Director, Office of Research and Project Administration

Job description

Requisition # 2018-8465
Department Research and Project Admin
Category Grants and Contracts
Full-Time / Part-Time Full-Time
Application Deadline


Princeton University seeks nominations and applications for the position of Director of the Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA).

ORPA provides support and guidance to researchers and departmental administrators on sponsored research and project administration. Its experienced staff of 18 grant and contract administrators, sub-award administrators, grant specialists, electronic research administrators, and export control administrator has broad knowledge of both University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures, to ensure that proposals submitted are of the highest quality and compliant with sponsor and University guidelines.

In fiscal year 2017, research expenditures for Princeton's vibrant research enterprise totaled $215.2M. There were 1,433 sponsored research projects, with 82% of the funding coming from government sources, 11% from foundations, 5% from industry, and 2% from other sources.


Reporting to the Dean for Research, the Director:

  • is responsible for ensuring a flourishing customer service culture across all aspects of ORPA's operation;
  • ensures that the infrastructure and business processes related to sponsored research support a culture of excellence, innovation, and responsible conduct of research, while keeping a keen interest in efficiencies and administrative burden reduction;
  • ensures grant and contract-related compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations;
  • provides leadership, technical knowledge and proven expertise on all aspects of the research enterprise;
  • provides leadership of the grants-related central system offerings and proactively solicits and responds to user feedback in the selection and operation of system offerings;
  • exhibits superior ability to lead, motivate and organize the ORPA staff in the pursuit of its mission to support Princeton's world-class research enterprise;
  • provides leadership to the shared departmental grant manager program, pre-award duties and requirements, export control compliance, and works with sponsored research accounting and audit functions.


Essential Qualifications

Princeton is seeking a successful leader with a demonstrated record of success in serving faculty and leading operations in a complex higher education, research institute, or funding agency environment.

The Director will have strong management and leadership skills and the proven ability to work collaboratively with faculty, administrators, private, and public sponsoring agencies.

The Director will have superior ability to organize and motivate staff to achieve ORPA's goals and support the broader mission of research at Princeton.

The Director will have superb interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, as well as a strong record of successful leadership in research administration operations.

The Director will have a high level of competency with systems applications.

An advanced degree and a significant number of years of increasing administrative responsibility are preferred for this very important and visible opportunity.

The Director will possess superior knowledge on all aspects of administration and compliance regarding federal regulations, contract and grant negotiation and acceptance, oversight and support of the Grants Management system, and development and implementation of business processes to enable and support world-class and fully compliant research.

The Director will provide leadership and sound management of the Office's budget.

The Director will possess demonstrated leadership skills in building interdisciplinary teams.

The Director will possess a demonstrated commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce and work environment.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree and at least 10-15 years of relevant, sponsored program administration experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. Higher education experience preferred.

Evidence of leadership in areas including all aspects of pre-award, export control compliance, and post-award financial reporting activities.

Knowledge of, and experience and familiarity with, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations and grant funding policies and procedures; knowledge of federal forms and processing systems.

Ability to represent the University effectively within national research organizations (e.g., COGR.)

Knowledge of proposal funding policies and procedures and applicable local, state, federal and University regulations.

Ability to develop financial plans and manage resources.

Ability to develop, plan, and implement short- and long-range goals.

Knowledge of the goals, objectives, structure and operations of major tertiary institutions. Strong strategic planning skills.

Knowledge of organizational development theory and practices.

Ability to conceive, develop and deliver presentations and training sessions.

Ability to plan, initiate, direct and manage major projects of critical interest to the University.

Ability to lead and mentor technical and professional staff in the performance of research administration.

Princeton University has engaged Opus Partners ( to support the Director of the Office of Research and Project Administration search. Please contact Katie Dean, Associate Partner, ([email protected]) to apply or to learn more.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Salary Grade

ADM, 100

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver's License Required


Connect With Us! Join our Talent Network to receive updates about working at Princeton.

Princeton University requires all candidates to complete a background check successfully prior to the start of employment. The type and extent of background checks may vary depending on job requirements and/or functions.

If you have questions or comments regarding the iCIMS Privacy Policy or iCIMS FAQs, please contact [email protected].

Go to our careers site.





Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 2/10/2018
Application Due: 4/11/2018
Work Type: