Director, Grants & Contracts Administration - Office of Research Administration

Apply now Job no: 508201
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Lowell
Department: Office Research Administration
Pay Grade: P22
Categories: Sponsored Programs, Grants and Contracts

General Summary of Position:

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) provides assistance to faculty and research staff in all aspects of managing external research funding. The Director of Grants and Contracts Administration manages the Grants and Contracts team within ORA.  The position manages and oversees aspects of the preaward and non-financial post-award administration of grants and contracts including proposal review, approval and submission; award set-up; and award management support with rebudgeting, extensions and other project modifications.  This position is responsible for helping to ensure compliance with all Federal, State, University and sponsor policies, procedures and rules.  The position and office work closely with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation’s offices, as well as other units across the campus and throughout the University system to provide efficient and effective research administration support services to the UMass Lowell research community.  Some opportunities for remote work available.

Essential Job Duties:

1.  Lead and Manage the Grants & Contracts unit within the Office of Research Administration. 

  • Responsible for direct supervision and training of Grants & Contracts staff keeping them up to date on changes to sponsor, ORA and institutional policies and practices. 
  • Oversee the day-to-day functioning of the Grants & Contracts team including coordination of work schedules and assignments so that deadlines are met and productivity and efficiency levels remain high.
  • Lead the Grants & Contracts team in the development of operational guidelines and SOPs, and the assessment of workflows within Grants & Contracts and between Grants & Contracts and other units of the ORA operation (and other areas of the university) to improve operational efficiencies and enhance customer service.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of metrics to track operational performance to enhance efficiency.
  • Assist in the development of institutional policy as related to grants and contracts administration at the university
  • Support office-wide and individual professional development activities.

2.   Authorized Signatory for the University:

  • Approves and releases proposals; reviews and accepts specific funding modifications and awards as an authorized signatory

3.  Provide Grants & Contracts Administrator support to a portion of the campus proposal activity and active awards portfolio which includes responsibility for:

  • Proposal Development - review and approval of proposals prior to submission including review and approval of budgets
  • Review and Set-up of Awards
  • Preparation of Modifications to Existing Awards – includes handling of no cost extensions, carry-forward requests, rebudgeting and other modifications and items requiring prior approval.
  • Communication with Sponsors – acting as a liaison to resolve questions and issues that arise during the course of an award
  • General Knowledge of Funding Opportunities
  • Direct Interface with Principal Investigators (PIs)

4.  Coordinate with other leadership, offices, committees, and staff.

  • Work directly with the Executive Director to support ongoing operational assessment and development, as well as to apprise and advise the ED on operational issues and address issues identified by the ED. 
  • Maintain ongoing communications with other leadership under the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation to foster integration and improve workflows within ORA and the VCRI enterprise.
  • Represent ORA in system-wide work groups and initiatives as related to Grants & Contracts Administration.

5. Present at seminars and workshops

  • Present at seminars and workshops to train faculty and staff and disseminate information about sponsor and university policies and procedures for obtaining and managing grant and contract funding.

Minimum Qualifications (Required):

  • Bachelor’s Degree plus ten years + of experience* in Grant and Contract Administration. *Will consider candidates with an Associate’s Degree and 15 or more years of experience, or with a High School Degree/GED equivalent and 20+ years of experience
  • Demonstrated extensive and progressive supervisory experience
  • Ability to develop and mentor staff at a variety of levels
  • Demonstrated experience with change management and the ability to build consensus with various stakeholders, including faculty
  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state & general funding agency rules and regulations; knowledge of A21, A133, and Uniform Guidance.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and interpersonal skills (listening skills, problem solving, confidence) in order to interact with faculty, staff and individuals outside the University
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and work under the pressure of deadlines while emphasizing excellent customer service.

Additional Considerations:

  • Given the nature and responsibilities of the position, only U.S. persons (any individual who is a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident alien of the United States, or a protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C.1324b(a)(3)) will be considered for this position

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in Grant and Contract Administration in a Higher Education setting
  • Ability to serve as a subject matter expert in the field of Research Administration
  • Extensive budgeting experience including experience with multi-year budgets with separately priced tasks
  • Ability to work with little direct supervision
  • Experience with Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Experience in Grant and Contract Administration in a Higher Education setting
  • Experience with multiple private and government sponsors including Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health
  • Experience with complex contract terms and FAR/DFAR clauses
  • Experience with PeopleSoft
  • Experience with electronic research administration systems

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Only Internal Professional (SEIU 888 Professional Union) Bargaining candidates will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting. All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

This is a SEIU 888 Professional Union position, Grade P22.

Initial review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. However, the position may close when an adequate number of qualified applications are received.  

Please include a resume and cover letter with your application.  Names and contact information of three references will be required at the time of application.

Position updated 5/11/2021


Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.