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Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs Office

Apply now Job no: 532702
Work type: Management (MPP)
Location: Monterey Bay
Categories: MPP, Administrative, At-Will, Full Time

Classification:   Administrator II
Hours:  Full-time / 40 hours per week 
FLSA:  Exempt

Anticipated Hiring Salary Range:  $8,110 - $8,333 per month
CSU Salary Schedule
*CSUMB provides pay scales representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for this position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, and CSU systemwide pay for comparable jobs.

Priority Screening Date: November 5, 2023
Recruitment Status:  Open Until Filled


California State University, Monterey Bay is a mid-sized university in California’s Central Coast that grants undergraduate and graduate degrees. Powered by an inspiring Founding Vision Statement, CSUMB is part of the nation’s largest four-year public university system, California State University, which educates nearly 460,000 students every year. 

With a vibrant, diverse student body of over 7,000 students, CSU Monterey Bay is both a Minority Serving Institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution. Our staff and faculty transform students’ lives with a focus on student success and engagement through experiential learning, service learning, and a strong emphasis on multicultural and global perspectives. CSUMB’s sustainability goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030. 

The university’s Strategic Plan prioritizes inclusive excellence through recruiting and investing in developing a diverse body of faculty, staff and administrators. Many appreciate living and working close to the shores of beautiful Monterey Bay, with easy access to recreational areas from Big Sur to Santa Cruz. Nearby opportunities for collaborative research include working in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Silicon Valley, and with colleagues at local research universities, including UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University.

As one of the 23 campuses in the CSU system, CSUMB offers excellent benefits, including access to below-market-rate rental housing on East Campus, and competitive salaries for faculty and staff. With proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose, opportunities for faculty, staff and students are as endless as the shores of the nearby Pacific Ocean.


Under general supervision of the Director of Sponsored Programs, the Assistant Director of Sponsored Programs is responsible for the pre-award funding activities for government and private agencies, ensures institutional compliance with University, Corporation, government and sponsor regulations, encourages and supports faculty and staff in external funding endeavors, and communicates effectively the role of external funding of the University with federal and state officials and the general public.

The Assistant Director is responsible for performing high-quality, customer-focused pre-award services. Responsible for day-to-day management of operations; managing a complex and diverse workload consisting of grants and contracts proposals to federal, state and local government and private funding agencies. Responsible for pre-award activities, focusing on the development and preparation of a variety of applications, understanding, interpreting and effectively communicating proposal requirements, complex federal regulations and internal policies and procedures, applying specialized knowledge. Develops and manages grant portfolio analytics.  Develops training resources for department staff on a variety of internal and external requirements; conducts funding workshops for faculty on a variety of topics including campus proposal process, finding funding, developing proposal ideas, proposal elements, budgeting, sponsor requirements and more. 

Provide day-to-day training and mentoring of staff, analyzing proficiency and readiness for more complex assignments, on-going monitoring, analysis, oversight of tasks, and advanced problem solving. Provides guidance and support to Sponsored Programs Officers on communication and interactions with principal investigators, project staff, Corporation staff and provides assistance with problem resolution on issues across campus. Communicates regularly with staff to provide feedback and support to foster professional growth and development. Seen as an expert and technical advisor within the department.

Required to exercise independent judgment and discretion when working with faculty, funding agency personnel, and University Corporation at Monterey Bay (Corporation) and University (CSUMB) personnel. Must be self-directed and able to prioritize and organize their own tasks and duties as well as the priorities and tasks of their employees and be able to function effectively and efficiently in situations requiring an elevated level of tact and diplomacy.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. In conjunction with the Director, analyzes Sponsored Programs pre- and post-award programmatic procedures and creates, implements new or modifies existing policies and/or procedures to promote efficiency and productivity within the department and the campus. Creates new policies and procedures as needed for compliance with federal, state, and institutional requirements.
  2. Expert negotiation skills with the ability to achieve consensus, optimize the University’s and Corporation’s objectives, and ensure that effective and cooperative working relationships are maintained with PIs, campus departments and sponsors.
  3. Represents Sponsored Programs in a positive manner to PIs, University personnel and funding agencies.  Provides support and direction to pre-award Sponsored Programs staff and post-award Corporation staff with emphasis on the delivery of customer service to faculty, staff and other constituents.
  4. Develop and implement training resources and professional development curricula for identified needs areas and in conjunction with targeted funding opportunities and sponsors for departmental staff and campus faculty.
  5. Manages internal funding competition(s), including the allocated budget(s), for faculty to promote research, scholarship and creative activities that will lead to external funding.
  6. Generally assists the Director of Sponsored Programs on special projects and assignments.  Leads the office when the Director is unavailable.


  1. Provide comprehensive, customer service-oriented pre-award support researchers and staff.  Coordinates the support areas of research funding, information services, ongoing identification of campus/faculty/staff strengths and interests and dissemination of external funding opportunities for proposal development; meets with faculty to introduce them to the sponsored program arena and provide one-on-one, personalized service, including brainstorming/program activities at the conceptual state.  Conducts interviews with faculty to determine areas of interests and assist faculty in locating the funding sources most specifically targeted to the program area.
  2. Collaborate to identify and support campus research priority areas. Plan and strategize for future major campus funding opportunities. Support new research area development and strategic planning
  3. Identifies and tracks legislation to identify funding areas targeted for future growth. Works cooperatively with the Director to develop campus funding plans to increase funds from government sources.
  4. Cultivates and maintains positive working relationships with external sponsor agencies.  Guides faculty to appropriate agency contacts to discuss proposals prior to submissions. 
  5. Assists faculty in developing competitive proposals.  Collaborates with faculty to develop a proposal budget appropriate to the objectives as stated in the proposal and consistent with the policies of the University, Corporation, and the sponsor agency. Identifies and facilitates solutions to potential administrative issues prior to formal proposal approval from the University and Corporation.Maintains current knowledge and understanding of research administration topics as well as proficiency on technology related to proposal submission.
  6. Trains, advises and guides the Sponsored Programs Office staff including creation/update of procedures and training materials.
  7. Participates in presentations, workshops and outreach to the campus community regarding funding opportunities, proposal submission and processes.
  8. Interpret regulatory and sponsor requirements and the development, implementation and application of policies and procedures related to pre-award sponsored program activities.

Post-Award – Programmatic:

  1. In consultation with the Director, negotiates terms of awards and agreements with sponsoring agencies; assures compliance with the administrative terms of the award.
  2. Conducts the project set-up meetings with the Principal Investigator (PI) once award is made and works with the PI on grant management for compliance with sponsor and Corporation regulations and procedures; provides guidance with fiscal, personnel, payroll, purchasing, insurance and other administrative matters.
  3. Assists with grant/contract audit requests preparation and resolution related to pre-award and sponsor audits.
  4. Prepares, analyzes and negotiates complex contractual documents on behalf of the Corporation; ensures that terms and conditions are acceptable to the University and the Corporation; Prepares and negotiates subaward and subcontract documents with subcontractors or subrecipients, ensuring compliance with federal regulations and/or funding source regulations.
  5. Assures compliance with project fiscal and program reporting requirements; supervises final report, termination procedures and programmatic closeout.
  6. Communicates with Corporation’s Post Award and HR Managers for problem-solving and to facilitate efficient processes.
  7. Collaborate on issues and establish interdepartmental policies and procedures related to the pre- and post-award administration of sponsored programs activities.

Other Functions:

  1. In collaboration with the Director, prepare regular reports as requested including data analytics, graphics, and trend reporting,
  2. Perform data cleanup in eRA systems and quality assurance for reports as needed.
  3. Research available technological solutions as business needs arise.
  4. Attend trainings and workshops; review publications containing grants development information
  5. Other duties may include participation in long-range initiatives that may involve the University Corporation and CSUMB such as strategic planning, systems enhancements or policy development. Position will be directly involved in department planning and needs assessment. May take a lead role in the development and/or delivery of departmental or inter-departmental training or a task force focused on process or system improvements for the Corporation and/or University as a whole
  6. Perform other job-related duties and special projects as assigned.


  • Demonstrates and applies a broad knowledge and experience with interpreting and applying terms and conditions in conjunction with sponsor agency proposal requirements, policies and federal circulars such as 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance), Federal Acquisition Regulations, and institutional policies and procedures.  Uses independent professional judgment in situations that are different from the typical daily experience and develops solutions to issues where no clear regulatory guidance or policy exist using good judgment and analytical skills. Has the ability to determine when regulations have room for interpretation and apply sound judgment in determining solutions to complex issues where no clear guidance in regulations exists.
  • Ability to proactively research, analyze and evaluate a variety of complex regulations, apply sound judgment, draw logical conclusions, and find creative solutions to a variety of problems, as well as independently prepare analytical documentation in clear, concise format for review. Demonstrates substantial judgment in the analysis and interpretation process and may serve as a key contact for overly complex programs. Self-directed and actively shares their expertise in providing clarification and developing solutions for their staff and with other employees in the division.
  • Ability to utilize funding opportunity databases (e.g. PIVOT), sponsor websites and proposal systems and other eRA systems (e.g. Kuali Research) to find, analyze and provide recommendations to Director and faculty seek funding opportunities.
  • Knowledge, experience and expertise in planning, managing, and submitting proposals to funding sources with varying terms and conditions. Strong mathematical/analytical skills using Excel; develop skills over time to include complex calculations across multiple funding sources and the ability to prepare and present complex proposal budgets to principal investigators.
  • Ability to demonstrate initiative and strong leadership skills and maintain confidentiality when interacting with their contacts throughout the department, Corporation, CSUMB, as well as sponsoring agencies. Takes initiative to share their expertise through mentoring or providing training to Sponsored Programs staff and/or project staff, and or Corporation staff. Routinely engages with other professional colleagues to assist with problem resolution for staff as well as others within the department. 
  • Ability to demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills. Understands the culture of CSUMB and Corporation and has developed effective communication strategies when communicating with principal investigators, university administrators, CSUMB/Corporation staff, and agency representatives.  Effectively uses all communication methods and uses expertise as well as persuasion and negotiating skills to build consensus. Demonstrated ability to establish partnering relationships with faculty and project staff resulting in enhanced communication and understanding of the programmatic as well as the fiscal aspects of the funds
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, overseeing multiple deadlines and tasks with tact and diplomacy under pressure. Ability to prioritize, plan and organize tasks with the ability to independently develop solutions, seeking consultation with other department professionals as needed.
  • Knowledge of and highly skilled in utilizing internal and external information systems and accounting applications in analysis, research and reporting activities and other projects and regularly shares this expertise within the department and across Sponsored Programs.
  • Outstanding collaboration and demonstrated teamwork ability. Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and mutually supportive working relationships with a range of internal and external colleagues and stakeholders.  This one could also be combined with the gray sections
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in research training, research grantmaking, the conduct of research and in supporting the public benefit of research. Values diversity of background and perspective to enhance research and program outcomes.

Skilled in:

  • Highly developed communication (oral and written), time management, problem resolution and organizational skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships with faculty, staff, administrator, Corporation personnel and representatives of various organizations and agencies.
  • Advanced experience working in research administration with an emphasis in pre-award
  • Proficient with PC, Microsoft Suite, information technologies such as Internet and email and financial , and electronic research administration systems.

Ability to:

  • Ability to prioritize tasks, to work independently, to maintain confidentiality and to take initiative to improve upon current operations in a collaborative manner. 
  • Ability to work under the pressure inherent in meeting numerous, conflicting deadlines.


Equivalent to a bachelor's degree AND 5 years of experience in a progressively responsible grants and contracts position at a foundation, university or other non-profit organization. Experience in a start-up organization. A graduate degree in a related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience. Additional experience, which has demonstrated the requisite skills and abilities, may be substituted for required education on a year-for-year basis.


  • Technical fluency with Oracle/PeopleSoft, CSU Common Management System or equivalent student information system; Microsoft Office Professional Suite, and Google mail and calendaring programs. 
  • CRA Certification
  • Five years experience in research administration.


  • All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check (including a criminal records check).
  • The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083  as a condition of employment.
  • This position will have a duty to report to the Campus Title IX Officer information pertaining to victims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking as required by CSU Executive Order 1095.
  • This position has been designated as a sensitive position with:
    • authority to commit financial resources of the university through contracts greater than $10,000
    • control over campus business processes, either through functional roles or system security access
  • This position is designated as a Campus Security Authority (CSA).  The position is required to participate in training at the direction of the Clery Director and must also promptly report allegations of reportable crimes according to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, its accompanying regulations; the California State Education Code, Chapter 15.5, of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, Section 67380; and the California State University system-wide policy, Code EO 1107.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid license to drive in the State of California, pass the Defensive Training Class, and be insurable under the University's liability coverage.
  • May require occasional evenings and/or weekend work.


Office environment with standard equipment and tasks.  The position requires working at a computer and desk for extended periods of time.  May require travel between campus offices and off-campus locations. 

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority. While on campus, students, faculty, staff, and the community will be expected to follow all campus safety mandates.  


This is a management-level position with an attractive benefits package, which includes: a vacation accrual rate of 16 hours per month; an excellent choice of medical, dental, and vision insurance; long-term disability coverage; life insurance; educational incentives; membership in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS); and 14 paid holidays a year. For further information, please visit Employee Benefits Summary. As a perk, the University Corporation at CSU Monterey Bay provides access to affordable campus housing based on availability; visit Schoonover Employee Housing for more information.


For full consideration, applicants must complete the required online application prior to the priority screen date found at Careers at CSUMB. Application submissions received after the application screening date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University. Materials submitted become the property of CSUMB and will not be returned.

CSUMB is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified applicants with disabilities who self-disclose by contacting Human Resources at (831) 582-3389 or All employees must be eligible for employment in the U.S.


CSUMB hires only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States and is an E-Verify employer. In compliance with federal crime awareness and campus security legislation, including the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics, you can view the notice of availability and access the Cal State University, Monterey Bay annual security and fire safety reports at

CSUMB is a smoke and tobacco-free campus.


CSUMB is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action employer seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. We value and celebrate diversity in all its forms and strive to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. We consider qualified applicants for employment for their anticipated contributions and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

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