Skip to main content

Director of the CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER)

Position overview

Position title: Director of CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER)
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Percent time: Full-time (100%).
Anticipated start: As soon as possible after initial review of the applications.
Position duration: Initial appointment will be for one year. Reappointment may be considered contingent upon the availability of work and appropriate funding.

Application Window

Open date: July 30th, 2021

Last review date: Monday, Aug 30, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Monday, Jan 31, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for the Director of the CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER). Under the direction of Professor and CITRUS campus director JJ Garcia-Luna-Aceves, the CIDER program director will oversee all aspects of CIDER, which will include, but are not limited to the following areas: develop strategic vision for CIDER, program development, partnership development, industry engagement, staff management, coordinating campus-wide academic drone efforts and activities, intercampus and statewide program coordination, research support, workforce development, education and curriculum development, workshop coordination and fundraising.

CIDER works across all academic divisions at UC Santa Cruz in supporting student learning and training as well as academic research using drones. The initiative will provide opportunities for new multidisciplinary collaborations across campus, catalyzing new research through funding and workshops. CIDER will partner closely with industry and external partners, both acting as drone service provider and facilitating access of researchers to external partners for novel research topics.

The director will focus on the research and industry collaboration portion of the program, securing and supporting grant funding, work contracts and industry-sponsored projects, working with faculty on drone related research, coordinating the field-work component of student internships (UCSC and industry), and other research focused activities.

The director will lead the budgeting and planning in support of all CIDER initiative activities, applying for grants, and working with industry to develop research partnerships and will work with the CITRIS assistant director on overall budget planning and strategic development of CIDER.

Program administrative duties for the research, contract and collaboration activities will be under the sole management of the director. The combination of program administration experience and professional accomplishment requires a candidate that has both a graduate level background in the sciences, experience with drones (UAV), extensive experience managing complex field research projects and administering large grant programs.

Applicants with expertise in Drone/UAS development, application, and use: large scale research program direction; and graduate level scientific expertise are strongly encouraged to apply.

The hiring unit will not sponsor employment-eligible immigration statuses for this position.

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute:

Computer Science and Engineering Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Masters (or an equivalent foreign degree) in engineering, earth or life sciences.
  • 8+ years’ professional experience that includes project management, program development, budget management, and fund development.
Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

The applicant is required to have a FAA Remote Pilot Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Certification (Part 107).

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position.

Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. 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. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)


Job location

Santa Cruz, California