Scientific Project Manager

Scientific Project Manager

Gilbert Family Foundation

Detroit, MI, United States

Call for Consulting Services
Scientific Project Manager
Vision Restoration Initiative

The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by philanthropists Dan and Jennifer Gilbert to address their two priorities and passions: accelerating a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and transforming the city of Detroit, Michigan. The Foundation has embarked on two bold NF1 research initiatives: (1) the Gene Therapy Initiative (GTI), to develop curative therapies that address the underlying genetic abnormalities in NF1 patients, and (2) the Vision Restoration Initiative (VRI), inspired by their son’s loss of vision from NF1 and with a goal of advancing vision restoration therapies.

In December 2018, GTI announced the award of more than $12 million dollars to eight multi-disciplinary research teams to identify which gene therapy techniques are most promising for NF1. VRI is expected to launch in February 2019, awarding more than $10M over 3 years to a consortium of distinguished ophthalmology and NF1 expert investigators. In its initial phase, it will focus on basic science and early, pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies. In particular, VRI is focused on developing three types of therapeutic products to restore vision in NF1 patients: endogenous cell replacement, exogenous cell replacement, and neuro-enhancement.

The Gilbert Family Foundation seeks a consulting arrangement with a Scientific Project Manager for its Vision Restoration Initiative. The Foundation is seeking to identify a mid-level manager with experience in drug discovery and/or preclinical development, ideally with experience in cell therapy and/or vision restoration/ ophthalmology programs. The Project Manager will serve as the administrator for VRI; provide technical assistance to applicants and grantees; conduct site visits to grantee institutions to determine the adequacy and progress of research; identify research areas warranting either increased or decreased funding emphasis; and work collaboratively with Gilbert Family Foundation leadership and staff to achieve the overall goals of the program.

This is contractual/independent contractor position. The Gilbert Family Foundation is located in Detroit, Michigan. The successful candidate will not be required to be based in the Detroit area, but will be expected to travel periodically for meetings in the Detroit office, for professional meetings, and for site visits nationwide. As VRI is a three-year research award program, a commitment from the contractor for the duration of the award is preferred. Annual contractual terms will be based on an agreed upon hourly rate and a defined number of hours.

Contractors interested in learning more about this engagement should send a cover letter, CV, and three references to YooRi Kim, Scientific Officer of the Gilbert Family Foundation at no later than January 28, 2019.

Contractual Scope of Work

The Scientific Project Manager is responsible for the overall management of projects, timelines, and deliverables for the Gilbert Family Foundation’s Vision Restoration Initiative. Using sound scientific judgment and knowledge of VRI goals and objectives, he/she will provide oversight for all VRI projects and activities. He/She will represent VRI in the scientific community with professionalism and a deep understanding of the field and its challenges.


• Reviewing regular progress and financial reports
• Conducting site visits to grantee institutions
• Leading coordination of virtual scientific meetings and in-person annual meeting
• Leading coordination of VRI advisory board meetings
• Providing support to grantees on data governance activities
• Conducting due diligence on new opportunities related to VRI
• Developing and maintaining relationships with VRI grantees and other experts in the field to keep abreast of challenges and identify and leverage resources to address such issues.


Must have successfully completed an advanced degree that includes training in the biomedical sciences and have at least five years of relevant experience in drug discovery and/or preclinical development. Project management experience in a biomedical research environment is required. Ideal candidates will have experience in cell therapy and/or vision restoration/ophthalmology drug discovery and/or development programs.


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Scientific Project Manager