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The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention is accepting applications for a Deputy Director for Research and Operations. To read the full job description, please click the title above this message. To apply for the position, please go to and enter position #1001198.



The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) was established in 1985 and is governed by a Policy Board composed of the deans of the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.  Its mission is accomplished by working with partners to:

  • enhance the ability of public health practitioners, as well as individuals, groups and communities to promote health and prevent disease,
  • conduct, evaluate, and disseminate innovative, community-based research, and
  • develop education and training programs to translate research into public health practice.

Particular emphasis is paid to the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.  The Center is supported by funding from the five health affairs’ schools, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, federal competitive research grants, including CDC and NIH, private foundation grants, and contractual agreements.

HPDP is one of the original three CDC Prevention Research Centers.  There are now 37 university-based prevention research centers across the United States, working together to advance the science of prevention.  Strong partnerships with local, county, and state agencies have been developed throughout the 25-year history of the Center, linking Center research to community-based organizations, health agencies, medical practices, and workplaces throughout the state.  HPDP is a campus resource available to any faculty member whose research interests are consistent with the Center’s mission.  Several research teams have been working with the Center for more than a decade, building their current research projects on top of the success of past research and working together with community partners to identify future research questions.


The Deputy Director for Research and Operations at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) works closely with the Center Director and the Deputy Director for Research Development and Administration in the development, implementation, and coordination of health promotion/disease prevention research and training initiatives.  Specifically, this involves strategic planning, building organizational structures that support a collaborative work environment, managing day-to-day Center operations, and collaborating with numerous university and community partners to advance the Center’s mission and goals. It is anticipated that the Deputy Director would participate in one or more research studies as an investigator or research associate and participate in efforts to generate grant support for Center projects. This position, along with the Deputy Director for Research Development and Administration, reports directly to the Director of HPDP.

Major Responsibilities:

Management and Supervision

  • Maintain and lead the Operations Committee, a Center management team that meets regularly to coordinate functional units and programs/projects.  This involves working closely with principal investigators, unit heads, and project managers.
  • Coordinate staff resources to support Center operations, maximize productivity, and facilitate communications across projects.
  • Working with the Center’s Space Committee, supervise the allocation and utilization of the space, furnishings, and equipment within the Center’s physical plant.
  • Supervise the lead staff person of the following HPDP units: Data Capture, Information Technology Services, and Communications/Dissemination.
  • Supervise administrative support staff.
  • Consult with the Deputy Director for Research Development and Administration on human resource issues, including hiring, promotions, salary adjustments, and other personnel matters to assure equity across projects.
  • Manage special projects as determined by Center leadership.

Planning, Evaluation and Reporting

  • Coordinate yearly operational and research planning, working closely with project directors and unit managers.
  • Work with the Director to develop and maintain well-functioning Steering and Community Advisory Committees, assuring that the voice of community partners is represented.  Work closely with leadership and staff to set agendas and manage needed follow-up activities.  Serve as a critical link between strategic directions articulated by the advisory committees and the Operations Committee.
  • Work closely with the Assistant Director of Evaluation to assure the development of systems for on-going Center evaluation and continuous quality improvement.
  • Work closely with the Deputy Director for Research Development and Administration, the Assistant Director for Evaluation and the Communications Specialist to assure adherence to evaluation requirements from the PRC program office.
  • Oversee the development of Center reports and plans as required by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development and other University departments. This includes the Budget Planning report, Highlights report, Carolina Counts report, and Diversity planning.
  • Work closely with Center external partners to ensure effective planning and communication.

Grant Writing and Research Activities

  • Coordinate efforts for the CDC 5-year renewal competitive grant process for Prevention Research Centers
  • Oversee the development of the Center’s annual work plan and progress report for the PRC program office.  Provide guidance to the Center’s core research and special interest projects in the development of these required plans and reports.
  • Work closely with the Assistant Director for Community-Based Participatory Research, providing leadership and support on campus and in the state to promote increased capacity for community-based participatory research.
  • Coordinate and administer the Research Fellows program, identifying and recruiting potential fellows, communicating research opportunities, supporting research interest groups.
  • Assist junior faculty and staff with identifying funding opportunities and writing proposals.
  • Participate in grant proposals in research areas of interest, either as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator.

Communications and Dissemination

  • Coordinate the development of processes, events, and norms to sustain a healthy organizational culture, including regular staff meetings, feedback systems, social events, and other communication strategies. Oversee the implementation of the Center’s communication plan that is consistent with the vision, mission and strategic planning effort of the Center to foster continued and expanding partnerships within the university and in the community.
  • Provide leadership in developing systems, strategies and products that support the overall Center communication strategy to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Supervise the Communications Specialist, providing content guidance and editing, as needed,  for Center communications, including the website, Web 2.0, newsletter, press releases, posters, displays, and feature articles for external publication.Represent the Center at selected national, state and local meetings and conferences to communicate Center accomplishments and share information about the Center’s mission, research, training and products.
  • Track and disseminate Center accomplishments, opportunities, events and impact to diverse audiences.


  • Coordinate and market HPDP training opportunities, tools and resources for staff, students, community practitioners and community health advocates.
  • Collaborate with human resources personnel to implement a staff/student orientation to Center projects, services and procedures.
  • Identify resources and opportunities available for staff development and training and implement processes that support consistent access to these opportunities.
  • Coordinate and support student mentoring experiences across projects to facilitate efficient training and exposure to the breadth of HPDP resources and activities.

Experience, Knowledge and Skills:

Master’s or doctoral degree in public health, health care administration, or related field and a minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible administrative experience required.  Demonstrated experience in managing strategic and organizational planning activities within a complex organization, preferably in an academic or public health setting.  Understanding of and/or experience working in a scientific/public health research environment is highly desirable. Understanding and/or experience with community-based research approaches is also highly desirable.


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