Chief Research Technology Officer

Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) Durham, NC
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Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) has retained Kirby Partners to conduct a nationwide executive search for candidates for their Chief Research Technology Officer. 

Dedicated to improving health through innovative clinical research, the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) stands as the largest academic research organization dedicated to clinical research in the world. The DCRI is an integral part of the Duke University School of Medicine, a world-class institution renowned for its groundbreaking contributions to education, research and patient care.

At the core of its mission is the conduct and coordination of clinical trials, research networks, and implementation of science projects, both nationally and internationally. Emphasizing patient-centered clinical research, DCRI faculty collaborates with experienced operations teams to design and implement studies that improve health outcomes.  

To meet its mission, the DCRI continuously advances new research methods that it develops and applies turning data into knowledge across the entire spectrum of clinical research. Rooted in its commitment to developing and sharing knowledge, the DCRI strives to make a lasting impact on local to global health.

Kirby Partners retained to fill a Chief Research Technology Officer at DCRI.

Facts and Figures

Logo 124 total faculty all departments
Logo 59 faculty department of medicine
Logo 40+ countries
Logo 1,600 U.S. sites
Logo 17,500+ publications

Chief Research Technology Officer Position Overview

Taking a pivotal role in contributing to the DCRI’s mission, the Chief Research &Technology Officer (CRTO) will have primary responsibility for envisioning, designing, delivering, and managing the lifecycle of the research technology stack and portfolio for the DCRI.  

This leader will build trusted relationships and active dialogue with DCRI operations, therapeutic areas, and all essential operational units within DCRI and with the broader technology leadership across Duke University.  

The CRTO will report to Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS, Executive Director, DCRI and Vice Dean, Duke University School of Medicine and will oversee a total team of about 65, including three direct reports. 

The successful candidate will be an experienced IT professional with strong leadership skills and a demonstrated track record of supporting research initiatives by establishing high-performing cultures and delivering complex IT solutions in a matrixed organization.  

The CRTO will be a collaborative partner who can build trust and credibility with constituents across the DCRI, and Duke University Health System and work with partners to develop an inclusive and successful strategy to support the rapidly evolving research technology and IT needs for the DCRI.  

The CRTO will be a forward-thinking, innovative leader with knowledge of new trends in technology supporting research and the ability to lead change effectively in a growing and evolving matrixed organization and university. 

Position scope:

  • Responsible  for developing and deploying strategic and operational plans and execution that transform technology delivery at DCRI. This includes technology innovation for advancing clinical research (e.g., positioning DCRI for early adoption of AI).  
  • Using a modern software development lifecycle management (SDLC) approach, clarifies and reinforces rigor and process in a lightweight and agile approach.  
  • Responsible for organizing work into a Plan-Build-Run execution model that establishes clear accountability and expectations for internal and external customers, stakeholders and sponsors.  
  • Provides 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 (DHTS).  
  • Establishes a robust and secure technology landscape that is considered a leader in technological capabilities to fully meet the needs of a large and rapidly growing research portfolio in the coming years. 
  • Acts as a trusted advisor and partner within and outside of DCRI, including with the SOM and DHTS IT Leadership.  
  • Accountable for the successful delivery of a diverse technology and services portfolio that serves all of DCRI.  
  • Stays abreast with all applicable FDA, GCP, PHI and SEI regulations.  
  • Ensures compliance with all computer system validation, privacy and security related regulations including government and other standards such as FISMA and GDPR. 
  • Develops a sound and usable software development lifecycle management (SDLC) methodology that clearly articulates the purpose, capabilities, deliverables, and schedule for every effort undertaken. 
  • Overall accountable for disaster recovery, high availability and system data integrity.  


Required qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Informatics, Data Science, or Business Administration 
  • 15+ years of related progressive Information Technology leadership and delivery experience with 5 years’ Director-level management experience in the contract research, pharmaceutical, medical device, or biotechnology industry, or in an academic research organization 
  • Demonstrated understanding of strategic visioning and design in the context of research technology, with the ability to establish and communicate a clear vision for integrating technology within the research landscape 
  • Experience delivering complex IT solutions while adapting to the evolving needs of a growing and matrixed organization and university 
  • Proficiency in leading IT teams, establishing high-performing cultures, and navigating matrixed organizational structures 
  • Knowledge of CRO, pharmaceutical, biotech development, or healthcare industry required
  • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working environment and culture

Preferred qualifications 

  • Master’s degree

The work environment 

  • This is a hybrid position. Relocation to the Raleigh/Durham area is preferred.

About Durham, North Carolina

Chief Research Technology Officer search at DCRI | 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. 

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. 

Best 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. 

1.8 M 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