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Assistant Director for Research Administration

Harvard University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Aug 28, 2023

Job Details

Auto req ID


Job Code

F1358M Research Admin Mgt IV PrPs

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Business Title

Assistant Director for Research Administration



Salary Grade


Time Status



00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • MBA or Masters' degree in relevant field
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, advanced Excel skills
  • Knowledge of advanced financial principles, budget management, financial analysis
  • Demonstrated experience with a wide variety of federal sponsored research awards including NIH, NSF, DOD and electronic grant submission systems
  • Experience with Harvard financial and grants administration systems and applications highly preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to work effectively in deadline-driven environment required
  • Must be able to manage multiple and shifting priorities and interact with diverse constituencies.
  • Strong analytical, interpersonal, and organizational capabilities.
  • Must be self-directed, possess ability to use high degree of judgment, work independently with minimum supervision, and handle complex and confidential information with discretion
  • Must be a leader who is a team player with a strong service-oriented attitude
  • Must possess desire and willingness to assume increasing responsibilities
Additional Information

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community

All formal offers will be made by FAS Human Resources

We regret that we are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position


Molecular and Cellular Biology

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


35 hours per week

Job Function



Faculty of Arts and Sciences

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Minimum of 7 years’ relevant work experience
  • Advanced knowledge of sponsored research regulations
  • Supervisory experience
Working Conditions

This is a hybrid position on our campus in Cambridge, MA. This position is required to work in-person on campus a minimum number of days per week. Specific days and schedule will be determined.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Position Description

In the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, we research and teach how the collective behavior of molecules and cells forms the basis of life. We are driven by a passion for discovery and value collaborative approaches to scientific inquiry, where connections between people fuel interdisciplinary science and break boundaries across varied experimental systems. Against a backdrop of cutting-edge biological research, we work as a team of educators and mentors to inspire and train the next generation of scientists and global citizens. The Department has an opening for an Assistant Director for Research Administration who will lead a team of Research Administrators in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology ensuring performance of a full range of pre- and post- award responsibilities from proposal preparation to award management and closeout. There are ample opportunities for professional development including conference attendance and access to professional affiliations as well as career advancement within the department and university.

Reporting to the Associate Director of Finance and Research Administration and serving as a member of the Executive Director's senior management team, the AD for Research Administration will be responsible for managing a team of 5-7 individuals who oversee the pre-and post-award activities and compliance of 35-40 Faculty Principal Investigators and their lab of researchers. The AD for Research Administration will be responsible for effective staff management, including hiring and orientation, training and development, workflow and performance management, and the promotion of an inclusive and innovative work environment.

The position will oversee the signatory process. Establish and monitor effective pre-and post-award processes, systems and best practices to support faculty and their lab of researchers with comprehensive pre-and post-award services for a wide range of sponsoring agencies such as:
  • Federal, non-federal institutions, foundations, internal Harvard funding, gifts and other research accounts
  • Collaborate on the development of new pre- and post-award procedures within MCB/FAS that support University wide policies and initiatives
  • Provide problem resolution, guidance and or training for comprehensive sponsored and non-sponsored award management, compliance, systems, and reporting
  • Interpret regulations and guidelines of multiple program funding with complex and broad guidelines for spending
  • Lead the audit of individual sponsored accounts to ensure compliance with University and sponsored regulations
  • Ensure department's faculty funding is accurate and timely financial analysis and reporting
This position acts as departmental representative at the School/University level. The position will work closely with FAS Research Administration Services, the Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Technology Development, Dean's Office, Provost's Office, and Alumni and Development Services on proposal review, award negotiation, and fulfillment of reporting requirements. Work with IACUC, IRB, and ESCRO offices. Manage interdepartmental relationships. Liaise to faculty and researchers on policy issues and guidelines. This position implements the policies set by the University, to meet federal regulations, related to sponsored research, including proper overhead rates and supplemental salary allowances, this position must stay current with existing and upcoming rules and ensure that all researchers are in compliance from the proposal stage onward. This position will represent MCB's interests on relevant FAS and University committees. The AD for Research Administration will be a working lead and also serve as a subject-matter expert in research administration. As such, the AD for Research Administration serves as back-up within the team during peak periods and will be responsible for other duties as required in conformity with the position level.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


 Harvard FAS

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the home of Harvard’s undergraduate program (Harvard College, founded in 1636) as well as all of Harvard’s PhD. programs (the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, founded in 1872). The 40 academic departments and more than 30 centers of the FAS support a community unparalleled in its academic excellence across the broadest range of liberal arts and sciences disciplines. Together, the FAS seeks to foster an environment of ambition, curiosity and shared commitment to knowledge and truth that elicits excellence from all members of our community and prepares the next generation of leaders through a transformative educational experience.

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