Director, Research Administration
Job no: 494390
Work type: Staff
Categories: Research & Laboratory, Full Time
PAY GRADE: 34E
CONTEXT OF JOB:
The University of Delaware (UD) manages a large volume of research programs funded by federal, state, non-profit, foundation, private industry and foreign sponsors. This involves a growing volume of around 1,700 submitted proposals and $160 million dollars of incurred expenditures for sponsored research programs each year.
The Research Office (RO) is led by the Vice President for Research, Innovation and Scholarship and is responsible for facilitating key central administrative activities for all UD sponsored programs. The mission of the RO is to advance high-quality research and scholarship at UD by promoting an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, community and commitment to the highest ethical values. The Director of Research Administration will play a key role in fostering a nurturing environment for research growth and compliance at UD in collaboration with stakeholders across UD. The RO works closely with faculty, administrators, leadership, and stakeholders across campus to support UD research programs.
Under the limited direction of the AVP for Research Administration, the Director for Research Administration is responsible for direct oversight, management, and coordination of daily pre-award and post-award administrative functions carried out by the RO. More than twenty (20) individuals currently support these activities, including six direct reports.
- Provide direct oversight and operational support for key pre-award and post-award activities conducted by the RO, including tasks related to:
- Proposal review, routing, approval, and submission.
- Contract negotiation, execution, review, and interpretation.
- Establishment of award demographic and financial data in UD systems.
- Approval and processing of initial award transactions and cost transfers.
- Completion of award deliverables related to financial reporting and billing.
- Monitoring of award compliance with sponsor regulations, UD policies, and special terms and conditions.
- Closeout of expired awards from both a sponsor and UD perspective.
- Monitoring, collections, and write-offs for accounts receivables.
- Management of audit requests.
- Support for internal controls.
- Coordinate with RO leadership and staff members to guide and support daily tasks and operations:
- Coordinate with managers to assign workload to individuals and ensure resources are properly allocated to support evolving business needs
- Conduct, report, and review analyses for special inquiries and issues as they arise
- Help to establish, report, and monitor metrics for overall performance of business processes
- Monitor and evaluate the performance, including metrics, of RO teams, individuals, and tasks on a regular basis
- Provide routine feedback and conduct annual evaluations for individuals’ performance in coordination with the AVP for Research Administration
- Provide input for strategic leadership decisions related to the organizational support structure and job positions
- Ensure overarching compliance and effectiveness of RO business operations:
- Interpret regulatory and financial language for diverse and complex projects
- Advise on advanced and innovative solutions for management of specific awards and administrative scenarios
- Review current procedures to identify potential compliance gaps and opportunities for enhancing efficiency of tasks
- Support internal and external audit activities in coordination with other UD individuals and offices
- Assist with iterative business process review, improvement, and training for research administration:
- Regularly review policies and procedure guidance to ensure documentation is up-to-date and in alignment with daily practices
- Apply knowledge of research regulations, industry best practices, and UD cultural considerations to advise on improvements to current processes
- Collaborate with staff and individuals throughout the UD research community to develop improved tools, forms, policies, procedures, and training
- Assist in routine communication and enforcement of UD policies and procedures
- Present RO materials and training topics during internal meetings and campus forums
- Serve as a key change management agent for institutional changes related to research business process improvements and new technology systems
- Serve as a key liaison between RO teams and external parties
- Interface with external parties, campus administrators, faculty, and funding sponsors to resolve inquiries and potential disputes
- Coordinate with individuals to facilitate and complete administrative tasks
- Promote customer service through proactive relationship building and responsiveness
- Conduct other duties and tasks for research administration as requested, based on evolving business needs
- Bachelor’s degree and eight years of experience in sponsored research, or equvalient combination of education and experience. Experience in higher education or research-intensive institution preferred.
- Supervisory experience.
- Expertise in both pre-award and post-award aspects of sponsored research administration.
- Advanced understanding of specific sponsor guidelines and regulations, including NIH, NSF, and other major agencies.
- Knowledge of OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, A-133, and Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.
- Experience in proposal development, contracts and grants administration, regulatory compliance, and financial management.
- Impeccable commitment to high ethical standards and integrity.
- Advanced skill set and experience in using technology systems, software, and databases for grants management. Experience in Grants.gov and PeopleSoft Financials preferred.
- Proficiency in the use of MS-Office Suite, including strong analytical skills and aptitude for understanding and interpreting complex datasets.
- Exceptional organizational skills, able to carry out multiple projects and tasks simultaneously and independently.
- Willingness and flexibility to accommodate and effectively support changing priorities, processes, and systems.
- Strong written and oral communication skills with a focus on customer service and collaboration.
- Excellent interpersonal skills; able to effectively and clearly communicate and coordinate with individuals across all levels of the University community.
- A demonstrated commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
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