The Associate Director Research Administration provides thought leadership in reviewing & recommending, both centrally and within divisions/departments, policy & procedure designed to enhance research administration in relation to the organization’s overall mission & strategic goals. Oversees the administration of the entire grants & contracts portfolio for a major department or school. Ensures the effective, compliant, & efficient daily management of operational functions in support of the mission & strategy. Researches and leverages best practices and partners with faculty to develop strategic plans regarding new & existing funding opportunities, research initiatives, collaborations & projects that will increase & improve overall research & associated financial management & performance.
Typically administers or oversees entire research projects such as:
Research portfolio for a major department or school (~$50M)
Center or program grants
Master agreements with industry
Resolves escalated issues between faculty and staff related to policy interpretation and compliance questions
Provides creative, strategic leadership in pre-award administration of research grants &/or contracts, expertly balancing customer service and compliance needs.
Establishes procedures related to pre-award administration.
Collaborates with individual division/department staff to ensure research administration goals are developed and attained.
Activities include the oversight of federal contract proposals, international proposals, and proposals with difficult/troublesome terms and large sponsored agreements with industry partners.
Develops & oversees the use of metrics to monitor, report, and adjust pre-award performance.
Provides expertise regarding post-award research administration, which includes ensuring that proposed projects meet goals.
Recommends & facilitates procedural changes in grant &/or contract administration as necessary.
Develops policy changes to enhance research administration.
Ensures that necessary resources are available.
Manages follow through on high-risk situations.
Oversees application completion and detailed review & submission.
Resolves issues with collaborators &/or other involved parties.
Establishes procedures related to post-award administration.
Develops and oversee the use of metrics to monitor, report, and adjust post-award performance.
Oversees all research portfolio fiscal activities, from research development to close-out activities, continually evaluating & enhancing processes to minimize risk while maximizing goals.
Ensures that budgets are created, proposed & administered in a fiscally responsible manner.
Develops and implements changes to eliminate deficit balances; overdrafts.
Oversees price negotiation, purchase, & ongoing maintenance support contracts of all major research equipment.
Provides information to senior management that is used for department budgeting purposes.
Participates in College and/or University-wide efforts to adopt or re-engineer enterprise systems, policies, and procedures that support research administration.
Builds, manages and mentors a research administration organization that optimizes teamwork and service quality to a large and varied constituency.
Determines most effective use of resources to manage operational needs between research function and central operations.
Hires, evaluates, promotes, &/or counsels staff.
Develops communications strategies, business practices and training/educational materials.
Creates, implements & oversees programs, policy & practice designed to ensure compliance with all appropriate NU policies & practices; local, state, federal, agency & sponsor rules, regulations & requirements regarding grant &/or contract administration.
Ensures resolution of all compliance problems & issues, including those involving research safety, animal subjects, human subjects and conflict of interest.
Oversee the collection, interpretation, and communication of policies and procedures to key stakeholders, PIs and staff.
Serves as the organization’s representative to internal/external partners, and compliance agencies and offices in regard to research administration.
Directly supervises multiple 2nd level managers/supervisors. Multiple indirect reports supporting research administration function
Mentors other administrative staff in research administration.
Performs other duties as assigned.
A bachelor's degree or 2 years financial or administrative support experience.
9 years research administration experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Provide leadership by cooperatively anticipating, coordinating, strategizing.
Proven success in managing a large research enterprise.
Experience in a University setting.
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: 35616
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.