposal development. Develops, prepares and presents formal fundraising proposals to corporations and foundations.
  • Assume and achieve fundraising financial and activity goals set annually.
  • Ensure compliance with all University fundraising policies, goals and procedures, including responsible for following all protocols for prospect and donor management established and implemented by USC Advancement.
  • Represents the USC Advancement at professional and university meetings, seminars and conferences for professional development.

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Key qualities for success in this role include:

  • Strengths in analysis, strategy, and problem-solving
  • Results-driven motivation
  • Individual initiative and strong teamwork
  • Excellent written and oral communication of complex topics for general audience
  • Professionalism in collaborating with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders
  • Business development experience and expertise

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree (4 years) in a life sciences major such as but not limited to chemistry, biochemistry, or biology
  • 7 + years of experience (graduate school, research, professional, and/or fundraising)
  • Demonstrated ability to develop proposals in a university setting (ie: grant writing, grant management, worked on a team under a grant, etc.)
  • Results-oriented: comfortable with production goals, accountability, independence, initiative,
  • and teamwork
  • Exceptional communication skills (verbal, written, and presentation)
  • Ability to work effectively with colleagues, faculty, and foundation staff
  • Capacity to understand and communicate technical information to a variety of stakeholders; adaptable communication style
  • Initiative and curiosity to learn about new areas of study related to science

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experienced corporate and foundation relations fundraising professional with a demonstrated track record of personally closing gifts of $500,000-$1M+.
  • Expertise in major campaign fundraising, preferably at a complex research university.
  • Excellent communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build bridges and strong collaborative relationships across a complex organization with astuteness and agility.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • A valid driver’s license is required; with weekend and evening work expected.

Preferred Education:

Master’s and/or Doctoral degree in life sciences such as but not limited to chemistry, biochemistry, or biology

Familiarity with and experience in a university setting is preferred (as a grad student, researcher, professor, grant manager, fundraiser, etc.).

7 years

Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience.

Other Documents and Additional Information:

Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

The annual base salary range for this position is $121,951 – $130,000 . When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern Californi a considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; retirement plans with employer contributions once you meet Program’s eligibility; tuition benefits for staff & their family; free professional development online courses; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses & free tram pick up services; discounts to football, basketball & other campus events.

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 5 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience Minimum Field of Expertise: Major campaign, fundraising, public relations and/or volunteer management experience.

Job Details:

Company: University of Southern California

Job Type: Full Time

Job Location: Los Angeles, CA

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