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Sr. Pre-Award Research Administrator - Development (Hybrid/Remote Opportunity)

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, Massachusetts
$51,135 - $76,755 Annually
Posted Date
Nov 29, 2022

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


About Research & Engagement

The UMass Amherst community engages more than 30,000 students, 1,400 faculty and 5,000 staff in 11 schools and colleges with a wide variety of degree programs, research and public service. More than 800 faculty lead sponsored research projects in many areas from basic to applied, sponsored by federal, state and private sources with expenditures of more than $200 million in 2021.


Job Summary

The Senior Pre-Award Research Administrator – (Development) is a resource to faculty and research staff in Schools/Colleges and institute offices on all aspects of proposal development in the pursuit of funding from federal and non-federal sponsoring agencies. The Senior Pre-Award Research Administrator will provide leadership, guidance, and expertise to ensure timely, high quality, and coordinated research administrative services; will exercise functional supervision over a few employees engaged as Pre-Award Research Administrators.


Essential Functions

  • Work with campus unit financial managers and with departmental and institute staff to: identify and provide critical analysis of solicited and unsolicited relevant funding opportunities; facilitate grant and contract proposals, including assistance in information gathering, making decisions on and building appropriate and realistic budget proposals and justifications, preparation of Internal Processing Forms, and assurance that final proposal compilation and submission is in compliance and is as competitive as possible; review proposals and ensure commitments (both fiscal and technical) and accountability are in accordance with University and sponsor policies, procedures, and regulations; manage an efficient and timely budget development process for research proposals, progress reports, and grant renewals or modifications.
  • Provide professional consultation, management, and staff leadership to ensure that faculty investigators have: assistance in the proposal and budget development process for research proposals and progress reports to improve success rates, encourage multi-disciplinary submissions and project development; assistance with system-to-system proposal development and routing requirements; an effective team to package complete, accurate, and competitive proposals; assistance with obtaining all compliance approvals by the appropriate University regulatory committees (e.g. Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Conflict of Interest).
  • Act as liaison between Principal Investigator, the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) and other Research and Engagement offices for all pre-award/proposal matters. Be proactive and reactive to problems/concerns and find appropriate and timely solutions.
  • Make recommendations to OPAS Director on specific subject matter, training and educational outreach to Principal Investigators at the school/college/department level.
  • Cross train with the Pre-Award Research Administrators who specialize in review and evaluation (PARA-R) in order to foster a flexible team approach to the development, review, and submission responsibilities of the office.
  • When authorized by the Director of Sponsored Research, act as the Institutional Authorized Representative for proposals.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or related field (including reading and writing intensive fields such as English).
  • Three (3) years relevant experience.
  • Experience applying federal rules, regulations, and policies (e.g., Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], Federal Acquisition Regulations [FAR], Cost Accounting Standards [CAS]) to analysis of proposed sponsored programs or research activities or related transferable experience
  • Ability to analyze complex situations, identify workable solutions, and effectively balance service with regulatory compliance.
  • Ability to work effectively, prioritize, and be flexible in a high-paced, high-volume professional environment.
  • Outstanding organizational skills, ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, capable of self- direction, ability to deal diplomatically with people at all levels, a high degree of personal integrity and discretion, solid decision-making skills, and judgment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Intermediate level of experience with Excel and Word.
  • Certified Research Administration (CRA) required upon hire.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Three (3) years relevant experience in an Institution of Higher Education preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in the interpretation and application of regulations pertaining to sponsored programs.
  • Experience with the development of budgets and/or proposals in accordance with agency or institutional guidelines under tight deadlines.
  • Ability to interpret and translate programmatic needs into cost effective budget proposals to maximize funding opportunities.


Work Schedule

  • Required to work some nights and weekends.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.
  • This position has the opportunity for a remote work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where the employee’s work location is to work from a site other than the UMass Amherst campus. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references. The position will remain open until filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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