Vice Chancellor for Research (2021)

Kathy Yelick named UC Berkeley’s new vice chancellor for research

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), one of the nation’s premier public research universities, seeks a collaborative and experienced administrator and accomplished scholar to serve as its next Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR). The next VCR will join the campus at a pivotal moment and will work with campus leadership and faculty to advance a broad research vision for the entire campus that encourages and facilitates discovery, innovation, entrepreneurship, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Additionally, this individual will garner philanthropic support as well as enhance campus partnerships with other leading universities, national laboratories, government and community agencies, and industry to strengthen the campus research agenda and its national and international prominence.

The University of California, Berkeley was founded in 1868 as the state’s first land-grant university, born out of a vision in the State Constitution of a university that would “contribute even more than California's gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations.” Today, UC Berkeley is the #2 public university worldwide according to U.S. News & World Report, with 14 schools and colleges, 184 academic departments and programs, and over 350 degree programs. It is consistently rated among the top institutions in the world for the quality and breadth of its research and teaching, for the scholarly distinction of its faculty, for the excellence of its Ph.D. programs and for funding received for support of its research programs. Home to more than 31,000 undergraduates, nearly 12,000 graduate students, and over 1,500 full-time faculty, Berkeley is internationally renowned for excellence and achievements in discovery and leading cultural creativity, and its commitment to the university’s public research mission across all disciplines.

A strategic planning process, launched in 2018 by Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos, resulted in a plan that makes new commitments within Berkeley’s research and academic spheres, invests heavily in the student experience, and strives to make the institution a more welcoming and supportive place for people of all backgrounds. The University has now raised $4.3 billion of the $6 billion “Light the Way” fundraising campaign, one of the most ambitious in the nation, and is in the midst of making large changes at an internal level to support these aspirations, including the implementation of academic finance reform alongside a commitment to transparency and operational efficiency.

Berkeley has been at the forefront of research throughout its history and looks to address the biggest topics and challenges of the 21st century while not losing sight of its public mission. The campus is a place where students can work side-by-side with Nobel Laureates, Fields Medal winners, Fulbright Scholars and MacArthur Fellows. Berkeley researchers also enjoy great synergies with the Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), located adjacent to the campus. In FY 2020, the Berkeley campus received more than $800 million in research support from external sources. Complementing a strong foundation of support from public and philanthropic sources, Berkeley also has robust relationships with industry, with over 1,300 corporate research sponsors, over 17 industry affiliate programs, and industry-sponsored research expenditures of over $46 million annually.

Reporting directly to the Chancellor and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), this key leadership position plays a critical role in advancing UC Berkeley's research excellence by supporting discovery-driven scholarship, bringing together diverse internal and external stakeholders to pursue new large-scale opportunities, and facilitating efforts that hold the promise of generating meaningful societal impact. The VCR has line management responsibilities for: Organized Research Units (ORUs) including over forty institutes and centers, eight research museums and science centers, and nine remote research field stations and other sites; and research support units including the Office of Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances, the Research Administration and Compliance office, the Office of Laboratory Animal Care, the Berkeley Research Development Office, and the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs Office. The successful candidate will be a skilled, entrepreneurial, and astute administrator who brings significant experience in leadership, prioritization, and collaboration in a complex, interdisciplinary research environment. They will bring a strong understanding of the national funding landscape including federal, foundation, and industry support, as well as broad knowledge of research policy and compliance, including current opportunities and challenges. They will also bring an academic record appropriate for appointment as a tenured member of the faculty at UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please apply by June 24, 2021. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

The University of California, Berkeley, is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.


We seek input from the campus community about this critical position. Please submit your input on this online survey. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes. It is a way for the search committee and search consultants to seek input from the Berkeley research community in all areas. Your feedback will be very helpful to the committee as it searches for the next Vice Chancellor for Research. Please note that your responses will be anonymous.

For more information about the Division of Research, please visit


The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) search committee members and search firm were selected in early spring 2021. Stakeholder listening sessions will take place in spring to gather feedback about the skills and qualities that are needed in the next VCR and about the short- and long-term priorities for this role. The full position description is published in mid May after stakeholder listening sessions are held and can be accessed here. We anticipate that interviews will occur during the summer and a hiring decision will be made in the fall. Following up on the prior transition announcement, VCR Randy Katz has graciously agreed to postpone his retirement to ensure a smooth transition to his successor.

Vice Chancellor for Research Search Committee Roster 2021

Douglas Clark, Dean, College of Chemistry (Chair)

Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, Vice Provost for Academic Planning

Cyndi Atherton, Director, Science Program, Heising-Simons Foundation

Max Auffhammer, Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Professor, International Sustainable Development

Dana Carney, Director, Institute for Personality and Social Research and Associate Professor, Haas

Marla Feller, Professor, Biological Sciences and Member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

Amy Herr, Faculty Director, UC Berkeley Bakar Fellows Program and Bakar BioEnginuity Hub and Professor, Bioengineering

Kevin Joslin, PhD Student, Bioengineering

Lauren Kroiz, Faculty Director, Hearst Museum of Anthropology and Associate Professor, Art History

Leti McNeill Light, Executive Director, Principal Gifts and Strategic Initiatives, University Development and Alumni Relations

Jennifer Listgarten, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department and Center for Computational Biology

Chung-Pei Ma, Professor, Astronomy and Physics

Jeff Neaton, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences at Berkeley Lab and Professor, Physics

Kairi Williams, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Administration and Compliance

The committee is being staffed by Andrea Lambert, Chief of Staff to the EVCP, and James Kao, Berkeley Executive Search Manager.

The search is being supported by the search firm Isaacson, Miller in identifying potential candidates for this critical position. Comments, inquiries, and nominations can be sent directly to Isaacson, Miller at