Temporary Operations Specialist

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

86651 Research Admin

About the Unit
University Research Administration has the responsibility to review and provide institutional endorsement for all proposals to federal and other external sponsors (excluding gifts), assuring compliance with University policies and sponsor terms and conditions. URA is the institutional authority for the negotiation and acceptance of financial support or other contractually-binding obligations in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, including material transfer agreements and clinical trials.

Job Information

Job Summary:

This temporary assignment is expected to end in 6-8 months from the starting date.

The Operations Specialist is responsible for identifying and remediating deviations from established account management expectations. The successful candidate will be analytical, proactive, solution-oriented, and possess exceptional communication skills. This individual will be self-motivated and have the ability to exercise sound judgement in prioritizing tasks.

The individual in this position is also responsible for all financial and non-financial post-award activities for all sponsored projects for the University and acts as a liaison to sponsors for all departments and units assigned to the position. The individual is a member of a Team and must contribute to the team effort, as needed. This will involve assisting colleagues to ensure timely service to departments, units, and sponsors as needed and to perform back-up duties during vacation or sick leaves of other award team staff.


  • Input and/or review data in university systems, inspecting for accuracy on account establishment for correct attributes such as: sponsor, indirect cost rates, billing pay modes, grant values, reporting requirements, etc. Ensure cost share is properly established and reported.
  • Direct preparation of, monitor and approve sponsor required fiscal and management reports. Prepare and/or review billing reports and request invoices as appropriate. Complete/review and approve back-up documentation as necessary prior to submission of reports. Review and approve cost transfers. Assist billing area as needed to claim payments.
  • Prioritize work in order to complete assignments on a timely basis. This includes distributing awards through AURA, establishing accounts in the financial system and updating records as necessary. Maintain appropriate data entry into institutional database for all account creates and modifications, ensuring data quality and documentation of any institutional risk.
  • Partner with business units/departments to monitor post-award activities (grants management) for major changes to project workscope or major changes to anticipated expenditures, etc. Implement actions to proactively avoid problems with accounts.
  • Responsible for monthly and ad hoc reporting to review award and accounting discrepancies and work to resolve issues with all teams within URA.
  • Identify reporting gaps and work with the Quality Management Team to create and/or modify reports to ensure efficiency in business processes and reduce the incidence of errors.
  • Create and update standard operating procedures and job aids to be used internally within URA and externally by faculty and administrative staff at the University.
  • Gain and maintain thorough understanding of university and sponsor regulations. Develop relationships with sponsor personnel while monitoring developments/changes within sponsoring agency. Continuously seek to improve account management process. Draft outgoing subawards and sponsored consulting agreements as necessary.

  • This position requires rapid proficiency in University of Chicago systems such as AURA, FAS, Workday, ACCTS, PETS, GEMS, e-Payments and a high level of proficiency in Excel.
  • Incumbents are expected to review Sponsor guidelines and process or manage awards in compliance with university and sponsor policies, and assist with other grant and contract activity.
  • This position requires the ability to review and process information within a computerized web system throughout most of the work-day required.
  • This position requires excellent verbal and written communication, strong organizational skills.
  • This position requires the ability to organize and prioritize workload during high-pressure, high-volume workload periods Required.
  • This position requires the ability to interact by phone, email or in person with faculty and administrative staff at the University and occasionally with staff of federal government, non-federal sponsors, and other institutions and organizations.
  • Customer service is a high priority of the office and civility and professionalism are required at all times.

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience, or Certifications:

  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Bachelor's degree in a business related field or Liberal Arts field preferred.

  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.
  • A minimum three years of experience working with sponsored research administration in an academic environment preferred.
  • Experience and advanced level proficiency working in Business Objects preferred. Able to quickly comprehend current reporting practices, troubleshoot issues, develop/create complex reports, and translate data once exported
  • Relevant experience interpreting sponsored research grants and contracts, and working with budgets, ledgers, invoices and fiscal reporting preferred.
  • Knowledge of Federal Circulars applicable to universities (OMB A-21, A-110, A-133 or the Uniform Guidance) or interpretation of similar regulations is required.
  • Experience with University of Chicago systems such as AURA, FAS, ACCTS/PETS, GEMS, and Workday preferred.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:
  • Ability to work with various sponsor electronic systems required.
  • Rapid proficiency in the use of University of Chicago systems required.
  • Strong computer skills including word processing database management, and spreadsheet skills required.
  • Ability to interpret sponsor guidelines and regulations to ensure accurate response.
  • Ability to manage detail-oriented workload required.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize workload during high-pressure, high-volume workload periods required.
  • Ability to handle multiple, concurrent tasks required.
  • Ability to develop and manage interpersonal relationships.

Required Documents:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

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.

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: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

To learn more about the university click here http://www.uchicago.edu/





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Job No:
Posted: 12/22/2018
Application Due: 2/20/2019
Work Type: