Head of Finance

Remote (Boston - NYC - SF)
Convergent Research – Convergent Research /
Full Time /
At Convergent Research we aim to accelerate global scientific progress towards solutions that will improve human health, combat climate change and boost global prosperity. We achieve this by filling a structural gap in today’s R&D system. We empower top scientific talent as teams, Focused Research Organizations, to focus on developing a specific tool or dataset for a 5 year sprint that will enable researchers around the world to adapt these systems and catalyze solutions to some of our most challenging diseases and complex environmental challenges. We are structured as an incubator and accelerator and are part of the Schmidt Future Networks.

The role

Convergent Research is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is the parent of a series of the coolest moonshot science projects you’ve ever heard of - brain mapping, non-model organisms (think microbes that pull CO2 out of the atmosphere or can scrub radiation, etc.), mapping the pharmome, investigating what proteins make up cells. We currently have an annual budget north of 70MM/year and expect this to grow. We receive private and federal grants. We track all the projects separately. We report everything on one 990. We frequently apply for new grants and report back to our funders. We also help 10 (and soon more) nonprofit tech startups run their business.

We need someone to steer the financial part of this boat. We’re looking to hire a seasoned Head of Finance to work with our internal team and external accountants and auditors. That person will get to help design a scalable system to support many future FROs, work to help coach these projects on financial literacy, and make sure that we’re super duper compliant.

You are (skills)

    • Experienced with complex accounting. This isn’t your first rodeo. You have favorite stories about having multiple entities with different GL codes and different approval processes. You’re comfortable with the tradeoff between different enterprise financial systems, database query tools, and spreadsheets. You’re comfortable with financial planning for 50MM+/year.
    • Comfortable with nonprofits. You’ve got the easy stuff down pat - filed a 990, deeply understand GAAP and have strong intuitions on nonprofit policies. You’ve also done the fun parts: budgets for a variety of funders, sponsored research accounting, grant reporting, etc.
    • Team player. You will need to collaborate closely with the Convergent Research operations team, individual FROs and our funders. You have a demonstrated ability to clearly communicate complicated financial issues verbally and in writing to individuals and groups at all levels within and outside of the organization. 
    • Detail Oriented. Unusually excited to balance things to the penny. You complete your whole checklist. You notice when your sister in law mentioned that she has an important meeting next month and you follow up after to see how it went.

You will (duties)

    • Willing to dive into the details -  You are a hands-on fiscal leader. You can dive into the general ledger to resolve an issue with the ability to see the big picture.  You don’t hesitate to jump in on a relatively basic task when it’s busy.
    • Handle our budgets - Each program will develop its own budget. But you’ll work with our Head of Operations to develop the budget tools + processes. Then you’ll make sure that these all make it into our central platform.
    • Manage our finances -  Oversee financing strategies and activities, cash management and banking relationships.
    • Oversee compliance + Controls - We don’t want to just be compliant - we want to be excellent. Work with our advisors to develop the best processes and controls and then ensure that they’re followed. This includes appropriate internal controls and financial procedures.
    • Pay attention to the details - You provide consistently accurate information in a useable form and on a timely basis to others who need to act on it.
    • Oversee the financial part of grants applications - You’ll put together the financial packets for grant applications (government and private.) This will include pulling relevant financial information as well as drafting appropriate budgets. You’ll likely also work with our team to negotiate indirect cost rates. 
    • Create financial reports - Ensure timeliness, accuracy, and usefulness of financial and management reporting for federal and state funders, foundations and our board of directors. 
    • File our taxes and oversee our audit - Coordinate audits and proper filing of tax returns with our external partners. Make sure we comply with local, state, and government reporting requirements and tax filings.
    • Update our systems - Evaluate and implement financial systems, tools, and processes to support our growth.
    • Work with ops, hr + legal - We’re a small team here - you’ll likely work closely with operations, HR and legal to get things done. 
    • Oversee the accounting team -  You’ll oversee the internal Accounting & Finance Manager as well as the external non-profit accounting firm. You’ll play first violin in that relationship and make sure that we’re working together well. 
    • Be a coach - We’re unique in that we’re actually running a series of small companies. That means that we have 10 (and soon more) executive teams who need to understand reports, update budgets and query information. You’ll be responsible for helping leaders with a wide variety of experiences - academics, executives, students, startup employees, federal program administrators etc - run their businesses! (Don’t worry, we have a whole team who does most of this coaching, but you’ll likely be our financial subject matter expert.)

In 6 months you will have (6 month goals)

    • Implemented a new fund accounting system or implemented streamlined reporting.
    • Built strong relationships with our internal finance team, our external accounting team, our CPA, our executives and the FRO leaders.

We Offer:

    • An opportunity to change the world and work with some of the smartest and the most talented experts from different fields.
    • Competitive salary: $180,000 - 230,000 a year (salary commensurate with experience)
    • Excellent medical, dental, and vision insurance; parental leave.
    • Generous time off + paid holidays.
    • Wellness allowance for fitness and wellness activities.
    • Support for remote work.
    • Frequent opportunities to spend time with colleagues in person.
Convergent Research aims to help fill a structural gap in today’s R&D system. We enable fundamental research that requires unusual levels of scale and coordination yet is not rapidly monetizable by industry. We’re bringing together top talent from academia, industry, and startups to build a new model for innovative R&D. As an incubator within the Schmidt Futures Network, we identify high-impact scientific or technical research and development opportunities, ultimately defining and launching these projects as Focused Research Organizations.

Convergent Research is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind. #li-remote