Associate Director of Finance

Updated: 2 months ago


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Position Description

Reporting jointly to the Director of Administration for the Department of Environmental Health, the Director of Finance in the Office of Financial Services and the Chief Research Administration Officer in the Research Administration Office, the Associate Director of Finance (ADF) is a key leadership position in the Department and is responsible for financial and grants management.  They will oversee a team of financial staff including grant managers and accounts payable personnel.

The Associate Director of Finance is an integral part of the research enterprise and works in close partnership with faculty members to advise them on the financial management of their funds and will have oversight over the Department's sponsored research portfolio as well as their non sponsored funds.  

The responsibilities of the ADF include, but are not limited to, the following:

Team Management:

  • Supervising and training research and financial administrators; providing daily guidance
  • Allocating workloads to maximize research administrator effectiveness
  • Assessing performance and conducting reviews for staff
  • Serving as a resource for Grants Managers by assisting them in interpreting Harvard, School and sponsor policies, regulations, and procedures
  • Having overall responsibility for the management of non-sponsored funding, including gifts and endowments

Oversight of Department’s Sponsored Research:
  • Overseeing pre- and post-award management for a large portfolio of sponsored research grants and subcontracts, a large portion of which is from the NIH
  • Providing guidance to the faculty, ensuring they have the information they need to effectively and compliantly manage their funding and effort
  • Developing and implementing departmental policies and processes
  • Ensuring research administration compliance with sponsor guidelines and Harvard policies
  • Ensuring departmental financial transactions are compliant with Harvard and sponsor policies and regulations; approves and transmits most departmental transactions

Strategic and Financial Leadership:
  • Oversight and management of the departments non-sponsored accounts. These include but are not limited to endowments, gifts, start-up funding, and cost recovery centers
  • Collaborates with departments academic staff regarding student finances and financial planning
  • Preparing annual Department budget, working closely with the Department Administrator and senior leadership
  • Working closely with senior management, including the Director of Administration, Department Chair, and Directors of educational programs and student services, in developing and implementing strategic financial plans
  • Participating in School-wide and University-wide initiatives and meetings 
  • Performs other duties as assigned

PLEASE NOTE: This position has leadership responsibility for a team of 14 (with ~3 direct reports).

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Minimum of 7 years’ relevant work experience
  • Advanced knowledge of sponsored research regulations
  • Supervisory experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • MBA or Masters’ degree in relevant field
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, advanced Excel skills
  • Knowledge of advanced financial principles, budget management, financial analysis
  • MBA or Masters’ degree in relevant field
  • Strong computing skills, particularly with Microsoft Excel and Word
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, advanced Excel skills
  • Knowledge of advanced financial principles, budget management, financial analysis
  • Expert knowledge of federal sponsored research policies and regulations
  • Experience with Harvard financial systems (e.g. OBI, GMAS, CREW)
  • Education and/or experience with general finance and accounting concepts and practices
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Experience working with faculty and students
  • Effectively assesses priorities, manages change, and effectively juggles multiple complex activities in a time-sensitive environment 

The following cultural competencies are also preferred:

  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity
  •  Experience fostering and reinforcing an environment that values unique experiences, cultures, backgrounds, and goals

Working Conditions

  • Work is performed in an office setting

Additional Information

Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!


  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship, now or in the future, for staff positions.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 90 day orientation and review period.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Work Format Details

This position is eligible for 100% remote work. Employees may work from any of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

About Us

The mission of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is to advance the public's health through learning, discovery and communication. To pursue the mission, the school produces knowledge through research then translates this knowledge into evidence that can be communicated to the public, policymakers, and practitioners to advance the health of populations.

The Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) supports the School's mission by serving as a central resource for the research community through the provision of expertise and leadership in obtaining and managing research funds. It acts as the institutional representative of the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the administration of sponsored projects for the school. SPA is comprised of research administrators that work in partnership with faculty to review and submit proposals for funding and to ensure that proposals and then awards conform and are managed according to sponsor guidelines and University policies. 

The Associate Director of Finance will support innovative research at the world's leading public health research institution, primarily in the Department of Environmental Health.  This department strives to advance the field of environmental health through hands on learing and training and translates evidence based on research.  It has a vibrant and rich history of guiding public discourse, and national and international leaders, on the most pressing environmental health challenges in the twenty first century.  Members of the department create and advance knowledge related to harmful exposures and translate these discoveries into actions that ultimately improve people's health. The Department studies the frequency, distribution, and determinants of disease in humans, a fundamental science of public health. In addition to pursuing groundbreaking global research initiatives, they educate and prepare future medical leaders and practitioners as part of their mission to ignite positive changes in the quality of health across the world. The Department has a long tradition of teaching and research in the epidemiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases, as well as in epidemiologic methodology.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

F1358M Research Admin Mgt IV PrPs


Sponsored Programs Administration - Environmental Health


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we believe that diversity is integral to the Harvard experience and our mission of improving public health education, research and policy. Diversity of cultural backgrounds, identities, lived experiences, perspectives, and ways of understanding the world enriches our community and enables us to best meet the public health needs of the United States and the world. Ongoing learning and development related to diversity allows for both individual and institutional growth, and is necessary to foster and sustain a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to opportunities for learning, living, and working at the Harvard Chan School. We maintain an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusion, and belonging as core to our institutional values and to actively counter, minimize, and address racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination.

Learn more about the School’s mission, objectives, and core values , our Principles of Citizenship , and our diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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