That's the official title of my new position.
OK, I forgot to introduce myself before posting here. But Mad's previous post let me think that it's time to describe my job. I don't know if there are many "executive scientific officer" around the world but it might help Scattered Scientist to see that this kind of position exists.
Let me tell you a bit about the framework first. I am working for a "National Center of Competence in Research" (NCCR). These are research networks funded by the Swiss government. Currently, there are 20 NCCRs in Switzerland and typical budgets are around $10-15 millions for 4 years (renewable twice) plus an extra $10-30 millions coming from universities and companies. My NCCR is devoted to the Affective Sciences: everything that is related to emotions. The core discipline is probably psychology but we also have labs working in neuroscience, litterature, philosophy, theology, law and collaborations with sociologists, education scientists, physicians, interprets, people working for help-hotlines as well as private companies interested in decision-making or human resources. The main goal of the NCCR is to promote excellence in research, to develop interdisciplinary collaborations, to train a new generation of scientists and to be useful to the society.
Now, what am I doing there and what does my strange position title means?
In fact, I have three different hats:
1. I am responsible for the communication, both internal and external. This is a task that I share with the Knowledge Transfer officer. This means writing documents (newsletters, brochures, etc.), contacting the press or other partners like museums. It also means that I will make a new website for our NCCR because I really don't like the current one...
2. I am responsible for the education and training. The main tasks here are to organize the doctoral school, an annual summer school and several smaller workshops. So I do not teach myself but still have some student mentoring duties.
3. I am responsible for scientific coordination: anything that can ease collaborations between the different labs. This requests a good knowledge of all the projects and particularly of all the external collaborations we have (with other universities or private companies). It also involves writing of progress reports or sensitive letters, meetings with the deans of the different faculties and so on.
So far, the only point I miss in Scattered Scientist's description of the ideal job is the experiment planning. But personally, I don't really miss it: I am working with many labs from different disciplines so I learn a lot of science and have the feeling to be useful to scientists.
Oh, yes, I forgot to say that I love this job and do not regret this alternative path...