Apply Now Clicking "Apply Now" opens the link in a new window.

How to Apply

Please note: A cover letter and resume are required for consideration for this position. The cover letter should be included in the same document as your resume and should specifically address your interest in this position and outline particular skills and experience directly related to this position.


General Description

Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) is seeking a highly responsible, self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to fill the position of Research Process Coordinator.  This is one of 3 Research Administrator positions in the department where they work together as a team to provide comprehensive support to all.  The successful candidate will report to the Research Process Manager.  The team is responsible for start-to-finish research processing, daily purchasing and financial management for the entire CEE Department (40 faculty, 19 regular staff, and another 240+ graduate students, postdocs, etc.).

This role is responsible for the complete administrative research process for an assigned group of CEE faculty. This includes pre- and post-award activities and regular communications/meetings with faculty and staff. This position advises the researchers/investigators regarding the most effective way to achieve a quality proposal and coordinates a timely submission process, ensuring appropriate approvals meet all established deadlines. This successful candidate provides compliance oversight by monitoring budgets, spending and approving capital equipment requisitions and by providing guidance and counsel for the stewardship of sponsored research funds.  In addition to managing federal (20000) and nonfederal (25000) funds, this position is also responsible for managing general (10000), gift (30000), designated (40000), recharge (52000) and equipment (82000) funds, including purchases against any fund type. The Incumbents will need to analyze, compare and evaluate various courses of action and will have the authority to make independent decisions on matters of significance, free from immediate direction, within the scope of their responsibilities. Primary activities and decision making authority are predominantly performed independently affecting business operations to a substantial degree.

Pre-Award Research – 25%

  • Lead Research Administrator for an assigned subset of the CEE Department’s research activities
  • Responsible for pre-award activities relating to grant and contract proposals, often of a complex nature, including NSF, NIST, DoD,  DoE, MDOT, industry and foundation grants and contracts
  • Assist a diverse group of faculty with identification of potential awards; development, preparation and submission of detailed proposals, including budget creation and ensuring all required documentation is secured
  • Review and understand solicitation requirements and constraints; Ensure applications accurately meet agency and U-M guidelines, published timetables and deadlines
  • Prepare and submit Proposal Approval Forms (PAFs), Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and unfunded agreements (UFAs); Knowledgeable regarding Human Subject requirements and guidelines
  • Provide budget and justification templates, draft participation letters, collect costshare commitments, prepare C&P drafts, collect biosketches, commitment letters, etc.
  • Coordinate/Collaborate closely with faculty, ORSP and/or Sponsored Programs personnel to analyze data, identify limitations and creatively resolve potential problems with grants or other financial areas
  • Coordinate/Collaborate with other U-M units and other institutions regarding proposal submissions
  • Engage department leadership and administration early in dialogue on any needed resources or requirements which will necessitate higher level review and authorization (indirect cost waivers, requests for cost sharing/other resources, requests to adhere to sponsor restrictions outside UM norms).
  • Prepare revised budgets when requested by sponsor

Post-Award Research - 25%

  • Responsible for post-award activities relating to grant and contract proposals, often of a complex nature, including NSF, DoD,  DoE, MDOT, UMOR, industry and foundation grants and contracts
  • Establish project grants, appropriately re-budget funds and make changes to awards or expenditures, including review/verify journal entries, accounting classifications, recharge billing and/or unit defined commitments
  • Provide a robust review of award set-up (PAN), changes (PAC), and hardships
  • Process no-cost time extensions as needed, working proactively with faculty to anticipate the need
  • Initiate and manage subcontracts, including tracking payments, with other institutions
  • Set-up fabrication and sub-account project/grants as needed
  • Coordinate and monitor subproject/grant with other departments/units
  • Transfer grants in/out of U-M when faculty come/go, working closely with faculty and research administrators from other institutions
  • Coordinate and monitor cost sharing arrangement, funding cost share in advance of expenditures where possible
  • Proactively work with faculty each term to determine student funding in advance of each term
  • Prepare financial reports for internal and external sponsors as requested
  • Facilitate project/grant closeouts by ensuring on-going charges are terminated or moved, reviewing close-out paperwork, and coordinating faculty signatures.
  • Provide forecasts and financial reports to faculty and managers, expertly using MReports on a daily basis
  • Monitor spending trends and work with faculty when they differ from approved budgets
  • Review monthly expenses, including payroll corrections
  • Monitor accounts receivable, research and resolve as needed, obtaining any delinquent payments
  • Prepare post award change forms and process in eResearch
  • Process journal entries as needed and identify ways to streamline work to avoid them wherever possible
  • Approve travel expenses and purchases in departmental online systems
  • Provide guidance, recommendations, and advice on project spending plans and sponsor requirements; Provide accurate projections, especially within 3 months of the project end date, to ensure appropriate spending within the budget constraints and/or process no cost time extensions
  • Regular monitoring of awarded grants/contracts to ensure expenses are being paid according to contract; interpret regulations and guidelines of program funding and prepare renewals and regular reports for grant agencies

Financial Management of Departmental Accounts – 20%

  • Generate accurate journal entries independently and be able to instruct others in the process; make recommendations to reduce the number of JEs needed
  • Maintain and reconcile budgets, accounts, SOAs and expense reports; identifying best practices for streamlining while maintaining compliance with U-M guidelines; communicate reports to Chair, PI and/or Unit Admin to prevent overspending and erroneous/inappropriate charges, including allocations not in accordance with donor wishes for gift/endowment funds
  • Provide financial reports to Project Director, Chair and/or Unit Administrator, including reports extracted from the Real Time Financial System showing actual expenditures and balances
  • Actively participate in staff and team meetings, including the monthly close of business meeting; address any issues before the next close of business and track updates within the monthly report
  • Work toward reducing and/or eliminating shadow systems by utilizing business intelligence in a significant capacity; influencing others to do so where possible/applicable
  • Process cash payments, all cash or check deposits, and process gift forms as applicable
  • Establish appropriate recharge rates in conjunction with FINOPS, process service unit billings and ensure applicable guidelines are followed
  • Process unit defined commitments to show encumbrances in M-Reports, particularly for faculty startup accounts
  • Assist with monitoring offset balances for faculty and report balances to Chair, Unit Admin and each faculty member on a regular basis, typically at the start of each semester and in May with updates as needed
  • Create and monitor POs (eProReq) with Procurement to facilitate prompt payment to vendors
  • Review and reconcile  monthly expenses, including payroll corrections; Work with Shared Services to provide additional information when required for reconciliation purposes

Communication/Interaction with Researchers - 10%

  • Professionally and effectively communicate with CEE colleagues, external units, sponsors, vendors, etc. taking a proactive and strong customer service approach
  • Arrange regular meetings with faculty and other CEE staff to productively collaborate on potential funding sources, requirements for specific options, budget specifications, and deadlines
  • Advise faculty researchers (Principal Investigators) on the most effective means to achieve desired funding, including maximizing reimbursement within sponsor, CoE and CEE guidelines
  • Partner with PI and other research administrators/personnel to ensure timely coordination, communication and submission of all proposals, special reporting timelines, deadlines or necessary communication
  • Communicate the importance and need for good stewardship of funds, regardless of the source and provide feedback regarding oversight of all budgets, revenues, expenses, equipment purchases, etc.
  • Teach faculty how to use M-Reports and encourage them to  check their PGs frequently
  • Regular communication with other CEE research administrators to ensure smooth transitions of projects when needed, coverage/support for researchers at all times and training/instruction to continually improve the quality of service provided by the department overall
  • Create comprehensive, complex reports as needed with data from a variety of datasets including projections vs. actual expenditures
  • Present at faculty meetings or other venues regarding updates or changes to research administration, business intelligence or financial operations
  • Identify new sponsored research policies or changes and communicate these to the faculty and appropriate research team staff
  • Provide timely responses to central offices (e.g., Final Summary Reports) to resolve issues, build a trustworthy reputation and ensure CEE is not issued THIRD REMINDERs where additional notices are sent to the College

HR – 10%

  • Manage Job Data, Salary Distributions, Effort changes etc. in Wolverine Access as related to personnel supporting a grant; create related Personnel Action Requests for HR-related appointments and changes
  • Process PeoplePay payments
  • Prepare Effort Re-certification form to transfer temporary employee hours by journal entry
  • Provide backup for the timekeeping process and payroll for all temporary workers, including static group management, email notifications and tracking faculty supervisor approvals for hours worked
  • Process Human Subject payments in accordance with established guideline
  • Assist students with reimbursements via SSC interface database

Purchasing – 5%

  • Serve as an active member of the CEE Purchasing Team
  • Review and process purchase requests within 24 hours by M-Marketsite, P-Card or Purchase Requisition
  • Log and monitor purchase requests for faculty, students  or other research team members
  • Log of orders updated immediately and orders tracked to ensure receipt
  • Initiate sole source agreements for faculty as needed
  • Reconcile P-Card accurately each month within the timeframes established by Procurement

Leadership – 5%

  • Participate in staff development training sessions, faculty/staff meetings, and other venues for learning and sharing information; facilitate training sessions (e.g., new hires, new processes) within CEE as needed
  • Develop checklists, reminders, and how to documents to facilitate organization and attention to detail as well as share information regarding best practices with others
  • Collaborate and network with others in similar roles within CoE and U-M to learn, share and apply best practices for efficiency, effectiveness, reducing liability, etc.
  • Serve as a liaison between faculty, ORSP, other units, and Sponsored Programs and represent CEE professionally during interactions with others (colleagues, other departments, other universities, vendors, etc.)
  • Document policies, procedures and processes in writing to share with faculty, staff, students, new hires, colleagues, etc. to improve consistency/transparency of practices, train new faculty/staff, and promote cross-training within our department.
  • Assists with special projects as they may arise

Desired Qualifications*

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor degree or equivalent combination of education and experience, degree in business and/or accounting preferred
  • Expert knowledge with both pre- and post-award management of sponsored research grants (including NSF, DoD, MDOT), budgeting, costshare, faculty academic appointments and uniform guidance policies
  • Minimum of 6 years of experience showing progressively increasing grant/contract responsibilities
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, and experience with financial management systems within the university, particularly Student Services, Financials and HR data warehouses, along with external systems ( and Fastlane)
  • Strong technical skills and demonstrated ability to learn new technological tools. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, E-Research, M-Reports, E-Financials, M-Pathways, P-Card Reconciliation, and Concur
  • Demonstrated high energy and positive leadership, including 360 communication, problem-solving, team-building and successful collaboration with diverse faculty and staff at various levels
  • Excellent judgment and capability to act in a high stress environment with numerous interruptions
  • Ability to set priorities, exercise initiative / independent judgment, work simultaneously (and accurately) on numerous projects and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work with a high degree of  independence affecting business operations to a substantial degree
  • Ability to work within collaborative teams in fast-paced, ever-changing environment
  • Knowledge of UM policies and procedures, particularly relating to financial management, internal controls, procurement, payroll, HR and research administration
  • PEERRS training or willingness/ability to successfully complete it within 2 months of hire

Preferred Requirements

  • 7-10 years of directly related experience with progressively increasing financial responsibilities
  • RAIN Certification
  • Successful completion of, and implementation of skills learned in, leadership and/or professional development courses (e.g., HRD offerings)
  • Treasury Deposit Training

Mission Statement

CEE Staff Mission:

To collaborate, create and innovate alongside our talented faculty and students.  We strive to be the best possible resource to the CEE community by being proactive, forward-thinking and streamlined in our work.  We support the global impact of the CEE community with our commitment to teamwork, cooperation, and mutual success toward common goals.

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.