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Chief Scientific Officer

V Foundation
North Carolina, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Dec 22, 2021

The Batten Group, a national executive search and consulting firm specializing in nonprofit, health, and mission-based philanthropy, has been retained by the V Foundation to conduct a national search for their Chief Scientific Officer. This position will be based out of the organization's office in Cary, NC. 

Position Summary

Under the general direction of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) will lead as a visionary ambassador of the V Foundation, working with the V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee to steer the funding to the most promising research opportunities. The CSO will develop, and articulate research priorities meant to enhance the V Foundation’s research portfolio. He/She/They will also have responsibility to identify and secure gifts, grants and sponsorships that advance the V Foundation’s distinctive brand of cutting-edge and disruptive research. As a strategist and revenue engine, the CSO will partner closely with the Chief Development Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, and their teams, to ensure the strongest possible case for support.

The CSO in insightful, data-driven, and considered an expert in the field of cancer research. The CSO will be a relationship builder, forging strong bonds with researchers, funding partners, cancer centers, cancer research foundations, university and institute partners, government entities, and other stakeholders. The CSO also possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit, understanding the important relationship between fundraising and successful scientific outcomes.

The CSO will be highly influential in helping the V Foundation attain its vision of achieving Victory Over Cancer®. The CSO will have a visionary outlook and help the team anticipate future research opportunities by continually looking 2-3 years down the road. The CSO will serve as a key member of the organization’s executive management team by enriching team culture and creating and implementing overall strategy. The CSO will be collaborative across the organization and at all levels of team engagement.

The successful candidate will be goal-oriented, creative, mission-driven, and a collaborative team player who can unlock potential to achieve transformational results. The CSO will be a visionary leader who harvests entrepreneurial thinking to unlock the potential of the V Foundation. He/She/They will understand how to maximize the potential of the Scientific Advisory Committee as an extension of organizational resources.

Current direct reports include SVP of Research and Grants Administration, who oversees three additional grants administration staff.


Position Duties and Responsibilities

Lead the strategy and operational effectiveness of the V Foundation grants program. Collaborate with the Scientific Advisory Committee to recommend and deliver a highly impactful portfolio that is in alignment with the mission, vision, and V Foundation Strategic Plan. (40%)

  • Oversee the short- and long-term planning and management of the research portfolio and grants administration team.
  • Chart and execute a framework for current and new research opportunities.
  • Create clear and comprehensive annual performance goals. Develop performance goals, forecasts and budget expectations. Collaborate with the CEO and CFO on the allocation of resources alongside research initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the SVP for Research & Grants Administration to administer the research portfolio to ensure investigators fulfill grant requirements and that all documentation is organized and tracked appropriately for current and future use. Ensure business practices are consistent with a research roadmap that solidifies and elevates the V Foundation’s reputation.
  • Cultivate the Scientific Advisory Committee to utilize talents and expertise in the most strategic ways possible and help recruit a talented and diverse Committee. Network amongst cancer researchers and administrators to help identify future leaders and ad hoc reviewers.
  • Assure a thorough analysis of the success and productivity of all V Foundation scientific programs since their inception, providing examples and statistics to aid in program evaluation and strategic planning and to facilitate fund raising.
  • Provide strategic insights to the CEO, senior management, and the V Foundation Board on latest cancer research advances and trends that will have a direct impact on the future of the mission, including recommendations on how the foundation will need to adapt to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Visit and develop relationships with leaders of NCI designated cancer centers and scientific directors at other philanthropic organizations.
  • Assist staff, donors, and key partners in making connections with and referrals to cancer centers.
  • Provide the CEO, SAC, and V Foundation Board of Directors with metrics and analytics to justify strategic direction and highlight advances to which our funding contributes.


Personally cultivate and solicit financial support from foundations, business/industry, and major donors. Influence revenue-generating activities, including programming meant to enhance awareness, education, events, and market development. Engage current and new audiences in the work of the V Foundation. (40%)

  • In collaboration with the CEO, Chief Development Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Vice President for Business Partnerships, serve as a revenue engine for the organization. Identify, cultivate, and solicit charitable gifts, joint funding, and sponsorships from current and prospective donors and partners.
  • Communicate the deliverables from completed projects to current and prospective stakeholders. Leverage impact of past funding to secure new funding opportunities.
  • Conduct site visits with research partners to uncover unique opportunities to sustain and build collaboration.
  • Visibly represent the V Foundation at regional and national meetings, with media partners, and through promotional opportunities in an effort to bring greater awareness and resources to our mission.
  • Proactively partner with Marketing and Communications to support strategic and tactical plans for promoting scientific research funding. Help communicate the organization’s case for support.

Lead efforts to build entrepreneurial partnerships, Fund-A-Need opportunities, joint ventures, and secure mission-centric acquisitions. (20%)

  • Source and evaluate competitive or complementary organizations that would fit within the overall collaborative co-funding, joint venture, and partner acquisition strategy of the V Foundation,
  • Build relationships with cancer centers, research institutions, and within diverse science and health communities to establish focused strategies that advance the most significant research opportunities within the V Foundation portfolio.
  • Build and scale new research enterprises, such as V Foundation branded mega-grants and a bolder cancer health inequities initiative.
  • Be an active and energetic participant on any integration teams of newly acquired organizations as opportunities and needs arise.
  • Serve as the executive point person for the V Foundation Board’s Entrepreneurial Partnerships & Innovation Committee. Proactively and reactively source targets for evaluation.


Candidate Qualifications

  • Proactive self-starter with strong planning, analytical and project management skills.
  • Entrepreneurial strategist who can conceive and deliver results. Comfortable building and sustaining relationships.
  • Experience identifying and scaling best practices for research intensive or research funding organizations.
  • Familiarity with the technology, systems and data that drive research tracking, reporting, and presentations to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Experience soliciting gifts, external support, or joint venture funding for research projects that achieve organizational objectives.
  • An ability to organize strategies and resources that align with performance goals. Proven ability to coach and mentor teams to achieve individual and collective potential.
  • A belief in the value of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, and action that demonstrates this commitment.
  • Strong sense of initiative and an outcomes-oriented mindset.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.
  • D. or Ph.D. degree.
  • Minimum of 5+ years of direct involvement with cancer research.
  • Ability to travel up to 50%.


Experience in the following areas is strongly preferred

  • A clear and deep understanding of how cancer research is conducted across the United States.
  • Recognition as a leader administratively and/or scientifically in the cancer, research community.
  • Experience with the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, health care systems, and related federal and state agencies. Familiarity with current grant mechanisms and history of success in competitive grant applications from the NIH, NCI, Department of Defense CDMRP, and FDA.
  • Demonstrated relationships with public or private foundations that fund cancer research.
  • Fundraising prowess emphasized by personally securing substantial gifts from leading donors to an organization.
  • Experience with joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions.
  • Visibility within the cancer research and cancer fundraising communities.
  • Significant experience engaging and collaborating with governing boards and volunteers.
  • Ability to understand and engage with diverse audiences and new target markets.
  • 10+ years in leading teams and managing staff performance to achieve record-breaking results.
  • Familiarity with the use of data and analytics to inform business decisions.



The Batten Group and the V Foundation are equal opportunity employers committed to the principles of non-discrimination in the workplace. Candidates will not be discriminated on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status or any other basis that is prohibited by federal, state, or local law.

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