Assistant Director of Research Administration

Job description

Position Type:

Permanent Staff (SHRA)

Is this an internal only recruitment?:


Position Title:

Business Officer - Advanced

Working Title:

Assistant Director of Research Administration

Position Number:


Vacancy ID:


Budgeted Hiring Range:

$80,000 - $90,000

Pay Band Information:

To learn more about the pay band for this branch and role, please see the Career Banding rates spreadsheet.

Salary Grade Equivalent:


Full-time/Part-time Permanent/Time-Limited:

Full-Time Permanent

Hours per week:


Work Schedule:

Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Department Name and Number:

Office of Sponsored Research-621100

Date First Posted:


Closing Date:


Position Location:

Chapel Hill, NC

Position Posting Category:


Department Description:

The Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) supports and advances the University’s mission by providing leadership and expertise in research administration and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

The primary functions of OSR are to facilitate and manage all aspects of sponsored research administration including, but not limited to, proposal review, award negotiation, financial stewardship, compliance, and audit support for more than 1 Billion in sponsored awards each year. OSR provides complete sponsored project life cycle support (sometimes known as pre-award and post-award services) to all University researchers and research administrators.

Positions in OSR thus serve these primary areas of responsibility: (1) program administration; (2) financial accounting and reporting, and cash management; (3) data management reporting and analysis; (4) audit and financial compliance, effort reporting, cost studies; and (5) operations support, and training and communications.
As the official institutional signatory for the Chancellor, OSR is responsible for reviewing and authorizing proposal submissions, as well as negotiating and administering awards on behalf of the University. These activities include monitoring institutional compliance for research and training activities, proposal and post-award management services, billing and financial reporting, cash management, cost analysis and compliance, verification of technical, patent and invention report submissions by Principal Investigators, award closeout, and the implementation of information technology into research administration activities.

OSR’s centralized administrative functions facilitate the development and implementation of standardized policies & procedures across the University. They also provide training opportunities to improve University-wide efficiencies and communication in an effort to increase the quality of research administration.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Position Description:

Reporting to the Director of Research Administration, this position oversees the daily operations related to pre-award and post-award compliance and program requirements. The Assistant Director ensures compliance with applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and university policies regarding sponsored research award management. The position also fosters a culture of collaboration both within the Office of Sponsored Research as well as with the campus community and external sponsors.

The Assistant Director of Research Administration must work collaboratively with other members of the leadership team to set office-wide goals and objectives, define team member roles and responsibilities across the award life cycle and assess and track workload volume and complexity. The Assistant Director will represent the University to sponsors and to University administrators, providing advice and leadership on complex risk management issues.

The Assistant Director will provide supervision, mentoring and leadership to a team that consists of approximately 4 Managers and 16 Sponsored Program Specialists. This position will be integral to building a positive team culture and keeping the team engaged with a focus on both strong campus support and compliance.

This position will remain fully remote until UNC returns to normal on-campus operations, at which time continued remote or hybrid work flexibility will be evaluated based on business needs. For more information about UNC’s COVID resources, go to

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration, or related business area; or equivalent combination of training and experience. All degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions.

Essential Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

It is necessary for the candidate to demonstrate the following:

• Ability to provide effective leadership to a team of professional staff in a multi-functional, dynamic, fast-paced, and ever-changing environment, including: training, evaluating and managing the performance of employees, establishing individual and team goals, providing constructive and timely feedback regarding job performance, and developing and monitoring professional development plans.
• Ability to manage a large workload with multiple competing priorities.
• Advanced ability to identify highly complex problems and implement appropriate solutions.
• Advanced ability to rapidly review and accurately analyze policies, procedures, regulations, statutes, and complex documents, then interpret and explain policies, procedures, regulations, statutes and their underlying principles to a variety of audiences, including faculty, department chairs and deans, managers, staff, and external sponsors.
• Advanced knowledge of research administration policies, procedures, and practices of federal and non-federal sponsors in a pre-award and/or post-award environment. (Candidates with experience in only one of these areas must demonstrate commitment to developing expertise in both pre-award and post-award once in the position.)
• Knowledge of generally accepted contracting and subcontracting principles and practices, as well as applicable Codes of Federal Regulations (including 2 CFR Part 200).
• Experience in the use, development, and implementation of management information systems.
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively in a team-oriented environment across organizational units and at all levels, including with faculty, deans, central administration, and senior institutional officials.
• Highest level of professional and personal integrity.
• Strong communication and customer service skills.
• Demonstrated strong organizational, time management, and prioritization skills.
• Ability to perform work with a high degree of accuracy, efficiency, and timeliness.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Outlook).

Preferred Qualifications:

• Contracting experience in the sponsored projects field.
• Experience within a university’s sponsored research (or equivalent) department.
• Experience with RAMSeS, electronic grants administration systems such as,, eRA commons, Fastlane, and similar Research Administration systems.
• Strongly prefer previous experience reviewing and submitting proposals utilizing electronic proposal submission processes and funding mechanisms employed by various extramural sponsors.
• Strongly prefer previous experience directing and managing the proposal review and submission process; negotiation and acceptance of award terms; and management of related post-award (non-financial) sponsored research activities.
• Advanced degree in business, public administration, finance, law, or other relevant field.

Stimulus/ARRA Funded:





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Job No:
Posted: 3/4/2021
Application Due: 3/18/2021
Work Type: Full Time