Director of Sponsored Programs

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Tennessee, United States
Competitive Salary
Sep 09, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The Director of Sponsored Programs for the UT Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) reports to the Dean of UT AgResearch and directly supports research, extension and teaching activities in all units of UTIA by providing strategic direction for UTIA's Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). This position will stay abreast of policies and procedures pertaining to research administration and ensure that information is provided to UTIA faculty, staff and administrators. The incumbent will assume overall responsibility for UTIA's proposal development and award negotiation for externally funded grants and contracts.

The UTIA OSP provides individualized service in all aspects of proposal development and award negotiations for federal, state, and private funding. OSP helps ensure compliance with internal and external requirements within an atmosphere of professionalism and collaboration.

Job Responsibilities:

This is a full-time position providing overall leadership, direction, and management to optimize efficiency and productivity for UTIA's Office of Sponsored Programs. This position assigns and/or approves the assignment of work functions and analyzes the work structure to provide staff with the proper tools to manage their workload. Additionally, this position will inform, advise, and collaborate with the AgResearch Dean, other UTIA leadership and external partners to ensure alignment with federal, state and local laws, regulations, and mandates. Assessing the needs and developing policies and procedures to ensure and protect the interests of the Institute is also a responsibility of the Director.

The Director has delegated authority to negotiate and accept sponsored contracts and grants and signature authority on proposals. The Director may also represent the AgResearch Dean at meetings and on committees, as appropriate. Working with other institutes and university offices to streamline processes that affect OSP and working with other UT System campus research offices on common policies, procedures, practices, and Electronic Research Administrations System development is necessary.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Master’s degree with ten years of extensive and intensive experience working in an office of sponsored programs administration in an academic, research institute, foundation, or national laboratory environment
  2. Experience directly supervising full-time, professional employees
  3. Experience in negotiating and administering various types of contracts, awards, grants, and other types of agreements with agencies such as USDA NIFA, NSF, USEPA, FFAR, DOE as well as private foundations

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. CRA certification preferred
  2. Experience working in an academic institution with preference given to experience working in a Central Sponsored Programs Office
  3. Doctoral degree

The Knoxville Community:

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains along the Tennessee River, Knoxville is a thriving Southern city known for its great outdoors, diverse music scene, and wide variety of eateries. It is nationally known for its Urban Wilderness, located less than three miles from downtown, with more than 50 miles of natural trails. A vibrant downtown, located less than a mile from the heart of the UT campus, offers live entertainment, unique shopping and outstanding local dining.

With a population at nearly 185,000, it is both the oldest and the third-largest city in the state of Tennessee; only Memphis and Nashville are larger., Knoxville is a one-hour drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the U.S. National Park Service’s most-visited site. Knoxville also is within a day’s drive or less to many major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the Atlantic coast. UT’s Neyland Stadium is one of the country’s largest sports venues. Knoxville was rated #8 in "America's Favorite Places" by Travel & Leisure, #2 in “Most Affordable Cities” by Forbes, #5 for “Best Cities for Small Business” by CNN Money, and a Top 10 “Destination on the Rise” by Trip Advisor.


Job application review will begin on October 1, 2020 and remain open until a suitable candidate is selected. Qualified individuals must apply online and submit application materials via electronic means through the UT recruitment website at:" href="">

Applications must include: (1) resume, (2) letter of interest, and (3) names, addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of at least four professional references.

Inquiries about the position should be directed to: