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Sponsored Programs Administrator

Apply now Posting #: 2003
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Office of Sponsored Programs, Administrator

Position Title & Department:

 Sponsored Programs Administrator; Sponsored Programs
Posting #


University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The Sponsored Programs Administrator, under the general direction of the Director, is responsible for the management and administration of pre-award and non-accounting post-award services for sponsored project agreements.

This position requires a strong financial background, the ability to juggle multiple tasks and projects, be attentive to detail, as well as a commitment to a client-centered approach to service delivery. The Sponsored Programs Administrator must possess: (1) extensive experience in developing and analyzing spreadsheets (Excel) and databases (Access), (2) a demonstrated knowledge of automated accounting systems and experience with federal grant proposal development and federal grant administration policies; (3) the ability to prepare reports and analyze funding guidelines, and advise faculty on funding strategies; (4) experience building and fostering relationships between central offices and departments as well as with outside collaborators and agencies. The Sponsored Programs Administrator will have strong and demonstrated analytic and deductive reasoning skills, as well as the ability to work under pressure both with close supervision and independently. Superior customer service skills and a willingness to embrace both simple and complicated tasks is required.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Pre-Award activities:

  • Work will support disciplines across campus as needed.
  • Advise and collaborate with faculty, administrators and staff to develop competitive proposals for external funds.
  • Proactively recommend specific grant programs and funding opportunities as appropriate to faculty, administrators and staff.
  • Actively communicate with members of the campus community to remain engaged with and aware of interests and funding needs; work in cooperation with faculty, administrators and staff to develop interest in externally-funded research opportunities.
  • Provide advice and assistance to faculty and staff during the development of grant, cooperative agreement, contract and subcontract proposals to for-profit, non-profit, federal, state and local government sponsors (e.g., interpreting federal and state regulations and University policy, sponsors’ proposal instructions and policies).
  • Create multi-year budgets for proposal submission, ensuring regulations such as applicable direct and indirect costs, subcontracts, travel, and fringe benefit rates are followed.
  • Inform departmental budget managers and/or deans of required mandatory cost-share and course reassigned time to be paid by research grants and contracts.
  • Comprehensively review proposals for biohazards, animal use, human subjects, required matching funds, sub-contractors and ensure that all necessary compliance forms are prepared accurately and submitted to the necessary contacts for approval.
  • Secure the concurrence of the principal investigator and other University offices, as appropriate, prior to accepting awards with non-standard terms and conditions. Advise all concerned parties of their responsibilities in meeting special or unusual award requirements.
  • Investigate and remain informed about proposal preparation, submission and monitoring systems of various funding agencies.

Post-Award activities:

  • Analyze, coordinate and approve requests for prior approval of post award changes and actions.
  • Utilize information in Cayuse to provide funding and other analysis reports for research/grant topics such as burn rates as requested by departmental budget managers and/or deans.
  • Interpret sponsor approval requirements, policies, federal regulations, state statutes and University policy related to the management and administration of extramural awards.
  • Work collaboratively with Grants Accounting to resolve issues related to post-award financial terms and conditions.
  • Assist PIs, staff and administrators in solving project administrative problems and issues.
  • Coordinate the timely submission of final reports and other required deliverables.

General Management:

  • Lead pre-award to post-award transition meetings between Sponsored Programs and Grants Accounting.
  • Maintain regular contact and strong working relationship with other university departments and offices, and with faculty, administrators, staff, and outside funding agencies to facilitate the effective administration of the university’s externally funded programs and opportunities for such.
    • Examples of such departments and offices include but are not limited to the Controller’s Office, Payroll, Human Resources, Foundation Relations, Procurement, Public Affairs, and the Office of the General Counsel.


  • Assist in writing and editing office manuals and reports as required.
  • Contribute to office team building efforts.
  • Participate in on-going professional development.
  • Train and advise faculty, administrators, staff and students on external funding opportunities, proposal development and grant management.

Engage in professional development 

  • Participate in accounting, fiscal management, business, technology, and/or research administration training to meet annual professional development objectives.
  • Study training manuals and other documentation to learn advanced office and web tools used by this position, as well as relevant research administration policies and procedures.
Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in Federal grants and contracts administration with an emphasis on proposal development (NSF, NIH preferred).
  • 3 years of experience working in securing or managing grants in an academic setting is preferred.
  • Excellent mathematical and analytical skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work with details.
  • Time management skills.
  • Training in electronic research administration (Cayuse) beneficial, candidate will be trained if needed.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in business or financial related area.

Performance Expectations - Knowledge Skills and Abilities: 


  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of concepts, policies and procedures, and regulatory requirements associated with the development, implementation and administration of scientific research projects including but not limited to: Uniform Guidance; CFR; EDGAR; FAR; IRS; USD Policies and Procedures; General Accounting Best Practices.
  • Advanced knowledge of project budgeting and fiscal management.
  • Advanced knowledge of the structure, operations and requirements of federal, state and local financial regulatory and funding agencies.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of research pre- and post-award procedures and requirements.
  • Advanced knowledge and demonstrated proficiency in electronic research administration, including database applications, spreadsheet development and electronic document preparation.
  • Experience in proposal submission, and in review/negotiation of contracts, subcontracts, and other agreements.


  • Skill in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures, formulating process, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures.
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership, organizational and management skills.
  • Project management skills and the ability to resolve complex problems and issues.
  • Strong consultative and advisory skills.
  • Skill in developing and conducting employee compliance training/orientation sessions.
  • Skill in developing policy and procedure documentation.
  • Demonstrated negotiating skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a collaborative/diverse community.
  • Highly developed communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Attention to detail.


  • Ability to make complex administrative/procedure decisions and judgments.
  • Ability to create, review and modify contracts.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.
  • Ability to develop and maintain record keeping systems and procedures.
  • Ability to analyze budgetary line items for compliance with budget guidelines.
  • Ability to manage a large volume of projects with concurrent deadlines, work independently and use sound business practices to accomplish objectives.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: 

  • Certification as Research Administrator is highly desirable.

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Posting Salary:

Commensurate with experience; Excellent Benefits. 

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package, to include medical, dental, vision, a 12% retirement contribution given to you by the University (with three year vesting period), and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits


Special Application Instructions:

Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click Apply Now to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu

Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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