Research Administrator I

Main Campus (Gainesville, FL)
Jun 05, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job no: 516933
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Main Campus (Gainesville, FL)
Categories: Research/Scientific/Grants, Veteran's Preference Eligible
Department:19010800 - EG-FISCAL / PERSONNEL

Classification Title:

Research Administrator I

Job Description:

Proposal Development & Coordination:

It is important to understand that often Pre-award activities arise with short notification and must be executed within a very small timeframe. In addition, it must be understood that this position frequently manages multiple proposal submissions at the same time as proposal deadlines are generally arranged by external sponsors with competing submission deadlines.

Proposal development & coordination includes but is not limited to:

Reviewing requests for application (RFAs)
Responsible for reviewing the request for application (RFA) for funding opportunities selected by the faculty for possible submission. After review of the RFA, this position works with the faculty member and their proposed research team to develop an accurate budget that is compliant with federal, state, sponsor, university, college, and departmental policies and is also responsible for identifying and ensuring all requirements of the sponsor’s RFA are met. This may require coordination with the AD, HWCOE Associate Dean for Research (ADR), Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP), and/or other offices/departments within UF as well as external partners. Common items that require coordination and approval with UF include cost share, reduction of indirect cost rates, and/or additional space requirements.

Responsible for accurate preparation of proposal budgets and budget justifications are paramount in the role of a Research Administrator (RA) during the proposal process. Routinely, the employee must evaluate each aspect of the research proposal budget to ensure that it meets state, agency, university, college and departmental polices, sponsor guidelines and regulations and Cost Accounting Standards. This includes: 1) verification of salary levels, current and projected, and computation based on level of effort proposed, 2) accurate computation and inclusion of the fringe benefits, 3) determination of applicability of budgeted items under the specific program, and 4) application of appropriate indirect cost rates. The employee must also ensure that special requirements such as: cost sharing, additional space, reduction in indirect cost rate, multiple department/college involvement, and subcontracting are properly documented. The employee must contact the Principal Investigator, and as needed DSP, to discuss any problems and make necessary corrections. The employee also assures compliance with Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering specific policies and procedures, and aids faculty and staff in keeping cost sharing on grant proposals to a minimum.

Sponsor Requirements
Responsible for the departmental review of research proposals to ensure compliance with Sponsor requirements prior to submission to DSP. The employee must be meticulous in following each specific submission’s guidelines to determine what to include in the proposal, provides guidance to the faculty and assists with completion of various sponsor assurances and forms required ( i.e., Certification Regarding Debarment and Suspension, Certification Regarding Lobbying, Certification Regarding Drug – Free Work Place, Civil Rights, Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), Contract Pricing Proposal (SF 1411).

Prior to uploading documents into UFIRST or a sponsor’s submission portal, the employee is expected to ensure formatting of all documents is consistent with the Sponsor’s guidelines. Formatting requirements may include, but are not limited to, font type, font size, page margins, and page length requirements.
Employee is responsible for coordinating and communicating with external partners such as vendors or subrecipients to collect necessary documentation at the proposal development stage. Employee is also responsible for verifying these partners’ budgets meet each sponsor’s specific requirements.

Proposal Submission
Responsible for entry, approval routing, and submission to DSP for review/submission to the Sponsor through UFIRST. The employee will establish and entry the proposal in UFIRST including providing necessary demographic information for research personnel, sponsor information, budget entry, and other required information, uploading multiple documents in UFIRST and/or other sponsor-specified portals. These documents may include a cover letter, project summary, project narrative, budget justification, research strategy, specific aims, equipment and facilities support narrative, and financial conflict of interest. The employee may be required to submit proposals through a Sponsor’s submission portal such as Fastlane / NSPIRES / eXCHANGE, once approved by DSP.

Post-Proposal Submission
After the University has submitted the proposal to the potential Sponsor, the employee will routinely interact with the faculty, the Sponsor and DSP to ensure that problems concerning the proposal or an award are addressed in a timely manner. This includes, but is not limited to, Sponsor requested budget revisions, justifications and verifications, completion of additional mandated forms, and cost sharing explanations. The employee notifies/stays in contact with DSP on all aspects of post-proposal inquiries and requirements.
The employee will be responsible for the monitoring of agreements, and any modifications to those agreements as needed, including reviewing terms and conditions and closely communicating with the PI, DSP, and sponsor as needed until the agreement is fully executed.
Research Compliance

Responsible for developing an understanding of the OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200), Sponsor guidelines (such as NIH Policy Statement and NSF PAPPG), and State and University policy to effectively manage sponsored awards. In addition, the employee must become familiar with a variety of other aspects of sponsored research administration including: cost accounting standards (CAS), Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human subjects in research, IACUC for animal subjects in research, financial conflict of interest (FCOI), export control, and other specific UF policies.

Post-Award Management and Reporting
The employee will work closely with Associate Director and assigned subset (portfolio) of faculty/PIs to provide comprehensive award management and daily monitoring of post award activities, including but not limited to: payroll distributions/effort, budget transfers, incremental funding releases, budget modifications and adjustments, advance funding requests, supplemental funding requests, subaward monitoring, no cost extensions, cost sharing, cost transfers, non-financial report submissions, etc.

This position will assist AD with proactive and concurrent post-award management. This requires routine, careful, and detailed fiscal analysis in order to forecast each award’s financial trajectory for their portfolio. The incumbent should review their financial analysis and projections with their PIs on a consistent (a minimum of bimonthly) basis to ensure accuracy and budget adherence.

Additional duties include:
-Reviewing award documents for post award requirements and assisting with the interpretation of policies, procedures, rules and regulations based on research and knowledge of sponsor terms and conditions, University policies and procedures, and federal and state rules and regulations.
-Ensuring timely follow through on all changes or additions made to new or existing projects. This includes ensuring expenditures (salary and non-salary) are made according to the budget awarded by the sponsor and all applicable rules.
-Working closely with the Associate Director, Research Administrators, PIs and departmental staff to ensure proper allocation of expenditures to sponsored research projects.
-Monitoring encumbrance balances on a monthly basis and ensuring that the balance reflects current purchase obligations for the award and that purchase orders are closed out on a timely basis.
-Assisting the PI in their subrecipient monitoring responsibilities, including reviewing subrecipient invoices to ensure invoices are within the parameters of the subaward budget and questioning expenditures if necessary, ensuring subrecipient invoices are approved by the PI and returned to C&G in a timely manner, and requesting clarification from the subrecipient regarding any unusual or excessive charges invoiced by the subrecipient.
-Assisting with reconciliation of projects on a monthly basis through the use of reports and queries from the University financial system and internal records to ensure the timely identification and correction of errors.
-Working closely with PIs and AD to ensure the accuracy of the final expenditure figures and proper closeout of awards.
-Facilitating close-out procedures, including making certain all expenditures are appropriate, open encumbrances are closed, the award does not have a negative balance (will investigate and rectify if so), expected effort commitments have been met, and all cost sharing requirements have been satisfied.
-Following up with PIs and facilitating the timely submission of final technical, patent and property reports.

Payroll/Effort Management
The employee will be responsible for managing payroll distributions and effort for the assigned PIs. This includes providing payroll distribution/LOA information to the HR office for entry in myUFL, providing college with PDRRs for payroll distributions shared by more than one department, reconciling payroll on a timely basis to ensure payroll charges are consistent with information provided, preparing payroll cost transfers as necessary.

Effort duties include working with AD to ensure project effort commitments on Faculty Assignment Reports (FARs) are accurate, monitoring effort commitments and coordinating changes with Cost Analysis, understanding current federal and university Effort Reporting policies , reviewing and distributing effort reports in myUFL per faculty input, notifying PI or key personnel specifically named in the notice of award if effort is reduced by 25 percent or more from the level that was approved at the time of award and facilitating requests to sponsor to reduce effort level, ensuring the reports are completed in a timely manner and certified by the appropriate individual, identifying and troubleshooting effort report issues, and ensuring committed cost sharing is captured on the effort report.

Research Compliance
The employee must develop an understanding of the OMB Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200) to effectively manage sponsored awards.

In addition, familiarity with a variety of other aspects of sponsored research administration will be required, including: cost accounting standards (CAS), Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human subjects in research, IACUC for animal subjects in research, financial conflict of interest (FCOI), export control, and other specific UF policies. The employee will ensure a proper understanding of the award parameters and any special requirements of the award that need to be brought to the faculty member’s attention due to programmatic and/or compliance restraints.

In the event of a sponsored award(s) review or audit, this position would assist the AD and/or a higher-ranking Research Administrator within CISE in response to requested documentation. For this reason, it is imperative that the incumbent maintain sufficient documentation for all expenses of sponsored awards under their management. Documentation should justify the benefit, appropriateness, and allowability of expenditures to a sponsored award.

Other responsibilities as assigned
Includes attending mandatory training, meetings and other duties as assigned. As the position evolves, other duties might include approving reimbursements, requisitions, travel and PCard expenses charged to sponsored accounts, including verifying that expenses adhere to UF policies, award terms and federal regulations with special attention to allowability, allocability, reasonableness and consistency with award objectives.

Expected Salary:

$19.71 - $24.04 per hour; commensurate with qualifications and experience

Minimum Requirements:

Bachelor's degree; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

Understanding of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and its relationship to the entire University structure. This includes other Colleges, all Engineering Departments and centers.

Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing with faculty, staff and various funding sponsors.

Ability to act as liaison and use communication skills with professionals of various contract and grant funding sources.

Ability to evaluate and give technical assistance in the preparation and submission of proposals and to evaluate data relative to proposal submission.

Knowledge of and accountable for all current rules, regulations, policies and procedures relating to the funding sponsors, the State of Florida, the University of Florida and Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.

Knowledge of methods of data collection, computer database management, maintenance and manipulation.

Ability to understand and utilize problem solving techniques while being detail oriented.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.

Professional code of conduct becoming of a public employee.

Ability to work independently and use good judgment to set priorities.

Knowledge and understanding of the University payroll, personnel and accounting structure. This detailed knowledge includes the appointment system, university/state titles and classifications, purchasing and travel. Proposals must be scrutinized to confirm eligibility of the principal investigator, current salary level, specific appointment classification to compute fringe and health insurance. Proficiency in all office applications necessary for efficient execution of their duties. This includes at a minimum, PeopleSoft, Adobe applications, email clients, and Microsoft suite of applications like Excel, Word, PowerPoint.

Ability to interact cordially with co-workers to accomplish common tasks.

Ability to function under highly stressful circumstances.

Ability to manage competing deadlines.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

In order to be considered for this position, applicant must upload cover letter and resume with application.

This position is eligible for veteran’s preference. If you are claiming veteran’s preference, please upload a copy of your DD 214 Member Copy 4 with your application for consideration. See our Veteran's Preference Page for more specific information.

This is a time-limited position.

Application must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. (ET) of the posting end date.

Health Assessment Required:


Advertised: 03 Jun 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 17 Jun 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

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