Chief Research Information Technology Officer

Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC
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Duke University School of Medicine has retained Kirby Partners to conduct a nationwide executive search for candidates for their Chief Research Information Technology Officer.

Founded in 1930, the Duke University School of Medicine (SoM) is among the top research medical schools in the country. It is annually ranked among the premiere medical schools in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and in many other rankings.

The SoM consists of more than 2,600 academic and clinical faculty in 8 basic science and 18 clinical science departments, all supported by offices that provide expertise in all aspects of research. The synergy among the school’s physicians, researchers, educators, and staff offers unprecedented opportunities for teamwork among the scientists in Duke labs and caregivers in its hospitals and clinics. Faculty members from different academic departments also cluster thematically into 13 institutionally recognized Centers and Institutes.

Duke University SoM is led by Dean Mary E. Klotman, MD, who also serves as Executive Vice President for Health Affairs for Duke University and the Chief Academic Officer for Duke Health. She works with a leadership team comprising 13 vice deans and a chief of staff, as well as department chairs and center and institute directors. Associate and assistant deans also support the dean with the oversight and management of the SoM.


Associate Chief Medical Informatis Officer search at Duke University SOM | Kirby Partners


Research at Duke University SoM

Duke University SoM is the vibrant home for the next generation of discovery, research and implementation. Their capacity for innovation stems from knitting together their existing strengths in fundamental basic science and deepening their growing translational capabilities, their integration with Duke’s national recognized clinical enterprise, and their unique scale and depth in clinical research that reaches the far corners of the world.

The combined efforts of the school’s basic and clinical faculty members in 26 departments, and numerous centers, institutes and initiatives make Duke one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country.

Duke has $1 billion in sponsored research expenditures annually, including more than $527 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in FY2022.  Across the spectrum of research, their innovative technology is foundational to ensuring bright ideas meet success.



Position overview

The Chief Research Information Technology Officer (CRIO) is a newly created position in the Duke University SoM. The CRIO will report directly to the Dean and will be a member of the Dean’s senior leadership team in the SoM.

Key colleagues include the Vice Deans for Clinical and Translational Research, Basic Science, Data Science, Scientific Integrity, and the Executive Director and Vice Dean of the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

The successful candidate will be an experienced IT professional with strong leadership and a demonstrated track record in establishing high-performing cultures and elevating IT departments in complex academic institutions.

The CRIO will be a collaborative partner who can build trust and credibility with constituents across the campus and work with partners to develop an inclusive and successful strategy to support the rapidly evolving IT needs for the SoM research enterprise. They will be committed to building a diverse team to serve the SoM and be skilled at building bridges with partners across the university. The CRIO will be a forward-thinking, innovative leader with knowledge of new trends in technology supporting education and research with the ability to lead change effectively in a growing and evolving matrixed medical school, university and health system environment.

The CRIO will provide strategic organizational leadership to enable coordination between central and distributed IT units including the identification of synergies with Duke University and Duke University Health System. They will establish a robust and secure technology landscape and advance the SoM’s technological capabilities to fully meet the needs of a large and rapidly growing research portfolio in the coming years.  The CRIO will also have a strategic and operational leadership role in advancing innovation and digital transformation initiatives across the university to further Duke’s impact on advances in biomedical research.

Strategic initiatives:

  • Develop and implement technology strategies that serve the SoM via leveraging university and health system services and via the creation of autonomous capabilities and processes when needed to fully support the organization’s goals and objectives
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders, including faculty, research staff, and administrative staff to identify, prioritize, and enable the delivery of technology needs
  • Partner with the Vice Deans for Basic Science, Clinical Research, Data Science, and Medical Education to ensure technology and infrastructure facilitate strategic goals and continuous operations in these areas
  • Direct implementation of research computing solution to provide SoM researchers with a stable, robust, and affordable solution for high-performance computing and data storage
  • Participate as a member of the Dean’s executive leadership team to achieve the SoM’s short- and long-term goals
  • Implement best practices for technology services development with a strong customer-service orientation, including program management, proven infrastructure methodologies, systems integration, quality assurance, IT and data risk management, and operational support.
  • Integrate evolving technologies such as telehealth, remote monitoring, and automated data capture to provide innovative research offerings
  • Partner with University IT leadership to ensure seamless support for research that crosses school and network lines. This may include the development or critical evaluation of IT policy and practice and should engage researchers both within SOM and in collaborating with Duke units.
  • Develop a clear and comprehensive portfolio of services and targeted service levels
  • Lead the selection, implementation, and maintenance of software systems, including data science systems, data storage and compute environments, clinical decision support tools, internal and externally facing research tools, laboratory systems, and research administration platforms (e.g. sponsored projects system, institutional review board approvals, clinical research management systems, etc.)
  • Ensure the security and reliability of technology systems, including data protection, data privacy, disaster recovery, and the protection of digital rights for faculty, staff, and research participants
  • Manage technology investment and SoM technology operations budget
  • Builds local, virtual, and hybrid teams that provide technical leadership and direction to SoM, University, and Health System IT resources.

Please note that the above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required.

Required qualifications


MS degree in biomedical informatics, epidemiology, computer sciences, statistics or related fields required. (A MD or PhD preferred.)

Required experience:

  • 15+ years of IT experience, with at least 5 years in leadership in academic research and healthcare delivery settings
  • Direct experience in higher education operations required
  • Demonstrated business knowledge of multi-site clinical research as well as a comprehensive understanding of modern basic science research including genomic sequencing, high-content medical imaging, biobanking, lab sample management, in vitro assay, model pharmacological systems and other modern lab-based technologies
  • Good working knowledge of traditional and emerging challenges for research investigators
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and CFR Part 11 Compliance
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of data security, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), and Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) requirements and experience supporting research faculty to meet these requirements
  • Experience scaling systems to address business growth
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to effectively manage remote teams
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • Demonstrated strong relationship-building skills to foster a productive, diverse, and inclusive culture

Work environment:

Relocation to the Raleigh/Durham area is required for this position.

About Durham, North Carolina

Chief Research Information Technology Officer search at Duke University School of Medicine in Duram, NC | Kirby Partners

Live in the “triangle”

North Carolina’s Research Triangle consists of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Raleigh is the state capital and Durham, 24 miles away, is a progressive and creative place.

The best of both worlds

Raleigh and Durham are centrally located about a two hours’ drive from the scenic beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and 3.5 hours away from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A great place for careers

The Research Triangle Park, known as a center of education and technology research, spans 6,800 acres that is home to more than 50 high-tech companies and enterprises including Amazon, Google, and IBM. Raleigh’s cost of living is lower than the U.S. national average.


1.8M Metro Population
200 Parks
40 Annual Festivals
20 Craft Breweries
200+ Companies

Durham, North Carolina

Procedure for Candidacy

Final candidates should expect two interviews with Kirby Partners recruiters (including a video conference interview). You may be asked to complete our “Executive Profile” and submit references to be considered for presentation to the search committee.

Jaclyn Gates

Executive Recruiter