Careers in the Plant Sciences

Conservation Director of Research

Atlanta Botanical Gardens - Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Position Title: Conservation Director of Research
Position Type: Permanent Position
Application Review Begins: Tuesday, August 01, 2023
Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Institution: Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Department/Division: Conservation and Research
Field (e.g., systematics):
City: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
General Information: Description
Responsible for the leadership and effectiveness of the Southeastern Center for Conservation (SECC) Research team, which produces world-class scientific research with important practical applications to advance plant conservation. Provide strategic leadership, in cooperation with the Vice President of Conservation & Research and Director of Applied Conservation, to set and meet program objectives and priorities. The mission of the SECC is to lead innovative strategies and partnerships to conserve imperiled plants and natural communities.
Qualifications/Requirements: Requirements
Minimum of ten or more (10+) years of relevant and increasingly responsible experience with a record of successful career growth leading to significant management responsibilities, leadership experience and a proven track record in strategic business planning, preferably in a non-profit, learning organization.
Ph.D. in biology, botany, horticulture, conservation, or related subject and five years of related experience.
Seven to ten or more (7-10+) years of experience in staff management, including conflict resolution and other related management experience.
Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; must feel comfortable interacting and working with other departments.
Strong presentation and public speaking skills.
Demonstrates the highest level of professional and ethical conduct, knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures, and systems, and maintains confidentiality.
Must be able to manage multiple priorities, work under pressure, and demonstrate and instill in staff members a high degree of professionalism, integrity, loyalty and service to the organization.
Scheduling flexibility is required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays as needed.
Ability to travel frequently (local, domestic and international).
Demonstrated record of research excellence, with a worldwide network of collaborators.
Experience in administration, including personnel management and budgeting.
Evidence of ability to manage multiple large-scale projects simultaneously.
Established record of interdisciplinary collaboration, preferably with conservation and/or restoration ecology.
Experience in strategic planning for a research organization is highly desirable.
Demonstrated success in securing external funding, including competitive government grants. Experience in negotiating and managing project budgets.
Budget development and management skills; advanced understanding of the financial operating budget process.
Proven grant writing skills as well as identification and securing of funding through private and government sources
Documented scientific record with a minimum of ten or more (10+) years of experience and publication record.
Must have a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Ability to spend long hours working independently in a wide range of weather and temperature extremes, including office work and extended periods at a computer. Work independently and often alone. Ability to lift 50 lbs, climb flights of stairs, and work in strenuous conditions.

MENTAL REQUIREMENTS: Excellent organizational and time management skills. Ability to effectively respond to multiple, changing and often conflicting priorities is essential. Must be able to effectively interact with the general public and co-workers, and peer professionals.


In collaboration with the Vice President of Conservation & Research and Director of Applied Conservation, lead strategic development and implementation of objectives for scientific research, training, and outreach opportunities for scientists, students, and professionals in the Southeastern Center for Conservation (SECC)
Develop, coordinate, and implement the Garden’s research strategic plan, including conservation genetics, community ecology, restoration, seed bank, and in vitro research programs
Appraises, evaluates, and reports the Department’s activities and results on a regular, systematic basis.
Fosters a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion; Demonstrates effective and prudent use of Garden resources; maximizes contributions during work hours.

In partnership with the Vice President and other leadership staff, support institutional fundraising
Work both independently and/or collaboratively with Vice President and Research Staff to obtain funding for research projects through grants and private sources
Develops a sustainable research operating budget aligned with available resources.
Carries out and coordinates efforts to identify funding sources and prepares and submits proposals to raise funds to support initiatives within the SECC, including raising funds for the Director’s independent research program and supporting the Research Scientists with funding proposals.
Staff Management & Project Management

Provides leadership to, and directly manages the program’s team of research scientists.
Leads and supports individual research scientists for maximum productivity in research, research funding, peer-reviewed scientific publications, service to professional communities, and public outreach.
Ensures that all project deliverables are being completed in a timely manner, challenges are appropriately met, research staff are appropriately completing tasks, and grant budgets are being adhered to
Supervises the research scientists and their support staff. Duties include recruitment and selection, scheduling and job assignments, performance feedback, and staff development and training in keeping with the SECC’s policies and procedures.
Administers the research team to ensure effective research safety, fiscal planning and management, grant and contract reporting, personnel management, decision making, communication, staff recruitment and training, and adherence to Gardens policies.
Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within the Department and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors, and employees.
Demonstrates commitment to responsibilities and is adaptable to changes; Effectively prioritizes, troubleshoots, and takes appropriate actions; follows policies and procedures, meets deadlines, quality, and safety standards; strives to proactively, address visitor and internal colleagues’ concerns

Develops and pursues opportunities for research, collaboration, funding, and enhanced relationships with appropriate agencies, people, and institutions, in line with Garden and SECC direction and priorities.
Initiates, cultivates and sustains partnerships that enable long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between the Department and other entities, including within the Garden as well as universities, botanical research institutions, communities, other scientific organizations and the private sector.
Writes, reviews, and facilitates grant proposals, institutional reports, and publicity materials
Establishes and maintains contact with professionals, community networks, professional organizations and other institutions with interests similar to those of the Department in an effort to promote strengthened collaboration.

Conducts own research in an area of strategic importance to the Garden, while establishing a nationally and internationally recognized program. Presents and communicates findings to professional and academic peers at conferences and symposia.
Initiates conducts, and publishes significant independent research that involves students, staff, and external collaborators and prepares results for publication in books, peer-reviewed journals, and other appropriate media.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Please apply through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens webpage.
Compensation Range: $95,000-$110,000
Contact Name: Maria Vogel,