Financial Administrator - Office of Research Administration

General Summary of Position:

The Office of Research Administration (ORA) provides assistance to faculty and research staff in all aspects of managing external research funding. The Financial Administrator position oversees the financial administration of grants and contracts from budget setup through award closeout and ensures compliance with all Federal, State, University and sponsor policies, procedures and rules.  This position and office works closely with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation’s offices, as well as other financial and administrative units across the campus and throughout the University system to provide efficient and effective research administration support services to the UMass Lowell research community.

Essential Job Duties Include:

  • Resolves complex accounting issues including project over runs, and accelerated spending and grant expiration dates, contacting Principal Investigators (PIs) and administrative staff when problems are identified. Tracks project expenses on a regular basis providing PIs with projections, estimates and other financial data.  Provides financial administration support to  PIs,  the ORA team, and other UMass Lowell staff.
  • Approves all staff reimbursement requests, Procard purchases, procurements, Personnel Action Forms for new hires, and purchase orders related to sponsored research projects checking for availability of funds, reviewing allowability under contract terms and conditions, and screening for correct capital equipment classifications.  Communicates with PIs if alternative funding is required.
  • Manages sub-contract expenditures for sponsored projects. Serves as administrative liaison between subcontractors and UMass Lowell PIs regarding payments and errors.
  • Identifies and manages cost share reporting and documentation. Provides grant accountants with relevant cost share information for applicable projects.
  • Reviews and assists PIs with cost transfers and works with PIs and staff to proactively identify and avoid the need for cost transfers, i.e. anticipating over-runs, working to identify errors early and setting up projects promptly.
  • Provides timely close-out of all expired projects through the coordination of fiscal and administrative resources. Provides final review of projects for fiscal compliance prior to termination and close-out.
  • Meets with PIs on an as needed basis to review project status and to determine the need for additional funds to avoid potential over-runs.  Also meets with PIs to discuss any other award financial management issues that may arise requiring additional attention.

Promotes the University's commitment to customer service by:

  • Building effective partnerships with co-workers throughout the University by freely sharing appropriate information and providing assistance when needed.
  • Ensuring optimum service to all internal and external partners in response to requests for services and information.
  • Maintaining an environment that is welcoming to persons of all backgrounds, nationalities, and roles.

Minimum Qualifications (Required):

  • Bachelor's degree with three to five years of directly related experience. **However, will consider candidates with an Associates degree with 8 + years directly related experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience, with financial transactions (e.g. budgets, purchasing, accounts payable, travel, payroll and accounting)
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to multi-task and emphasis on customer service
  • Experience with Microsoft Word and Excel
  • The ability to work effectively with diverse groups

Additional Considerations:

  • Working knowledge of People-Soft Financial and HR platforms,
  • Familiarity with research applicable OMB Circulars and concepts such as, effort reporting, cost sharing, overhead rates
  • Experience with other Microsoft Office suite products

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Directly related experience with a university, nonprofit or public sector entity and at least two years in sponsored programs financial administration preferred
  • Knowledge of accounting standards (GAAP, GASB, CASB) and internal control procedures
  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Accounting or related field a plus

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Only Internal Professional (SEIU 888 Professional Union) Bargaining candidates will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting. All other candidates will be considered after that period.

Initial review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. However, the position may close when an adequate number of qualified applications are received.

Please submit a resume and cover letter.  


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