Assistant Director, Grants and Contracts Administrator

Job description

Requisition # 2018-9625
Department Research and Project Admin
Category Financial Services and Procurement
Full-Time / Part-Time Full-Time
Application Deadline


Position Summary

The Assistant Director of Grants and Contracts oversees a team of grants and contracts administrators and sponsored programs coordinators in ORPA overseeing pre-award and post-award research administration. This includes planning, assigning, reviewing and providing feedback on work consistent with best practices nationally and among peers. Also ensures quality standards and goals are met by utilizing operational metrics of key performance indicators. Where key performance indicators are not established and/or operational metrics are not available, the Assistant Director will lead development of them, and maintain them over time. Coaches and develops staff and reviews performance. Administers corrective action where necessary. Makes recommendations to Director related to hiring, termination, training, and promotion.

The Assistant Director of Grants and Contracts additionally provides a high level of 'cradle to grave' sponsored programs and research administration support for select organizational/academic units within the Princeton research enterprise, including support for complex programs and agreements within those units; review and submit proposals, and negotiate funded and nonfunded research-related agreements, including grants and contracts; coordinate and provide liaison with sponsor and/or collaborators using a command of federal regulations such as the Uniform Guidance, Federal Acquisition Regulation as well as major agency policies and guidelines; skillfully advise on the administration of nonfederal (i.e., industry, foundation, state and international) sponsored programs.


The Assistant Director is responsible for:

  • Review, approval, and submission of sponsored research proposals to sponsors;

  • Negotiation and acceptance of agreements and awards on behalf of Princeton University and the Trustees, including appropriate exercise and stewardship of institutional signatory authority;

  • Management and closeout of agreements and awards under University and sponsor policies;

  • Collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders (including faculty and senior administration) to establish streamlined business processes that additionally meet compliance objectives, considering best practices nationally and among peers;
  • Represent ORPA at meetings internal and external to the University concerning research administration topics;

  • Assume responsibility for the delivery of formal training to University staff in research administration, including University and sponsor policies and procedures;

  • Serve as a resource to the Princeton research community and interface with other central administrative offices on administrative matters related to sponsored programs, including Sponsored Research Accounting (SRA);

  • Act as ORPA representative for various Princeton committees as assigned;

The Assistant Director of Grants and Contracts assists the Director and the University Research Board in the formulation and implementation of University policies governing sponsored projects activities. S/he will additionally work closely with the leadership of other Dean for Research offices, including the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL), Research Integrity and Assurance (RIA), and Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations (CEFR) in an effort to create seamless and transparent processes and systems for working with faculty and department administrators at all stages of research management.


Essential Qualifications

The ideal candidate will be a flexible, creative, and knowledgeable leader with a proven record of success in research administration at a research university or within a government agency. S/he will have an interest in and commitment to furthering the world- renowned research mission of the University.

The Assistant Director of Grants and Contracts will possess the following abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • Proven experience in establishing and managing grants and contracts procedures and systems across the “lifecycle” of sponsored programs in a higher education research environment or at a funding agency;

  • Demonstrated technical knowledge of key research administration topics and government requirements, including intellectual property, publication and budgeting/costing principles;

  • Experience with enterprise and sponsor research administration systems, including and, and an interest in advancing the operations of the office through the use of systems and technology;

  • Proven ability to work effectively in building relationships with faculty, staff, and external partners;

  • Strong oral, public speaking and written communications skills, including proven negotiation skills;

  • An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing and cultivating funding sources in collaboration with researchers and administrators;

  • A collegial, problem-solving style based on personal integrity, professional confidence, and excellent relationship management skills;

  • A deep appreciation of and respect for academic values and culture and an understanding of the critical role research plays in sustaining and broadening the intellectual rigor of an elite research university;

  • Empathy for researchers and the research mission;

  • A track record of successfully managing and mentoring staff;

  • A participatory management style that models the values of client service, initiative, and collaboration.

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, 080

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver's License Required


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Job No:
Posted: 2/12/2019
Application Due: 4/13/2019
Work Type: