Senior Alliance Manager – Van Andel Institute

The Van Andel Research Institute has exclusively retained the Vortechs Group to find their next Senior Alliance Manager.

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) is an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, MI’s vibrant Medical Mile. In their short 22-year existence, they have grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 450 scientists, educators, and staff. They are an agile institute known for breaking down barriers that hold innovation captive.

As the Senior Alliance Manager, you’ll be responsible for the strategic development, negotiation, and execution of agreements between VARI’s research labs and our collaborators, material providers, and licensing partners.

You will collaborate with some of the best scientific minds in the world to handle VARI’s contract negotiation and management needs as they arise within the Institute and develop and maintaining productive relationships with VARI’s researchers and corporate representatives to build a pipeline of materials and collaborations to support VARI’s research and publishing goals.

Your focus and objectives:

  • Develop and manage strong relationships with faculty inventors and prospective inventors.
  • Develop process/policy /streamlining and projects in a growing area of research / industry partnerships
  • Draft, negotiate and manage contracts between VARI and collaborators, material suppliers, actual and potential business/research partners, and licensees (e.g., material transfer agreements, and license agreements).
  • Collaborate with other technology transfer personnel and sponsored program team to ensure necessary collaboration agreements are in place (e.g., nondisclosure agreements, research collaboration agreements).
  • Work with existing and suggest improvement to technology transfer and industry partnership agreements and processes in support of the VARI mission.
  • Evaluate and screen invention disclosures; develop, or assist in developing, and executing marketing strategies and plans; draft business terms for license agreements.
  • Responsible for negotiating and administering Confidential Disclosure Agreements, conducting the initial review, and obtaining approvals for language changes and final signatures.
  • Provide operational support to the Business Development department in the identification, drafting, negotiation, recording and monitoring of agreements.
  • Attend training and professional development courses as recommended; participate in conferences and seminars conducted by VARI and/or professional organizations.


What qualifies you to join the Van Andel team?

  • A Bachelor’s degree, though a Masters or Ph.D. is highly desired, in any of the following disciplines: Biology, Biochemistry, or other Life Science with a significant laboratory requirement.
  • A minimum of five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in life or biological science, medicine or a related technical field experience in the management and development of contract terms commonly included in inter-institutional agreements, technology licenses, material transfer agreements, confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements. At least five (5) years of project managerial experience.
  • Strong project management skills.

You should also be a person with the following traits and characteristics:

  • Highly motivated individual, strong performer and dedicated.
  • Effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Problem solving and resolution, research acumen and analytical skills.  
  • Detail oriented and customer service oriented.   
  • Demonstrated ability to deal effectively and confidentially with difficult situations and with individuals at all organizational levels.