Director Osteoarthritis Research Programs | Atlanta, GA

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Full Time | Exempt 

POSITION SUMMARY (Basic purpose or primary function of job)

The Director, Osteoarthritis Research Programs serves as the point person for execution of scientific strategies designed to address osteoarthritis. This includes leadership responsibilities for the Arthritis Foundation osteoarthritis clinical research network.  The Director is responsible for strongly representing the Arthritis Foundation in the OA medical and research communities, and nurturing collaborations that support both research and organizational goals. The leadership of the Director supports an overarching goal to achieve health outcome improvement for people dealing with, and challenged by, the effects of Arthritis in their daily lives. 

Within the Foundation, the Director develops and maintains relationships within the Science Department to support the overall scientific strategy. The Director also maintains close contact with other internal departments to provide updated and accurate information on science initiatives, and partner on cross departmental projects where needed.

Outside the Foundation, the Director has a fundamental role in meaningfully integrating the patient community into research by drawing on the Arthritis Foundation Live Yes! Network and its communities. These relationships should be cultivated in concert with efforts to engage individual scientists, clinicians, and representatives of industry and government. 


JOB RESPONSIBILITIES (Principal responsibilities or job duties)

  1. Lead and direct the Arthritis Foundation Osteoarthritis research program, working with external advisory committees to provide strategic planning, development and evaluation of research programs, management of the scientific awardee portfolio, communication of progress and results, and the oversight of the appropriate peer review for all awardee scientific proposals and award nominations submitted to the Arthritis Foundation for osteoarthritis related work.
  2. Lead and direct the Arthritis Foundation osteoarthritis clinical research network. Coordinating essential governance and operational aspects of the network, including coordinating development and ongoing execution of network SOPS, governance teams, reporting requirements, and site vetting.
  3. Works with directors, sponsors, collaborating academic centers and consortia, and internal entities to shepherd completion and execution of necessary contractual agreements
  4. Prepare presentations and reports for the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, and other scientific committees and workgroups as needed.
  5. Support the SVP, Scientific Strategy in development and execution of multi-year strategies for OA research and anticipated investments of time and resources, including course correcting as new information develops.
  6. Support the SVP, Scientific Strategy in developing and administering the department budget. Demonstrates thoughtful stewardship of Foundation resources and assets.
  7. Develop and integrates risk management plans to identify potential risks to program performance, timeliness and quality of results
  8. Position the Arthritis Foundation as a conceptual and programmatic leader in osteoarthritis-related scientific research. Establish strong relationships and credibility for the Arthritis Foundation in the arthritis research community by cultivating productive relationships with appropriate professional organizations, industry partners, and government agencies involved in arthritis scientific research. Develop contacts to meet strategic objectives, including potential partners or sponsors and establish the necessary relationships with other private and governmental organizations with similar goals and interests.
  9. Serve as a leading voice nationally for arthritis scientific research, development, and translation in alignment with the Arthritis Foundation’s Champion of Yes brand; serve as a leading voice internationally for arthritis and related disease scientific discovery and represent the Foundation on external workgroups and committees.
  10. Create publications and white papers, consortiums, standards organizations, invited speaker engagements and other events to enhance the visibility and prominence of the Arthritis Foundation in the arthritis scientific community.
  11. Provide leadership on international osteoarthritis scientific meetings hosted by the Arthritis Foundation. Lead multi-disciplinary planning committees to create effective and dynamic workshop agendas oriented towards advancing osteoarthritis therapeutics and inclusion of patient partnership.
  12. Initiate and maintain frequent, congenial, collaborative and close working relationships with senior management, department heads and National Office staff at all levels, including with members of the Scientific Strategy Department.
  13. Leverage clinical, scientific, and business insights to inform and advise the development and implementation of cross-cutting strategies for consumer information, development and fundraising, advocacy and access, and marketing and communications departments.
  14. Attend board meetings as required, provide leadership in managing steering and advisory committees and interact with volunteer leadership for the AF, and with members of the Board of Directors and their committees.
  15. Develop and deliver lay language scientific and clinical presentations to major donor groups and at Board meetings. Conduct webinars for individuals and groups relating to scientific and clinical advances to conquer arthritis.
  16. Develop, lead and participate in academic, government, and industry activities, including Advisory Boards and forums; create partnership opportunities and position the Arthritis Foundation as a leader in the implementation of a national arthritis scientific discovery strategy.
  17. Other duties as assigned by the foundation’s SVP, Scientific Strategy.



  1. Eight to ten years of research experience, preferably in areas relating to immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, bioengineering or clinical/ translational research, or equivalent pharmaceutical or medical device development experience.
  2. Documented professional experiences requiring knowledge of GCP, IRB, HIPAA, and related regulatory guidance and policies.
  3. Strategic business experience with a healthcare, science or non-profit organization.
  4. Exceptional strategic, analytical and critical-thinking skills, including data mining experience and experience working with large amounts of data to develop innovative solutions.
  5. Demonstrated leadership skills coupled with strong verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  6. Highly developed diplomatic skills and a strong sense of collaboration with the ability to build consensus.
  7. Proven track record of fostering collaborative partnerships with various audiences, including patient volunteers.
  8. Experience communicating scientific and clinical research concepts to professional and lay audiences.
  9. Demonstrated experience writing statements of work and managing contracts.
  10. Ability to find creative solutions to organizational problems and barriers
  11. Exceptional attention to detail and accuracy
  12. Ability to motivate, develop and coach individuals
  13. Experience in managing and financial management
  14. Either an M.D. ,Ph.D., or its equivalent is required.


Lead and direct all aspects of the scientific discovery program, including strategic planning


Provide staff leadership for the Scientific Discovery Advisory Committee, Medical Advisory Committee, the OA Clinical Trial Network and other scientific committees and workgroups


Lead the implementation of a five-year strategy for scientific discovery and anticipated investments


Serve as the subject matter expert for osteoarthritis by developing and delivering scientific and clinical presentations to major donor groups and at Board meetings


Create publications and white papers, consortiums, standards organizations, invited speaker engagements and other events





The Arthritis Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Please – No Phone Calls