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Life Sciences Program Director, Prize Development

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Life Sciences Program Director, Prize Development

Life Sciences Prize Group
The goal of the Life Sciences Prize Group is to stimulate innovative breakthroughs in molecular biology, stem cell research, bionics, organogenesis, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence in order to improve health care and extend healthy living. As a member of the Prize Development Department, the Program Director of the Life Sciences Prize Group will work to fund and design the Foundation’s next set of $10M to $30M incentive competitions.  This work is done in collaboration with a panel of scientific and entrepreneurial advisors, by performing primary and secondary research, convening brainstorming meetings of experts and submitting compelling prize designs that capture the imagination of the public and the commitment of our funders/sponsors and other partners. 


We offer a full range of employment benefits including medical, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, and employee assistance programs.  Most of our benefits are open to regular full-time employees and their spouses and or domestic partners.  Along with these benefits we offer a competitive salary, a year-end discretionary bonus program, and a generous paid vacation and sick day program.


Our goals are as lofty as they come; where only through entrepreneurial persistence and visionary thinking are solutions to seemingly insurmountable social, technological and environmental issues made possible. 

While we externally strive to create a better world, we are internally working to build a culture that supports the kind of passionate, forward thinking people we need to help deliver radical breakthrough solutions to today's most critical and meaningful challenges. 

To this end, we are innovating together in our new cutting edge work environment in Culver City, CA to create an environment that fosters learning and growth and encourages creativity, transparency, and diversity.

Please note: Though submitting a resume to the XPRIZE FOUNDATION implies that you are interested in a position(s), it does not imply that you are an applicant. You are not considered an applicant until you have been contacted directly by a Talent Acquisitions representative requesting that you begin the designated application process, which may involve phone and/or in-person interview(s), job-related testing, and background checks.

The XPRIZE Foundation is an educational (501c3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity, thereby inspiring the formation of new industries and the revitalization of markets that are currently stuck due to existing failures or a commonly held belief that a solution is not possible. The Foundation addresses the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. It motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital.

Founded in 1995, the XPRIZE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. For more information, go to


The Program Director, Life Sciences will provide the project management and the topical thought leadership needed to design and develop XPRIZE(s) to induce innovative Life Sciences and healthcare breakthroughs. A key component of this will involve meeting with and managing leading industry advisors, many of which have decades of industry experience.

Leading candidates must come with a strong network of subject matter experts in Life Sciences and Healthcare-related fields and can easily convene and collaborate with them on highly technical subjects.  However, also important is a strong ability to think creatively and to help develop competitions that induce innovative breakthroughs that often extend beyond currently available technologies.

Key responsibilities for the Program Director, Life Sciences Prize Group, include:

Business Development Responsibilities

Program Directors work closely with senior leaders to identify sponsors and funders of prizes.  This requires that the Program Director:

  • Collaborate with XPRIZE Sponsorship and Alliances departments to identify benefactors/sponsors and raise funds for:
    • Prize design efforts;
    • Prize purse(s); and
    • Prize operational costs.
  • Create proposals that effectively communicate the impact, fit and execution of our prize design process.  These proposals must accurately reflect the innovation objectives of funders, and also chart a reliable project course for the design and development of effective prize competitions. 
  • Effectively communicate, liaise, and network with various constituent groups including major donors, foundations, and leaders in industry, governments, education and public service.

Prize Design Responsibilities

Once contracted and funded, Program Directors oversee the design of prizes.  

In addition to business development and prize design activities, Program Directors are also responsible for participating and overseeing a number of internal activities.

  • Providing leadership and management to Prize Development staff, including Associates, Managers, Directors, and Senior Directors


  • Deep knowledge of the Life Sciences industry with at least 10 -15 years of business experience, preferable in both for-profit and nonprofit ventures;
  • Wide network of contacts at senior levels within the Life Sciences domain.
  • Insight into Life Science industry innovation trends: the leading and the bleeding edge;
  • Minimum 10 years of business development experience;
  • A minimum of 10 years of project management expertise
  • Ability to create compelling strategic plans, work plans and design documents.
  • Executive level presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Clear and precise written and verbal communication skills. (Writing samples will be requested.)
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Outlook, MS Office Suite, especially MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint;
  • Flexibility to grow with the organization and to assume new and expanded responsibilities;
  • BS or BA in a related business or engineering field, Master's degree preferred;
  • Ability to quickly learn about and use new software, technology and processes.


  • Knowledge of and experience in corporate and private philanthropy and/or non-profit foundations;
  • Interest in breakthrough innovation in general with a specific interest in Life Sciences.
  • Graduate degree (science, engineering or MBA).
  • 8+ years experience working inside a top tier professional services consulting firm.


  • Self-starter who takes the initiative to develop projects, completes tasks on time, solves roadblocks and address issues before they become problems;
  • Collaborative approach and appreciation/enjoyment working as part of a team;
  • Exceptional organizational abilities and aggressive attention to detail;
  • Rigorous time management;
  • Ability to thrive and think creatively and calmly in highly fluid situations and under intense schedules, pressure & deadlines;
  • Prioritization skills and ability to multi-task;
  • Personable, professional and calm demeanor;
  • Patience and flexibility;
  • Incredible interpersonal skills and can-do attitude;
  • Sense of humor and work-life balance;
  • Belief that a small group of motivated individuals can truly change the world for the better;
  • Willingness to think and act creatively.


Related Keywords:
professional services, life sciences, start up, emerging technologies, strategy consulting, business consulting, think tank