Human Resources

MTRAC Commercialization Program Director

Apply now Job No: 21207
Department: Innovation & Commercialization
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Lakeshore Center (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Business

Department: Vice Pres For Research

Sub Department: Innovation and Commercialization 

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

This position is responsible for managing the Advanced Materials Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Hub. The Advanced Materials MTRAC Hub is a statewide funding program that supports the translation of technologies resulting from research within Michigan universities, hospital systems, and non-profit research centers into commercial practice. The Program Director is responsible for recruiting prospective projects, managing the review process for proposed projects, and ensuring projects are satisfying milestones and other contractual commitments. This position is also responsible for actively supporting the commercialization of technologies within the program by assisting in such activities as engaging strategic partners and identifying and following through on funding opportunities to support follow-on technical and business de-risking activities.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

1. Support researchers in developing project proposals which are translational in nature and can result in new or improved products or processes, and presenting funding applications to the Oversight Committee (OC).
2. Prepare progress reports and presentations to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as the project sponsor and complete other reporting requirements on an as needed basis
3. Support researchers in identifying sources of project matching funds.
4. Collaborate with relevant stakeholders including personnel within the Office of Innovation and Commercialization as well as local, regional, and statewide support organizations to identify potential end-users, customers, and sources for the follow on funding through licensing, start-up business development
5. Recruitment of follow on funding from public and private sources such as the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research programs, angel investors, and others.
6. Organize and manage meetings of the OC to select projects for funding
7. Monitor the performance of selected projects in order to ensure the attainment of project goals and milestones
8. Provide guidance and oversight regarding intellectual property strategy for projects that receive program funding.
9. Build awareness and foster collaborations among public universities and research organizations throughout the State of Michigan.
10. Develop a close working relationship with the other MTRAC Program Directors in order to share best practices, identify mutually beneficial resources, and assist MEDC in developing metrics and materials to ensure the success of the program.

11. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

Bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or business.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects with business and technical elements
Experience in a business or academic research setting

Desirable Education and/or Experience

Advanced degree in science, engineering, and/or business
Experience in commercialization of early stage technologies
Experience engaging with technical business contacts and a network of professional contacts.
Experience in management of sponsored projects including general administration, project budgeting, and milestone management.
Experience with customer discovery, the business model canvas, and the Lean Launchpad or similar methods of business model development.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

Strong verbal and written communication skills

Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff. 

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

Knowledge of the intellectual property rights and the management of them.
Knowledge of funding programs which support commercialization of early stage technologies

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience and Qualifications

Title of Position Supervisor

Associate Vice President for Research Administration

Posting Type

Internal & External

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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