Position Description: Project Manager, Open Education
SPARC is a global coalition of over 240 academic and research libraries committed to making education and research open and equitable by design. Our mission is built on the premise that sharing knowledge is a fundamental human right. As a catalyst for action, SPARC works at the local, national and international level to change policies, educate and activate stakeholders, and incubate projects that advance a world where everyone can fully participate in research and education systems. SPARC is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
SPARC is seeking a committed advocate with a strong record of getting things done to serve as a Project Manager on our Open Education team. This grant-funded position will spearhead SPARC’s advocacy efforts for affordable and equitable models for access to digital textbooks in higher education. The first priority will be launching the second phase of SPARC’s InclusiveAccess.org initiative, which will involve coalition outreach, awareness raising, and the development of webinars and other programming directed primarily at U.S. institutions and states. The position’s portfolio will also grow to include related projects under SPARC’s Open Education program, including engaging with SPARC’s library membership community, developing key resources to support advocacy, and working to implement effective policies. While the initial focus of this position will be in the U.S. context, SPARC’s membership spans the U.S., Canada, and affiliates around the world.
Position Title: Open Education Project Manager
Location: Virtual, based anywhere. Candidates located in the U.S. will be considered for employment and must be U.S. work authorized. Candidates located outside the U.S. be considered for an independent contractor position.
Hours & Schedule: 40 hours per week (average), generally available weekdays at 9am-5pm local time. Some early morning, evening, and weekend hours may be necessary. Occasional overnight travel to meetings, conferences, etc. (negotiable, but estimated at 3-5 trips per year).
U.S. Overtime Status: Exempt.
Compensation: $45,000 – $60,000 USD per year, commensurate with relevant experience (candidates with less experience will start at the lower end of the range). U.S. based candidates will also receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance, a 3% employer match on 401(k) contributions, fitness benefit, and paid time off.
Reports to: Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education
Availability: This position is grant-funded and is available for an initial 18 month period, with the possibility of extension. The position is ready to start once an offer is accepted, with a target start date of January 3, 2021.
- Serve as day-to-day project manager for InclusiveAccess.org and other SPARC initiatives on textbook access/equity, working closely with the Director of Open Education to establish objectives and project plans.
- Proactively drive project implementation, including executing tasks, managing deadlines, tracking progress, and coordinating with team members and advisors.
- Coordinate project-related programming and communications, including webcasts, workshops, meetings, blog posts, and regular posting on social media.
- Conduct outreach to educate and engage new coalition partners, community members, and other key stakeholders.
- Draft and maintain quality written materials, including fact sheets, advocacy resources, and basic web and social media content.
- Represent SPARC at relevant events and conferences, including occasional in-person or virtual public speaking.
- Participate in SPARC’s broader Open Education and equity work as assigned.
Required Experience, Education, and Knowledge
- 1-5+ years of professional experience in a role that involves project management, coordination, or implementation.
- Experience should include at least one of the following areas: advocacy (preferred), student government or other student leadership positions, coalition building, grassroots campaigns, strategic communications, or community organizing.
- No specific field of study or degree is required, but a bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of coursework, training, or on-the-job experience is preferred.
- Candidates must be familiar with U.S. or Canadian higher education and the general issues surrounding college affordability and textbook costs in these contexts. U.S. familiarity is preferred.
- Working knowledge of common computer software including Google Suite (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.) is required, along with a general facility with various virtual communication and productivity tools.
Required Skills and Abilities
- Consistent track record of being able to develop and execute plans to achieve objectives.
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills, with the ability to write and speak persuasively.
- Ability to take initiative and to stay motivated when working independently.
- Ability to work effectively within a team, especially by “managing up” and “managing across” to help the team succeed.
- Capacity to thrive in a fast-paced environment that involves juggling multiple work streams and priorities at once.
- Attention to detail and organizational skills.
- Motivation to advocate for SPARC’s mission of making research and education open and equitable by design.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Fluent English is required.
Other Desirable Qualifications
- Deeper issue expertise in higher education affordability/access, equity in education, Open Education, and digital rights is valued. Lived experiences in these areas are also recognized.
- Candidates with an existing network in the broader higher education or non-profit community are of interest, particularly those with connections to higher education associations, student organizations, funders, or other key stakeholders.
- Non-essential but valued professional experience includes work in college bookstores, higher education contracting or procurement, education policy, higher education administration, and government.
- Non-essential but valued secondary technical skills include content creation for Instagram, TikTok, and/or YouTube, journalism, report writing, videography, and web design. Highlight in application if applicable.
How to Apply
Complete the application form to apply for the position (form requires Google account login; preview available here). Applications not selected to advance in the process will be notified on or before December 3, 2021. Target start date is January 3, 2022.
If you experience any technical or accessibility issues with the application form, please email [email protected] for accommodations.
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.