Director Of Research Administration | Research Administration Manager/S

Michigan State University Lansing , MI 48907

Posted 4 weeks ago

Working/Functional Title

Director of Research Administration

Position Summary

The Division of Engineering Research (DER) in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking applications for the position of Director of Research Administration. DER manages the research proposal preparation and submission process that is funded by federal, state, non-profit, foundation, private industry and foreign sponsors. This involves a growing volume of around 700+ submitted proposals and $55 million of incurred expenditures for sponsored research programs each year. This position will also oversee the fee for service operation.

The mission of DER is to advance high-quality research and scholarship in the College of Engineering by promoting an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, community and commitment to the highest ethical values. The Director of Research Administration will play a key role in fostering a nurturing environment for research growth and compliance in the college in collaboration with stakeholders across MSU. DER works closely with faculty, administrators, and leadership to support Engineering faculty research programs.

Under the direction of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, the Director for Research Administration is responsible for direct oversight, management, and coordination of daily pre-award administrative functions.

Major Responsibilities:

Provide direct oversight and operational support for key pre-award activities conducted including tasks related to:

  • Proposal review, routing, approval, and submission.

  • Establishment of award demographic and financial data in the finance system.

  • Verifies indirect cost return and expenditure reports.

  • Completion of award deliverables related to financial reporting and billing.

  • Responsible for signature authority in the college for grants and contract submissions.

Coordinate with college leadership and staff members to guide and support daily tasks and operations:

  • Coordinate with Assistant Director of Research Administration to assign workload to individuals and ensure resources are properly allocated to support evolving business needs.

  • Conduct, report, and review data and analyses for special inquiries and issues as they arise.

  • Help to establish, report, and monitor metrics for overall performance of business processes.

  • Monitor and evaluate the performance, including metrics, of a team that includes six research administrators, on a regular basis.

  • Provide routine feedback and conduct annual evaluations for research administrator support staff.

  • Provide input for strategic leadership decisions related to the organizational support structure and job positions.

Ensure overarching compliance and effectiveness of DER business operations:

  • Interpret regulatory and financial language for diverse and complex projects.

  • Advise on advanced and innovative solutions for management of specific awards and administrative scenarios.

  • Review current procedures to identify potential compliance gaps and opportunities for enhancing efficiency of tasks.

  • Support internal and external audit activities in coordination with other MSU individuals and offices.

Assist with business process review, improvement, and training for research administrators:

  • Regularly review policies and procedure guidance to ensure documentation is up-to-date and in alignment with daily practices.

  • Apply knowledge of research regulations, industry best practices, and MSU/College of Engineering cultural considerations to advise on improvements to current processes.

  • Collaborate with staff and individuals throughout the MSU research community to develop improved tools, forms, policies, procedures, and training.

  • Assist in routine communication and enforcement of MSU and College of Engineering policies and procedures.

  • Represent the college in campus grant administration activities and policy development.

  • Promote a culture of customer service through proactive relationship building and responsiveness.

  • Work with college leadership on process improvement strategy and its implementation within the college, and advocacy across campus.

Conduct other duties and tasks for research administration as requested, based on evolving business needs.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in business administration, finance, or a research-related field; eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in research administration including the area of pre- or post-award processes, or related field such as regulatory administration, experience with word processing, spreadsheet and data base software; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The job also requires Essentials of Research Administration at MSU Certificate series or equivalent. The job may require National Certification as a Research Administrator within one year of hire. Individual must have experience with word processing, spreadsheet and database software.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in higher education or research-intensive institution.

  • Experience with MSU units such as Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), Contract and Grant Administration (CGA), MSU Technologies (MSUT), Business Connect, conflict of interest and various compliance units.

  • Knowledge of MSU policies and procedures.

  • Supervisory experience.

  • Advanced understanding of specific sponsor guidelines and regulations, including NIH, NSF, and other major agencies; experience in and Fastlane.

  • Experience in proposal development, contracts and grants administration, regulatory compliance, and financial management.

  • Impeccable commitment to high ethical standards and integrity.

  • Strong analytical skills and aptitude for understanding and interpreting complex datasets.

  • Exceptional organizational skills, able to carry out multiple projects and tasks simultaneously and independently.

  • Willingness and flexibility to accommodate and effectively support changing priorities, processes, and systems.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills with a focus on customer service and collaboration.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills; able to effectively and clearly communicate and coordinate with individuals across all levels of the MSU community.

  • A demonstrated commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

Resume and cover letter

Work Hours


Bidding eligibility ends on 9/1/2020, at 11:55 PM

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Director Of Research Administration | Research Administration Manager/S

Michigan State University