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SUNY Research Foundation: Associate Attorney


About The Research Foundation for SUNY:

The Research Foundation for The State University of New York (RF) is the largest comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country.

Our mission is to provide talent, services, and technology that empower SUNY to research, innovate, and transfer discoveries that transform the world’s knowledge economy.

Our vision is to make SUNY the best place for faculty, students, and staff to research, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing problems.

The RF serves SUNY by providing essential administrative services that enable faculty to focus their efforts on educating students and performing life-changing research across a wide range of disciplines including Artificial Intelligence, Clean Energy, Biotechnology, Longevity, Substance Addiction, Nextgen Quantum Computing, Environmental Health, and Resiliency. We work with the academic and business leadership of SUNY campuses to facilitate research and discovery by administering sponsored projects and delivering intellectual property and technology transfer services that fuel innovation and move ideas and inventions to the marketplace. 

The RF is committed to diversity, inclusion, and a working environment that enhances productivity creates personal and professional opportunities, unleashes everyone’s full potential, and fuels innovation. We hold the organization and each other to the highest standards of integrity, accountability, and ethical behavior.

Visit and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Learn about SUNY at

Job Description:


The RF is seeking an attorney with 3-5 years of relevant experience to join a collaborative five-lawyer team as a generalist with a focus on complex business transactions related to the Foundation’s sponsored programs, intellectual property licensing, and general non-profit business activities.  This is an opportunity to join a collegial, hard-working team in a dynamic mission-driven research foundation supporting the largest and most diverse public university system in the country.

Responsibilities will include routine and complex contract drafting, review and negotiation, litigation support and management, compliance investigation support, dispute resolution, and advice on policies, business transactions, and governance. Reporting to the General Counsel and Secretary and Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, the incumbent will work closely with Research Foundation executive management as well as campus academic and business leadership, managers of entities affiliated with the Research Foundation, and SUNY counsel.   As an attorney in this dynamic practice, you will have the opportunity to gain considerable hands-on experience and assume significant client responsibility within a collaborative team environment.


  • Prepare, negotiate, and manage contracts, leases, license agreements, and other legal documents with contractors and subcontractors, vendors, research sponsors, and governmental entities. Contracts may include commercial contracts, master services agreements, lease agreements, license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, equipment and real property leases, sales and purchase agreements, and procurement contracts;
  • Counsel RF and SUNY campus business and academic managers and senior leadership on a broad range of legal, business, and policy issues related to nonprofit and academic research environments. These include matters related to the RF’s tax-exempt status, corporate governance, compliance investigations, industry and government contracting, corporate formation, construction, finance, accounting and tax procurement, legislative analysis, real estate, and other corporate and business transactions;
  • Under the supervision of the Deputy General Counsel and lead litigation and employment counsel, manage litigation arising from Sponsored Programs activity, and making appearances and presenting evidence at administrative hearings before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and other entities. Cases typically involve a breach of contract, patent infringement, employment discrimination, and/or negligence;
  • Conduct and/or assist the departments of Compliance, and Internal Audit on investigations as needed.
  • Support functional business units (such as Sponsored Programs, Industry and External Affairs, Compliance, Audit, Finance) and local RF operating locations through contract template development, contract interpretation and guidance, development, and review of policies, and training for RF and SUNY campus leaders, managers and employees;
  • Assist the Industry and External Affairs department with intellectual property and commercialization-related legal matters, development of transactional documents supporting public-private collaborations and industry partnerships, and facilitate the financial and legal structuring of new business entities;
  • Promote and support company policies, procedures, mission, values, and standards of ethics and integrity; support the corporation’s control environment by helping to identify, assess, and manage legal risks and liabilities, assist with the creation, implementation, and enhancement of corporate processes, policies, and procedures, and partner with business unit leaders to identify and facilitate business process improvement initiatives; and
  • Perform other legal and administrative functions to support the RF’s strategic and operating plans.



  • JD from an accredited law school, membership in good standing, or eligibility for membership in NY State Bar;
  • A minimum of 3 years of related experience, including in-house counsel or related law firm practice or federal or state government.
  • Strong experience in one or more of the following: commercial contracts and corporate transactions (including drafting, reviewing, negotiating, research and development contracts, services and consulting agreements, inbound/outbound licensing agreements, technology agreements, and partner and vendor agreements); litigation including discovery, motion practice, and related legal research; compliance investigations and compliance matters.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word; competency in PowerPoint and Excel.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent judgment, business acumen, and common sense.
  • Strong work ethic, superior organizational skills, and ability to handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment under time constraints and work well independently and as a collaborative team member;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including presentation and training capabilities and ability to relate and work well with people of many cultures, disciplines, and levels of experience;
  • Willingness to travel to campuses in the SUNY system as needed;
  • Experience and/or appreciation for issues in representing academic research organizations and/or faculty, researchers, and academic administrators;
  • Confidence and leadership with humility; be self-assured but not self-important;
  • Optimistic attitude that thrives in a dynamic and complex working environment;
  • Ability to accept constructive criticism with grace; and
  • Commitment to the mission of the RF and our goals to benefit SUNY and the State of New York.
  • Familiarity with the life cycle of federally funded programs, including issues related to federal procurement contracts and federal grants, as well as dispute resolution processes.

Compensation for this position: The compensation for this role is between $96,969 to $133,018. The pay will depend on a variety of factors that may include but are not limited to experience, education, training, and certifications. 

Additional Information:

As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer, The Research Foundation for SUNY will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy-related conditions, reproductive health decisions, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, transgender status, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, familial status, citizenship, physical and mental disability, prior arrest or conviction record, genetic characteristics/genetic information, predisposition or carrier status, domestic violence victim status, military status or service, veteran status, or any other characteristics protected under federal, state or local law. The Company will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.

The Company will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

The Research Foundation for the State University of New York is not an agency or instrumentality of the State of New York. Employees of the Research Foundation for the State University of New York are not state employees, do not participate in any state retirement system, and do not receive state fringe benefits. The Research Foundation for the State University of New York operates under a contract with The State University of New York and receives no directly appropriated state funding.

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