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Business Development Associate / Director, Washington University in St. Louis


The Office of Technology Management (OTM) at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) assists WashU faculty in the transfer of technology from the lab to the global marketplace to create a pipeline of opportunities to benefit society.

Located in St. Louis, Missouri’s Cortex Innovation District, OTM manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from research programs, and acts as a resource for faculty in the areas of patent prosecution, material transfer agreements, market feedback and licensing.

The Opportunity:

Title: Business Development Associate or Director (title dependent on experience level)

Area: One Physical Science and One Life Science

Work from Home: Hybrid work arrangement, two days in office, three days work-from-home

Salary: Commensurate on experience. Up to $150,000

Work Visa Status: The Office of Technology Management (OTM) at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) may be willing to obtain a work visa for a highly qualified candidate.

The Office of Technology Management (OTM) at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is hiring one life science and one physical science position at a Business Development Associate / Director (title is commensurate on experience). Each role is responsible for managing a portion of the University’s intellectual property portfolio with the mission of transferring it to commercial companies for the benefit of society. The BDA/D is responsible for handling highly complex license agreements, a large portfolio of IP for the most active faculty and training and mentoring licensing associates and trainees. The BDA/D is expected to direct high-profile initiatives for the benefit of the OTM and contribute toward outreach to potential and existing inventors.  

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage licensing associates in assigning tasks to invention disclosure assessment and reassessments and working with LAs on marketing activities, as well as providing training, mentoring, and evaluation of Technology Transfer Trainees.
  • Work with legal counsel to protect intellectual property either through patenting or other proper tactics for assigned portfolio.
  • Work directly with OTM patent coordinator and internal legal counsel (OGC) on patent costs and filing tactics with outside patent law firms.
  • Assist with the marketing function to market top tier technologies.
  • Negotiate key terms and execute complex license agreements with established companies and start-ups.
  • Manage a large and complex portfolio of existing licenses with respect to technology development, milestones, and non-financial terms of the licensees.
  • Direct high- and mid-profile initiatives as identified by OTM and outreach to faculty and other inventors. Communicate with and educate investigators, researchers, and students, along with departments and schools to better understand the potential for inventions from the research done at WU.   
  • In the Director role, the candidate will have responsibility for mentoring and/or supervising OTM Licensing Associates and Licensing Trainees. 

The Successful Candidate

Minimum Requirements:    

  • Education: advanced degree required. MS or PhD (preferred), in the life/biological science, medicine, biomedical engineering, engineering, or physical sciences.
  • 4-7+ years of working experience in a university technology transfer office or in commercial development within the private sector.
  • Experience in closing complex business transactions and licenses with large established companies and start-ups.
  • Business experience in private industry or an MBA degree would be a plus.

Interpersonal Requirements and Skills:

  • Demonstrated people-management / relationship-building skills.
  • Must be able to assess the potential for a nascent technology in the commercial arena.
  • Possess excellent leadership and communication skills and be able to represent OTM inside and outside WU. 
  • Demonstrated ability to make appropriate decisions as it relates to technology transfer activities. 
  • Exceptional and demonstrated ability to provide superior customer service to internal and external clients is also required. 
  • Must have excellent communication skills. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and set work priorities with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to interact with academic scientists and business executives.
  • Strong team-oriented focus.
  • Ability to build rapport and trust with faculty, colleagues, and stakeholders.

Salary & Benefits

The salary for this role is based on experience up to $150,000. 

Washington University in St. Louis provides an enriching, valuable employee experience, one that emphasizes the well-being of people, a shared purpose, and an inclusive community.

The employee experience framework includes five areas of focus at WashU, concentrating on the dynamic relationship between all facets of well-being and the diverse needs of people. The employee experience spans many important areas, including work-life integration, growth and development, physical and mental health, financial well-being, and a vibrant, inclusive culture and community. This framework embraces helping people thrive, personally and professionally, and empowers employees to engage, take care of themselves and their families, achieve success in a meaningful career, and live out their life’s purpose at WashU.

Mind/Body – enable employees to focus on their personal health and wellness.

Financial well-being – provide support and education for a sound financial future.

Work-Life support – help employees achieve balance in their work and personal life, from family care to employee assistance program to time off and leave.

Inclusive culture and vibrant community – foster a diverse and inclusive culture that is engaging and focused on pride, purpose, appreciation, recognition and belonging.

Learning and development – empower employees to learn, grow, and excel in their careers.

Learn more about the benefits here.

Procedure for Consideration

The Office of Technology Management (OTM) at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) has exclusively retained Gardner Innovation Search Partners to manage this search. Gardner Innovation Search Partners is the top technology transfer recruiter in the world and is committed to presenting a diverse slate of candidates with the skills, expertise, and enthusiasm to thrive in this role. 

Interested applicants should send their resume, a non-confidential deal sheet, and any questions to:

Lisa Rooney, Recruiter 740-251-7390