About the Opportunity
This job description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.

Position Summary:
The Contracts Manager plays a key role in the success of the technology transfer process at Northeastern University. This position will support the mission of the Center of Research Innovation (CRI) through its contracts and compliance functions and work closely with the commercialization and IP teams in the pursuit, negotiation, and execution of a broad suite of agreements for the development and acceleration of the University’s intellectual property portfolio and ventures. This position reports to the Executive Director of CRI and works closely with the Office of General Counsel (OGC) to provide guidance to University stakeholders, represent the University's position on matters related to intellectual property and agreement terms, and provide guidance to CRI staff and the University ecosystem regarding compliance issues related to the CRI. This person must establish and maintain relationships with University customers based on trust and effective outcomes.

A strong managerial capability, solutions-based mindset, and ability to manage a complex portfolio of contracts, intellectual property, and compliance issues, are mandatory for success in this position. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in effectively interacting with a diverse group of University customers and stakeholders, efficient time management with strong prioritization skills, and a history of proposing and executing creative solutions through contract and compliance frameworks while maintaining professional discretion. The Contracts Manager must independently draft, negotiate, and analyze all agreements related to CRI while mitigating risks to the University, including but not limited to licenses of rights to University IP assets, options to license, inter-institutional agreements and other joint owner agreements, non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, memorandums of understanding, agreements supporting mergers/acquisitions/sales of University licensees, and various other formal agreements. The Contracts Manager must demonstrate an ability to communicate and negotiate effectively and professionally with external parties (start-ups, larger companies, external counsel, agencies), an ability to identify and resolve complicated, sensitive, and cross-functional problems creatively, and an ability to function successfully as a member of a team as well as independently, creating trust, in a deadline-driven, fast-paced academic, entrepreneurial, and research environment. The successful candidate is expected to use independent judgment where appropriate while keeping supervisors and stakeholders informed and involved.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Self-starter and an entrepreneurial attitude seeking opportunities to continuously improve operations and service delivery.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and ability to interact creatively and harmoniously with CRI and University leadership, colleagues, inventors and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to proactively seek and develop solutions to complex problems and manage multiple projects simultaneously through completion while maintaining professional discretion.
  • Experience in and knowledge of technology transfer, especially the dependencies between intellectual property, contracts, and commercialization, in a University setting and detailed knowledge of the regulations and laws that relate to intellectual property, sponsored research, research compliance, and venture support strongly preferred.
  • Strong principle-based negotiation and agreement drafting experience and knowledge of and experience in complex agreement types and terms, technology particularly arising from an academic setting, and licensing and business principles are essential.
  • An understanding of areas of key concern to academic institutions in the negotiation of contracts with industry is strongly preferred, with a particular focus on agreement provisions related to intellectual property, publications, data ownership and rights, and risk management.
  • Ability to work effectively in support of business development, research, and technology transfer professionals.
  • Ability to obtain a security clearance as necessary for performance of role and responsibilities in particular supporting KRI LLC and the Burlington, MA and Arlington, VA campuses.

Minimum Educational Requirements:
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience successfully demonstrating the required skills and knowledge for this position including 1-3 years of technology transfer experience.
  • Industry and/or venture experience plus experience in a higher education setting or research-oriented non-profit setting advising clients on a variety of transactions and business matters are strongly preferred.
  • Must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and be a member of the Massachusetts Bar in good standing.

Key Responsibilities:
Contracts Function of CRI (60%)
  • Independently draft, negotiate, and analyze all agreements related to CRI while mitigating risks to the University, including but not limited to out-licensing University IP assets through licenses, options to license, inter-institutional agreements and other joint owner agreements, non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, memorandums of understanding, agreements supporting mergers/acquisitions/sales of University licensees, and various other formal agreements.
  • Address and work towards a favorable solution to non-compliance issues and other sensitive matters with licensees in collaboration with the commercialization, intellectual property, finance, and venture teams to protect the University’s legal and financial interests and manage risks and exposure.
  • Work with the Executive Director of CRI and the commercialization team to resolve post-execution contract issues including interpretation of terms, changes in requirements, terminations, and other disputes in consultation with OGC as necessary.
  • Anticipate and identify issues and communicate solutions and consequences of contract terms in plain language to CRI and University stakeholders including the commercialization, IP, finance, and venture teams within the CRI.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Research and Sponsored Programs Counsel and Assistant General Counsel Research and Sponsored Programs in support of NU-RES on review and negotiation of IP terms while managing risks to the University and recommending education for stakeholders affected by terms in research-related agreements and awards including sponsored research agreements and complex issues related to IP, research, and research compliance.
  • Formulate guidelines, procedures, and the development of templates and other tools for industry agreements.
  • Continuously assess the needs of CRI and its stakeholders to improve processes, templates, and procedures related to contracts and compliance.
  • Manage communication among the parties involved in an agreement; and keep faculty members and other stakeholders advised of the status of pending agreements.
  • Coordinate with OGC and Advancement, when required, to review and advise on other contracts and terms including fee-for-service agreements, international agreements, gift awards, data use agreements, foundation awards, and fellowship and appointment letters and related contractual or compliance issues.
  • Create new templates, contract types, and approaches to contract structures and implement updates to existing templates to support business needs, operations, and growth of CRI.

CRI and University Compliance and Education (30%)
  • Support the business operations and mission of CRI and the University by providing advice on intellectual property policies, other policies related to the CRI, and procedures at the University.
  • Participate in education of the University community regarding policies and best practices in areas that may include intellectual property, transactions and contracts managed through the CRI, overlapping issues between technology transfer/IP and research/research compliance, and corporate engagement including University strategic partnerships across global campuses.
  • Advise CRI and other University stakeholders and customers on disputes related to contract terms especially IP ownership, University IP rights, and third-party rights.
  • Remain current and knowledgeable on changes to Federal, state, and local laws and regulations affecting CRI’s operations and University IP assets and maintain knowledge of current trends and developments in the field.

Strategic Projects (10%)
Participate in strategic planning and implementation of long-range plans with the Executive Director to ensure efficient and effective agreement and contract processes which increase deal flow for CRI and mitigate/manage risks.

Position Type
Legal and Regulatory Administration

Additional Information
Northeastern University considers factors such as candidate work experience, education and skills when extending an offer.

Northeastern has a comprehensive benefits package for benefit eligible employees. This includes medical, vision, dental, paid time off, tuition assistance, wellness & life, retirement- as well as commuting & transportation. Visit for more information.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see