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

Job Summary

UM-Dearborn is one of three campuses of the University of Michigan. The growth and impact of UMDearborn’s research portfolio is an important priority for Chancellor Domenico Grasso. To achieve these goals, the UM-Dearborn Office of Research operates as a shared service unit to support the efforts of faculty in our four colleges to seek, secure, and carry out externally sponsored projects, assisting them with approximately 175 proposal submissions annually.

The Pre-Award Administrator will be an important member of the Office of Research administrative team, which is responsible for all office finances and business operations and for providing services, oversight, and guidance to the Dearborn campus on matters related to research and externally sponsored projects. The Pre-Award Administrator reports to the Assistant Director for Research Administration, and will be accountable for high-quality interactions with internal and external partners in a service-oriented manner.

UM-Dearborn is conveniently located a short distance from I-94, I-96, and M-39 freeways. In addition to a 50% tuition scholarship for eligible dependents, UM-Dearborn staff enjoy the same competitive benefits package as all other UM employees including excellent medical, vision, and dental coverage, paid time off (holiday, sick, vacation, etc), and 2:1 match on retirement contributions.


The Pre-Award Administrator is expected to be proactive in everyday tasks, take initiative to identify and act on issues as they arise, and independently accomplish assignments with minimal supervision. This position includes the potential for a hybrid on-campus/remote work arrangement. However, this role also requires close interaction with faculty and staff across the institution, and developing effective working relationships is essential.

The primary duties of this position are related to requesting and receiving funding from a broad range of external sources including federal, state, corporate, industry, foundation, and non-profit sponsors. The Pre-Award Administrator will assist faculty from UM-Dearborn’s four colleges to apply for and receive externally sponsored funding by coordinating the proposal process (preparation, routing, and submission of funding requests of varying complexity) as well as the processing of awards through institutional channels when they are received. Related tasks include:

  • Creation of timelines and list of proposal requirements to guide Principal Investigators
  • Development of budgets and justifications that align with sponsor and university policies
  • Collection and assembly of application and proposal documents, and related materials
  • Coordination with internal and external collaborators
  • Completion of required internal and external forms and processes
  • Use of checklists to review proposals for completeness and administrative compliance
  • Timely routing of proposals to meet internal and external deadlines
  • Processing of Unfunded Agreement Forms (e.g. MTAs, NDAs, DUAs, etc.)
  • Communication with faculty, administrators, ORSP, and Sponsored Programs related to assigned proposals and resulting awards


As a member of the Office of Research administrative team, the Pre-Award Administrator is expected to contribute to general office operations and administration by:

  • Updating internal documents related to business processes and sponsor requirements
  • Participating in continuous process improvement and internal control efforts
  • Guiding and training faculty and staff in research administrative procedures
  • Assisting other team members as workloads and schedules necessitate
  • Reconciling and processing financial transactions for assigned accounts
  • Providing post-award support for award modifications
  • Investigating and resolving issues arising, within the purview of the office

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor degree or equivalent combination of education and experience, with a minimum 3 years of continuous experience in research administration
  • Experience using, Fastlane/, and other sponsor systems
  • Knowledge of relevant policies related to research administration with ability to interpret and apply sponsor and University guidelines
  • Attention to detail, sound judgment, and follow-through are necessary
  • Ability to effectively manage competing priorities and meet deadlines
  • High level of resourcefulness, investigative skills, resilience, and tolerance for ambiguity
  • Dedication to customer service and desire to work with a diverse community from a variety of disciplines and with varying levels of grant experience
  • Proficient knowledge of Adobe Acrobat, Excel, Word, and Google applications; comfort with changing technologies
  • Excellent communication skills

Desired Qualifications*

  • Proficient knowledge of U-M systems eResearch Proposal Management, Concur, and M-Reports is strongly preferred
  • Experience with a variety of funding agencies is strongly preferred
  • Accounting experience in a university setting is strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of Competition Space or other InfoReady products is desirable
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) credential is desirable

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.