Openings >> Chief Research Officer
Chief Research Officer
Title:Chief Research Officer
Job Type:Exempt (salaried)
Posting Date:07/18/2023
Location:College Park, Maryland

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is seeking exceptional candidates for the new executive management position of Chief Research Officer (CRO).

AIP is a non-profit federation of 10 member societies and 18 affiliates, with the mission to advance, promote and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity. The CRO will implement and lead AIP’s new operational unit, AIP Research. This new research-driven center of excellence builds on existing AIP capabilities and is designed to execute a research strategy and agenda focused on the interplay of the physical sciences, relevant public policy, and the discipline’s culture, with the goal of empowering positive change in the physical sciences enterprise.

The CRO will lead the effort to build on AIP’s existing capabilities and past success—that is, in social science research, public policy reporting, and the preservation and promulgation of understanding of the history of the physical sciences. AIP Research will advance the physical sciences enterprise through horizon scanning, research and analysis, and thought-leadership aimed at promoting and catalyzing future change and progress—all to the goal of strengthening of the research enterprise to address societal challenges and spotlight future potential solutions enabled by the physical sciences.

AIP Research will focus on empowering AIP’s Member Societies, AIP Affiliates, the community of physical scientists, and policy-makers and influencers with research and analysis products that address a wide range of important topics. Topics could include, but not be limited to, the demographics, culture and diversity of the physical sciences community; the trajectory of public policy that impacts our science; the future of scholarly communication and publishing; the balancing of research openness and security in basic and applied research; overcoming obstacles to international scientific collaboration; addressing challenges to harnessing scientific knowledge to make progress on national and global challenges; and so on. The CRO will report directly to the AIP Chief Executive Officer, and the CRO will be a member of the Executive Management Team.


The CRO will have the following responsibilities:

  • Engage in developing a deep understanding of the relevant multidimensional dynamics of the culture, demographics, public policy, and human aspects of the physical sciences—with the primary goals of advancing the success of AIP’s Member Societies and empowering physical scientists with evidence-based research and analysis.
  • Deliver an innovative strategy that enables and accelerates the evolution of the Institute’s new operational unit, AIP Research. The strategy will build upon AIP’s current expertise, the talent of the current constituent teams in AIP Research, and their portfolio of offerings. The strategy will include a plan for AIP Research to leverage off expertise across AIP and ensure a focus of our work is to advance the success of AIP Member Societies; elevate AIP as a trusted source; and deliver on the promise of positive change in the physical sciences. AIP Research comprises staff from AIP’s Statistical Research Center, Niels Bohr Library and Archives, Center for the History of Physics, and AIP’s Senior Research Fellow—Science & Society. The strategy will envision building on and expanding this foundation to include consideration of the development and role for a corps of AIP Research Fellows and AIP Policy Fellows, along with a new operational capability in Physical Sciences Public Policy Analysis.
  • Align the strategy to and support the AIP Strategic Framework and its AIP-2025 vision, and describe how the teams within AIP Research might better coordinate to meet strategic goals developed, and best leverage off talent and resources across AIP and in our Member Societies. The strategy will show a path to AIP’s being called on for its research and analysis by AIP Member Society leadership and membership, AIP Affiliates, public policy influencers and practitioners, researchers, students and educators, and early career professionals.
  • Establish an annual operational and budget plan to execute the strategy. This includes an annual research agenda; financial, human resource, and technology requirements; target strategic partnerships (internal to AIP, with AIP Member Societies, and with external stakeholders) and events that convene stakeholders; and timelines for deliverables. The CRO will manage the operations of AIP Researchcurrently with a staff of 27 and an annual budget of $4M.
  • Create a plan to build future capacity at AIP Research through the pursuit of startup and sustained external financial support from private foundations, government, corporations, and any other likely sources for AIP Research. The CRO will lead these fundraising efforts while leveraging AIP’s grants management capabilities in partnership with the AIP development / AIP Foundation team.
  • Ensure that planned program outputs a) have been vetted by the AIP Portfolio and Innovation Council to ensure collaboration, coordination and excellence across AIP for the program’s development; b) are easily discoverable and accessible, and effectively leverage the AIP digital experience platform; c) are easily digestible and, if recurring, appear at an appropriate frequency; d) provide attractive and compelling content that either cannot be found elsewhere or that is more accessible or better organized than in other places.
  • Through participation on the EMT, actively engage in ongoing strategic and operational conversations to offer observations and potential solutions that can enhance the evolving organizational culture, reputation, and strategic transformation of AIP.
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with a) AIP Member Society points-of-contact in coordination with the Chief Federation Officer; and with b) AIPP Publishing contacts in coordination with the Chief Content Officer to encourage inter-organizational collaborations when appropriate.
  • Develop a partnership plan to achieve strategic objectives by engaging in active partnerships with other relevant institutions in the physical sciences, other engineering and science fields, relevant cross-sectoral organizations.
  • Develop stakeholder engagement processes and advisory functions to ensure AIP is focused on taking the longer view and including a broad range of voices and inputs-identifying topics for study, analysis, and research that may be less visible to the community but have high potential for impact in the future.
  • Convene forums (webinars, symposia) to promote education, engagement, and dialogue about pressing and unanswered questions, challenges, and opportunities, identified through our journalism, research, and ongoing input from AIP Member Societies and other stakeholders.


AIP seeks a CRO with the following attributes:

  • Strategic, analytic, flexible, partnership-focused and curious transformational leader.
  • The ability to innovate and cultivate innovation and idea generation in a team, be opportunity focused, and strategize for growth.
  • The ability to focus on audiences’ short- and long-term needs, and the ability to identify potential recommendations and/or solutions.
  • Organizational understanding and the ability to leverage the power of relationships within the organization and with other organizations.
  • The ability to foster an inclusive, empowering and team-building work environment that will encourage professional and personal growth and knowledge transfer to future talent.
  • The ability to understand AIP audiences and stakeholders including Member Societies, researchers, policymakers, and students in terms of short to long-term needs, and the ability to identify potential recommendations and/or solutions.
  • Expertise in the scientific principles, methods, and processes used to conduct a systematic and objective inquiry, including study design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; and reporting results.
  • The ability to communicate research results and abstract concepts to a variety of audiences.

In addition, the successful candidate should have:

  • Advanced graduate degree, or equivalent experience, in the physical sciences or engineering, history, social sciences, or public policy
  • 10 years of relevant experience in historical or social science research, or science and technology public policy analysis, ideally in an innovative and fast-paced work environment
  • At least 5 years’ experience managing or directing projects or resources relevant to this position.
  • Documented grants solicitation, fundraising and senior management experience.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of non-profit thought leadership organizations and/or the role of professional scientific societies / associations.

The successful candidate for this position will receive a salary commensurate with experience and accomplishments. In addition, AIP offers a competitive package of employee benefits.


The American Institute of Physics (AIP) was founded in 1931. At the urging of a report from the American Physical Society and with initial funding from the Chemical Foundation, leaders of American physics formed a corporation for the “advancement and diffusion of knowledge of the science of physics and its application to human welfare,” especially by achieving economies in the publishing of journals and the maintenance of membership lists. This new federation of societies was also formed to provide a common organizational home for the emerging new physics-associated scientific societies that were being formed at the time.

Today, AIP provides the means for its ten Member Societies to pool, coordinate, and leverage their diverse expertise and contributions in the pursuit of the shared goal of advancing the physical sciences in the research enterprise, in the economy, in education, and in society. Through their partnership in AIP, Member Societies broaden their impact and achieve results beyond their individual missions and mandates.

AIP also acts as an independent institute where research in social science, policy, and history advances the discipline of the physical sciences.

Whereas AIP was established as a provider of publishing services to its Member Societies, the Institute has evolved considerably over the decades. Following the formation and successful spinoff in 2013 of AIP Publishing and as the Institute heads toward its centenary in 2031, AIP has adopted a Strategic Framework that is guiding the Institute's operations and evolution over the period 2020-2025.

Since 2013, AIP Publishing—a wholly-owned but independently operated subsidiary LLC—continues to publish AIP journals and journals of five of AIP Member Societies. In addition, in 2019 AIP Foundation was added to the AIP family of organizations. Since AIP is the parent organization, and noting that each of AIP Publishing and AIP Foundation have their own Boards, the financials of all three organizations are consolidated into AIP’s financial reports annually.

The American Institute of Physics offers excellent benefits including medical, dental, vision, retirement, tuition assistance, on-site fitness center, and metro access.  Learn more at 

AIP is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer  
EOE, including disability/Vets

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