Department: Office Sponsored Research Salary/Grade: EXS/10
As a professional staff member of Northwestern University Sponsored Research (SR), the Contracts and Negotiations Manager is an integral part of the institutional infrastructure that supports innovative research for ten schools, colleges, Centers and Offices across three campuses (Chicago and Evanston, Illinois and Doha, Qatar) at a distinguished AAU institution. Reporting to the Senior Associate Director for Research Contracts & Negotiations, the Contracts & Negotiations Manager (1) serves as the unit/team lead for one or more sponsored research contracting business lines; (2) drafts, analyzes, negotiates and executes a broad range of complex sponsored research agreements and contracts using a combination of expert-level skill, experience and knowledge of University, sponsor, and federal regulations and policies; (3) delivers scheduled and ad hoc training for staff within Northwestern Sponsored Research and externally; and (4) serves as a subject matter expert and conduit to key stakeholders and collaborators for Sponsored Research office staff. The Contracts & Negotiations Manager may have direct supervision for one or more contract support staff.
As part of Northwestern University’s commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse campus community, Northwestern Sponsored Research is committed to being BRAVE (Battling Racism and Valuing Equity). Through deliberate words and actions we actively endeavor to acknowledge the humanity of and value each of our colleagues
The Contracts & negotiations Manager will support the Office for Research mission and values by exhibiting the following: understand empathy, model accountability, ensure fairness, embrace community and value creativity. The incumbent will strive to provide excellent service when performing job responsibilities.
This job description does not cover all aspects of the position.
The primary work location for this position is Chicago, Illinois (travel to other campuses is required to foster necessary relationships). For the immediate term, the interview process and position will be remote – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work. The remote nature of this position is temporary. Local, on-campus work will be required once the University and this role resume an operational status that supports it.
Contracting and Negotiation
Exercises signature authority for negotiation and execution of sponsored research agreements on behalf of Northwestern University, as delegated by the Executive Director of SR. Manages the drafting, analysis, negotiation and execution of a broad range of complex international and domestic sponsored research agreements and contracts applying a combination of expert-level skill, professional experience and knowledge of University, sponsor, and international and federal regulations (Uniform Guidance, GDPR, etc.) and policies. Agreements will include, but are not limited to master/umbrella, clinical trial, basic and applied research, industry, material transfer, data use, and confidentiality agreements with corporate, government, non-profit and other entities. Safeguards university interests and mission objectives with respect to indemnification, intellectual property, publication, export control, liability, effort reporting, and compliance issues. Ensures compliance and fiscal integrity of outgoing proposals and incoming awards through consultation with SR leaders and other university stakeholders.
Serves as the unit/team lead for one or more sponsored research contracting business lines (e.g. Standard Research Agreements, Non-Funded Agreements, Clinical Trial Agreements, Federal Contracts, Industry/Corporate Agreements), to ensure that contracting operations are efficient and transparent. Manages and maintains contracting positions and negotiation library (playbook) updates for assigned business line(s) and ensures Sponsored Research colleagues are aware of changes. Identifies issues in Sponsored Research contracting processes and workflows, provides recommendations to the Senior Associate Director for resolution and/or works with the appropriate offices to address. Establishes and improves templates, tools, and standard procedures related to Sponsored Research contracting, such as standard agreement templates, negotiation checklists, and protocols.
Training and Development
Delivers scheduled and ad hoc training for staff within Northwestern Sponsored Research and externally. Trains incoming contracts and negotiations staff on the negotiation of agreements within specific business line. Regularly reviews and updates training materials in concert with developments in the field and direction and feedback from the Senior Associate Director. Provides direct supervision for the workload, development and training of junior-level contract staff or coordinators.
Outreach and Collaboration
Serves as a subject matter expert and Sponsored Research conduit to key stakeholders (e.g., Office of General Counsel, Risk Management, Conflict of Interest, Innovation and Technology, Corporate Engagement, Development and Export Control) and collaborators for Sponsored Research office staff. Provides comprehensive and concise legal advice and analysis on issues related to sponsored research contracting. Engages in collaborative educational and outreach efforts across Northwestern’s campuses, with research administration and contracting associations (SRAI, NCURA, NCMA, MAGI) with peer universities (i.e., Big 10, FDP, COGR, AAU, NACUO, and UIDP member institutions), industry sponsors/partners and government agencies to establish and promote sustainable best practices in contracting and negotiations.
Juris doctorate degree from an accredited institution.
Five or more years’ experience in contract negotiation.
Progressively responsible experience in contracts, research or grants administration in a university or directly related business or organization.
Working knowledge of federal regulations and contract management as they relate to institutions of higher education, medical centers and private organizations.
Superior customer-focus and collaboration skills.
Knowledge and understanding of contractual and legal issues, contracting and business principles.
Superior writing, verbal, organizational and time management skills.
Ability to manage through demanding and ambiguous circumstances with professionalism and proficiency.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 40204
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.