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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Department of Aerospace Engineering seeks a Contract & Grant Specialist to perform a wide range of financial and research administration duties. This position requires a highly professional and proactive individual who will approach the work with a customer service orientation. The Contract & Grant Specialist will report to the Research Process Manager and will work collaboratively with the Aero Research Administration Team.


This position is responsible for coordinating the administrative research process for proposal submissions (pre-award) and the detailed management of sponsored funds (post-award). In addition, the Contract & Grant Specialist will manage department funds (e.g. discretionary, gift, designated, auxiliary) and other tasks as assigned. The Contract & Grant Specialist will participate in continuous process improvement efforts and assist other team members as needed. Hours may occasionally include late evenings if necessary, to meet deadlines.

Pre-award activities include, but not limited to:

  • Preparation of budgets, budget justifications, and other supporting documentation
  • Coordination, as appropriate, with internal and external entities
  • Monitor all proposals to meet agency and University guidelines, published timetables and deadlines
  • Facilitate the preparation of indirect cost (IDC) waiver requests
  • Coordinate cost-share requests
  • Prepare the University’s Proposal Approval Form (PAF) in eResearch
  • Ensure timely routing of proposals through the institutional approval process

Post-award activities include, but not limited to:

  • Monthly review and monitoring of project expenditures
  • Provide projections and recommendations to keep project spending within budget
  • Review and monitor financial transactions for appropriateness and allowability
  • Research, analyze, and resolve sponsored project issues
  • Alert project directors and administration to any areas of concern
  • Track and encumber financial commitments
  • Establish and monitor subawards and subcontracts
  • Process post-award changes, such as re-budgets, change in PI and renewals/extensions
  • Prepare financial status reports and sponsor reports as needed
  • Prepare journal entries
  • Review orders and travel charges
  • Resolve Uniform Guidance reports

General fund activities include, but not limited to:

  • Review and monitor financial transactions for appropriateness and allowability
  • Complete journal entries as requested/needed
  • Manage the department’s student group funding
  • Request new project grants as needed
  • Assist with server maintenance of documents
  • Act as back-up for procurement activities

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience; demonstrated excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work with a diverse group of colleagues;  ability to interpret and effectively communicate Department, University and Sponsor guidelines and policies; high level of proficiency, speed and accuracy with Excel and the ability to learn quickly and adapt to changing technology; demonstrated ability to work independently and also collaborate effectively as part of a team; ability to follow projects through to completion and meet high work standards; demonstrated ability to work under pressure of deadlines and competing priorities; strong attention to detail; ability to function productively in an ever-changing, fast-paced environment; must be supportive of, and participate in, change initiatives to improve service, efficiencies and/or productivity; excellent attendance and dependability are essential.

Desired Qualifications*

1-2 years of experience in grant administration or higher-level financial activities or relevant experience in a comparable environment with strict regulatory and compliance requirements; knowledge of University financial practices and processes; familiarity and experience with University administrative and business tools such as Business Objects, MReports, eResearch, and Concur; prior experience with federal funding agencies such as NSF, NASA, DoD and DoE; familiarity with, NASA NSPIRES, and NSF Fastlane.


Mission Statement

Michigan Engineering’s vision is to be the world’s preeminent college of engineering serving the common good. This global outlook, leadership focus and service commitment permeate our culture. Our vision is supported by a mission and values that, together, provide the framework for all that we do.  Information about our vision, mission and values can be found at:

The University of Michigan has a storied legacy of commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The Michigan Engineering  component of the University’s comprehensive, five-year, DEI strategic plan—along with updates on our programs and resources dedicated to ensuring a welcoming, fair and inclusive environment—can be found at:

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.