Under the general direction of the Associate Vice President for Research (Administration), and Director, Sponsored Projects Administration, the Assistant Director serves as a key member of the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration Management Team, and carries personal responsibility for (1) management of a constituency-based grant administrator team providing a full range of pre-award sponsored research services; (2) leadership of SPA’s internal training program and SPA’s role in university-wide training programs (e.g., SPECTRUM) OR leadership of SPA’s subaward program (risk assessment program, policies, procedures, issuance, invoice payments and closeouts); (3) review and management of Regents, Administrative, and SPA internal sponsored projects policies and procedures; and (4) leadership or management of special initiatives as required.
The position includes proposal review, endorsement and submission; award negotiation and acceptance, account set-up, subawards, closeout and review and resolution of post-award management issues, including non-financial reporting. The position will hold full delegated authority to execute proposals, awards, and subawards on behalf of the Regents of the University of Minnesota. The position also works closely with Sponsored Financial Reporting to ensure effective coordination with the post-award financial arena, and with other key units having research administration responsibilities.
Independently and in close coordination with the Associate Vice President and Director, and the Sponsored Projects management team, the incumbent will:
• Manage and direct a Grant Administrator team totaling approximately 4-6 FTE. Responsibilities include assisting with the development and ongoing enhancement of team and departmental organizational structure, hiring, managing, mentoring, and evaluating staff; and appropriately recognizing and rewarding staff achievement. The incumbent will also assist with the development and implementation of specific performance measures and tracking methods for staff, and the development and promulgation of organizational core competencies and team standards.
• Supervision of 1.75-2.0 FTE P&A Training Coordinators or 2.0 FTE Subaward staff (Subaward Compliance Coordinator and Subaward Invoice Coordinator)
• Oversee the proposal submission process (including electronic submissions), pre-award negotiation, post-award administration, award acceptance and initiation processes for the team’s sponsored agreements at the University of Minnesota. This includes the negotiation of complex contractual agreements between the University and its sponsors for the conduct of research, training, and other sponsored activities. This position will also be responsible for the effective issuance and monitoring of subawards.
• Hold delegated authority to execute proposals, awards, and subawards and related documents on behalf of the Regents of the University of Minnesota.
• As assigned, provide leadership and support for the SPA managers and offices located on the coordinate campuses. Actively work to involve coordinate campuses in policy and procedure design, in communications, and to ensure that coordinate campus needs are appropriately addressed.
• Interpret University policies based upon a working knowledge of the various federal, state, and University regulations.
• Assume responsibility for the following (the assigned responsibility will be EITHER training or subaward related, but not both; the designated responsibility will be based on the overall needs of the office and the skills of the successful applicant):
• Working in close coordination with the SPA training coordinator, assume leadership in the continued development and implementation of SPECTRUM, the university-wide training program being led by SPA, SFR and Training Services. Ensure timely and effective rollout of courses; identify, invite, and evaluate instructors as needed; develop content; teach courses where appropriate; ensure that courses are appropriately debriefed post-relief and adjustments made where necessary.
• With Training Services and SFR, run SPECTRUM’s “certification” program, designing participant cohorts, determine required and “optional” courses, resolve logistical or other challenges; identify and celebrate certification achievements, oversee appropriate recognition of outstanding instructors, and make recommendations for refinement of the program over time.
• Design, develop and implement SPA’s internal training program for Grant Administrators, including new GAs and staff interested in advancement. Work with Principal Grant Administrators, managers and staff to identify and implement opportunities for internal improvements (procedures, policies, consistent approaches, new communication vehicles).
• Working in close coordination with the Associate Vice President for Research, lead the University’s subaward team, including responsibility for subaward tracking, issuance, subrecipient monitoring policy and procedure, invoice payments, and subaward closeouts.
• Lead the University’s compliance efforts with the Federal Funding and Accountability Transparency Act and DATA Act, including reporting obligations into the Federal Subcontractor Reporting System. This responsibility includes coordination with other University offices, including Purchasing, who have reportable transactions.
• Coordinate the University’s participation in national initiatives to reduce administrative burden associated with subrecipient monitoring, including involvement in the Federal Demonstration Project’s Expanded Clearinghouse system and the Financial Conflict of Interest Clearinghouse.
• Plan and implement SPA joint GA and other staff meetings, including developing agendas and working to ensure that key information is timely and effectively transferred to the individuals with the need to know it.
• Serve a lead role in the development, updating, implementation, and coordination of University-wide policies owned by SPA, as well as internal operating policies and procedures to improve sponsored project administration and to enhance compliance with the terms and conditions of awards made to Minnesota. This role requires the ability to use sound professional judgment to effectively balance compliance needs with the University’s commitment to encourage and facilitate research, and the ability to convey potential change and listen for feedback in a collaborative and constructive way.
• Proactively encourage and facilitate collaborative partnerships with school clients, faculty and staff by consulting frequently with faculty, senior administrators, and departmental research administration staff. Demonstrated commitment to excellent customer service required.
• Advise and assist the Associate Vice President and Director, and other senior campus staff in responding to proposed legislation and federal agency proposed regulations affecting sponsored project policy and administration. The Assistant Director also exercises significant influence in the area of formulation and implementation of University research policy and procedure.
• Interact with colleagues at all levels in the public and private sectors to encourage consensus on research policy and administration issues. Maintain currency in the regulations, requirements and national practices and procedures impacting research administration. In these capacities, it is expected that the incumbent will participate in national listservs, professional development opportunities, and/or one or more professional organizations or groups (e.g., NCURA, SRA , FDP, COGR, Big 10 meetings, or equivalent.)
• Provide audit support as required.
• Provide leadership in planning and directing seminars and/or workshops at Minnesota and at professional meetings.
• Lead or serve as SPA representative on all-university, campus and departmental committees and standing meetings as directed.
• Performs special projects as requested, including those involving the coordination of large teams of individuals and with potential University-wide impact and those involving office wide impact (e.g., business requirements for MN-GEMS electronic grants submission, international agreements, record retention, work transformation related to assumption of new systems, etc.)
The responsibilities associated with overseeing and managing a Grant Administrator team is expected to require approximately 50% of the Assistant Director’s time, and will report to the Director. The remaining duties will take the other 50% of the incumbent’s time, but the emphases on the various components will vary in accordance with established office priorities. The incumbent will report to the Associate VP for Research for the remaining portions of the position.
The most qualified applicants will have the following skills, knowledge and abilities:
Essential • Bachelor’s Degree required. Advanced degree and/or at least 5 years of relevant administrative experience desirable.
• Significant knowledge of federal and/or non-federal contract and grant administration, preferably within the context of an educational institution. Experience with training programs and subaward management strongly preferred. Experience with a medium or large sponsored projects office strongly preferred.
• Demonstrated experience in the management of a complex operation and supervision of diverse staff.
• Mature professional judgment and effective problem resolution skills required. Ability to work collegially and effectively in a wide variety of roles (e.g., leader, follower, participant, advocate).
• Ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally with a wide variety of people including faculty, senior University leaders, administrators, staff, students, and sponsor representatives. Ability to establish and maintain positive and sustained relationships that foster a high level of trust.
• Commitment to University of Minnesota’s Code of Conduct and its promulgation and promotion throughout the research administration enterprise.
Preferred • Demonstrated track record for professional development, mentoring and commitment to career growth of subordinates.
• Demonstrated ability to conduct effective training or presentations.
• Experience with Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulations, grant administration circulars, regulations and policies. Knowledge of clinical trial contracting desirable.
• Knowledge of contract law as it relates to the non-profit educational institution sector and extensive demonstrated negotiation skills and experience.
• Experience with accounting, contracting, or procurement and knowledge of federal government organization, operation and administrative procedures desirable.
• Demonstrated effectiveness in leading during change preferred.
• Experience with Grants.Gov, ERA electronic research administration systems, Peoplesoft Financials or other ERP financial systems desirable.
• Experience working at the University of Minnesota or a comparable public research university preferred.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.