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Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs

Clark University
Worcester, MA

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Program Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Category:: Staff and Administrators
Department:: 2870 (DOGR-Office of Sponsored Researc)
Locations:: Worcester, MA
Posted:: Feb 22, 2022
Closes:: Open Until Filled
Type:: Full-time - Exempt
Position ID:: 143149

About Clark University:

Founded in 1887, Clark was one of the first all-graduate institutions in the United States. Today the University is a highly-ranked, student-centered institution educating approximately 2,350 undergraduate and 1,150 graduate students to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort. This commitment to scholarship and inquiry reflects the University's commitment to "challenge convention and change our world" and to address issues of critical importance to society. It is also reflected by Clark's many national and international distinctions, including recognition for its diversity and inclusion efforts, innovation, community engagement and impact, as a top green campus, and for having a distinguished geography and international development program. Clark has also been included in the groundbreaking Colleges that Change Lives guide since it was first published in 1996.

Clark is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, a dynamic, diverse city "on the rise." The second largest city in New England, Worcester is home to 11 institutions of higher learning and is increasingly recognized for its growing healthcare and biotechnology communities, its thriving cultural scene, and as a vibrant food hub.

Job Description:

The Assistant Director position provides leadership for the day to day operations of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) interfacing regularly with faculty, researchers, graduate students, staff engaged in grant related work, and grants accounting. This position will be responsible for managing/coordinating the review, approval, and submission process for grant proposals (pre-award), as well as assisting faculty with prospecting and technical writing. The Assistant Director will provide assistance to the Director for regular reporting on various indicators of grant activity, along with other statistical reporting to University senior administration and the Board of Trustees via Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. This an integral position working collaboratively within a high performing team.

Essential duties include:

*Coordinating the review, approval, and submission process of grant proposals. This includes initial proposal and budget review for compliance with funder and university guidelines, and coordinating with and advising principal investigators and their staff on the completion of their grant packages for review and final approval by the Director of OSPR and the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies prior to electronic submission by the Assistant Director. Communicating and coordinating with representatives of partnering institutions or funding agencies as needed to facilitate pre-award or post-award needs.

*Conducting prospecting for potential grants and assisting PIs with technical writing to increase the chances of awards.

*Coordinating Research Board meeting minutes, agendas, correspondence and faculty development fund files, including proposal submissions and funds disbursement tracking database.

*Regular reporting on key indicators of grant activity based on data maintained by OSPR (e.g., proposals submitted, active awards) and data reported to OSPR by grants accounting (e.g., grant expenditures, indirect cost recovery).

*Maintaining the OSPR grants database and files.

Other duties and responsibilities:

*Keeping abreast of primary funding agencies' proposal and award management guidelines and procedures, and other major government regulatory requirements that are relevant to the work of the office.

*Post-grant activities, including sign-off on Principal Investigator reimbursements from approved budgets, including payroll forms for faculty salary, Time & effort reporting (3x/ year), and authorizing expenditures and manage accounts related to intramural research grants and incentive funds.

*Working with the OSPR team to develop/present information sessions for faculty, staff, and graduate students on pursuing grant funding and working with our office.
Supervises work of Work Study and performing additional duties as requested by the Director and the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.

*Will work in conjunction with the OSPR team on pre-award services for approximately 140-150 grant proposals per year, and post-award support for approximately 130 active grant projects.

*Assist the OSPR director in handling the growth of institutional grant submissions.

*External grant revenue fluctuates and it is dependent on a number of factors, including 1) the timing of faculty research completion (i.e., previous grants) and start of new projects, 2) the timing of large grants (which tends to suppress new awards in immediate subsequent years), 3) disciplinary and generational composition of faculty (i.e., generally speaking, STEM is the 'grant'-dependent disciplines although at Clark it is geo-sciences that get almost half of the grants; in some cases, late career faculty becoming inactive), 4) delays in award notifications as a result of government shut down. With these caveats, our goal is to increase institutional grant at a sustained level so that we will be generating $6-9M institutional grant on an annual basis in addition to faculty research grants of $5-8M.

*Other duties as assigned


*A Bachelor's Degree or higher is preferred or equivalent experience. This position requires strong reading comprehension, strong technical writing skills, computer literacy, and verbal communication skills, as well as a strong ability to do budget review, analysis, and reporting while working with a high performing team.

*A minimum of 3-5 years of related work experience is required to execute the essential and other duties and responsibilities of the position.

*A high level of writing skills and professionalism is required of this position which involves interacting with University administrators, faculty, staff, and students; collaborators and colleagues from other institutions/organizations; and representatives from funding agencies.

*Experience/familiarity with research administration from pre-award to post-award.
Proficiency in technical writing to assist principal investigators in the process of grant submission.

*Ability to multi-task and work independently (with appropriate supervision and instruction).

*Good judgment and discretion in handling confidential information.

*Highly organized and attentive to detail.

*Professional and tactful in verbal and email communication.

*Ability to work efficiently and effectively when dealing with time-sensitive matters and under the pressure of non-negotiable funding agency deadlines.

*Proficiency with word-processing and other computer applications, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access.

Clark University currently requires all employees and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Exemptions will be made for medical or disability reasons or religious beliefs, and could be made, at the sole discretion of the University, for other well-documented reasons.

Additional Information:

Clark University embraces equal opportunity and affirmative action as core values: we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. This commitment applies to every aspect of education, services, and employment policies and practices at Clark. Our commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. All positions at Clark share in the responsibility for building a community that values diversity and the uniqueness of others by exhibiting integrity and respect in interacting with all members of the Clark community to create an atmosphere of fairness and belonging. We strongly encourage members from historically underrepresented communities, inclusive of all women, to apply.

Clark University offers a generous benefit package for full and, if applicable, part-time employees that include; paid time off, generous retirement plan, group health and dental insurance, life insurance, and tuition, along with use of many campus amenities. For a complete list of benefits for eligible employees visit here.

Application Instructions:

To be considered for this position, you must submit your credentials online. Create a Clark University Careers Account by clicking on the APPLY NOW button below. You will be able to upload the following documents, which are required for consideration:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter

See the FAQ for using our online system. Please contact us if you need assistance applying through this website.

Already have a Clark University Careers Account? Login to your account to add documents or update your account.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Salary will be commensurate with skills and experience.

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States for any employer.

HR to select: A successful background check is required upon acceptance.


Working at Clark University

A relentless force for positive change

Founded in 1887, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university committed to scholarship and inquiry that addresses social and human imperatives on a global basis. It is the place where Robert Goddard invented the modern rocket, where Sigmund Freud delivered his only lectures in the United States, and where current students stake their claim to the Clark motto, “Challenge Convention. Change Our World,” which is the rallying cry that inspires our community every day.

Located in the heart of New England — Worcester, Massachusetts — Clark University educates its approximately 2,200 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world, and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort.

A university on the cutting edge of higher education

Clark is a world-class research university that is small by design, giving students the rare opportunity to contribute to pioneering research projects and to benefit from hands-on experience, close collaboration with peers, and the individual mentorship of faculty.

LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of higher education,  compelling students to thrive in authentic world and workplace settings, and preparing them for lives and careers of consequence. Clark is the only university to make the development of “capacities of effective practice” an explicit learning requirement for its undergraduates. Critical to success in today’s world, these capacities include imagination, self-directedness, resilience, and the ability to manage diversity and uncertainty. A Clark education reflects a belief in the enduring value of liberal education, as well as the University’s efforts to more deeply attune students’ learning experiences to the profound changes underway in our economy, our society, and our democracy.

The Clark graduate experience reflects the importance of “engaged scholarship” — an innovative educational approach that connects students to the people and organizations intimately familiar with (and working to address) the issues they are passionate about, and that places a premium on effecting measurable outcomes.

Committed to research that advance knowledge and impacts society

The Clark University faculty is composed of world-renowned researchers who foster a culture of excellence in the next generation. At Clark, faculty and students are given the freedom and flexibility to pursue projects that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The University’s focused areas of research excellence are backed by strong Ph.D. and master’s degree programs that engage graduate students from around the world in such areas as biology, chemistry, economics, geography, psychology, urban education, management, environmental science and policy, Holocaust and genocide studies, and international development and social change. Clark faculty, students, and staff continually develop new ways of thinking and acting that have a positive impact on the lives — and livelihoods — of people throughout the world.

Clark's research profile is enhanced by the presence of a variety of research institutes and centers that build on a foundation of interdisciplinary scholarship: the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise, the George Perkins Marsh Institute, the Higgins School of Humanities, the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education and the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Redefining our place in the world by immersing our community in it

Clark has redefined what it means to be a university in today’s interconnected world, forging robust partnerships with universities, educators, researchers, and business and community leaders at home and abroad, enabling its faculty and students to conduct in-depth research, work collaboratively to take on global concerns, and make a tangible difference. This diverse community of educators, researchers, and scholars challenge and inspire each other with their perspectives, insights, and determination. They are creative thinkers eager to defy conventional wisdom, devise inventive solutions to complex problems, and roll up their sleeves to get things done.

Clark itself plays a critical role in the health and well-being of its urban community, known as Main South, through the University Park Partnership — a national model for neighborhood revitalization. Working in tandem with the city of Worcester, Clark has been a change agent in the areas of housing and physical rehabilitation, education, economic development and social and recreational opportunities for residents. The University Park Campus School, which Clark operates in collaboration with the Worcester Public Schools, boasts an estimable record of high achievement and was recognized by President Barack Obama for its record of academic success.

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