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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

Taubman College maintains an evolving portfolio of sponsored projects comprised of a broad spectrum of project types and themes ranging across building technology, transportation, urban systems, historical research, material systems exploration, digital fabrication and advanced robotics and engaged social innovation with community partners. While we are a small unit, our annual research expenditures have doubled in the past three years and are currently approximately $3 million. We submit roughly 40 new external proposals each year, and a similar volume of internal proposals. Our funding comes from a diverse range of funding sources, including foundations, professional societies, industry sources and national funding agencies including USDOT, NSF, NEH, and DOE. Our goal is to continue to diversify and expand this portfolio, supporting the wide range of work undertaken by our faculty and students.

We are seeking a highly motivated and proactive research administrator to provide project account and budgeting support to faculty and administrators at all stages of the grant process, from pre-award preparation and submission of research and grant proposals to post-award grant administration. The contract and grant specialist will work collaboratively with both the associate dean for research and creative practice and the business office and will serve as the financial liaison between faculty and staff, while monitoring grant submissions and informing management of the financial and administrative effort associated with successful awards. A successful candidate will support the mission of continuing to develop a well-funded and productive sponsored research and creative practice program through their pre- and post-award grant support. This role requires excellent interpersonal skills to partner with colleagues at all levels and within multiple university offices as well as independent judgment to plan, prioritize and organize workload, and a keen desire to work within the context of a dynamic administrative environment on a diverse range of project types.


Pre-award responsibilities include:

  • Serving as the primary resource for faculty and project teams who are applying for grants and other sources of research funding by coordinating the administrative processes required for submitting proposals
  • Providing assistance with the preparation of budgets, budget justification and other non-technical supporting documentation, including drafting the text for some elements of the proposals and reviewing final proposals for clarity and completeness
  • Serving as the primary resource for faculty and project teams who are applying for grants and other sources of research funding
  • Coordinating with internal and external entities as appropriate
  • Ensuring timely routing of proposals through the institutional approval process
  • Maintaining appropriate communications with faculty, Taubman College administrators, and ORSP and Sponsored Programs for pre- and post-award activity


Post-award responsibilities that are primarily financial in nature include:

  • Projecting and updating financial encumbrances
  • Reviewing financial transactions,  monitoring for appropriateness, allowability, and compliance with grant specification and providing faculty with monthly reports
  • Specific duties may include setting up new projects, budget (re)allocations, establishing sub- projects; monitoring payroll and expenses, creating and submitting journal entries, running Uniform Guidance expense reports, approving general supply orders, requesting no-cost extensions or special approvals, preparing and reviewing financial reports including financial statement reports and closing out of projects
  • Processing rebudget, report preparation, and renewals/extension administration.


Additional responsibilities include assisting other team members as needed, including the business office, the associate dean, and program manager for research and creative practice (research development), participating in continuous process improvement efforts, helping to document best practice processes and procedures for research administration, and assisting in developing informational and practice-based seminars for faculty.


Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in Business Administration or a related field and 3 to 5 years of relevant experience, or the equivalent combination of education and experience in research administration or higher level financial activities.
  • Prior experience with research administration or relevant experience in comparable environment with tight regulations and compliance requirements.
  • Ability to interpret and apply guidelines and policies including Uniform Guidance, budgeting restrictions and university sponsored research policies.
  • Successful candidate must be motivated with a positive attitude and strong commitment to exceptional customer service.
  • Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to use discretion and appropriate judgment regarding sensitive and confidential matters.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment as well as independently, set priorities, multi-task, handle multiple assignments and deadlines, and display excellent judgment while operating in a flexible and professional manner.
  • Requires strong computer proficiency with MS Excel and other Office products and comfort with changing technology.
  • Ability to quickly learn new computer systems for accessing data, creating necessary tracking reports and analysis.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA).
  • Prior experience with a variety of funding agencies policies and practices
  • Knowledge of UM financial practices and processes strongly preferred.
  • Experience in and knowledge of UM systems and procedures used in pre- and post-award is strongly desired, including e-Research, M-pathways, M-reports, Business Objects, Concur and other UM reporting tools.
  • Experience with eResearch electronic PAF and proposal management and award management.


U-M EEO/AA Statement

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