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Grants & Contracts Specialist-Office of Sponsored Programs

Apply now Job no: 492626
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Allendale
Categories: Administration

Summary: Our central sponsored-programs office seeks a dynamic, experienced, service-oriented sponsored-programs/research-administration professional to fill this brand-new position. The successful candidate will join a team of seasoned administrators—including the director, two other grants-and-contracts specialists, and an office assistant—in the service of a vibrant and growing portfolio of research and other sponsored activity.  We’re looking for a take-charge individual who enjoys working with a diverse range of people, driving positive change, and both teaching and learning new knowledge and skills, and who thrives in a fast-paced, deadline-driven work environment. The successful candidate will have immediate opportunities to contribute substantially to the OSP’s strategic efforts in process improvement, outreach, training, and more.

 Required Qualifications and Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., business or public administration, finance, accounting)
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in grants or research administration in a university setting, private research institution, hospital system, or government agency.
  • Experience with government-funded grants, contracts, and/or other sponsored activities.
  • Demonstrated experience in business training (developing, presenting, teaching, and leading training sessions in a business environment—portfolio or sample materials required).
  • Knowledge and experience in program and/or project management.
  • Experience with and knowledge of university, federal, state and private industry rules and regulations governing pre- award (proposal preparation and submission) and post award (grant contract negotiation, award, and administration).
  • Fundamental understanding of sponsored-programs/research administration accounting principles.
  • Experience and proficiency in a computerized environment using Microsoft Office products, Adobe, and electronic grant and/or research administration systems.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with and serve as liaison between granting agencies, university administration, and principal investigators is essential.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication (both oral and written) skills.
  • Ability to solve problems, tolerate ambiguity, handle multiple, complex projects, and deliver high-quality work product in a deadline-driven environment.
  • Organized, forward-thinking, proactive team-player who understands when to seek guidance and when to make informed, independent decisions.

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of university information systems (BANNER, Onbase, etc.).
  • Formal process-improvement training and experience (LEAN, Six Sigma, etc.).
  • Professional training and/or certification in research administration and/or grants management (e.g., Certified Research Administrator [CRA], Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator [CPRA], Management Concepts Grants Management Certificate, etc.)
  • Experience with, NSF Fastlane, EGrams, Cayuse424, and other electronic research administration (eRA) systems.
  • Experience with all types of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, cooperative agreements.
  • Database development skills (MS Access)
  • Workflow development skills (MS Visio)
  • Understanding of research compliance (human and animal subjects, COI, Export Controls, etc.)

 Responsibilities – Essential Functions: 

  • Supports and facilitates pre- and post-award (non-financial) sponsored activities throughout the project life cycle—from funding identification to close-out—for an assigned portfolio of university organizational units.
  • Applies knowledge of relevant university policies and procedures, OMB 2 CFR 200 (the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards), and other federal and state regulations to interpret funding opportunity announcements; navigate sponsor guidance and policies; support development of sound, compliant proposals; and assess and negotiate sponsored awards, contracts, and agreements.
  • Develops and delivers training content to faculty and staff (written content and tools, in-person presentations and workshops, recorded video sessions, facilitation of external video content, one-on-one consultations, etc.)
  • Acts as the university’s liaison between its Principal Investigators and administrative support, other university administrators, the OSP, and all sponsors (including pass-through entities).
  • Assists faculty and staff with proposal development including detailed budgeting in compliance with university policies and federal cost principles, internal approval routing in Cayuse 424, and proposal submission via Cayuse 424, sponsor portals, and other submission platforms and formats, including paper submission.
  • Confers with principal investigators and administrative staff at external-partner universities, agencies, and institutions to secure documentation and approvals for collaborative proposals (e.g., subaward proposals, subcontracts, letters of support and commitment, etc.).
  • Conducts self with a total-quality approach; constantly monitors current-state processes and procedures with the intent to innovate more efficient solutions for process stakeholders; shares process-improvement insights with team members and leaders in a constructive way.
  • Exercises objective, independent judgment in interpreting regulations and contract language and in making recommendations.
  • Actively delivers outstanding service and builds and maintains strong interpersonal business relationships.
  • Reviews, revises, and facilitates execution of sponsored awards, including incoming and outgoing subawards and subcontracts, incremental continuations and progress reports, and service agreements.
  • Reviews, revises, and facilitates execution of administrative updates such as no-cost extension requests, just-in-time documentation, pre-award cost prior approvals, material and data transfer agreements, final invention statement reports, relinquishing statements, etc.
  • Manages and/or assists with special projects, as assigned.
  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) and is not an exhaustive list of the duties performed for this position. Additional duties are performed by the individual currently holding this position and additional duties may be assigned.

Salary:  Commensurate with experience.

Department/Division:  Office of Sponsored Programs

Campus: Allendale

Application Deadline Date:  This position will be posted until filled.

How To Apply:  Apply online at and select "Apply now".  Please include a cover letter and resume.  The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically.  If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
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