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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Program Manager: Research Operations in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Program Manager: Research Operations



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Bioenergy Center requires a Program Manager to support the execution of NREL’s mission in the bioenergy and plastics upcycling research areas, including in topics such as metabolic engineering and bioprocess development, enzyme biochemistry and structural biology, separations, chemical catalysis, materials science, and computational modeling. The individual will support a highly productive team on multiple levels, including day-to-day management of projects, technical writing and review, industry engagement, business development, proposal writing and other, related activities. This position will also have frequent, high-level interactions with members of NREL’s senior leadership team, DOE, industrial partners, and external clients.

The desired candidate for this position will be astute, intuitive, and discerning in their ability to work with a large, diverse team who represent a wide range of expertise. The work at times will require quick thinking and agility in moving between tasks, as well as short turnaround times on deliverables. The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to combine strategic planning with excellent work habits and communication skills.

The selected candidate will support a number of stakeholders, including PIs, researchers, internal and external contacts, and other members of the project management team, often simultaneously. The specific duties associated with this position include the following:

  • Manage the operations of a consortium, including internal briefings, industry engagement, technical milestones, and strategic planning.

  • Interface frequently with multiple DOE offices, including but not limited to, the Bioenergy Technologies Office, the Advanced Manufacturing Office, and the Office of Science.

  • Lead discussions with collaborators and organize multiple collaborative research efforts and activities across multiple institutions in the United States and abroad.

  • Work closely with the existing project management team members to support high-level and day-to-day functions of the group.

  • Work with the business development team to build key relationships with external partners and industry stakeholders to fund R&D activities &/or collaborate on proposals.

  • Maintain a general knowledge of projects, including scientific progress and areas of concern. Communicate potential issues to the relevant PI and/or the rest of the project management team as needed. Attend science update meetings as needed.

  • Present at meetings or events, both internal and external, as a key representative to the group’s mission. Must be able to communicate scientific principles with reasonable confidence.

  • Work closely with the Facilities Operations Manager and laboratory DARs to manage laboratory and office space demands and work with contractors and NREL Facilities representatives to build and retrofit new laboratories, all in a busy building to ensure that work continues uninterrupted.

  • Manage a rapidly growing research team by developing new employee on-boarding procedures, increasing group cohesion and team dynamics, and determining science research directions.

  • Write, edit, or review statements of work (SOWs), annual operating plans (AOPs), and associated project documents.

  • Write, edit, or review internal and external proposals.

  • Review deliverables (milestones and quarterly reports) prior to submission.

  • Advanced understanding and application of project management principles, concepts, practices and standards. Advanced knowledge of technical field and related disciplines. Contributes to the development of new principles and concepts. Excellent interpersonal, conflict resolution, teaming and communication skills.


Basic Qualifications

For a level IV:

Relevant PhD and 4 or more years of experience or related education/experience. Or, related Master's Degree and 7 or more years of experience or related education/experience in project/program management or operations in a technical environment. Or, related Bachelor's Degree and 9 or more years of experience or related education/experience in project/program management or operations in a technical environment.

For a level III:

Related PhD or related education/experience. Or, Related Master's Degree and 3 or more years of experience or related education/experience in project/program management or operations in a technical environment. Or, Related Bachelor's Degree and 5 or more years of experience or Related education/experience in project/program management or operations in a technical environment.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in project or program management.

  • Expert understanding and application of project management principles, concepts, practices and standards.

  • Expert knowledge of technical field and related disciplines.

  • Exhibits an exceptional degree of ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness.

  • Strong leadership and problem-solving skills.

  • Expert multi-tasker, able to manage multiple projects at one time.

  • Extensive knowledge of technical subject matter and the ability to communicate it with stakeholders.

  • Excellent interpersonal, teaming and communication skills, both oral and written.

  • Ability to travel as needed and engage in public speaking events.

  • Exhibits an exceptional degree of ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness.

  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • Excellent proof-reading skills.

Preferred Qualifications


Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

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