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Career Opportunities

Current career opportunities at the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion. Check regularly for new job listings. 

Research Program Manager (Hybrid/Remote)

This position has the option of working in a a hybrid schedule which includes a combination of working both onsite on Campus and remote or completely remote.

Apply via UCSD Employment Website


In 2019, businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford committed $100 million towards the creation of the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion at UC San Diego. This gift establishes an institute to study the neurobiological basis of empathy and compassion and implement training models for physician education (medical students through practicing physicians) to effectively teach the practice of compassion for self and others.

With the establishment of the Institute, investments were made towards expanding subject matter expertise through key professorships, seed funding for research and collaborative projects, and appointment of research fellows and scholars. Additional activities include theestablishment of an annual international conference, integration of new methods into the medical school curriculum, enhancing the Student Run Free Clinic and establishment of various centers.

The Research Program Manager will work with the Center for Research on Empathy and Compassion. The center is focused on the study of neurological basis for empathy and identify the mechanisms that trace compassion from biology to behavior. The Center's data and discoveries have been known to promote wellness programs that prevent, intercept, and reverse the burnout epidemic afflicting our healthcare community, as well as translate into everyday practices that impact our ability to feel with one another, and to care for one anotherfor generations to come.

The Research Program Manager will possess a high degree of knowledge in neurological basis, with recognized expertise in specific areas. The incumbent will oversee and manage departmental research projects and other initiatives that may include formulating strategies and administering policies, processes, and resources. They will problem-solve efforts that frequently requires the analysis of unique issues/problems without precedent and/or structure. The incumbent will function with a high degree of autonomy.

The incumbent will design protocols, assist with scientific design and may manage programs that include formulating strategies and administering policies, processes, and resources. Applies extensive knowledge as a survey research professional to develop, evaluate, and analyze broad-based, multi-year survey initiatives related to medical education, physician wellness, and neurobiology of empathy and compassion.

Serves as a team lead on research study designs, including project development and planning, implementation and management of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, survey tools and systems, procedures, techniques and processes focusing on medical education, physician wellness, and neurobiology of empathy and compassion.

Develops and maintains databases of relevant survey instruments. Reviews and recommends resources needed to meet research studies goals. Monitors and ensures research studies are within allocated budgets. Utilizes continuous improvement methodologies to evaluate and ensure that future plans and processes are informed by research findings, including those from surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Responsible for the coordination and management of data collections and analysis for the research studies. Participates in screening applicants, interviews candidates, and recommends individuals for hire. Provides training and work direction to staff and students, as needed. Participates as a major contributor to scientific writing, grant writing, as well as presenting findings at scientific conferences and meetings.

Administers all finance, human resources and facilities and other operational activities for small to mid-sized academic or research program. Administers major program components, and some or all of the program's operational requirements. Develops and organizes conferences and other public forums. Works under direction of Principal Investigator or more senior Academic Program Officer to establish center agenda, funding, objectives.


  • Advanced degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.
  • Three (3) or more years of related experience.
  • Seven (7) years of research experience with proven experience in fields of research related to medical education, cognitive science, socialscience, psychology, applied public health, neurosciences or biology.
  • Thorough knowledge of administrative, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong ability to think creatively and independently on concepts requiring advanced analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse groups to achieve results.
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively with internal and external peers and managers.
  • Solid fundraising experience.
  • Leads project team to develop and evaluate studies to optimize investigation performance within study goals and budgets. Designs, facilitates and produces study plans with external partners. Creates survey measures for use and/or places into effect adaptations to existing tools to fit project needs.
  • High level of political acumen, diplomacy, professionalism, and integrity to act appropriately and with sensitivity in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively with internal and external peers and managers.
  • Demonstrated experience in knowledge management, translation and utilization, including activities to bring together global stakeholders to develop consensus and advance knowledge.
  • Strong ability to translate data and research findings into reports, Power Point presentations, or other reporting outputs.
  • Demonstrated grant coordination, management, and submission experience.
  • Exceptional process, organizational, and coordination skills - able to work independently to design and put in place effective project management systems.
  • Demonstrated experience in the preparation of funding agency reports.
  • Strong ability to work across multiple projects and with multiple teams simultaneously and prioritize and complete tasks across projects with conflicting deadlines.
  • Strong ability and willingness to learn new skills and take on new tasks as needed.
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Teams, Excel, Word, SharePoint and Outlook.


  • Terminal degree in a related field preferred (PhD, JD, MD, etc.).
  • Familiarity with university systems (in particular UCSD).
  • Academic background and experience in selected area of research preferred.


  • Must have access to reliable transportation and be willing to travel off-site.
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends.
  • Must be available to travel nationally or internationally a few times per year.
  • Job offer is contingent on clear Background Check.

Apply via UCSD Employment Website