Associate Director, Grant and Contract Administration, Office of Research Services

Philadelphia, United States
07 Apr 2020
End of advertisement period
07 Jun 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Profile Title

Associate Director D

Job Description Summary

The Office of Research Services post award group engages with key stakeholders, research administrators, internal and external partners, sponsors, and regulatory agencies throughout the post award lifespan of a sponsored project. The Associate Director plays a vital role in the success of research administration at Penn. The Associate Director will be responsible for day to day management of a team of Grant and Contract Financial Administrators, ensuring post award financial administration for a portfolio of approximately $250m in sponsored project funds; and ensuring compliance with federal, city, and state regulatory requirements, as well as with sponsor and University policies and procedures. The Associate Director will serve as an Authorized Organizational Representative under delegation from the Trustees for submission and sign-off of post award financial information to federal and other research sponsors.

The Associate Director will work closely with the Office of Research Services (ORS) staff and research departments in the schools and centers to ensure compliance with sponsor and university invoicing, financial reporting, and other requirements. The Associate director will collaborate with our internal partners to identify ways to improve communication, workflows and efficiencies, ensure post award controls and processes are operating appropriately and provide support and guidance on post award policies and procedures. As part of the ORS team, the Associate Director will also be responsible developing, delivering, and facilitating University-wide sponsored projects training for research administrators and post award team members. He/she will also provide technical support for various post award systems and processes and work with internal partners and departments and external auditors on sponsored project compliance monitoring and audits.

Job Description

Directly supervise 3-5 assigned Grant and Contract Administrators. Supervisory responsibilities include, but are not limited to: recruitment, performance management, paid time off, and day to day management and oversight of supervises’ portfolios. Ensure accuracy of supervises’ invoices, accounts receivables, and financial reporting to federal and non-federal sponsoring agencies.


Serve as Penn’s Official Authorized Financial Officer on matters related to financial management of sponsored project awards including certifying financial reporting, award relinquishment, trainee terminations, budget changes and prior approval requests; provide advanced technical expertise to internal and external partners and collaborators on complex reporting and compliance issues; liaise with sponsors on complex post-award issues.


Provide support and guidance to Assistant & Associate Director colleagues on complex issues including implementation of new procedures to address regulatory changes, allowability of costs, revenue, expense and accounts receivables monitoring; cost transfers, financial disputes, process workflows, and system efficiencies.


Hold regular meetings with business administrators and collaborate with other internal University partners to ensure service needs are met; serve as subject matter expert on financial award management issues including determination of allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of costs on sponsored project awards .


Manage and oversee post-award special projects; provide advanced post-award technical support for various BEN and GMS processes including GL to GMS interfaces, workflows, and invoice output; Assist in developing new and modifying existing tools and procedures for post award research compliance monitoring


Develop, manage and deliver university-wide instructor-led and web based sponsored projects training course offerings; ensure training materials and content are maintained and consistent with federal, city, state and sponsor compliance requirements ​


Develop, maintain and enforce Penn internal financial policies/procedures; serve as expert on Penn and Federal agency financial management policies on grants and contracts


Perform additional duties as assigned




A Bachelor’s degree and 5 years to 7 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience in post award research administration are required.


Strong verbal and written communication skills and ability to work collaboratively in a deadline-driven environment.  Knowledge of University financial and sponsored program policies and systems, including BEN Financials, GMS, Pennera, Effort reporting, Data Warehouse, Workday, MS Office, NSF Fastlane/ and NIH Commons strongly preferred.  Working knowledge of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance (UG) regulations and experience working with federal sponsors preferred.  Managerial experience preferred.


Working Conditions:


Office, Library, computer room


Physical Effort:


Typing, sitting at a desk or table


Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

Division of Finance

Pay Range

$59,703.00 - $113,435.00

Affirmative Action Statement 

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements 

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.