The University of California, Merced (UC Merced) seeks a visionary leader as their Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (VCR).

For a copy of the full Prospectus, click UC MERCED VC Research

The successful candidate will be a skilled, entrepreneurial, and astute administrator who brings significant experience in leadership, prioritization, and collaboration in a complex, interdisciplinary research environment. They will bring a strong understanding of the national funding landscape including federal, foundation, and industry support, as well as broad knowledge of research policy and compliance, including current opportunities and challenges. They will also bring an academic record appropriate for appointment as a tenured member of the faculty at UC Merced.

The overarching mandate for the next vice chancellor for research is to help lead the campus to R1 Carnegie Classification by 2030, and then to AAU membership and beyond. In keeping with the campus’ Strategic Plan for advancing research, academic excellence, enrollment growth, and diversity, the VCR will dramatically increase research expenditures by developing an organization and culture that brings together researchers from all parts of the campus, and by supporting, incentivizing, and identifying areas for growth, distinction, and impact. The vice chancellor will also identify new research partnerships with industry in the region and throughout the nation, as well as other external partners.

UC Merced achieved R2 Carnegie Classification after only 11 years in existence as a university, and it is by far the youngest university to achieve this status.  It remains on a steep trajectory of research growth.  To further infuse and deepen this culture of research and doctoral production commensurate with an R1/AAU trajectory, the VCR must work closely with the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor and Deans to eradicate barriers to research productivity, expand support for large proposal initiatives, encourage development of Centers of Science, Technology, and Engineering Excellence, and help pave the way for UC Merced’s future medical school and medical research.

The Vice Chancellor will report directly to the Chancellor and will working in close collaboration with the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor.


  • National or international distinction as a researcher and educator, with a scholarly and teaching record appropriate for a position as full professor in the University of California.
  • Successful and progressively responsible administrative roles.
  • Significant leadership experience in research and grant administration; significant experience in the development of cross-disciplinary research ventures; and demonstrated experience with interpreting and managing complex agreements and authoring successful extramural research initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to bring together diverse internal and external stakeholders to pursue new large-scale opportunities and to encourage and facilitate efforts that hold the promise of generating meaningful societal impact. An advanced understanding of the diverse forms of research and scholarship conducted at a highly research-intensive university and land-grant institution, and an informed perspective about federally sponsored programs, intellectual property, technology transfer and commercialization in the university environment.
  • Excellent communication skills with a demonstrated ability to listen to a variety of constituent groups, synthesize input, make decisions, and share information broadly to build consensus and support for action. Demonstrated ability to maintain close working relationships and seek input from UCM academic and administrative leaders to understand and support their research needs.
  • Knowledge and understanding of federal regulations and research compliance policies, procedures, and requirements. The ability to foster research while maintaining the highest integrity and commitment to compliant research activities.
  • Ability to transform and elevate the research enterprise at UC Merced, stimulate new research directions, promote existing resources to the best advantage, rapidly increase total research expenditures, and build for the future.
  • Ability to catalyze and foster economic development activities and a regional innovation ecosystem in the San Joaquin Valley.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster strong partnerships and collaborations with government, industry, and other research enterprises.
  • Excellent management, organization, planning, supervisory, and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and conflict resolution skills; ability to lead, either directly or through the application of persuasive influence.
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated experience in budgeting, financial controls and fiscal accountability.
  • Demonstrated experience supporting shared governance within the academic environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as they pertain to all aspects of research.
  • Ability to relate effectively to a wide variety of people of diverse backgrounds, including an understanding and respect for cultural, ethnic, and individual differences.  Ability to contribute in meaningful ways to UC Merced’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The University of California (UC), Merced is the youngest campus in the world-renowned University of California system. With a recent $1.3 billion physical expansion, UC Merced is at a pivotal moment — a young campus moving into maturity. UC Merced ranks #38 among public universities and #93 overall among national universities in the annual US News & World Report rankings. In the past four years, the campus has risen 72 spots. Times Higher Education ranks UC Merced #3 in the US among young universities, and #7 in Sierra Magazine’s “2021 Cool Schools.” UC Merced achieved R2 status (“doctoral-granting university with higher research activity,” per the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education) in record time and is now setting a very ambitious trajectory toward quickly earning R1 status. Additionally, the campus has earned Carnegie’s prestigious Classification for Community Engagement, a testament to its deep commitment to the Central Valley.

The next major capital project for the campus will be a 182,698 gross square foot Health, Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education (HBS-ME) building, currently in the planning and design phase and estimated to cost approximately $210 million.

Sustainability is a hallmark of the UC Merced campus, and everyone here — faculty, staff, and students — takes it very seriously. UC Merced is the only American university with every building on campus environmentally certified. The campus is the first public research university certified as carbon-neutral, and every campus building is LEED certified.


Today, the UC system includes more than 280,000 students and more than 227,000 faculty and staff, with 2.0 million alumni living and working around the world. For almost 150 years, UC has expanded the horizons of what we know about ourselves and our world. Their campuses are routinely ranked among the best in the world, but their reach extends beyond campus borders. UC’s faculty are the drivers behind innovations in biotechnology, computer science, art and architecture — and they bring that knowledge, that greatness, directly to the classroom.


The Search Committee invites letters of interest and nominations to be submitted directly to the search firm, Anthem Executive. Correspondence should include a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position, and should be submitted to Anthem Executive at:

While applications and nominations will be accepted until a new Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, & Economic Development is selected, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials ASAP, to assure optimal consideration. Expressing interest is the first step in receiving consideration and does not make one an applicant for the position.


UC Merced is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to employees, applicants for employment, and service providers without regard to age, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam War Era Veteran.