Executive Director of Sponsored Programs

United States, North America
Apr 08, 2014

Executive Director of Sponsored Programs
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Office of Sponsored Programs

Position Status
Administrative Exempt Positions

Basic Function
The Executive Director of Sponsored Programs (“EDSP”) is the senior sponsored program administrator of the university and directs the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) in its core mission to serve faculty researchers in their pre-award and post-award execution of grant activities. The EDSP is also a unique informational resource on sponsored program funding opportunities, compliance, and administration serving the various mission-oriented divisions, departments, programs, and offices of the university.

The EDSP is a principal advisor to the Vice Provost for Research on contemporary sector trends in sponsored research program funding, performance, policies, and information management. The EDSP facilitates processes that advance sustainable funding support to individual investigators and collaborations based on pro-active engagement with the WPI faculty.

The EDSP assists faculty in identifying potential funding sources. The EDSP’s informed understanding of the institutional research vision and research capacity of WPI faculty and their prospective collaborators is essential.

The EDSP partners with the VPR to drive the university’s research development initiatives providing expert program development support for new research ventures from inception through execution. The EDSP supports the advancement of research revenue and the development of research infrastructure that positions WPI as a destination for competitive graduate students, post doctoral fellows and research active faculty.

The EDSP supports the strategic initiatives of the VPR by providing ongoing reports that reflect current funding levels against funding goals. The EDSP develops annual funding portfolios to support the institution’s strategic vision of research. The EDSP develops and delivers reports to WPI senior leadership regarding progress in research development, research infrastructure, extramural funding and compliance

Posting Date

Closing Date
Open Until Filled

Special Instructions to Applicants
Please list a minimum of three references.
This position will begin July 1, 2014

Principal Duty and Responsibility
• Assures faculty researchers are assisted in the preparation, review, and follow-up of grant and contract proposals and electronic research administration.

• Works diligently to remove administrative barriers that divert faculty time from research.

• Drives internal OSP transaction processes to closure in a timely and effective manner.

• Serves as an advocate for OSP and as its liaison to the faculty, deans and senior administration.

• Works with the VPR, Deans, and faculty in support of building a robust research enterprise at WPI.

• Ensures that all WPI stakeholders interested in extramural funding have established profiles in COS Pivot or other funding search registries.

• Supports the continued development of Institutional Advancement and Corporate Engagement for foundational and corporate sponsorship of university programs.

• Facilitates the development of the Graduate School in terms of external fellowships and other programs promoting graduate student scholarship recognition.

• Through supervision of the Associate Director Pre-Award Services and the Associate Director Post-Award and Compliance, guides and directs OSP office services, procedures, processes, and budgets.

• Assisted by the Associate Director Pre-Award Services, finalizes negotiations of award and contract terms with sponsors in consultation with other university stakeholders.

• Takes ultimate responsibility for the authorization of sponsored program proposals and serves as the senior WPI point of contact for sponsors in all administrative and budgetary matters regarding sponsored program proposals and awards.

• Represents WPI in negotiations with sponsors of awards terms and conditions as needed.

• Assisted by the Associate Director Post-Award and Compliance, ensures university systems for research compliance and integrity.

• Develops funding opportunity portfolios for the VPR, Deans, research center directors and research intensive departments and faculty. Such portfolios serve to “match” WPI research opportunities to funding opportunities and collaborative ventures.

• Maintains administrative liaison for proposed collaborative efforts between WPI and “third party” organizations.

• Maintains close working relationship with Research Accounting related to all financial aspects of active awards and closeout of terminated awards.

• Supervises the maintenance and development of sponsored program information systems and generation of ongoing activity reports for internal distribution. Uses reports to improve internal processes and advise the VPR on the attainment of strategic research objectives.

• With support of OSP Associate Directors, continuously improves, develops and implements sponsored program pre and post-award processes including state-of-the-art information management systems.

• Works with the Deans and department administrators to identify opportunities to cross train department and university administrative staff in support of grant related activity.

• Provides administrative support and regulatory research compliance oversight to the Vice Provost for Research in connection with:
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and compliance with Animal Welfare regulations
  • Evaluation of core service centers.
  • Participation in key compliance committees such as IRB and COI as required.
  • Playing lead role in responding to additional federal compliance requirements (e.g., e-Verify, NSF & NIH Responsible Conduct of Research)
  • Coordinating and playing central role in federal sponsor audits.
  • Expert on standards and systems of best sponsored program practice
• Develops and implements policies and procedures related to sponsored programs and the operation of OSP.

• With support from the OSP Associate Directors, defines roles and responsibilities of staff to maximize departmental effectiveness while ensuring high levels of service to faculty and staff.

• Ensures that goals and objectives for OSP office staff and operations are communicated and achieved.

• Designs faculty development and training programs to enhance research and grant seeking skills and project administration skills.

Develops federal, state, local, corporate, and foundation linkages to support VPR outreach and other funding opportunity cultivation efforts for faculty.

• Serves as authorized organization representative for all matters related to proposal submission and award negotiation and acceptance.

• Conducts contract/grant analysis and assists University administration in the settlement of disputes and establishment of corrective policies and procedures.

• Ensures compliance with governmental rules and regulations regarding the use of human participants and animals; scientific misconduct; and conflict of interest.

• Oversees electronic research administration initiatives and the development of contract and grant information management systems, including the continued development of the OSP website.

• Advises University officials and faculty on trends and policies affecting sponsored research funding and factors that affect faculty competitiveness for external funding in support of the institutional mission.

• Represents the University’s interests in interactions with funding agencies and national-level organizations, such as the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, the Department of Education and others.

• Coordinates with other units on campus to ensure smooth administration of sponsored programs, including research accounting, procurement, budget & payroll, and human resources.

• Works with faculty and administrators from other universities on collaborative projects; identifies potential cooperating agencies and organizations

• Attends professional meetings in order to maintain contacts and be informed of current developments with regard to availability of funding and changes in administrative requirements related to sponsored programs.

• Attends professional meetings in order to maintain contacts and be informed of current developments with regard to availability of funding and changes in administrative requirements related to sponsored programs.

• Other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements

• Master’s degree in Engineering, Science, Information Management, or related technical discipline required; Ph.D. strongly preferred.

• Relevant managerial experience in a professional university office environment required.

• Experience as a PI, and prior socialization as a member of a faculty, highly desirable.

• Significant experience working with faculty and academic administrators at multiple organizational levels.

• Five (5) years of experience in Sponsored Program administration in an academic setting.

• Superior mediation and negotiation skills.

• Excellent communication and management skills plus strong history of attention to detail and deadlines.

• Proficiency and experience in university accounting systems and practices are desired.

• Results-oriented disposition utilizing good business judgment and negotiation skills strongly preferred.

• Experience at the university level, especially familiarity with professional and graduate research programs, is required.

• Significant experience in a university research environment with extensive knowledge of multiple sponsor grant and contract regulations, policies and procedures, guidelines, pertinent laws, and program funding policies.

• Demonstrated experience in proposal development and review, including grant writing, budget development, contract review and negotiation, and subcontracting.

• Working knowledge of sponsored programs’ legal, regulatory, and pre-and post-award fiscal issues.

• Demonstrated leadership ability in facilitating faculty and staff participation in sponsored activities

• Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with administrators, faculty, principal investigators, and sponsoring agency representatives and counterparts at other institutions.

• Experience with large funding and contract agencies including but not limited to the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education and others.

• Competence with funding source databases and electronic research administration tools.

• Excellent written and oral communication skills, leadership ability and demonstrated ability to work constructively and diplomatically with many diverse individuals and groups both within and outside the campus.

• Prior supervisory and management experience.

• Excellent communication and presentation skills

Applicant Documents
Required Documents
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter
3. List of References

Optional Documents
1. Curriculum Vitae
2. Research Statement/Philosophy
3. Portfolio
4. Other

To apply, please visit: http://careers.wpi.edu/postings/1468

EEO Information
To enrich education through diversity, WPI is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

Criminal Background check statement
A pre-employment criminal records check is required.