Research Administrator

Northwestern University

Chicago, IL

ID: 7073998
Posted: January 12, 2021
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary:

Provides administrative leadership and intermediate problem solving in support of unit's research programs and mission. May provide sole support to a small to mid-sized unit, or support a portion of activities in a larger unit. May provide lifecycle pre- & post-award research administration ensuring the fulfillment of all grant &/or contract & compliance requirements. Manages overall day-to-day research administration activities & may research & identify funding opportunities & faculty &/or PIs with associated research competencies & interests. Ensures that all activities are completed in compliance with associated local, state, federal & institutional rules & regulations.

Specific Responsibilities:


Typically administers multiple research projects such as:
Single Principal Investigator (PI) proposals, grants &/or contracts
Basic multi-PI or multi-unit proposals, grants &/or contracts
Research portfolio for a small to mid-sized unit
NIH U-approximately $500K+/yr. over multiple yrs.
NIH P-approximately $500K+/yr. over multiple yrs.
NIH T-approximately $100-$200K+/yr. over multiple yrs.
DOD and industry awards
Center or program grants
Proposals with cost sharing
Fixed-price contracts
Non-funded negotiations such as NDAs, user agreements


Manages pre-award administration of grants &/or contracts.
Reviews solicitation and proactively resolves any issues/questions within the solicitation with OSR and/or sponsor.
Establishes procedures at the small to mid-sized unit level related to pre-award administration.
Coordinates large-scale proposals, teaming/collaboration agreements, confidentiality agreements, intellectual property agreements or user agreements.
Manage representation of sub-recipients, cost sharing and administrative costs on a proposal.
Prepares &/or reviews complete budget.
Assesses the need for the redistribution of project F&A among multiple redistributed chartstrings.


Completes post-award administration of research grants &/or contracts.
Reviews account establishment.
Manages effort commitments of key project personnel.
Approves high-value/high-risk expenditures.
Interprets awards documents.
Reviews and reports expenditures.
Verifies processing of cost share transactions.
Reviews award budget status with PIs.
Provides data needed for interim and final financial and technical progress reports.
Facilitates account close out activities, coordinating with ASRSP as needed.
Establishes procedures at the small to mid-sized unit level related to post-award administration.
Serves as liaison between department & OSR, ASRSP, IACUC, IRB, internal audit, funding & regulatory agencies, subcontractors, collaborators, institutes, centers, etc.
Participates in efforts to improve research administration including serving on university committees related to research administration.

Oversees unit's entire sponsored project portfolio.
Reviews transactions and resolve issues that requires a more complex level of financial understanding such as cost-sharing &/or effort reporting knowledge.
Provides information to senior management that is used for department budgeting purposes.


Ensures compliance with all appropriate NU policies & practices; local, state, federal, agency & sponsor rules, regulations & requirements regarding grant &/or contract administration.
Alerts supervisor to potential higher risk compliance issues.


Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

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.
3 years research administration or other relevant experience required.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

Organization, time management, detail oriented
Multi-tasking, communication
Self-starter, diplomatic, pro-active, manage stress
Managing people


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