Research Grants and Contracts Specialist

Case Western Reserve University
Case Main Campus
Closing date
Oct 21, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians, Sponsored Programs, Grants & Contracts

Job Details

Job Title: Research Grants and Contracts Specialist
Location: Case Main Campus
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 8889

Working under general supervision, this position is responsible for both pre- and post-award grants management for a specified set of departments in the Case School of Engineering. The person in this position assumes overall responsibility for the sponsored projects of assigned departments, and works directly with support staff, administrators, and investigators in preparing and submitting grant applications, interacting with sponsor representatives, and in managing grant accounts from establishment to closeout. The specialist will provide compliance oversight and guidance and communicate and interpret agency policies and requirements for investigative personnel.


    Review and process all grant applications submitted by faculty in preparation for institutional signature. All proposals are processed via the University’s Sponsored Programs Application for Research Tracking and Administration (SPARTA) system. Prepare for new and renewal of proposals: gather data and responds to request for information; research and compile information required; prepare initial budget; prepare support documentation; review proposal to ensure routine specifications are met. This responsibility requires thorough knowledge of School and University policies that must be applied to grants and contracts, knowledge and understanding of sponsor requirements, and understanding of issues that need to be addressed and resolved after an award is made. Issues that must be addressed in review are adherence to sponsor-specific requirements such as specific financial and research compliance issues, and regular financial disclosure to identify conflicts of interest. Proper review requires thorough knowledge of complex and myriad applicable School and University requirements for the proper conduct of research and administration of sponsored projects and the ability to analyze the information provided and use independent judgment without close supervision to determine if there are issues that must be addressed. (12%)Provide direction and training in grant preparation, administration, and compliance to investigators and so must have sufficient knowledge and experience to provide proper guidance and judgment to determine when to confer with supervisors, other experts within the University, or agency representatives. Provide expertise and assistance to principal investigators and to departmental administrators on policy guidelines and budgetary, personnel, and expenditure control activities. Develop effective working relationships with all constituents. (12%)Review contracts for a variety of legal and policy issues, including publication, rights to data, disposition of intellectual property, financial arrangements, indemnification, etc. Thorough review requires knowledge of acceptable alternatives to contract terms and the person in this position must have strong negotiating skills for negotiating these terms within appropriate parameters with sponsored project personnel at other institutions. Must exercise judgment in determining when issues must be referred to other research administration or technology transfer personnel. (12%)Manage award accounts, noting terms and conditions of awards, and review these with principal investigators and departmental administrators. Proactively provide financial analysis and fiscal management for assigned contract and grant funds. Proper stewardship of sponsored program funds depends on understanding and communicating these terms and conditions that must be met if the University is to remain a recipient of such funding. (12%)Prepare and issue all sub-award agreements to collaborating institutions, using applicable guidelines and templates to prepare these and negotiate terms with collaborators. (8%)Monitor deadlines for progress and final reports and provide principal investigators and administrators with the necessary information to complete and submit reports. Timely submission of these reports is an important compliance issue for the University. (6%)Responsible for monitoring post award salary and non-salary expenditures. Responsible for forecasting research account expenditures. Review and approve all research expenditures. (10%)Work with sponsors to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that submissions are successful. (8%)Maintain and update proposal and award database, assuring quality of the data so that meaningful and accurate reporting can originate from this source. These data form the basis for planning and budget forecasting in research activity. (8%)Maintain and enhance up-to-date knowledge and skills applicable to sponsored program activity through additional training, conferences, and meetings of research administration professional societies or through the review of professional literature. Such continuing education is critical to effective performance as interpretations, requirements, and electronic capability of sponsors change frequently. (6%)


    Participate in the development and monitoring of policies and procedures for department operations (3%)Perform other duties as assigned. (3%)


Department: Daily contact with department chairs, faculty, and other staff to discuss and delegate work assignments. Daily contact with staff in Finance and Administration to discuss projects, coordinate activities, process and resolve questions regarding financial reports, and employee relations issues. Regular contact with Research Administration Managers in the other departments to network and exchange ideas and to coordinate preparation of proposal budgets.

University: Regular contact with staff in various central administration offices such as Research Administration, Purchasing, Controller’s Office to provide and request information.

External: Contact with outside funding agencies and organizations to discuss or deal with administrative and financial issues relating to current or potential funded projects.

Students: Daily contact with students in the department to answer questions and resolve problems relating to purchasing.


Train new staff and oversee the work of student employees.


Experience: 5 years of experience in areas related to research administration.

Education/licensing: High school education, Bachelor’s degree with coursework in business, finance, or accounting preferred.


    Experience in managing financial accounts and funds, including cost projections and budgeting, ability to perform mid-level financial analysis and customized reporting. Knowledge of OMB circulars such as A-21, A110, A-133, Federal Acquisition Regulations, and principles of cost accounting standards, including allowability, allocability, and reasonableness. Basic working knowledge of institutions of higher education’s fiscal policies/procedures. Ability to learn within the first six months external sponsor requirements. Strong organizational, problem solving, and excellent customer service skills. Effective oral and written communication skills. Good interpersonal skills to interact with diverse groups. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with overlapping deadlines and short lead times. Must be able to multi-task and quickly shift priorities. Ability to work independently as well as in a team. Proficiency working with information management systems. Demonstrated competence in the use of spreadsheet and database in financial analysis, fiscal management and financial reports. Demonstrated ability to work in Excel. Ability to meet consistent attendance. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors, and customers face to face.


Typical office environment. The employee will perform repetitive motion using computer mouse and keyboard to type.

Diversity Statement

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Reasonable Accommodations

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Equity at 216-368-3066 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.



Working at Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case Western Reserve is distinguished by its strengths in educationresearch, service and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland's University Circle, we offer nationally recognized programs in the arts and sciencesdental medicineengineeringlawmanagementmedicinenursing and social sciences.

Student enrollment exceeds 9,800 students, forty percent of whom are undergraduatesFacultyand students hail from more than 90 countries, with academic interests that reach every region of the world. Case Western Reserve, with the support of individuals, corporations and foundations, aids nearly 100 designated research centers.

As a service-oriented institution dedicated to civic leadership, Case Western Reserve seeks individually and collectively to prepare our students to improve the human condition and to direct the benefits of discovery toward a better society. This effort is not limited to the university's classrooms, laboratories, librariesresidence halls and athletic fields, but includes partnerships with many other institutions. We build these partnerships believing that our ability to improve the human condition should begin in our own community.

Case Western Reserve University remains Ohio's top-ranked school among the nation's premier national universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and is the only Ohio institution ranked in the top 50 nationally. We promote a culture of inquiry marked by rigor, creativity, curiosity, innovation, respect, sensitivity and open communication of ideas.

The university supports interdisciplinary partnerships in education and research with numerous faculty holding joint appointments in more than one Case Western Reserve school or department, as well as at neighboring institutions. These relationships launched many of the unique pairings of science, business and liberal arts into the centers and programs that enhance the undergraduate and graduate experience at the university. Our dual degree programs enrich the educational experience for those students who choose to balance the technical requirements of engineering or the sciences with a strong interest in the humanities.

With more than $375 million in research funding annually, the university attracts outstanding undergraduate and graduate students along with renowned faculty whose research has made significant contributions to the way we live and work. Case Western Reserve counts 15 Nobel laureates among our alumni and current and former faculty, including the first American scientist to ever receive the prize.

Our students' experiences in cultural institutions, clinics, social service agencies and industry are not viewed as “extra-curricular,” but create the learning experience that defines a Case Western Reserve education. The university's service programs in the Cleveland Municipal School District have impacted more than 145,000 students with more than 43 signature programs. The university has launched more than 580 community partnerships on the local, national and international levels. Annually the university sponsors Case for Community Day, an event where hundreds of Case Western Reserve employees and students lend their time and talent to targeted community development projects in the Greater Cleveland area.

Our alumni number more than 110,000 and constitute a “who's who” of every profession. Alumni represent one of the university's strongest resources, playing a vital role in campus life through their work as advisors, mentors, friends and advocates.

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