Administrative Specialist

Updated: 6 days ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime


PSD Chemistry: Administrative Staff

About the Department

One of the first departments founded at the University of Chicago was the Department of Chemistry. Since its inception, the Department of Chemistry has embodied the University's central mission of excellence in both research and teaching. The University of Chicago has been the recipient of more than 73 Nobel Prize recipients, 15 of which came from the Department of Chemistry. Our current faculty has considerable strength in inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as in interdisciplinary research that delves into biology, physics, and materials science. The Department is a community of over 500, including faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars and staff. Close student-faculty interactions have been a hallmark of our Department for over a century. These have fostered a unique intellectual environment that both ensures superb graduate education and continues to produce important and exciting scientific discoveries.

Job Summary

Reporting to the department administrator, performs complex and diverse administrative duties in support of the day-to-day operations of assigned faculty within the Department of Chemistry. Provides specialized business support for routine office activities. Identifies, enhances, and follows specific processes and procedures to maximize the efficiencies for which the support is being provided by working autonomously within established procedures and practices. Ensures the correct functioning of facilities, office, and/or business support services.


  • Serves as a liaison to the department unit regarding administrative issues such as finances, non-academic personnel, and communications.
  • Resolves many office problems independently and facilitates solutions, conferring with faculty member to resolve the most complex issues.
  • Coordinates with lab manager on various personnel actions related to postdoc scholars, fellows and graduate students including but not limited to hiring and reappointment progression reports.
  • Performs high-level administrative duties in support of office functions.
  • Manages expense reimbursements in the GEMS system.
  • Compiles data to submit grant proposals.
  • Composes and edits correspondence and other documents.
  • Monitors and orders office and lab supplies in the Buysite system.
  • Oversees and maintains the physical office space, ordering equipment repairs.
  • Coordinates logistics of major events special projects or functions related to the group.
  • Schedules diverse and complex appointments, meetings, and travel arrangements.
  • Provides administrative support for a leader. Stays informed of activities relating to programs and initiatives, apprising the leader of issues when deemed necessary. Coordinates information flow from leader's office.
  • Prepares special reports and summaries, assists in managing daily operation of the office, and may assist in developing administrative goals and policies. Maintains the leader's calendar.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include vocational training, apprenticeships or the equivalent experience in related field (not typically required to have a four-year degree).

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications:


  • College or University degree.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:       

  • Progressively responsible administrative experience.
  • Experience working in an academic or research institution.
  • Windows and Macintosh proficient.
  • Proficiency with expense reimbursement systems such as GEMS.
  • Proficiency with word processing applications and spreadsheets.
  • Experience coordinating virtual meetings using platforms such as Zoom.
  • Experience writing and editing business communications.

Preferred Competencies

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and track multiple simultaneous projects.
  • Ability to work productively despite competing priorities, complex problems, and tight deadlines.
  • Ability to take initiative and organize and complete projects with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential situations and information with absolute discretion.
  • Ability to use appropriate resources to resolve an issue.
  • Knowledge of visa-related processes/communications/liaisons for international recruits.
  • Knowledge of developing and maintaining laboratory safety protocols related to COVID-19 safety and other safety practices.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)
  • References (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Administration & Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward .
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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