Manager, Pre-Award Services, Office of Sponsored Programs



The Pre-Award Manager acts as the lead supervisor and provides direction and guidance all pre-award employees. The Manager manages all daily functions related to workflow, work distribution, and tasks related training of the Pre-Award staff.

This position serves as the supervisor for pre-award staff in OSP. The Manager is expected to:

  • Foster a supportive and flexible work culture within the pre-award team
  • Liaise with stakeholders to assess OSP’s quality of service in pre-award; report opportunities for improvement to the Director and OSP leadership team
  • Ensure the development of deep, agency-specific expertise within the pre-award team
  • Work with the pre-award team to identify opportunities for efficiency in pre-award tools and processes
  • Ensure pre-award policies, tools, and processes are current and optimized for OSP and the campus community


The Manager is also responsible for ALL aspects of sponsored project proposal development and submission including finding and interpreting Sponsor guidelines and expectations for a particular competition or opportunity, analyzing sponsored project proposals and budgets to ensure compliance with University and Sponsor policies, procedures, and regulations. The manager will ensure that each proposal and its financial and in-kind commitments are acceptable to the University, the funding agency, and the University investigator. The Manager is expected to process the most complex proposals and have the capability to handle a significantly higher volume of requests than entry-level employees. The Manager will work closely with the Proposal Development Manager to identify areas of collaboration and possibilities for growing UM’s proposal quality and volume. The Manager will also oversee contract review and negotiation for the most strategic and complex contracts.

Additional Responsibilities include:

  • Provide expert guidance to all members of Research Administration regarding the submission and storage of proposals and related materials.
  • Take full responsibility for all issues related to workflow and distribution for the pre-award staff – including workload redistribution when required, department assignments, and maintenance of the designated back-up system. Whether performed or delegated, take responsibility for the data analysis necessary to perform these functions.
  • Serve as the Point of Contact for all Proposal intake and distribution functions. Serve as the primary point of contact for general proposal related inquiries from the campus community.
  • Develop and maintain a Training Matrix for the professional development and training activities of the pre-award staff.
  • Develop robust external training in pre-award for department administrators and PIs and engage the pre-award team to provide the training.
  • Coordinate with the Director in the dissemination of knowledge to the entire pre-award staff through training sessions, written communications, and meeting updates.
  • Coordinate with and advise the Director with regard to personnel issues.
  • Provide recommendations to the Director with regard to process improvement issues.
  • Serve on committees and task forces representing the Pre-Award team to further the long-term goals of the Office of Sponsored Programs.


Position Details

  • Position is full-time, 1.0 FTE, Montana University System (MUS) Contract and includes a comprehensive and competitive benefits package including Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program.
  • Salary for this position is $55,000 - $65,000 per year commensurate with qualifications.


Required Education and Skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, as well as at least three (3) years of related professional experience; or any combination of experience and education that would provide the competencies required to successfully discharge the duties assigned to this position
  • Extensive budget and proposal development experience
  • Expertise in multiple federal agencies’ proposal guidance
  • Extensive knowledge of 2 CFR 200
  • Demonstrated ability to convene multiple stakeholders to effectively resolve complex issues
  • Knowledge of supervisory practices and procedures
  • Demonstrated ability to solve complex problems and make sound decisions during stressful situations
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct research, analyze findings and draw conclusions
  • Skill in the operation of personal computers and related software (Excel, Word, Access) with the ability to learn new programs
  • Demonstrated proficiency in establishing goals and priorities and meeting multiple deadlines
  • Proven written communication skills: business English, spelling, grammar, punctuation and composition
  • Excellent organizational, multi-tasking and time management skills with the ability to work on numerous projects simultaneously
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Interpersonal and oral communication skills, including ability effectively communicate with a variety of personnel and funding agencies and to establish and maintain good working relationships
Preferred Qualifications
  • Advanced degree such as MA, MS, or MBA in a related field
  • Professional certification such as CRA, PMP, CPA
  • Experience presenting at regional or national conferences
  • Direct research administration management experience at an R-1 research institution


About the Office of Sponsored Programs and UM

The Office of Sponsored Programs administers institutional external funding (contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, etc.) and ensures that such sponsored projects comply with internal controls and applicable policies and regulations. Responsible for the lifecycle of sponsored programs, OSP activities include proposal development, proposal submission, award negotiation, and award management and closeout, as well as mitigation of audit risk.

The University of Montana is a unit of the Montana University System with over 10,000 students. It is located in Missoula, a culturally vibrant community of about 72,000, surrounded by mountain grandeur which was recently ranked in the “ top 20 best college towns with a population of less than 250,000 ” by the American Institute for Economic Research and ranked 9th in Outside Magazine’s “ The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America” in 2014 . Many national publications recognize Missoula for its high quality of life . Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere. The University of Montana offers eligible employees a generous benefits package that positively separates UM from other local employers and offers many programs and policies to support work-life balance for its employees.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action : Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of “mission first, people always"; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.



To learn more about the University of Montana, Missoula, and the State of Montana, please visit the links below.



Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to the Offer of Employment In accordance with University regulations, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References: References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing: Individual hiring departments at UM may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility: All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

How to Apply

Priority Application Date: October 20, 2020

Applications received by this date will be guaranteed consideration. Application review will begin after date above and continue until the position is filled.

Please submit the following application materials via "New Resume/CV" button below.

*Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

  • Cover letter – describing research interests, experience, career goals, and your fit for the position
  • Detailed CV - listing education, publications, skills, etc
  • Names and contact information for three (3) professional references


Need additional help? Check out our UM Jobs FAQ website.

Job Location Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular

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