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Program Manager, Delaware Space Grant Consortium (DESGC)

Apply now Job no: 499856
College / VP Area: College of Arts & Sciences
Work type: Staff
Location: Newark/Hybrid
Categories: Full Time, Program/Project Management

Pay Grade: 30E

Context of the Job:

The Delaware Space Grant Consortium (DESGC) is part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, authorized by the US Congress in 1987. Consortia are now operating in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. DESGC was formed in 1991 with the University of Delaware as the lead institution. Subsequently, the consortium expanded to also include Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College and Wilmington University. Representatives from industry and non-profit organizations serve on the Advisory Board.

DESGC's long-term objective is to encourage students in the State of Delaware to consider careers in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Our goal is to provide financial support for the training of students in STEM-related academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. DESGC is also committed to aiding in the professional development of STEM-related educators at the precollege level so that independent of career choices, students in Delaware will be enriched with a broad understanding of science. DESGC affiliate institutions include University of Delaware – Newark and Georgetown campuses (Lead Institution), Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College (DTCC) – Terry, Stanton, Georgetown and Wilmington campuses, Swarthmore College, Villanova University, and Wilmington University. Corporate sponsors include ILC Dover, LP., Northrop Grumman, DuPont Company, Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation. Potential partners also include other commercial and nonprofit organizations in the jurisdiction that engage in Space Grant related activities

Under the general direction of the Director, Associate Directors and Advisory Board, and Director of CAS Sponsored Research, provide day-to-day leadership, administration and execution of Delaware Space Grant Consortium (DESGC), to ensure alignment and compliance with State and National programmatic goals of NASA's National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, ensure compliance of CAS and UD/RO guidelines, financial reporting and participation in team meetings/events. These areas include Undergraduate Scholarships & Graduate Fellowships, Higher Education, Precollege, Research Infrastructure, Public Outreach and External Relations.  The current budget for Space Grant activities is $860,000 per year. This is a full-time grant-funded position. 

In addition, under current regulations, the NASA EPSCoR program, the Space Grant Director is also the NASA State EPSCoR Director.  The EPSCoR program distributes several $10-25K/y Research infrastructure grants and solicits white paper submissions for selection by local competitions for submissions to the national competitions for major RI awards (usually $750,000 each), Space Stations payload grants (about $100,000), and Rapid Response Research awards ($100,000).  

DESGC is operated out of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, (DPA) where the Program Manager works out of a dedicated office within the DPA office suite. The Director, Prof. W. H. Matthaeus, is a faculty member in the DPA. The Deputy Director, Prof. James MacDonald, is also a DPA faculty member.

Such support includes all aspects of proposal submission and award management to ensure compliance with federal, state and university policies and procedures with regards to research administration.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Act as liaison to DESGC affiliate institutions and corporate sponsors.
  • Oversee and co-manage the annual distribution of NASA financial resources allocated for Graduate Fellowships, Undergraduate Scholarships and EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development (RID) programs.
  • Author, design and disseminate announcements and applications to ensure fair competition of awards that encourage applicants from all affiliate institutions, coordination of summer internship placements, ensure recipients include underrepresented and underserved populations and ensure electronic tracking of scholar graduates.
  • Interaction with all universities and industrial partners in the Delaware jurisdiction as well as various departments and Colleges within UD.
  • Interact with students and faculty involved in the programs.
  • Maintain NASA’s required tracking of personnel and students supported by the various Space Grant programs, and to the extent possible, their subsequent educational and work activities.
  • Plan, refine, approve and oversee the management of the annual DESGC and EPSCoR budgets, together with the Director, to ensure that projections, allocations of funds and final accounting of expenditures of available funds are spent in each of the following program elements: Scholarships/Fellowships, Research, Higher Education, Pre-College, External Relations, and Administration.  Setup and manage subcontracts for awards in these categories to non-UD affiliate institutions.
  • Recommend new policy and program initiatives or changes to enhance current programs.
  • Attend National and Regional Space Grant Meetings: typically, the National Space Grant Directors’ meetings in Spring and Fall of each year; Mid-Atlantic Regional Meetings. Coordinate the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting when hosted by Delaware. 
  • Coordinate all details of the DESGC Annual Research Symposium including venue and agenda. This is held at the University of Delaware – Newark campus, or in alternate years at Delaware State or Wilmington University. At this meeting DESGC research fund recipients present oral/poster reports on their research.
  • Coordinate the annual Spring Meeting of the Associate Directors and Advisory Board on the University of Delaware – Newark campus.
  • Regularly interact with, including when appropriate visits to, each affiliate campus to gather publicity material for the annual newsletter regarding students and/or faculty who are current recipients of DESGC funding.
  • Arrange panels and reviewers for timely review and ranking of applications for DESGC Undergraduate Tuition Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships. Reviews in close coordination with the Deputy Director and report results to the Director for approval.
  • Arrange for timely review and ranking of applications for EPSCoR RID awards.  Reviews are to be carried out by members of the NASA/EPSCoR Technical Advisory Committee.  Arrange telecons or meetings of the NASA/EPSCoR TAC as needed.
  • Work with DESGC Outreach personnel to provide leadership, management, supervision, evaluation and publicity of Educator's In-service Workshops promoting the National Space Grant goal to provide in-service teacher enhancement.  
  • Manage NASA’s Gateway Reporting System for program data collection, which includes authoring reports, assessment and financial information for submission to NASA Headquarters.
  • Jointly author the following: DESGC and Delaware EPSCoR RID proposals, end-of-year progress and budget reports and responses to hard copy and electronic inquiries addressed to DESGC.
  • Manage the pre-award and post-award process which includes the planning and development of budgets for submission with grant packages to various NASA programs, including Space Grant and EPSCoR programs, and subcontracts to other universities, private agencies, foundations, and commercial entities; providing instruction on protocol, regulations, and guidelines pertinent to the agency or university; preparing timely proposal budgets for Principal Investigator Review.
  • Provide periodic reports to principal investigators on financial status of their grants and contracts.
  • Oversee timely closeout of grants and contracts. Provide review and approval of all budget appropriation documents.
  • Identify budget issues, provide alternative solutions, and resolve problems.
  • Develop and foster partnerships with industry, legislators and State and academic representatives at local, regional and statewide levels to develop initiatives that coordinate with NASA's Education Framework. This interaction includes working with industry, federal and private sources to identify and solicit potential funding and resources support to leverage matching support required by NASA.  Coordinate annual Capitol Hill Visits:  schedule appointments, create Consortium Profile, create/provide information packets for state representatives, send follow-up correspondence.
  • Author an annual DESGC Newsletter, which details all DESGC funded research projects during the reporting period.  The DESGC Newsletter is distributed widely to all consortia institutions as well as to National SG programs and NASA HQ.
  • Work on Diversity Initiative:  plan, schedule, and advertise Diversity Initiative events, including diversity colloquia.  Point of contact for Dr. Dwight Higgin, our Associate Director leading our Diversity Initiative.
  • Supervise part-time, miscellaneous wage staff in all aspects of day-to-day operations.
  • Update the DESGC web page as appropriate.
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration or other related field and four years of job-related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to communicate effectively as indicated by the needs of a diverse audience, including University faculty and administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, local high school teachers and outreach workers, NASA program managers and administrators.
  • High level of independent judgment.
  • Knowledge of cost analysis techniques.
  • Skill in budget and proposal preparation and administration. Ability to analyze budgetary expenditures for compliance with approved budget.
  • Ability to implement and evaluate programs and develop contingency plans.
  • Ability to develop and maintain record keeping systems and procedures and to make administrative/procedural decisions and analyze and solve problems.
  • Skill in establishing, directing, and enforcing policies and procedures.
  • Ability to use advanced techniques in spreadsheet and database management (Excel/Access); financial management systems and relational databases; knowledge of People Soft Grants processing systems preferred.
  • Ability to write queries and generate reports using a variety of data sources.
  • Ability to work independently, strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Supervisory experience preferred.
  • Demonstrates an understanding and consideration of the differing needs and concerns of individuals with varying identities, cultures and backgrounds.
  • Committed to fostering a workplace culture of belonging, where diversity is celebrated and equity is a core value.

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

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