Senior Director, Office of Research and Sponsored Projects

Keck Graduate Institute | Claremont, California

Background

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) was founded in 1997 as the first higher education institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to education and research related to the applied life sciences. KGI offers innovative postgraduate degrees and certificates that integrate life and health sciences, business, pharmacy, engineering, and genetics, with a focus on industry projects, hands-on industry experiences, and team collaborations. KGI employs an entrepreneurial approach and industry connections that provide pathways for students to become leaders within healthcare and the applied life sciences.

Located in beautiful Claremont, California, Keck Graduate Institute is a member of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five undergraduate liberal arts colleges, two graduate institutions, and The Claremont Colleges Services, which provides shared institutional support services. The Claremont Colleges consistently place at the top of national college rankings, including Forbes, Money and U.S.News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Each nationally recognized college has its own campus, students and faculty, and distinctive mission, and each offers top-notch curricula, small classes, distinguished professors and personalized instruction.

Job Summary

The Director, Office of Research & Sponsored Projects, serves as the Institute’s primary administrative authority and resource on all aspects of the research enterprise; serves as the Institute’s Authorized Organizational Representative and Corporate Signer for externally-funded and research-related agreements; and manages the grants lifecycle for all federally and privately funded, extramurally sponsored projects.  The Director is directly responsible for executing tasks related to proposal submissions and award administration, and for remaining current and conversant on federal and private regulations governing sponsored project funding.  The Director works collaboratively with faculty, foundation and corporate philanthropy, advancement, corporate partnerships, Institute and The Claremont Colleges Services business offices to foster a robust sponsored project pipeline, and ensure compliance with all federal and sponsor regulations and donor designations related to extramural funding.  The Director provides administrative support to and/or serves on various Institute committees related to the research enterprise and compliance.

Reports To

Assistant Vice President, Finance & Business Services

Responsibilities

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:   Individuals must possess knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the essential function of the position, or be able to explain or demonstrate how the essential functions may be performed, with or without, reasonable accommodations, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Research Development:

  • Identify funding opportunities:  Communicate with faculty members and other stakeholders to match sponsored project initiatives with suitable funding opportunities. Ensure KGI and/or KGI principal investigators are eligible to submit to appropriate funding opportunities.
  • Offer and/or coordinate periodic trainings on various research administration topics: Create and deliver, or coordinate workshops on research development topics and/or topics specific to a Committee for which administrative support is provided (e.g., IP / Tech Transfer).

Pre-Award:

  • Initiate grant proposals:  Conduct kick-off meetings with faculty principal investigators (PIs).  Ensure proposal preparation is compliant with sponsor guidelines and specific requirements of targeted program announcement. 
  • Prepare proposal budgets:  Compile budgets using correct indirect cost recovery rate, fringe benefit and salary escalation rates.  Enter proposal information into research funding database. 
  • Assemble proposals for submission:  Route internal proposal approval form.  Coordinate conflict of interest review and final proposal check.  Work with PIs to compile and submit required administrative and scientific documentation.
  • Submit proposals:  Collect and upload proposal sections into submission websites or via other submission mechanisms.  Coordinate proposal preparation with external subcontractors or consultants. 
  • Update sponsored project database:  Track progression of submitted, pending, awarded and declined proposals.  Facilitate reporting of proposal and award information for senior staff and for Board of Trustees.
  • Write and monitor subcontracts:  Draft contracts for downstream subcontractors and review contracts from upstream subcontractors.  Ensure annual sub recipient monitoring is carried out in a timely manner; review results with PIs and establish appropriate management plans.  Report federal activities to FSRS.gov.
  • Create agreements for other types of relationships: (e.g., MOUs, NDAs, CDAs, CRADAs, gift agreements, licensing agreements).  Ensure appropriate reviews and approvals are in place.

Post-Award:

  • Activate awarded grants:  Work with PIs to facilitate smooth transition from pre-award to post-award.  Create grant and award data in Workday.  Update sponsored project database and business office reports. Meet with PIs to “kick off” new project to ensure a mutual understanding of budget, administrative and programmatic requirements and limitations, terms of the award, and answer questions.  Facilitate HR paperwork for new hires. 
  • Post-award accounting and compliance:  Prepare, distribute and collect quarterly time and effort reporting for faculty and other staff. Prepare and maintain monthly expense tracking reports on grant-year basis, and reconcile to general ledger on fiscal-year basis. Invoice and collect accounts receivable from upstream subcontractors. Review all costs charged to extramurally-sponsored projects for allowability, allocability, consistency and reasonableness of expenses prior to posting to financial system.  Prepare journals for corrections to financial record. Conduct suspension and debarment review of vendor costs to federally funded awards. Prepare personnel action forms (PAFs) for salary and effort allocation changes during the award period. Work with the business office to implement new functionality in Workday.
  • Participate in A-133 federal research and other sponsor audits:   Ensure that all federal grant documentation and ledger accounts are in order for examination by external auditors.  Obtain A-133 reports from downstream subcontractees.  Prepare audit schedules as requested by auditors.  Respond to auditor questions during and after audit fieldwork until audit is complete. 
  • Assist with preparation of indirect cost rate proposal:  Work with the Business Office and TCCS to gather information required for IDC rate negotiations.

Compliance

Ensure all appropriate compliance actions and certifications are current and reported to the appropriate federal websites (e.g., SAM.gov, FSRS.gov, Research.gov, eCommons, iEdison).  Serve as (or supervise) the primary administrative support staff for the following committees.  Take minutes and distribute in a timely manner.

  • Human subjects (Institutional Review Board) Administrative support and institutional authority on compliance with regulations regarding use of human subjects in research projects.  Review documentation with legal counsel as appropriate.  Serve as liaison between Claremont Graduate University (KGI’s IRB of record) and assist Human Research Participant Protections Committee as needed. Maintain IRB budget and ensure that any IRB protocols associated with extramurally-sponsored projects or intercompany accounts are charged back to the appropriate accounts.
  • Animal subjects (IACUC):  Serve as institutional authority on compliance with regulations regarding use of animal subjects in research projects. 
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC): Assist Research Infrastructure Committee with annual IBC audit; serve as liaison to KGI’s IBC of record, and as record keeper for IBC protocols. 
  • Intellectual Property / Tech Transfer Committee: Administrative support and institutional point of contact for Committee-driven actions.  Serve as liaison between PIs and patent counsel to ensure appropriate filings are effected and all paperwork is executed and filed. Collect and distribute Invention Disclosures and ensure that federal disclosures are uploaded to iEdison.  Ensure iEdison records are maintained.
  • Conflict Monitoring Committee: Serve as ex-officio member.  Report any conflict disclosures received on sponsored project or intellectual property actions.  Assist Chairs with administrative tasks including annual Conflict of Interest disclosure survey.

Qualifications

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:   Individuals must possess knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the essential function of the position, or be able to explain or demonstrate how the essential functions may be performed, with or without, reasonable accommodations, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

  • Ability to work well under pressure in a fast-paced and confidential work environment.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple high-priority tasks and responsibilities to meet established deadlines.
  • Extensive knowledge of Federal regulations, OMB circulars, research administration best practices, federal and private agency procedures and protocols and submission portals. 
  • Familiarity with web-based financial and grants management systems.
  • Able to work cooperatively and sensitively with individuals from diverse cultures, ethnic groups, lifestyles and backgrounds.
  • Able to work independently and exercise sound judgment in confidential or sensitive situations.
  • Proficiency in working with Microsoft Office suite.
  • Proficiency using Workday or similar platform.
  • Able and willing to work weekend and evening hours, as needed.

Physical and Mental Requirements

Ability to maintain good concentration level while dealing with interruptions; attention to details with emphasis on accuracy; capable of giving, receiving, and analyzing information, formulating work plans, and articulating goals and action plans.  Sitting in a normal seated position for extended periods of time.  Standing for extended periods of time. Reaching and extending hand(s) or arm(s) in any direction.  Finger dexterity required to manipulate objects with fingers rather than the whole hand(s), or arm(s), for example, using a keyboard.  Communication skills using the spoken word. Ability to see within normal parameters.  Ability to hear within normal parameters.  Ability to bend and stoop, for example, to file.  Ability to move about.  Ability to lift and carry short distances up to 20 lbs., for example to lift or move office supplies, files, books and packages.  

How to Apply

A confidential review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made. To be ensured full consideration, please upload a letter of interest, resume, and three professional references. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please go to the link below:

Keck Graduate Institute
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