The Senior Grant and Contract Administrator (Senior GA) serves as a senior level contract and grant expert in the central sponsored projects office. Incumbents are expected, once fully trained, to hold personal delegated authority on behalf of the University to solicit, negotiate, and administer extramural support for University research, training, and public service projects sponsored by for-profit sponsors. Primary duties include review, approval and submission of extramural proposals for research, public service, and training; negotiation and execution of contract and grant awards; and the negotiation, issuance, and oversight of sub-awards to other legal entities. Incumbents also serve as institutional experts in the area of other sponsor regulations and requirements; and participate in institution-wide or department-wide research administration initiatives.
-- Review agency proposal guidelines and Requests for Proposals (contracts), and compare agency requirements to proposals submitted for review and endorsement. Notify investigators and departments of errors. Exercise subjective judgment about which errors require correction prior to institutional endorsement. Assist departments in interpretation of guidelines or requirements.
-- Endorse proposal on behalf of the University (after receiving signature authority).
-- Submit the proposal using a wide variety of sponsor electronic and manual systems.
-- Respond to questions and issues that arise from sponsor, investigators, or departmental staff prior to award (reduced budgets, budget negotiations with sponsor, questions about adherence to terms, potential terms and conditions imposed by sponsors, etc.).
-- Review pre-award spending requests to determine if sponsor will permit expenditures prior to execution of an award; advise departments accurately about risks.
-- Negotiate terms and conditions of incoming agreements (sponsored research contracts, grants, clinical trials) and sub-awards with sponsors to determine the adequacy and acceptability of terms and conditions for the University. Work with sponsor legal counsel and contracting officers, and principal investigators, Office of the General Counsel, Office for Technology Commercialization, research associate deans, departmental staff, and other University business offices to devise or alter terms as needed to minimize administrative burden, ensure proper costing and adherence to University policies while ensuring positive relationships with sponsoring agencies.
-- Understand and apply a wide range of University policy and procedures related to research/sponsored projects.
-- Provide guidance and assistance to faculty and to departmental staff interpreting regulatory and sponsor requirements, as well as compliance with University policy.
-- Execute awards on behalf of the Regents of the University of Minnesota after verifying adequacy of the terms (after receipt of signature authority).
-- Using various electronic systems, establish the award in the University's financial system and in databases tracking contract and grant activity. Summarize terms and conditions to accurately reflect the parameters of the award and to provide proper notifications to principal investigators and various university business offices.
-- Interpret federal, state and sponsor terms and conditions and reconcile with applicable University policy and procedure to provide proper internal guidance to investigators, senior research officials and staff.
-- Review mid-life cycle requests for prior approval, additional funding, or other needed changes on behalf of the University.
-- Assist faculty and staff in resolution of issues or problems that arise during project performance.
-- Negotiate and issue sub-awards.
-- Resolve issues or concerns identified by the sponsor or the investigator.
-- Perform A-133 single audit review and perform risk assessment of proposed sub-recipients to ensure their financial adequacy as required under OMB Circular A-133/2 CFR 200.
-- Issue management decisions as required under OMB Circular A-133/2 CFR 200.
-- Review scope of work and project parameters to determine the best contracting mechanism to acquire the services of the proposed sub-recipient and to ensure that sponsor prior approvals (if any) are obtained.
-- Ascertain applicability and ensure accurate flow down of the terms and conditions of prime awards to the proposed sub-recipient, adjusting requirements as needed to fulfill principal investigator and institutional requirements and imposing terms necessary to adequately manage institutional risk.
-- Negotiate and execute sub-awards with proposed sub-recipients; modify such sub-awards over time to change funding, period of performance, work scope, reporting obligations, intellectual property or data right obligations, termination and payment terms, indemnification, or other parameters as needed to ensure that the University will be able to fulfill its obligations to our prime sponsors.
-- Interpret federal and other sponsor requirements for principal investigators, university staff, and sub-recipients.
-- Ascertain when and how prime sponsor prior approvals are required and ensure that such approvals are obtained.
-- Ensure that compliance obligations (e.g., human subjects, animal subjects, export controls, intellectual property, etc.) are properly fulfilled.
-- Ensure that the University is able to timely meet its reporting obligations under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act.
-- Authorize payments for sub-recipients after verification that progress meets the needs of principal investigators and costs are appropriate under the sponsor's terms.
-- Monitor progress to determine if terms and conditions require adjustment or if award requires early termination for non-performance.
-- Ensure proper and timely closeout of sub-awards to meet sponsor requirements.
SPECIAL INITIATIVES & TRAINING:
-- Engage in personal, departmental, institutional, or regional/national training opportunities, regulatory reviews, conferences, and other learning opportunities (webinars, staff meetings, classes, etc.) to expand skills and to stay current on the regulatory environment.
-- Engage in one or more institutional or departmental committees or work duties as assigned, such as helping to develop and/or teach courses in the SPECTRUM course series on contract and grant administration; lead planning and/or teach for the Sponsored Projects Symposia or specialized SPA training course series; serve as SPA trainer for new contract and grant administrators; serve as institutional single point of contact and/or lead for highly complex sponsored projects, help with departmental goals or other projects, assist coordinate campus staff, and do 1:1 training for contract and grant administrators.
-- Work effectively with faculty, staff, academic leaders, and sponsors through clear, concise and compelling oral and written communication, including producing and editing a variety of complex written correspondence.
The Senior GA is responsible for the formal solicitation, negotiation and administration of extramural support for University research, training, and public service projects, for-profit entities, including both sponsored and non-sponsored research agreements.
The Senior GA is responsible for advising and assisting University department administrators, principal investigators, and staff members; interpreting and explaining contract and grant terms and conditions, and assisting in the resolution of problems that develop in the course of projects by consulting with the investigator(s), staff, and sponsors.
The incumbent will prepare, negotiate and oversee sub-awards issued under University of Minnesota (University) sponsored projects awards.
The Senior GA is expected to provide back-up support for their colleagues and develop ideas for increasingly effective service.
The Senior GA position may include other duties as assigned, such as, mentoring of lower level GA’s.
BA/BS and four years of experience in proposal/award review, negotiation, and administration or an equivalent combination of education and experience to total eight years.
Must have experience using standard computer tools (e.g., MS Office suite, email, calendaring).
Legal training and experience negotiating agreements that include protection of existing and anticipated intellectual property.
Demonstrated ability to balance the interests of for-profit entities against the interests and policies of an academic institution in the negotiation of agreements.
Excellent communication skills; ability to seamlessly adapt communication style and content to varying audiences (e.g., Sponsors, University attorneys, senior management, technology transfer professionals, principal investigators and other researchers, deans, department heads, and research administration staff).
Ability and commitment to get to “yes” in negotiations while simultaneously ensuring protection of key University assets and conformance with regental and University policy.
Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills.
Proven good judgment; demonstrated ability to conclude negotiations in a timely manner; demonstrated analytical problem solving ability; proven ability to work effectively in a fast-moving, customer-focused environment subject to external pressure and frequent interruptions; proven ability to provide high quality service under tight deadlines.
Proven ability to take initiative, prioritize workload, and work independently.
Experience with accounting, contracting, or procurement preferred.
Sufficient background to understand the University and the academic research environment.
Proven willingness to work the hours necessary to accomplish the job.
Demonstrated comfort and willingness to learn new automated tools and processes.
Internal Number: 334448
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.