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Associate Director of Pre-Award

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, International Programs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 90 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:

The Office of Research provides research services to all faculty and staff at the university.

About the Position:

The Associate Director of Pre-Award is responsible for management of pre-award services including assisting with supervision of a cohesive and flexible research administrator team that supports the communication of University policies; fairly applies rules and regulations of all sponsors; supports and improves the proposal submission process; and develops and maintains streamlined processes to support the research community. 

Responsibilities include: allocating workload and resources for the submission of all proposals; collaboratively working with the research community in identification of funding opportunities, proposal development, review and submission, and award negotiation and acceptance as well as oversight of post-award non-financial management activities.

Essential Functions:

    Supervision of Research Administrators: Providing training and direction on all applicable policies, procedures, federal and sponsor regulations; distributing and monitoring workload assignments; review and approval of employee vacation/sick leave requests; goal setting, monitoring and mentoring staff and conducting performance reviews on an annual basis.

    Proposal Submission and Review: Assist in identifying possible funding opportunities;Guidance regarding proposals and awards development; Review proposals and contracts for accuracy and conformance with regulations/guidelines; Endorsement of Just-in-Time (JIT) and post-submission materials; Provide smooth transition into contracting and post-award grant administration.

    Post-award non-financial activities: Oversight of activities related to management of non-financial award actions including award set up, develop & negotiate contract agreements, process budget change requests, progress reports, process No Cost Extension (NCE) requests, as well as closeout activities.

    Communication and Collaboration: Representation, as appropriate, at internal/external meetings; Develop network of contacts and promote the research interest of the University to funding agencies; Assist Director in preparing reports and related communications on research programs, activities and initiatives of the university to both internal academic units and external agencies as required.

    Research Administration and Regulatory: Contribute to maintenance and further development of internal systems/procedures; Educate the campus research community regarding all applicable policies and procedures; Assist the Director with planning and introduction of new initiatives; Provide recommendations to the Director on policy updates/changes. Other tasks as assigned.

Education and Experience:

A Bachelor’s degree is required. Master's degree is preferred. 

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in research administration is required. Experience in project budgeting, cost accounting, and administration is also required.

Experience overseeing large complex grant funded projects is strongly preferred. Experience in administration of research and sponsored projects in a university setting desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

The ideal candidate is team oriented, collegial, flexible, adaptable to different work styles and able to receive constructive feedback.

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies, including research faculty, staff, and students. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills with the ability to manage and respond to competing deadlines and priorities.

Candidate must have the ability to interpret/understand federal and non-federal regulations and operations of sponsored research. Must also have knowledge of 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Guidance.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook) and ability to use a variety of information systems. Experience with PeopleSoft and/or Electronic Research Administration (eRA) systems preferred. CRA certification desired.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

    Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, [email protected].


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Primary Location: USA-TX-Dallas
Job: Administrative Managers & Professionals
Organization: Provost - Other
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Employee Status: Regular
Job Type: Staff
Job Level: Individual Contributor
Travel: No
Job Posting: Mar 2, 2023, 2:18:13 PM

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