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Program Officer

Department: Frontiers

Program Officer – Frontiers Group

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The mission of The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group is to uncover and make visible the emerging frontiers of science, identifying pioneering explorers to create new knowledge, and produce important solutions that make the world better.

The Program Officer will help support the formation and management of The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group portfolio, which includes diverse partnerships, and national and international grants. The Program Officer role includes four major areas of responsibility: identifying strategic directions and frontiers in bioscience, implementing new research awards and competitions, maintaining relationships and evaluating existing awards and programs, and designing and implementing selected conferences and events. Depending on the needs of the Frontiers Group, an individual in the role may work in some or all of these areas.

This role will partner with the Executive Director and other members of the Frontiers Group in creating, implementing, and assessing the impact of current and past scientific research programs and participate in a continuous information-gathering process with thought leaders, organizational leaders, and early career investigators worldwide. This will include performing creative synthesis of those ideas and helping to identify directions that offer first in opportunities in areas of bioscience that could generate transformative or paradigm-shifting outcomes. The Program Officer will participate in the request for proposal process, as well as conceiving, designing, and implementing large and small events of the Frontiers Group. 

The successful candidate should bring to the position the ability to make good judgment of scientific ideas and partner organizations cultures and capabilities. This also includes a passionate curiosity about the world, a desire to find new ways into hard, unsolved problems, ability to interact with a wide range of people to elicit their best ideas and develop authentic partnerships, respect for innovation, ability to connect and integrate across multiple scales in science given the complexity of biology as we know it today, ability to communicate well with a variety of audiences, and the commitment to share ideas freely. The Program Officer will be an integral part of a small, highly collaborative team that operates The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and its programs and will report to the Sr. Program Officer within The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Interact and communicate frequently with funded scientists and periodically make visits to the funded science program sites to evaluate scientific accomplishments, identify issues, and co-develop plans for future work
  • Shape and support special projects research, initiatives development, analysis, and reporting of critical issues in the field
  • Work with colleagues, community members, and content experts to assess needs, monitor trends, respond to donor inquiries, and further the goals of the Frontiers Group
  • Depending on the needs of the Frontiers Group:
    • Conduct research and analysis related to potential grants and inquiries
    • Lead and organize workshops and landscaping sessions with scientific experts
    • Develop requests for proposals and issue them to the science community
    • Administrate the grant making process from solicitation and receipt of requests to evaluation and final disposition
    • Manage aspects of a portfolio of grants, including working with grantees to monitor progress and report outcomes
    • Organize meetings and site-visits with applicants and grantees
    • Review and report on program outcomes and other evaluative information
  • Prepare progress reports to senior staff, executives, and other leaders and managers
  • Respond to inquiries regarding funding priorities of the Frontiers Group by phone and video calls, mail, and email
  • Maintain appropriate level of expertise and understanding of subject areas being funded
  • Develop information as needed for Frontiers Group printed materials including guidelines and annual report
  • Other duties as assigned

Note: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects management’s assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of degree and experience
  • Three years of equivalent experience in the life sciences, including basic research, biomedical, biotechnology, and/or related fields

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Doctoral degree in life sciences
  • Three or more years of related experience in experience working in science philanthropy, scientific grant management, scientific peer review, or other science administration roles
  • Experience coordinating or managing research projects
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience working with Fluxx software
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a diverse range of people from different environments and sectors
  • Ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas, and demonstrate intellectual curiosity, flexibility, entrepreneurial spirit, and openness to input and feedback
  • Ability to inspire trust, lead and facilitate with strong interpersonal skills, and move from ideas to action

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment
  • Frequently required to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, or reach

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Occasional evening and weekend hours required
  • This role is currently able to work both remotely and onsite in a hybrid work environment. We are a Washington State employer, and the primary work location for all Allen Institute employees is 615 Westlake Ave N.; any remote work must be performed in Washington State.


  • Estimated travel 5–20%
  • Occasional travel to partner sites for compliance oversight required
  • Attendance and participation in national and international conferences required [depending on the event travel may not be required to attend]

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • In keeping with our focus on employee safety, all employees must be up to date with vaccinations against COVID-19 as a condition of employment unless a medical or religious accommodation is approved. All employees will be required to keep their vaccination status up to date according to CDC guidance.

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance**


It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.





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