Duke University
Post-Award Administration

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Occupational Summary

This position will directly function as the leader of the subaward management, sponsored effort management and external audit response functions for the University’s Office of Post Award Administration (OPAA). This position collaborates closely with partnering central offices, school and departmental administrators as well as Faculty and sponsoring agencies. The Associate Director will work in a manner to ensure optimal research administration outcomes through compliant, effective and efficient processes, training and outreach and building partnerships.

Work Performed

  • Collaborate with OPAA director to ensure a consistent approach in the direct management of personnel and the office’s numerous responsibilities; provides functional backup to leadership in times of absence.
  • Direct OPAA post-award teams charged with subaward management, sponsored effort management and external audits of sponsored projects; develop and assess goals for team members; ensure proper on-boarding for new team members; provide daily feedback and guidance to team members; initiate other personnel actions including hiring, performance assessments and off-boarding.
  • Lead Duke’s response to external audits of grants/contracts/agreements.
  • Collaborate and build partnerships with other research administration offices and personnel to ensure that OPAA’s mission and responsibilities are represented, understood and successful; advise partners on financial compliance issues to resolve inquiries from the grant management community.
  • Create, develop and deliver training and outreach materials for internal teams as well as school and departmental research administrators; participate in education activities and initiatives, such as the annual research symposium, Duke’s extensive certificate programs and OPAA-specific outreach; ensure materials are accurate, current and relevant to post-award management topics.
  • Deliver the customer support standard of excellence through common understandings of research administration goals, proactive listening and proper professional responses.
  • Document processes, procedures and practices internal to OPAA into the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) template; ensure team understanding; provide updates.
  • In conjunction with team managers, plan and schedule workload for the teams ensuring proper distribution of assignments and adequate resourcing; ensure functional backup of all critical team responsibilities.
  • Collaborate with partnering offices to ensure that Duke’s systems are providing necessary, accurate and timely information in the stewardship of sponsored activities; provide feedback and insight to new system tools, reporting or functionality to increase post-award management practices.
  • Manage processes and leads teams in an environment of constant change; lead via an openness to change management.
  • Identify areas for development, clarification or redefining of OPAA or Duke Research policies/procedures; interpret sponsoring agency regulations/terms and conditions; understand and ensure compliance with policies set forth by the University and sponsoring agencies.
  • Performs other assignments as requested by office leadership.


Will directly supervise other research administration positions/support personnel.

Required Qualifications at this Level


  • Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program. Research or grants education is preferred.
  • Successful completion of required department training such as GC101 & 201 Introduction to Research, Financial Services Introduction to R3, Introduction to Duke GL, Introduction to Accounting, Sponsored Research Reporting, Research Administration at Duke (on-line), Basic Compliance (on-line) within first six months of hire is required.
  • Successful completion of the Research Administration Academy (RAA) and Advanced Grants Management (AGM) certifications is expected. Employees hired into this classification without the expected credentials will work closely with their manager to schedule and successfully complete all training within a reasonable period of time (generally within 12 months). Successful completion of all expected training will be an annual performance goal until complete.
  • Upon completion of expected training, the employee must maintain Research Administration Academy (RAA) certification and Advanced Grants Management (AGM) certification by completing continuing education requirements.
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) designation is preferred


    • Work generally requires five years of relevant grants and contracts experience. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE


    • Leadership
    • Ability to lead successfully through change
    • Ability to mentor and develop teams
    • Ability to motivate and build commitment of team to the OSP mission
  • Knowledge
  • Solid understanding and application of applicable Federal and sponsor specific regulations/laws and guidance relating to extramural funding (e.g., Uniform Guidance – 2 CFR 200; Department of Health and Human Services; National Science Foundation; Department of Defense, Department of Education and more)
  • Ability to interpret and apply post award guidance from Duke University policies and procedures
  • Understanding and application of basic internal control concepts, including adequacy and completeness in documentation during the daily management of sponsored awards
  • Understanding of broad concepts related to many aspects of Federal financial research compliance and assist leadership in functionalizing those concepts into processes and strategies for meeting compliance expectations.
  • High level understanding of conflict of interest, responsible conduct of research and advanced compliance issues
    • Communication
    • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with all levels of the organization
    • Understand when to escalate issues to leadership, when necessary
    • Ability to recognize and reach out to partnering offices within the larger Duke organization to problem solve and collaborate on research administration matters
    • Comfort in navigating communication challenges, to defuse situations, provide clear input and create/meet shared goals

    • Analytical
    • Ability to analyze large amount of data, formulating conclusions and provide summary level reports as needed
    • Innovative problem solving

    • Organizational
    • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects/tasks simultaneously
    • Ability to work as a team member and individually, depending upon the tasks or goals at hand

    • Team Player
    • Willingness to be a team leader or collaborator utilizing appropriate time/resource management having a high regard of personal responsibility with respect for confidentiality

    • Systems
    • Ability to learn and apply changing technologies related to research administration management
    • Knowledge of research administration automated processes/systems
    • Knowledge of processes and systems related to or involved in the management of cost-sharing, indirect costs, effort allocations and more
    • Solid working knowledge of MS Office Suite (Word, Access, Excel, Power Point)
    • Solid working knowledge of organizational financial systems (SAP, eCRT, SPS or other similar systems)

    The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

    Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

    Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

    Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


    Read our Diversity Profile History

    Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

    As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

    Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

    Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

    Mission Statement

    Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

    “To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

     “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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