Executive Director, Research Administration

Job description

Job location: Coral Gables, FL

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2019-05-13
Req: R100032128
Current Employees:
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Where Excellence Meets Purpose

The University of Miami is among the top research universities and academic medical centers in the nation, and one of the largest private employers in South Florida.

With more than 16,000 faculty and staff, the University strives for excellence, and is driven by a powerful purpose to transform and impact the lives of its students, patients, members of the community, and people across the globe.

The University is committed to fostering a culture of belonging, where everyone feels valued and has the opportunity to add value.  Through values of Diversity, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Compassion, Creativity, and Teamwork (DIRECCT) the U community works together to create an environment driven by purpose, excellence, community, and service.

The University has been named on Forbes's Best Employers list for two consecutive years, and is the only university in Florida to receive this honor.

The University of Miami seeks a collaborative and experienced research administration professional for a senior role in the Office of Research Administration (ORA) as the Executive Director, Research Administration (Pre-Award). This is a unique opportunity to lead a team of integrated pre-award research administrators at the heart of a dynamic research University. The Executive Director will work closely as a team with two other Executive Directors (Strategic Initiatives and Post-Award) reporting to the Associate Vice President of Research Administration. The Executive Director will cultivate, integrate, and manage research applications and contracts from philanthropic, industrial, and federal sponsors and partners. Awards are in excess of $500 Million annually.

CORE JOB SUMMARY                                                                                                                                    

The Executive Director, Research Administration provides strategic and administrative oversight for the University’s research mission. Moreover, the Executive Director, Research Administration evaluates, improves, and monitors the grant and alternative funding processes to ensure all assigned departments have appropriate funding for their research projects.

CORE JOB FUNCTIONS                                                                                                          

Acts as liaison to external sources and government agencies to identify and retain funding opportunities. Recruits, trains, mentors, and develops talent and prepares performance reports. Provides leadership in annual budget development, accurate forecasting, and resource management. Recognizes and removes obstacles to organizational effectiveness. Develops department auditing procedures and processes to ensure compliance, evaluates audit findings, and devises corrective actions. Monitors external regulatory trends and implements changes by training staff appropriately. Supports writing of manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed journals by department research staff. Evaluates results of ongoing research and collaborates with staff and other departments to set clear priorities to further the University’s research goals and objectives. Ensures internal control oversight and compliance with laws and regulations, safeguarding of assets, compliance with University policies and procedures, reliability of internal and external reporting, and efficiency and effectiveness of operations. Creates an effective control environment, conducts risk assessment, implements and monitors controls.

This list of duties and responsibilities is not intended to be all-inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties or responsibilities as necessary.

CORE QUALIFICATIONS                                                                                                         


Bachelor’s degree in relevant field is required, Master’s degree in Law, Business, or Public Administration is highly preferred.

Certification and Licensing:

Successful completion of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) status or equivalent designation.


Minimum 10 years of relevant experience. Prior experience managing staff in a research administration setting. High preference of proven customer service orientation. Any appropriate combination of relevant education, experience and/or certifications may be considered.

Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes:

  • Thorough knowledge of sponsored program regulations; specific areas of expertise in proposal preparation, contracting accounting, and finance principles.
  • Demonstrated leadership, as a leader and manager, in a research administration setting.
  • Proficient with research and grant administration software as well as Microsoft Office applications.
  • Demonstrated expertise in federal web-based grants management systems and enterprise financial systems.
  • Excellent written and oral communication.
  • Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills.
  • Highly numerate with demonstrated excellence in analytic skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Works independently with minimal supervision and respects deadlines.
  • Enjoys working in a fast-paced and challenging environment and with all levels of institute staff.
  • Knowledge of business and management principles.
  • Ability to direct, manage, implement, and evaluate department operations.
  • Ability to establish department goals, and objectives that support the strategic plan.
  • Ability to effectively plan, delegate and/or supervise the work of others.
  • Ability to lead, motivate, develop, and train others.

Department Specific Functions

The Executive Director of the Office of Research Administration (ORA) reports to the Associate Vice President for Research Administration and is responsible for providing leadership, oversight and management of ORA’s mission for the Coral Gables, Rosenstiel, and Medical Campuses for Pre-award, Post-award, and the Strategic Initiatives divisions.  The Executive Director is responsible for supervision of all personnel under the pre-award unit.

Job Functions:

  • Partners with academic and departmental leadership, and grant/contract staff to facilitate transparent and accountable research administration organization in support of principal investigators and the University’s research mission.
  • Provides grants management expertise for the University regarding 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance) and the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) in relation to pre, post, and training operations.
  • Coordinates award documentation and approval processes for record keeping, reporting, and liaison activities within the University of Miami (UM) and outside awarding agencies.
  • Directs, reviews, and submits proposals; directs and coordinates the accounting of funds from Federal agencies, industry and private foundations for support of University sponsored programs.
  • Monitors for compliance with agency and UM requirements for all pre/post activities.
  • Monitors funds to ensure receipt and disbursement according to terms of sponsored awards.

  • Oversees the preparation and submission of fiscal reports to agencies, Institutional trends and financial reports to Leadership, Deans, and Departments as required.
  • Assures reimbursement of project expenditures.
  • Provides training and support to faculty and administration regarding sponsored requirements.
  • Develops strategic initiatives to increase Federal costing policy awareness within the institution and ensure compliance through development of policies and procedures and coordination of training of University personnel.
  • Maintains effective relationships with Federal representatives; facilitate communication and audit of University records and resolve noted discrepancies.
  • Provides information to sponsors and UM personnel in a prompt, accurate and cordial fashion.
  • Assesses the regulatory impact on internal business processes.
  • Accomplishes special projects in support of Finance and Treasury.
  • Seeks ways to improve and enhance service delivery.
  • Maintains the commitment to continuous evaluation and assessment of organizational effectiveness.
  • Supervises Associate Directors and ORA staff to accomplish responsibilities listed above.

The University of Miami is an Equal Opportunity Employer - Females/Minorities/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants and employees are protected from discrimination based on certain categories protected by Federal law. Click here for additional information.

Job Status:

Full time

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Job No:
Posted: 5/20/2019
Application Due: 8/18/2019
Work Type: