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Director, Pre-Award Research

Job Details

The Highlights: The major responsibilities of the Director of Pre-Award Research include: 1.) to promote research and academic programs across the university by a.) assisting faculty and staff to obtain external funding and b.) providing a system of proposal development and institutional oversight for the institutional  review and approval of DePaul proposal submissions; c.) provide educational and outreach on preaward processses for faculty and staff; 2.) to support DePaul's community linkages by assisting faculty, program directors of centers and institutes and staff with securing funding from private and public agencies; 3.) to foster collaborative relationships among a wide and diverse range of constituencies through inter-institutional grants/subcontracts; 4.) to foster an environment conducive to faculty engagement in externally sponsored research, service, pedagogical, and creative activities by providing effective support for and management of a campus-wide proposal volume of approximately $100 million dollars annually. 

What You'll Do:

  • The Director manages and supervises two professional pre-award staff members. The Director is directly or indirectly responsible for assisting DePaul faculty and staff with  effective solicitations, including  all aspects of proposal preparation and submission. This includes the furnishing advice, guidance and oversight to the pre-award team, faculty and staff with the goal of maximizing proposal quality,  providing strategic planning, logistical support, advice, and practical assistance with proposal development, including coordination of tasks, timelines, resources, budgets ,and partnerships with third party organizations. The Director requests indirect cost waivers and brokers DePaul  and third-party cost-sharing in submissions.  The Director also monitors the assurance of compliance of proposals with federal, agency and university guidelines, arranges and reviews PreAward contracts and agreements submitted with proposals, and serves as a university liaison with external granting agencies .  The Director manages preaward negotiations with external agencies on proposal submissions, working to optimize the position of the University in anticipation of receipt of an award; this may include budget negotiations as well as negotiation of other technical matters that may require coordination with the Project Team, including potential subawardees and vendors in advance of DePaul securing an award.  
  • The Director oversees the proposal review and submission process for DePaul faculty and staff, ensuring a detailed review of all proposals to federal and private sources is performed to identify those areas that may be inconsistent with institutional policies or objectives,  applicable sponsor requirements and regulatory guidelines, or which may invite financial, administrative or regulatory risks.  Oversees departmental database of proposal activity 
  • The Director initiates Nondisclosure Agreements, Materials Transfer Agreements, and  Data Agreements as our requested by faculty and staff, coordinating with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) as necessary. 
  • The Director, in collaboration with the Director of Award Management, is responsible for coordinating the office's activities with other university offices, including OGC, Controller's Office, Advancement Office (Corporate and Foundation Relations), Office of External Relations, Office of Community and Government Relations and other relevant areas.
  • This position is responsible for Pre-Award outreach to faculty and staff on PreAward processes and procedures.  This includes an outreach strategy to oversees a program of opportunity identification, cultivation and solicitation to market select opportunities to DePaul faculty and administrators.  Encourages proposals for suitable projects and initiatives, enhance collaborations across the campus, and nurtures strong partnerships to promote faculty development. These activities may include  staff training, as well as faculty one-to-one tutorial, targeted workshops,  formal presentations to promote knowledge of funding opportunities; agency requirements and guidelines; Federal cost principals related to Pre-Award Services;  proposal development processes and strategies; and electronic proposal management systems such as, NIH Assist, and
  • Assist the Associate Provost for Research in the development of procedures governing sponsored programs and research at DePaul University in creating a clear strategic vision for the office.
  • Directs and manages all aspects of the Pre-Award activities of the Office of Research Services (ORS). 
  • Has responsibility for supporting and managing the development of grant proposals across the university, with annual volume of over 200 proposals per year totaling approximately $100 million.                                                       


What You'll Need:

  • At least ten years of experience in grant administration in a University setting
  • Minimum educational requirements are a Master's degree; terminal degree preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with faculty of diverse disciplines, senior university staff, and officials of funding agencies
  • Familiarity with institutional grants and with community service grants
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Familiarity with federal research compliance issues, including, but not limited to, human subjects, animal care and welfare, scientific misconduct, conflict of interest, intellectual property, and others as they relate to preaward services.
  • Ability to function effectively in a dynamic, growing University
  • Ability deal with complexity, ambiguity and change
  • Flexibility and creative thinking
  • Excellent interpersonal skills 
  • Requires flexibility in work schedule to accommodate proposal deadlines. 
  • Provide leadership and oversight for the proposal development process across the university
  • Supervise ORS Pre-Award staff members in providing support for faculty and staff in securing extramural funding for research, academic and service programs.
  • Develop mechanisms that support and encourage research collaboration among faculty, departments, colleges and/or centers and institutes.
  • Work with the internal grants office to extend and provide linkages to faculty and professional staff for future external funding.
  • This position will have direct responsibility for supporting proposals designed to meet the university's strategic initiatives, including the encouragement of cross-departmental efforts to identify and develop institutional grant proposals, coordinate with grant proposal teams as necessary on institutional grant proposals and budgets.  


  • Working for a stable and well-known University that values diversity and inclusion.
  • Top choice medical, dental, and vision benefits.
  • Retirement plan matching contribution of 10%.
  • Tuition waivers for employees and dependents.
  • Generous paid time off, sick time, holidays, floating holidays, and more!
  • Full-Time Benefits
For consideration, please include a resume and cover letter.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement:
Guided by an ethic of Vincentian personalism and professionalism, DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community. We seek to hire collaborative, open-minded, and dedicated professionals who are committed to advancing our university mission to making education accessible to all, with special attention to including underserved and underrepresented communities. Successful candidates thrive in an environment where ideas and perspectives representing a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds and experiences are welcome and supported.

Required Background Check:

Employment at DePaul University is contingent on passing a background check. Only final candidates who are extended an offer of employment will undergo a background check.

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect:

Upon accepting an offer of employment with the university, you will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status at the time of hire. A mandated reporter is required to make a report to the Illinois DCFS Hotline whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected. For more information, please visit the following pages:

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)  
Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act  

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local EEO laws.


Working at DePaul University

Enrolling more than 23,000 students, DePaul is the ninth-largest private and largest Catholic university in the country. It offers over 200 graduate and undergraduate degree programs through nine colleges and schools. Nearly one third of DePaul’s students are of color—the most diverse of any private university in Illinois—and about 30 percent of each year’s freshmen class intend to be the first in their families to earn a college degree. DePaul’s success extends beyond recruitment—it is among the nation’s top 100 universities in awarding degrees to students of color.

Educating Chicago’s business leaders, lawyers, judges, teachers, artists and public servants for more than a century, DePaul enjoys an excellent academic reputation. It has earned impressive rankings from U.S. News & World Report for its business and law programs as well as distinctions for diversity and community service. A host of higher education guides have recognized DePaul for everything from its economic value and happy students to its hot and trendy campus and great town-gown relations.

DePaul prides itself on the strength of its academic programs, especially the programs in entrepreneurship, real estate, and the part-time MBA; computer science, network assurance and digital media; psychology and philosophy; music and theater; health and intellectual property law; and adult learning initiatives. Despite its size, the university is committed to providing students with personal attention; the student/faculty ratio is just 16:1. Professors who teach graduate students also teach undergraduates in small-group settings.

DePaul’s goal, expressed in the VISION twenty12 strategic plan, is to become one of the finest urban, Catholic universities in the United States. It is focused on creating nationally recognized, rigorous programs of study; preparing women and men to be at the forefront of their chosen fields as ethical and socially engaged leaders; and further strengthening its financial and operational foundations.

DePaul was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (or Vincentian) religious community, which follows the teachings of 17th century French priest St. Vincent de Paul. Established to provide a high quality education to immigrants and others who were denied access to college, DePaul continues to embrace this mission today, recruiting and graduating significant numbers of students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.


Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul has two primary campuses and four suburban locations. The Loop Campus is in the heart of the downtown business and cultural district and is home to four of DePaul’s colleges, a theater, a residence hall and most administrative functions. It is separated by a 20-minute trip on Chicago’s “el” train from the Lincoln Park Campus, close to Lake Michigan and Wrigley Field. Considered one of the nation’s most beautiful urban campuses, Lincoln Park is home to five colleges, the main library, numerous residence halls, a student center and the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, open to employees and students.

Both campuses are located in thriving business and residential districts that are well served by public transportation, providing a full array of housing choices for employees. Chicago boasts six professional sports teams and some of the best theater, music and art venues in the nation. As an international business hub and conference center, Chicago enables employees to build strong professional networks and remain on the leading edge of their fields.

More Information on DePaul University
• About the Area


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