Manager of Delivery, Virtual Institutes of Science

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together. We recently launched several distributed research centers called Virtual Institutes (VIs) that support top talent in identifying solutions to meaningfully and expediently increase scientific knowledge. Our current VIs focus on Earth Science, Astrophysics, and Software Engineering, and we plan to create additional centers in the coming years. These centers draw upon talent and capabilities from many institutions to develop connections across fields, elevate competitive and challenging ideas, bring multiple types of capital to bear, and apply science and technology thoughtfully to make the world better.


The role 

Reporting to the Executive Vice President of Talent Ventures, the Manager of Delivery, Virtual Institutes will oversee all key processes relating to the delivery of our current suite of Virtual Institutes and new VIs. This will include:

  • Overseeing program management and grant management for existing VIs
  • Managing the process of enhancing existing VIs
  • Supporting the Scientific Lead with launching new VIs
  • Assisting the Scientific Lead with launching the overall structure in which all the individual VIs will be housed


Key responsibilities 

The Manager of Delivery, Virtual Institutes will focus on execution against agreed-upon deliverables and frameworks, working closely with the Scientific Lead for each Institute, who will focus on the scientific outcomes.

Serve as program manager for existing Virtual Institutes 

  • Oversee process of program and grant management, including ensuring all stakeholders adhere to agreed timelines and milestones, coordinating relationships between grantees and the VIs, submitting reports promptly, coordinating expert input, capturing discussion in progress reviews, tracking action items, and offering guidance
  • Work closely with the Scientific Director of each Virtual Institute
  • Act as the primary point of administrative contact with grantees outside of formal meetings
  • Develop and execute plans to enhance Virtual Institutes such as through community building, interaction with the advisors, etc.
  • Coordinate with key leaders throughout Schmidt Futures who are responsible for talent network development and community activities

Assist in launch of new Virtual Institutes

  • Facilitate the process of approval for new Virtual Institutes, including supporting the Chief Scientist and Program Scientist on development of goals and implementation plan, by coordinating with internal stakeholders and committees, and leading preparation of relevant strategy documents
  • Assist in reviewing and doing diligence of potential grantees’ proposals
  • Once approved, oversee implementation of new VIs, including tracking progress in identifying and approving grantees and other aspects of the VI

Assist in setting up overall structure to guide all of our Virtual Institutes

  • Support development of the final structure for the VI program, including identifying which shared capabilities should exist at the global level and managing execution
  • Lead continuous improvement effort to make Virtual Institutes more effective and efficient
  • Work with our communications team to develop materials to publicize the accomplishments and impact of our VIs — to attract resources from others that can support their work further, and to help surface new candidates for support


Knowledge, skills, and abilities

Some of the desired capabilities include:

  • Exceptional operational and program management skills, with preference given to those who have done so in a scientific/academic setting
  • Experience collaborating with and managing multiple diverse stakeholders
  • Experience building and managing communities of people or talent networks
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to work well as part of a team
  • Strong written communication and oral presentation skills



Applicants must:

  • Have 7+ years of experience in an operational or program management/delivery type function
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, including a science-related degree
  • Demonstrated ability to bring new programs into existence
  • Demonstrated ability to manage large portfolios of grantees to agreed-upon outcomes
  • Be based at the Schmidt Futures offices in New York and be able to travel within the U.S. and internationally regularly as needed, following company policy and permitting circumstances


About Schmidt Futures 

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together.  We knit talent into networks, bet on the most promising ideas through diverse forms of competition and support, and equip people to scale through partners and modern tools. To realize this vision, Schmidt Futures uses a broad set of tools — including gifts, grants, investments, and startup activity — for charitable, educational, and commercial efforts with a public purpose. Our initiative brings together the efforts of various charitable and non-charitable entities to improve our potential impact by making diverse types of capital available to the efforts we support.

Futures Action Network, LLC, which operates Schmidt Futures, is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.