The Associate Director provides thought leadership in reviewing and recommending, both centrally and within divisions/departments, policy and procedure designed to enhance research administration in relation to the organization’s overall mission and strategic goals. This role oversees the administration of the entire grants and contracts portfolio for a major department or school. This position ensures the effective, compliant, and efficient daily management of operational functions in support of the mission and strategy. The Associate Director researches and leverages best practices and partners with faculty to develop strategic plans regarding new and existing funding opportunities, research initiatives, collaborations and projects that will increase and improve overall research and associated financial management and performance.
Basic Science Administration serves the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology-Immunology, Pharmacology, Physiology and the Center for Genetic Medicine
Oversees a research administration staff of 13 and post-award financial staff of 4
Total research portfolio of BSA-supported departments is more than $60 Million plus more than $75 Million in Chair and faculty non-grant faculty commitments
Provides creative, strategic leadership in pre-award administration of research grants and/or contracts, expertly balancing customer service and compliance needs.
Establishes procedures related to pre-award administration.
Collaborates with individual division/department staff to ensure research administration goals are developed and attained.
Activities include the oversight of federal contract proposals, international proposals, and proposals with difficult/troublesome terms and large sponsored agreements with industry partners.
Develops and oversees the use of metrics to monitor, report, and adjust pre-award performance.
Provides expertise regarding post-award research administration, which includes ensuring that proposed projects meet goals.
Recommends and facilitates procedural changes in grant and/or contract administration as necessary.
Develops policy changes to enhance research administration.
Ensures that necessary resources are available.
Manages follow through on high-risk situations.
Oversees application completion and detailed review and submission.
Interprets sponsor guidelines.
Creates procedures regarding day-to-day administrative and financial functions.
Resolves issues with collaborators and/or other involved parties.
Establishes procedures related to post-award administration.
Develops and oversee the use of metrics to monitor, report, and adjust post-award performance.
Oversees all research portfolio fiscal activities, from research development to close-out activities, continually evaluating and enhancing processes to minimize risk while maximizing goals.
Ensures that budgets are created, proposed and administered in a fiscally responsible manner.
Develops and implements changes to eliminate deficit balances; overdrafts.
Oversees price negotiation, purchase, and ongoing maintenance support contracts of all major research equipment.
Provides information to senior management that is used for department budgeting purposes.
Creates and maintains a system to gauge the effectiveness of faculty start-up funding as an investment in future faculty productivity.
Participates in College and/or University-wide efforts to adopt or re-engineer enterprise systems, policies, and procedures that support research administration.
Builds, manages and mentors a research administration organization that optimizes teamwork and service quality to a large and varied constituency.
Determines most effective use of resources to manage operational needs between research function and central operations.
Develops communications strategies, business practices and training/educational materials.
Creates, implements and oversees programs, policy and practice designed to ensure compliance with all appropriate NU policies and practices; local, state, federal, agency and sponsor rules, regulations and requirements regarding grant and/or contract administration.
Ensures resolution of all compliance problems and issues, including those involving research safety, animal subjects, human subjects and conflict of interest.
Oversee the collection, interpretation, and communication of policies and procedures to key stakeholders, PIs and staff.
Serves as the organization’s representative to internal/external partners, and compliance agencies and offices in regard to research administration.
Directly supervises multiple 2nd level managers/supervisors. Multiple indirect reports supporting research administration function
Mentors other administrative staff in research administration.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree or 2 years financial or administrative support experience.; OR appropriate combination of education and experience
9 years research administration experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Provide leadership by cooperatively anticipating, coordinating, strategizing
Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master's or higher degree or 4+ years of financial or administrative support experience; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
3+ years managing staff
Knowledge of routine and complex pre-award and post-award processes and Federal and University policies and procedures
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Northwestern Enterprise Systems (NUFIN, InfoEd, ERS, FASIS, Kronos, etc)
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highl...y collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.