Senior Specialist, Grants & Contracts

DePaul University - Chicago, IL
Illinois, United States
Salary Not specified
Apr 14, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Multicultural Statement
At DePaul University, we are looking for candidates who want to join us in our mission to provide access to education for all. Successful candidates welcome ideas and perspectives from colleagues and students representing a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds, religious beliefs, and experiences. We seek collaborative, open-minded and hard working professionals to work in a real world urban learning environment. Are you exceptional, yet modest and open to challenges? We seek achievers and leaders that want to bring their passion and skills to our well-respected community of approachable colleagues. Build your career with us. 

General Summary

This position is integral to the successful management of approximately 115 active external grant awards at DePaul, totaling $32 million, and 300 active internal grant awards totaling $4.3 million. 

Responsibilities & Duties

Senior Grants and Contracts Specialists may be assigned to pre-award or post-award or a combination of the two, depending upon the needs of the office.  

  • Sets up internal and external grant awards--including complex, multi-year awards--using Blackbaud and the BlueSky Financial Management system. As part of this process: 
  • Works with multiple proposal and award documents in a range of formats, identifying and abstracting key information regarding the project.  
  • Using this information creates an award profile for use by grants staff across multiple offices throughout the award life cycle.  In creating the profile, tracks issues that will pose challenges for grants administration, including intellectual property issues, cost-sharing, conflicts of interest, and pre-award spending.  
  • Reconfigures the project budget, translating it into DePaul's budget categories and reconciling proposal, award, and DePaul budgets to ensure consistency and accuracy.  
  • Works with the PI, as needed, to revise the budget and scope of work in those cases where the amount requested exceeds the amount awarded, secures PI/Chair/Academic Unit approval for reconfigured budget and scope of work as relevant, and communicates adjustments made at the point of award to the sponsor.
  • With reference to the proposal and award documents, identifies and enters project milestones for which DePaul will be responsible as a first step toward assuring compliance with these requirements.  
  • Works with the Manager of Restricted Accounting (external grants) and Financial Affairs (internal grants) to finalize grant award setups and issues the Notices of Grant awards to recipients, and coordinates with ORS staff responsible for personnel actions. 
  • Updates BlueSky records when extensions or other award modifications are issued by the sponsor, adjusting milestones and other fields as needed, and issues memos on the new award terms to the PI, academic unit, and Restricted Accounting.  
  • Schedules and conducts one-to-one orientation sessions for new PIs that introduce them to grants management and focus on the challenges presented by their internal and external awards. As part of this process: 
  • Covers special requirements established by their award agreements, by sponsor policy, or by federal regulations. 
  • Reviews strategies and institutional procedures for dealing with challenging, complex grants management issues that pertain to the award.    
  • Goes over reporting requirements and procedures, including roles and responsibilities involving the preparation and submission of programmatic and technical reports. 
  • Provides individualized instruction, as needed, on grants management skills such as reading and reconciling budget reports. 

Provides ongoing technical support and problem resolution to PIs across the university such as the following: 

  • Reviews budget reports from Restricted Accounting and, if needed, work with PIs to select and implement solutions in cooperation with Restricted Accounting.   
  • Reallocates employee compensation and other expenses during grant closeout, as needed.
  • Determines the financial status of grant accounts and works with PIs to resolve fiscal issues and challenges.  
  • Coordinates a tracking and notification system that focuses on grant award milestones such as progress reports, conflict of interest disclosures, and end dates. This activity includes running milestone reports for Advancement or other units as applicable, monthly, or on as a needed basis.
  • Using Blackbaud and BlueSky reporting functions prepares and disseminates lists of active grants and new awards of ORS staff, Advancement, and Academic Affairs and assists Directors in compiling post-award information for internal and external grants for inclusion in ORS's annual report.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required with 5 years experience in a position involving grants administration, preferably in a university setting.

Preferred Requirements

  • Masters degree.

Financial Responsibilities

  • This position is integral to the management of approximately 115 active grant awards totaling $32 million and of approx. 300 internal grants totaling $4.3 million.

Physical Requirements

Ability to travel easily between the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses, as needed.  Ability to work at a computer for long periods of time.      


CRA (Certified Research Administrator) designation preferred

Other Skills & Abilities Required

  • Mastery of a wide range of DePaul business processes and procedures. 
  • Mastery of federal and non-federal funding agency policies and procedures. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collegially in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Demonstrated ability to make decisions, be self-motivated, and work independently. 
  • Demonstrated ability to handle the setup of and assist with the management of large, complex grant awards. 
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct advanced database searches and conduct data analysis. 
  • Demonstrated ability to use enterprise software such as OracleCloud.  

Additional Information
For consideration, please include a resume and cover letter.

Salary & Benefits Package:
DePaul offers a comprehensive package including competitive pay and benefits to attract and retain the best talent in order to further the University's mission. For more information, please visit the following pages:

Full Benefits
Part-Time Benefits

Required Background Check:
Employment at DePaul University is contingent on passing a background check. Only final candidates who are extended an offer of employment will undergo a background check.

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect:
Upon accepting an offer of employment with the university, you will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status at the time of hire. A mandated reporter is required to make a report to the Illinois DCFS Hotline whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected. For more information, please visit the following pages:

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)
Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

Title IX Contact Information
Federal Title IX policy requires that all colleges and universities make known the contact information for the person responsible for coordinating its efforts to comply with Title IX responsibilities. At DePaul University, the Title IX Coordinator is Kathryn Statz. Her office is located in Lincoln Park on the 3rd floor of the Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Avenue. She can be reached at 312-362-8970, or

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local EEO laws.