Research Development & Support Specialist

Job description

Job no: 507669
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Pub Health & Health Sci
Union: PSU
Categories: Grants and Research, Professional Staff Union (PSU)

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

This position is designed to strengthen and enhance research in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) and to identify opportunities for expanding funding for ongoing research focuses. Performs diversified and complex administrative, financial and pre-award and post-award functions to include development of research initiatives tailored to faculty interest and expertise in the SPHHS, managing and troubleshooting the award process including sub-contract establishment, and developing and implementing processes to manage post-awards and facilitate effective grants' administration. This position will work closely with the SPHHS Research Office Grants' Manager to complement support provided to faculty.

Essential Functions

  • Grant Development & Pre-Award Administration:
  • Assess needs and creatively develop initiatives based on SPHHS faculty research experience that will enhance research funding and productivity in the SPHHS and its departments;
  • Work with individual faculty to understand research interest and expertise, assist faculty in finding possible funding opportunities; plan and execute effective searches for funding sources (inclusive of federal and state grant, contract, foundation and industry support);
  • With a targeted funding source under submission, provide assistance in the management of all pre-award administration, to include, but not limited to, advising faculty and Principal Investigator (PI) of sponsor guidelines, participation in assembling the grant application, budget preparation/justifications, facilities descriptions, subcontracts and other content-oriented forms such as C.V.s and other administrative requirements for the submission of all grants and contracts;
  • Review proposals and provide suggestions for writing and communication improvements. Coordinate pre-award submission activity for the department.
  • Grant Monitoring:
  • Develop and implement a manageable system to monitor provide Principal Investigator's (PI's) budget updates;
  • Develop and enhance implementation tools for faculty buyouts in coordination with the SPHHS Business Office, Grants' Manager, and Division Directors/Department Head;
  • Troubleshoot problems in sub-contracts, payments and PO processing;
  • Develop fiscal management systems for faculty to expedite paperwork and reduce investigator burden;
  • Monitor operating expenses, prepare monthly variance-to-budget reports, and advise on reconciliation actions
  • Post Award Responsibilities
  • Work with faculty, principal investigators and staff to resolve problems and to optimize the use of funds as required; finalize all expenditure activity of expired grants;
  • Assist and participate with Grant Accounting in award termination process to close out accounts.
  • Other Functions

    • Has Budget responsibilities and develops budget to include forecasting.
    • Monitors and reports variances/problems and recommends solutions.

    Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)


    • Associate’s degree preferably in Business Administration or closely related field AND at least 6 years of experience in research project management, grant development, budgeting and administration, preferably in an academic environment.
    • Bachelor’s degree preferably in Business Administration, Finance, or Accounting or closely related field AND at least 4 years of experience in research project management, grand development, budgeting and administration, preferably in an academic environment.

    Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

    • Knowledge of grants writing and project coordination
    • Experience with budget construction and monitoring, ability to analyze and interpret financial information
    • Ability to plan, organize and lead administrative activities related to grant development and administration
    • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills needed to present and communicate effectively with all levels of management
    • Self-directed, organized, and goal-oriented
    • Ability to recognize administrative problems and implement effective solutions
    • Experience with quantitative data collection and reporting
    • Self-directed, organized, and goal-oriented
    • Ability to recognize administrative problems and Implement effective solutions

    Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

    • Experience with quantitative data collection and reporting

    Physical Demands/Working Conditions

    Typical office environment activity

    Work Schedule

    M-F 37.5 hours per week

    Salary Information

    Level 26, non-exempt

    PSU Salary Ranges

    Special Instructions to Applicants

    To apply for this position, please submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of 3 professional references.

    Priority date to ensure consideration is April 12th, 2021. All applications received by this time will receive full consideration, but position will remain open until the position is filled.

    UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

    Advertised: Mar 30 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close:




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    Job No:
    Posted: 4/1/2021
    Application Due: 6/30/2021
    Work Type: Full Time