The Executive Director for Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) is responsible for all aspects of pre-award and selected post-award grants management, including policy development and implementation; outreach to faculty and administrative staff through training, presentations and informal communications; facilitating excellent working relationships between research administration staff in the Office for Sponsored Research, the schools, and other Office for Research units; continued web site development; and interaction with federal agencies and other institutions to promote awareness of the national research agenda and solve common problems. S/ he serves as the Institutional Official (as delegated by the President) in all pre-award and non-financial post-award grants and contracts management areas, including signature authority on all proposals, awards, and other documents related to sponsored project administration.
Please note: This is an exempt position requiring availability on some weekends and after normal working hours and some travel.
Serves as Institutional Official for all pre-award and selected post-award activities, including grants, cooperative agreements and contracts to federal and state agencies, foundations and corporations. Monitors all sponsored projects proposals and awards for compliance with federal agency and NU regulations. Fosters compliant environment by staying abreast of changes in agency regulations, requirements and policies, and by disseminating agency information. Keeps informed of emerging federal issues that will impact NU’s sponsored research program. Resolves administrative and management problems that may be complex and that may involve a number of central offices and school departments.
Ensures that a high level of service support is provided to principal investigators and departmental administrators; establishes standard operating procedures for service delivery; develops and monitors internal performance metrics to ensure high levels of service and accomplishment of objectives. Supervises staff, fostering excellence and effectiveness and optimizing staff skills and organizational structure. Provides leadership in the area of staff development and continuing education, ensuring that all OSR staff interact and communicate promptly and effectively within OSR and with other university units and know relevant current regulations and procedures.
Is responsible for providing education, training and research information for OSR staff and NU departments, Schools and Centers through a variety of venues. Plays a critical role in the design and implementation of research administration training programs.
Works collaboratively with the Director of Electronic Research Administration to identify, develop and implement new and improved systems for proposal development and award management
Serves as a member of the Office for Research leadership team. Develops and maintains strong collaborative relationships within OSR including the OSR Info Team. Reports on important or controversial issues and provides guidance on appropriate actions to resolve the issues. Briefs OR leadership on specific cases of non-compliance when cases may have an impact on the ability to safely and properly conduct research on campus, including cases that may result in negative publicity, regulatory agency penalties, or funding agency sanctions.
Oversees the annual budget and expenditures for the Office for Sponsored Research.
Works openly and communicates productively with multiple Northwestern Central and school administrative units, including the Office of General Council, Accounting Services for Research and Sponsored Programs and the School Dean’s Offices. Represents the Office for Sponsored Research on university-wide committees.
Represents Northwestern and participates in national task forces and research administration organizations, including the Federal Demonstration Partnership, Council on Governmental Relations and National Council of University Research Administrators. Responds to requests for information in the Federal Register.
Other duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
Demonstrated working knowledge of federal grant and contract administration, practices related to the protection of intellectual property rights and an understanding of the mission and principles of higher-educational institutions. Previous work experience (at least five years) must have been in the administration of sponsored research at a major research university, in the federal government, or at another entity engaged in sponsored research.
Experience in negotiating government and corporate contracts. Working knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulation clauses applicable to agreements with educational institutions.
Experience in supervising and motivating professional and administrative staff in a team environment. Working knowledge of current management principles and practices, skill in dealing with others in work relationships involving mentoring, conflict resolutions and the ability to make difficult decisions.
Proven ability to produce and deliver educational and training curriculum and complex information on technical issues to a diverse audience at all levels of the institution.
Experience in the use, development and implementation of management information systems.
Experience using technology and developing or utilizing business metrics to improve operations and processes.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively in a team-oriented environment across organizational units and at all levels, including faculty, deans, central administration and senior institutional officials.
Proven ability to build internal and external relationships.
Strong management experience and excellent leadership and problem-solving skills.
Customer-focused and dedicated to providing optimum service. Experience in developing performance measurements and quality service principles.
Highest level of professional and personal integrity.
Thrives in a high-volume, fast-paced environment. Is able to handle significant stress and a large workload.
Basic understanding of office finances.
Proven experience in change management.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Deep understanding of clinical trials agreements, cost-accounting principles, conflict of interest issues, and effort reporting.
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: 35031
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.