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Associate Director, Institute of Cognitive Science

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

University Staff



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) is encouraging applications for an Associate Director to join our team.

The Associate Director of the Institute will serve as the chief operating and financial officer, and in consultation with the Institute Director, will carry out a range of duties to support the mission and vision of the Institute. The primary duties and responsibilities include:

  • Nurturing, leading, and sustaining a successful and professional staff that provides exceptional support to our faculty and members, helping to further and elevate the Institute’s research, education, diversity, and inclusion activities.
  • Developing, implementing, and continuously refining standard operating procedures to ensure the effective and smooth functioning of the Institute, particularly with respect to the complex processes inherent in managing our large portfolio of interdisciplinary, sponsored research projects.
  • Managing our research and education facilities, and leading long and short-range planning and adaptations to ensure that these facilities meet the Institute’s evolving needs.
  • Working with faculty, students, affiliated units, and other campus entities to ensure the intellectual integrity, vitality, and sustainability of our unique, interdisciplinary educational programs.
  • Where university policies allow, serving as a proxy for the Director when needed. 

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The mission of ICS at CU-Boulder is to understand and enhance human cognition, learning, and development through transformative, interdisciplinary research, and to further the reach and impact of our research through innovative partnerships.

ICS fosters rich scientific interchange across researchers from a broad range of fields including Artificial Intelligence, Linguistics, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Education. The Institute has a strong track record for incubating and hosting cutting edge interdisciplinary research centers, including:

ICS offers combined Ph.D. programs and graduate and undergraduate certificate programs. The ICS graduate programs are designed to supplement existing graduate programs in ten participating departments, but not limited to students from those departments. Currently, two combined Ph.D.s, two graduate certificate programs, and an undergraduate certificate are available.

More information about the Institute is available at

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Leads, hires, supervises, motivates, and mentors ICS personnel (e.g., administrative, research, technical), overseeing staff professional development and personal career growth with the aim of supporting and nurturing flexible, cohesive, and hard-working teams.
  • Directs standard operating procedures, particularly with regard to financial procedures and expenditures, to ensure the smooth operation of the Institute and pursues a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Works closely with the Institute Finance and Payroll Manager with reporting, approvals, and process development.
  • Works with faculty and affiliated units to develop MOUs and approve ICR splits in support of collaborative proposals.
  • Oversees the preparation and implementation of Institute budgets, including the presentation of budgets to ICS membership, CU leadership, and funding sources as needed.
  • Provides recommendations for organizational structures and staffing levels to accomplish organizational goals and objectives, evaluates outsourcing opportunities, and the allocation of resources.
  • Communicates and collaborates with relevant campus offices, and implements campus administrative processes and policies.
  • As Director of our Academic Programs, coordinates with affiliated units to ensure that ICS courses are cross-listed, to onboard new units participating in our educational programs, and to articulate cross-unit study pathways to support our interdisciplinary educational programs.
  • Works closely with the ICS Director and the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee to develop and implement improved processes for internal culture and climate in order to develop and sustain an inclusive and equitable internal climate.
  • Works with ICS Events Planner to develop membership recognition events, per our approved Recognition program, including large scale annual gatherings.
  • Manages space and facilities.
  • Proxy for Director as needed.

What You Should Know

  • We anticipate this position will support a hybrid format (in-person and remote work).
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment. 

What We Can Offer

The hiring range is $80,000.00-$115,000.00. Relocation assistance is available per institute guidelines. 


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be collaborative. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • Ph.D. in Cognitive Science or a partner field such as Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Education, or other field associated with our affiliated units.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent knowledge of the field of cognitive science and/or its interdisciplinary partner fields.
  • In-depth knowledge of sponsored research processes and procedures, including experience in developing winning grant proposals and managing ongoing grants (budget, regulations, personnel, and requirements of successful science protocols).
  • Curious, and eager to learn, innovate, develop, and implement.
  • Psychologically flexible and adaptive to change to thrive in our dynamic environment.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well as a member of interdisciplinary teams.
  • Excellent judgment and analytical skills to identify problems and develop solutions effectively.
  • Ability to display initiative and introduce innovations to administrative and research projects to accelerate institute progress toward strategic vision and goals.
  • Exceptional communication skills, verbal and written, and capacity to communicate with poise to all partners.
  • Ability to function independently.
  • Capacity to handle sensitive and confidential issues.
  • Outstanding attention to detail and organization.
  • Flexibility to meet challenges as they arise.
  • Extraordinary time management skills, with the capacity to prioritize tasks and set deadlines.
  • Excellent budget management skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Possess computer proficiency in Office and budget management tools and the ability to learn new computer programs quickly.
  • Has sufficient background in computer software to be able to evaluate new tools (along with the team who will use them) as new software emerges, to determine if their adoption will improve process efficiencies.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials: 
  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position.
You will not be asked to upload references at this time.
Please apply by December 12, 2021, for first consideration.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: