This position provides strategic leadership and advanced problem solving in support of Basic Sciences Administration’s (BSA) Research Administration team. BSA supports the basic science academic departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Cell & Developmental Biology, Microbiology-Immunology, Pharmacology, and Physiology; as well as the Center for Genetic Medicine the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics. The RA team manages pre- and post-award administration, including proposal development, budget preparation, award setup and management, compliance, effort reporting, sponsored and non-sponsored financial management, and financial reporting and projections. In concert with the Associate Director and other Managers for research administration, this positions oversees the administration of the entire grants & contracts portfolio for BSA, some of which are very complex involving multiple years, venues, collaborators, subcontractors, etc. & ensures fulfillment of all requirements & compliance with rules & regulations. Partners with faculty to develop strategic plans regarding new & existing funding opportunities, research initiatives, collaborations & projects that will increase & improve overall research & associated financial management & performance. This position supervises four direct reports.
Typically administers multiple research projects such as:
Research portfolio for a larger department
Center or program grants
Master agreements with industry
Provides creative, strategic leadership in pre-award administration of research grants &/or contracts, expertly balancing customer service and compliance needs.
Establishes procedures at the unit level related to pre-award administration.
Coordinates federal contract proposals, international proposals, and proposals with difficult/troublesome terms and large sponsored agreements with industry partners.
Uses metrics to monitor report and adjust unit pre-award performance.
Provides expertise regarding post-award research administration.
Ensures that proposed projects meet goals of dept. & that necessary resources are available.
Manages and follows through on high-risk situations.
Coordinates or oversees application completion and detailed review & submission.
Resolves issues with collaborators &/or other involved parties.
Establishes procedures at the unit level related to post-award administration.
Manages all day-to-day grant &/or contract functions such as administration, finance, facilities, compliance, reporting, etc. ensuring timetables are created & maintained as appropriate.
Uses metrics to monitor report and adjust unit post-award performance.
Recommends & facilitates procedural changes in grant &/or contract administration as necessary.
Recommends policy to enhance research administration.
Oversees & manages all research portfolio fiscal activities, from research development to close-out activities, continually evaluating & recommending alternatives to minimize risk while maximizing goals.
Ensures that budgets are created, proposed & administered in a fiscally responsible manner.
Resolves complex issues such as determining appropriate & reasonable cost-sharing percentages on complex grants involving multiple locations; effort reporting problems; under- or over-spent grant budgets; recommend changes to eliminate deficit balances; overdrafts.
Provides information to senior management that is used for department budgeting purposes.
Hires, evaluates, promotes, &/or counsel staff.
Oversees training for all staff regarding research administration in unit.
Consults with faculty as grants are funded regarding job descriptions; selecting & hiring new staff; and as grants end regarding lay-offs, terminations, etc.
Creates, implements & oversees programs, policy & practice for dept./division designed to ensure compliance with all appropriate NU policies & practices; local, state, federal, agency & sponsor rules, regulations & requirements regarding grant &/or contract administration.
Ensures resolution of all compliance problems & issues, including those involving research safety, animal subjects, human subjects and conflict of interest.
Supervises administrative, financial &/or IT positions.
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 appropriate combination of education and experience.
A minimum of 7 years’ experience required with 4 years of research administration and 3 years of research, finance, administrative or other relevant experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Organization, time management, detail oriented
Self-starter, diplomatic, pro-active, able to manage stress
Provide leadership by cooperatively anticipating, coordinating, strategizing
7 years of research administration experience in a university or academic hospital environment preferred.
A combination of experience in pre-award, post-award, and department research administration preferred.
Experience leading a small- to medium-sized team preferred.
Knowledge of National Institutes of Health policies and procedures.
Understanding of OMB Uniform Guidance, Research Terms & Conditions (FDP) and agency-specific terms and conditions, including the PHS Grants Policy Statement.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Knowledge of Northwestern's enterprise systems, including NU Financials, InfoEd, ERS, and Cognos.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 39897
About Northwestern University
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 highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.