Harris Search Associates Seeks Chief Scientific Officer for Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

July 12, 2022 – Harris Search Associates has been selected to help find the next chief scientific officer for the Abigail Wexner Research Institute (AWRI) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. Search firm founder and managing partner Jeffrey G. Harris is leading the assignment.

AWRI wants an experienced pediatric research leader for this role, said the Dublin, OH-based executive recruitment firm. Reporting to the president of the institute, the CSO serves as a member of the senior leadership team. The individual will have responsibility for oversight of research centers of emphasis, including faculty and trainee recruitment, development, and retention; associated space management; and operational oversight of key research core resources in support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s strategic priorities to further its mission as an academic pediatric health care leader and innovator.

AWRI’s next CSO must have demonstrated advanced leadership skills in an academic research setting (beyond running his or her own research lab), a high level of professionalism, and collaborative communications skills, said Harris Search Associates. The successful candidate will have experience recruiting, mentoring, and developing basic science/ translational research faculty and trainees of all levels.

In June of last year, Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced an ambitious strategic plan with a five-year $3.3 billion commitment to transform health outcomes for all children, through world-class care and cutting-edge research. With additional state-of-the art research space coming online in 2023, the AWRI is also seeking to recruit at least 50 research faculty over five years. “The next CSO will have a key role in overseeing these recruitments and shaping the anticipated aggressive growth of the AWRI,” said the search firm.

Key Requirements

Candidates should hold a doctor of medicine degree or a doctorate and have at least 10 years of experience leading a program of pediatric basic science or translational research of national reputation. They must have expert knowledge of research laboratory operations and translation research, and experience with funding through working with granting agencies, philanthropic foundations, and industry.

A track record of academic accomplishment suitable for appointment as professor in the tenure track at the Ohio State University College of Medicine is essential for this role. Prospects should have senior academic leadership experience that includes leading a cohesive research group/center of multiple independent faculty and trainees of all levels from undergraduate through postdoctoral fellows.

The AWRI at Nationwide Children’s is ranked among the top 10 freestanding children’s hospitals based on NIH funding, increasing by 50 percent over the past 5 years. On a continuing trajectory of rapid growth, the institute’s research expenditures – both internal and external – have grown from roughly $100 million to over $200 million over the last decade. Research conducted by more than 200 principal investigators and over 100 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students has resulted in more than 1,500 publications per year, and the launching of 16 start-up companies.  With a new research building opening in 2023, AWRI will encompass more than 850,000 square feet of dedicated pediatric research space across four buildings on the Nationwide Children’s campus.

An IIC Partners Member Firm

Harris Search Associates, an IIC Partners member firm, is a leading global higher education executive search and board advisory consulting firm with 44 offices in 33 countries worldwide. The firm’s higher education executive search practice is focused on identifying and attracting leaders to support the growth of clients in the areas of research, science, engineering, academic medicine, and healthcare enterprises. Clients include leading universities, research parks, institutes, academic medical centers, and healthcare organizations driving global innovation and discovery. Founded in 1997, Harris Search Associates was modeled after the first premier management consulting firms, In addition to its Ohio headquarters, the firm has regional offices in San Francisco and Dallas.

Mr. Harris leads the firm’s higher education, academic medicine, and healthcare administration practices. Prior to establishing the firm in 1997, Mr. Harris worked five years for a leading retained executive search firm where he concentrated on senior assignments on behalf of leading engineering, research, and health sciences clients. He is the global leader of the IIC Partners higher education/academic medicine practice, and from 2010 to 2013, was appointed to the board of IIC Partners as vice-chair for the Americas.

Recent clients include Michigan State University, Purdue University, Indiana University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Medical College of Wisconsin, University at Buffalo, Vanderbilt University, Oakland University, University of South Florida, University of Nebraska, Vanderbilt University, Kansas State University, University of North Dakota, University of South Dakota, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Meharry Medical College, and Oregon Health & Science University.

Related: Harris Search Associates Lands CIO for the University of Tennessee

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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