Director of Research

Ocean Institute Directors

Selection of an Institute Director

  • The Institute Director is a member of the tenured Scientific Staff, appointed by the WHOI Director as described above.
  • Nominations for Institute Director will be solicited from each Department. The IOC will make the final selection and recommendation to the WHOI Director.
Major Duties
  • The Institute Director oversees the daily management of the Institute, including the distribution of resources according to decisions made with the Institute Advisory Committee.
  • The Institute Director works with the Institute Advisory Committee and the Institute Oversight Council to develop strategic directions including research focus areas, educational programs, summer institutes, symposia, outreach events etc.
  • The Institute Director is responsible for communications concerning the activities of the Institute and acts as the principal representative of the Institute to WHOI and outside communities.
  • The Institute Director is responsible for preparing, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, an annual budget to be submitted to the Council.
  • The Institute Director will be responsible for the management of the budget for the Institute, including reallocation of funds as needed for cost sharing, rapid response or other opportunities in consultation with the IAC and IOC, as appropriate.
  • The Institute Director prepares an Institute annual report, to be presented to the Institutes Oversight Council (IOC) and included in the WHOI annual report.
Terms of Appointment
The normal term of appointment for Institute Directors is four (4) years. In certain circumstances, the Director of Research may approve an extension of not more than two (2) years.


Salary Increment
Institute Directors receive an increment to their salary during the time that they serve. When s/he steps down from the position, this increment will be deducted from the annual salary.

Compensation for the Directors of Ocean Institutes
Up to three (3) months or 456 hours of salary support is provided from overhead annually during the term of appointment. This includes one (1) month from Institution Unrestricted funds for lobbying and fundraising efforts. In addition an Institute Director earns 1.5 months (228 hours) of step down support for each year of appointment.

Limitations on step down support
The maximum amount of step down support that a person may receive is 12 months regardless of length of service as an Institute Director. In addition, if the Director is moving to another administrative position, and not returning to a full-time science position, the amount of step down funds provided will be reduced or eliminated.

Calculation of step down funds
The amount of step down funds earned is calculated based on the months of service. A portion of a year earns an equivalent portion of the annual step down amount.

Time period for use of step down funds
The step down funds must be spent within three (3) years of the step down or retirement date. No extension of this time period can be granted because funds come from the overhead pool and time beyond 3 years would be considered an excessive amount of time for transition.

Using step down funds
The step down support is awarded as a number of hours. The salary costs related to those hours are dependent upon the salary of the retired chair or director at the time the hours are used.

The Research Administrator to the Director of Research will keep track of the hours used until the award is complete.

An overhead account will be established for the step down funds. This account must have a projected budget each calendar year. Each August the retired chair or director will be asked to project how many hours of step down support will be used in the upcoming calendar year. In August it may not be known exactly how many hours will be spent in the current year, thus the exact number of hours available for the upcoming year may not be known making this budget process very difficult. The budget that is provided each January 1st should not be viewed as authorization to spend more hours than were earned.


Revised:  October 2012

Last updated: April 23, 2014