Assistant Director for Post Award

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Lawrence, KANSAS


Office of Research

Position Overview

Assistant Director for Post Award, Office of Research, University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a major research university with global reach. We are looking for a research administration professional to assist with management of a large and diverse research portfolio of externally sponsored awards of approximately $250 million. The Office of Research works with the University community – including principal investigators (PIs), department/ Shared Service Center (SSC)/Research Center staff, administrative officials and fiscal representatives within the University to provide services in post award grant and contract administration. The Assistant Director is expected to recognize the value of diversity and helps create an environment that supports and embraces diversity.

The position reports to the Post Award Associate Director of Research Administration. The Assistant Director will supervise, mentor, and train the Post Award Services Grant Management Team who perform critical post award tasks across the lifespan of an externally sponsored award initiation through close out.

Core responsibilities of the Assistant Director include day-to-day management of post award grant management staff including staff assignments and direct/indirect supervision of grant management team – including Senior Grant Coordinators, Grant Coordinators, and Grant Specialists. The Assistant Director will be a resource for grant management team for all post award actions – including compliance, accounting, reporting, invoicing, and closeout.

The Assistant Director will evaluate and mentor post award personnel and assist with the development and implementation of training as needed to ensure post award activities are completed consistently, timely, and accurately across grant management staff. The Assistant Director will work closely with the Associate Director and other Post Award Grant Officers to draft, revise or update written standard operating procedures for post award functions. This position will provide metrics and other reports on post award management activity, as necessary, to the Associate Director and Director for Research Administration. The Assistant Director will manage, lead, and complete special reports as required by Associate Director or Director.

Job Description

50% - Post Award Management
Provide day-today management, oversight and assistance to Post Award management staff to ensure excellent service to sponsored project stakeholders, including timely resolution of issues related to post award administration of sponsored awards. Act as a resource to assist staff in maintaining high responsiveness and stellar customer service in the face of unyielding deadlines and inflexible external schedules.  Work with post award staff to provide timely information and assistance to shared service center (SSC) and/or research center staff as well as award PIs and personnel.  As part of issue escalation, communicate with investigators/sponsors to resolve complex grant administration problems/issues and work with principal investigators, central administration, and center contacts to resolve matters and identify best practices.  Provide guidance and escalation path for award management staff for sponsor interactions, including seeking regulatory clarifications, preparing required reporting (financial, equipment, other), and requesting award actions (no cost extensions, renewals, carryforwards, budget adjustments and other award requests).  Act as a resource for Grant Specialists, Grant Coordinators, and Senior Grant Coordinators on all post award transactions, including budget adjustments, payroll and non-payroll cost transfers, journal entries, questions related to award setup or award actions in the financial system, and closeout. Assist with post award sub-recipient monitoring, as necessary. Act as a resource during sponsor and single audits, in conjunction with Post Award management team, Director of Research Administration, and Fiscal Affairs. Assist staff with questions on file maintenance and retention.  

20% - Supervision and Leadership
Directly supervise Senior Grant Coordinators and Grant Officers performing award management tasks in Post Award. Provide guidance and escalation path for Grant Specialists and Grant Coordinators, in their award management tasks.  Act as a part of Post Award Leadership team and assist Associate Director with unit management, staff evaluations, and personnel questions, and overall unit leadership, including organization of staff meetings and staff resources.  

20% - Training, Processes, and Metrics
Assist in developing and delivering training for post award, university departmental, SSC, and research center staff  on sponsored award management per KUCR and KU policies and procedures and federal/state/sponsor regulations and guidelines. Lead internal award management training team and coordinate Post Award involvement in training presentations such as RA101, TRT, and other professional development venues as needed. Assist in the development and implementation of policies and procedures to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with federal, State of Kansas, and sponsor and corporate regulations.  Develop and maintain knowledge of financial system, and act as a Post Award liaison with Financial Management System team, to assist with patch testing, required system process development, and troubleshooting/ issue resolution. Develop and monitor unit performance metrics.

10% - Additional Duties as Assigned
Assist Associate Director and Director of Research Administration with additional post award-related tasks as necessary including assisting with audit/data requests, compliance monitoring, and special projects as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3 years of related experience
  • 3 years of demonstrated experience applying and interpreting federal rules and regulations, general cost accounting standards and administrative rules as applies to sponsored program administration.
  • 2 years of demonstrated experience in a higher education setting, showing ability to work effectively with students, staff, and principal investigators/faculty, sponsors and other stakeholders.
  • 2 years of demonstrated experience in project management and organizational skills.
  • 1 year of demonstrated, direct usage of Oracle in the Cloud Financials, PeopleSoft, Banner or other enterprise financial, accounting, and/or payroll systems for sponsored project administration.
  • Supervisor experience as demonstrated by application materials.

  • Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree or other research administration certification with 5 years related experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance.
  • Advance skills with excel or other analytical systems.
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience or demonstrated success with leading a team of more than 3 for a minimum of two years.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with 1 or more years of employee evaluation, training, hiring and orientation of new employees.
  • 1 or more years of demonstrated experience in a central sponsored programs office within a higher education institution.
  • 1 or more years of demonstrated experience in process development and implementation, training development and delivery, and/or metrics development and monitoring.
  • 1 or more years of demonstrated experience in a team based diverse and professional setting
  • 2 years of demonstrated excellent communication skills.

  • Contact Information to Applicants

    Anita Abel

    Additional Candidate Instruction

    In addition to the online application, the following documents are required to be considered for this position:

    1. A cover letter addressing how required and preferred qualifications are met.
    2. Resume or curriculum vitae.
    3. Contact information for three professional references.

    Incomplete applications will not be considered. Application review begins Monday, May 18th, 2020 and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants is identified. 

    Advertised Salary Range


    Application Review Begins


    Anticipated Start Date


    Work Location

    University of Kansas - Lawrence

    FLSA Status


    Employee Class

    U-Unclassified Professional Staff

    Work Schedule

    40 hour per week, Monday- Friday, 8am- 5pm

    Job Family


    Conditions of Employment

    Contingent on Funding


    The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information and retaliation in the University's programs and activities. Access to information regarding equal opportunity and diversity worksite posters is available at or you may contact 785-864-4946 or for alternate access options. Any inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies should be directed to: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, , 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.

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