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Senior Sponsored Research Administrator

Harvard University, FAS Department of Psychology
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Oct 19, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration, Business & Administrative Affairs, Business & Administrative Support, Financial Affairs, Grants & Contracts
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Summary:

Reporting to the Business Office Director in the Department of Psychology, the Senior Sponsored Research Administrator (SSRA) manages complex funding portfolios for multiple Principal Investigators (PIs).

Job-Specific Responsibilities:

The SSRA provides life-cycle administration of federal and non-federal sponsored awards and manages internal research funding; proactively establishes relationships with faculty members, postdocs, graduate students and other lab members; providing regular as well as ad hoc financial reports to Department faculty and administrative leadership; reconciling faculty and lab research needs with overall financial picture and making recommendations regarding spending rates; and partners with FAS Research Administration Services (RAS) and Harvard's Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) to provide expert guidance on all research finance issues.

Pre-award responsibilities

  • Interprets funding opportunity announcements to advise PIs on practical aspects of proposal preparation, including formatting requirements and use of submission systems.
  • Helps develop proposal budgets and provides detailed cost analyses and budget justifications.
  • Helps to build non-technical components for submission to external sponsors and internal University programs.
  • Reviews complex award terms and advises PIs on practical considerations that may affect the administration of a project.
  • Collaborates with OSP to resolve issues that occur during the internal review/approval process through submission to sponsor.

Post-award responsibilities

  • Advises PIs on fiscal policies and procedures as they pertain to the management of research funds.
  • Interprets financial and business terms of funding agreements, including review of congruency with sponsor cost and procurement regulations, allowability and allocability of expenses, and consistency with faculty and sponsor objectives.
  • Reviews transactions and works with Psychology team members to appropriately apply internal controls.
  • On a monthly basis, reconciles and updates accounts and provides PIs with expenditure reports and projections.
  • Reconciles faculty and lab research needs with overall financial picture, making recommendations regarding spending rates.
  • Verifies salary allocations to research accounts, including faculty supplemental salary, and coordinates changes to payroll on sponsored awards. Reviews effort statements to ensure accuracy before release to PI certifiers. Works with department administration to resolve personnel related issues and non-routine activities such as layoffs, leaves, etc.
  • Works closely with OSP to establish accounts, maintain accurate financial records, prepare financial reports and invoices, and close out projects.

Other duties

  • Prepares multiple complex and varied financial reports that require selection, preparation and interpretation of data for use in planning and decision making.
  • Confers with FAS RAS and OSP to ensure compliance with FAS, University, and sponsor regulations. Works collaboratively to identify and resolve problems arising during all phases of the sponsored programs lifecycle, and to develop/identify best practices and business process enhancements.
  • Supports team members, covering portfolio tasks for other research administrators as needed.
  • Provides superior service to faculty members and their lab members and establishes effective partnerships with other administrators within the department, school, and University.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Overtime may be required.
Basic Qualifications:

At least 3 years of experience managing grants in a research environment. Education may count toward experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills:

Bachelor's degree and experience with both pre- and post-award grants management preferred. Knowledge of federal and non-federal regulations for sponsored research (Uniform Guidance, NIH, NSF, etc.) and familiarity with research compliance issues (conflicts of interest, export controls, IRB, IACUC, etc.). Superior skills in Excel and other applications in Microsoft Office.

Must be capable of working independently in a fast-paced academic environment with multiple competing deadlines. Proven ability to prioritize multiple projects, tasks, and demands under deadline pressure; flexibility is a must. Excellent financial and analytical skills; must be able to review, analyze, and distill financial data for lay audience. Must be able to troubleshoot, problem-solve, and take initiative/ownership of all tasks required. Excellent written, verbal, and graphic communication skills. Demonstrated use of good judgment and ability to work independently with minimal supervision. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion. Must be able to work as part of a team in a high volume, fast-paced environment while maintaining a high level of accuracy, professionalism and good cheer. Demonstrated commitment to customer service and willingness to assume increasing responsibilities.

Working Conditions:

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information webpage.

During the current period of COVID-19 related restrictions, interviewing and onboarding for this position may be conducted remotely, with transition to working onsite in Cambridge, Massachusetts when our campus fully reopens.

Additional Information:

The Department of Psychology sits within the Division of Social Science, which is strongly committed to creating and supporting a diverse workforce. Respect and fairness, kindness and collegiality, and trust and transparency are among the values we espouse and promote in our workplace culture. We work hard to ensure a healthy, inclusive and positive environment where everyone does their best work in support of Harvard's mission. To learn more about our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging, please see our departmental Diversity Statement.

Harvard offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools. 
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
  • Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

We regret that Harvard is unable to offer work authorization and/or visa sponsorship for this position.

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