The Medical Foundation, Chief Science Officer (HRiA)


Greater Boston Area or Remote, MA

Job posting number: #7246722

Posted: May 21, 2024

Salary / Pay Rate: $170,000 - $220,000

Application Deadline: July 15, 2024

Job Description

Health Resources in Action (HRiA) strives to improve population health by catalyzing social change within and among individuals, institutions, and communities. For HRiA, health equity is where population health, policy, research, and practice come together. They work at the junction of these approaches, helping clients and funders in private philanthropy; local, state, and federal government; community organizations; and health care systems address and solve some of the nation’s most fundamental health challenges.

HRiA seeks nominations and applications for a Chief Science Officer (CSO) for The Medical Foundation (TMF) to lead and collaborate with TMF’s grantmaking team; spearhead and maintain the organization’s innovative biomedical research award program services; enhance program impact; and further grow and diversify the organization’s client base.

Along with a Managing Director, the CSO will help lead TMF, a department within the broader Grantmaking Cluster at HRiA which facilitates biomedical sciences grantmaking services. TMF provides strategic advising on the design and administration of investments in biomedical sciences to a range of clients and partners. With a team of nine staff members situated across the country, TMF works with private individuals, bank trusts, and family foundations to provide biomedical and life sciences consulting services, program evaluation, and customized grant programs designed to accelerate medical discoveries. In 2022, TMF facilitated biomedical research grant programs that awarded over $27 million to outstanding investigators across the United States.


Health Resources in Action (HRiA) is a non-profit, public health consulting organization based in Boston, MA, with 260+ staff working throughout the country. HRiA’s mission is to help people live healthier lives and create healthy communities through prevention, health promotion, policy, and research. With an emphasis on community engagement and commitment to racial and health equity, HRiA has earned a national reputation as a leader in the fields of public health and social change. HRiA works with diverse clients who share its vision of healthier communities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local health departments, community-based organizations, hospitals, and private/corporate philanthropic entities.

Since its founding in 1957, HRiA has been at the forefront of public health, leading the way to promote healthier and more vibrant communities. Its work recognizes how structural racism and social and economic factors impact health outcomes. Its health equity framework centers on racial equity and guides the work with communities, partners, and clients as well as internal policies and processes. HRiA is also an affiliate member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes with over 40 affiliates located across the country.

TMF was HRiA’s founding name and represents a cornerstone of its history and ongoing evolution. The 10-person team is nationwide, and is a key department situated within HRiA’s grantmaking cluster. Its current clients are predominantly family foundations, bank trusts, and private individuals, and it’s positioned to expand this network with government contracts, hospitals, and other organizations conducting biomedical research. TMF often funds young and rising researchers, historically across Massachusetts, but more recently nationwide. Services for clients span the spectrum, from landscape reviews to Requests for Proposals, application reviews, due diligence, and grants administration. TMF currently serves 15 very diverse partners, the majority of which are long-standing relationships.


The TMF CSO will have a deep understanding of and experience in navigating biomedical research systems, structures, and landscape that enables them to shape the effective design of philanthropic investments needed to advance health equity and wellness. The CSO will lead and collaborate with the organization’s grantmaking team to spearhead and maintain the organization’s innovative biomedical research award program services, enhance program impact, and further diversify the organization’s client funding base. They will also cultivate and maintain positive working relationships with current clients, grant applicants/awardees, scientific reviewers, other biomedical research funders, and research and medical society leadership. The CSO should have strong skills in developing trusting relationships and the ability to bring stakeholders together to accomplish a common goal.

The CSO will work with staff to lead life sciences and biomedical philanthropy consulting projects including scans of specific research and funding landscapes; evaluation studies to assess award program impact; recommendations for future research investment; and executive coaching. In developing new grant programs, they will engage with clients to design the scientific focus, eligibility, and size of the awards to maximize the impact of philanthropic investments.

The CSO will provide scientific oversight to long-standing grant programs and new investment strategies throughout the pre-award, application review, and post-award process. They also will work with staff to continually improve grants administration in alignment with the needs of the field and translate complex biomedical research reports into lay language for clients and other stakeholders. The CSO will facilitate review panel meetings for funding determinations, present to board members and Trustees from family foundations and bank trusts and serve as a senior leader representing HRiA/TMF and its clients. Finally, the person in this position will further the thought leadership of the organization in biomedical sciences grantmaking and bolster TMF’s role as a leader in the field and across the country. This is a full-time, senior-level position reporting to the Vice President of Grantmaking.


Leadership and Management
• Contribute to shaping a vision for the biomedical research grantmaking services portfolio that aligns with the organization.
• Serve as the technical lead on biomedical research grantmaking projects, including project planning, implementation, evaluation, and other related administrative responsibilities.
• Identify and implement departmental goals and objectives in collaboration with the biomedical research grantmaking team.
• Collaborate with staff to implement strategies to advance the organization’s priorities related to health equity.
• Work to identify opportunities to strengthen collaboration between biomedical research and community health grantmaking teams.
• Implement best practices to ensure high-quality grantmaking services.
• Establish new and maintain existing relationships with clients, key stakeholders, and other biomedical funders, ensuring that deliverables align with project activities.
• Work with and advise grantmaking leadership team on internal and external opportunities and challenges.
• Lead, manage, and/or contribute to projects, as needed and/or appropriate.
• Supervise team members, including a Senior Scientific Advisor and the Director of the Charles H. Hood Foundation.

Program and Project Work
• Contribute subject matter and/or technical expertise to projects and teams, including designing investment strategies that advance and innovate research and align with current trends in the field and translating research reports into lay language for board reports and presentations.
• Serve as the lead contact for current and potential clients.
• Manage technical content of multiple grants programs including updating the eligibility sections, application requirements, and review criteria in the application guidelines, identifying new members for the Scientific Review Committees, and ensuring funded projects align with programmatic research goals.
• Collaborate with staff to plan and implement scientific symposia for client grant programs.
• Develop project management timelines and set priorities to meet project goals and deadlines, while ensuring completion of high-quality work and deliverables.
• Work with the staff in preparing in-depth life sciences consulting reports about the current state of specific fields of research, grant program evaluations, and other reports commissioned by clients.

Business Development
• Maintain strong relationships with existing clients including foundations and bank trust departments.
• Identify and secure new clients from the nonprofit and public sectors, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, law firms, and bank trust departments, among others.
• Write proposals and lead proposal development processes for relevant opportunities and contribute to other writing teams where appropriate.
• Develop and negotiate scopes of work and contracting with external consultants as needed.
• Work with senior grantmaking staff to develop, manage, and track project budgets.
• Develop and provide content for websites, newsletters, and/or other methods of marketing HRiA’s work and impact.

Thought Leadership
• Bring a high-level understanding of the biomedical research landscape and the systems and structures that contribute to research progress.
• Work with grantmaking senior leadership to identify and implement a strategic vision for the biomedical grantmaking portfolio.
• Be a trusted, informed resource for staff, clients, and broader community.
• Maintain active membership in relevant biomedical research grantmaking networks such as Health Research Alliance, PEAK Grantmaking, and Philanthropy Massachusetts, and attend and present at relevant scientific and medical society meetings as relevant to projects and programs.
• Submit and/or contribute to publications (e.g., journal manuscripts, practice briefs, etc.) and/or conference abstracts, presentations, and workshops.
• Document and share knowledge and best practices across the organization and field to replicate success.


This role requires a sophisticated generalist understanding of the biomedical sciences and a strong commitment to client service and satisfaction. It also requires the ability to work and collaborate with a broad range of staff and stakeholders. The successful candidate will have many of the following qualifications:
• M.D. or Ph.D. in the life sciences with prior research experience and a solid understanding of the fields of basic, clinical, and translational research.
• At least 10 years of relevant work experience in senior leadership positions in health-related fields and/or research.
• Excellent verbal and written skills, including strong presentation skills and the ability to translate complex technical language for the public.
• Experience in developing, managing, and evaluating biomedical grant programs and grantmaking practices and/or philanthropy strongly preferred.
• Demonstrated success in developing, leading, and supervising complex projects and high performing teams.
• Knowledge of emerging trends, challenges, and best practices in biomedical research, knowledge of health equity, philanthropy, and public health.
• Demonstrated experience writing, reviewing, and editing grants, journal manuscripts, practice briefs, and/or conference abstracts and presentations.
• Experience working with and managing diverse clients and meeting or exceeding their expectations in quality and performance.
• Successful experience in donor cultivation, funder/client relations, and securing large grants/contracts from a diverse portfolio of funders.
• Ability to develop and manage budgets and timelines.
• Strength in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
• Dedication to social justice and a passion for achieving health equity, and a commitment to advancing biomedical research through maximizing the impact of philanthropic support.
• A commitment to valuing diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives.
• Creative thinking and willingness to consider and explore various pragmatic options for achieving an objective or understanding and resolving challenges as they come up.
• Strong entrepreneurial skills and the ability to work and think strategically and creatively to cultivate current relationships and to identify and pursue new opportunities to increase impact.
• Skills to manage, mentor, inspire, and supervise staff.
• Ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of people representing various backgrounds, levels of training, and career stages.
• Ability to work independently, manage multiple responsibilities, and meet deadlines.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position. It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the ability of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under their supervision. The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.


HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs.

HRiA’s hiring and business practices are designed to appreciate the strengths offered through varied backgrounds. As public health practitioners with a social justice focus, HRiA is committed to better understanding and learning from the institutional structures that create disparities among us and our work. HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff.

More information about Health Resources in Action may be found at:

This search is being led by Tamar Datan and Eva Rosenberg of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

This is an exempt, full-time position with the opportunity to work remotely and from HRiA’s Boston office. The salary range for this position is $170,000 - $220,000 commensurate with skills and experience.

HRiA offers strong benefits to its employees, including competitive salaries, health and dental insurance, retirement plan, flexible time, summer hours, vacation starting at 4 weeks, 13 paid holidays, plus office closure time during the last week of December.

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

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Job posting number:#7246722
Application Deadline:2024-7-15
Employer Location:NPAG
United States
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