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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

UMTRI seeks an experienced Research Administrator Senior to work alongside others in its shared administrative services structure to provide top-quality, best practice pre­ and post-award research administrative support, for an assigned set of faculty and researchers.  This position will serve as a part of a research administrative team reporting to the Institute’s Business Administrator and will participate actively in business system improvements and professional development activities.  The role of Research Administrator Senior at UMTRI requires a service-oriented attitude and a high level of initiative and accountability.

This is a hybrid position involving work to be completed onsite and remote.

Who We Are

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) is recognized internationally for our multidisciplinary research focusing on transportation safety and mobility ( We maintain the highest standards of excellence as we conduct research that improves peoples’ lives through access to safe and equitable mobility. UMTRI is a non-degree-granting unit within the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan that includes 20 faculty members, 65 research staff, and over 100 student researchers. During the last fiscal year, UMTRI generated $19M in research expenditures with funding from a wide range of government agencies and industry partners.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity.  The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off, including vacation time, sick time, holiday and season days
  • Retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending account for healthcare and dependent care expenses


Pre-award duties will include preparation and submission of timely proposals for assigned research faculty, preparing proposal budgets, coordinating and compiling proposal documents, assuring compliance to solicitation and project proposal announcement requirements, coordinating proposal requirements with additional internal and external participants, interaction and coordination with appropriate research office staff, and submission through the University's E-RPM proposal submissions system. Proposals range from small proposals for individual faculty, to large complex proposals requiring several budget types and preparation of information from multiple stakeholders and participants both within and beyond the university.

UMTRI maintains several routine testing and auxiliary activities and the selected candidate may also be responsible for assigned recharge activities along with rate proposal submissions and renewals. The successful candidate will be able to aid research leaders with creative assistance in visioning and establishing routine testing and auxiliary activities to optimize the use of UMTRI assets for a myriad of research activities.

Post-award responsibilities will include tracking and oversight of project financial status, development and communication of staff effort planning reports, provision of sponsor-specific monthly/quarterly reporting and invoice backup, timely re-budgeting as required by sponsors and the University, initial approval of transactions for assigned projects, and preparation and submission of post-award administrative requests such as no-cost time extensions, information for quick establishment of sub-project grants and subcontracts, and other documents as needed.

The majority of research staff at UMTRI report time utilizing a pool timekeeping system and this position includes responsibility to assure that submitted time for assigned research groups reflects staff plans and available budget. Additional financial tracking will include discretionary funds and research incentive funds, expendable restricted funds, and designated activity as assigned.

UMTRl's administrative model is dynamic and regular reviews of work assignment load and complexity of work assignments are conducted.  This position will work with unit administrative leadership to assure efficiency in the shared services model, which provides accurate and timely administrative support across the institute. This may include serving as a backup for the other research administrators during scheduled absences or to assist with overload assignments in other areas.

Required Qualifications*

  • Requires a bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of directly related research administration and/or financial experience
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills including the ability to work cooperatively with faculty and staff
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to think analytically
  • Strong computer skills, ability to multitask and meet deadlines 
  • Must be knowledgeable of relevant University policies related to pre and post award research administration

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience with staff effort planning and exposure to payroll processing utilizing timekeeping pools
  • Demonstrated competence in financial report creation
  • Experience with university administrative and business tools such as Business Objects, M-Reports, Excel, Tableau, Concur, procurement, electronic timekeeping, and other tools which would enable effective oversight and stewardship to sponsored projects

Underfill Statement

This position may be underfilled at the lower classification of Research Administrator Intermediate depending on the qualifications of the selected candidate.

Additional Information

Michigan Engineering’s vision is to be a world-wide 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:

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening 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.