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Assistant/Associate Vice President of Sponsored Projects Services

Apply now Job no: 533061
Work type: Officer of Administration
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Administrative/Professional, Business Administration/Management, Executive/Management/Director, Research/Scientific/Grants

Department: Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: $140,000 - $185,000 per year, commensurate with experience
Compensation Band: OS-OA12-Fiscal Year 2023-2024
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins

January 3, 2024; position open until filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants

With your online application, please upload a resume and a cover letter describing your experience, professional competencies and qualifications, and your interest to serve the University in the role. You will also be asked to enter the names and contact information of three professional references; candidates will be notified prior to contacting references.

Department Summary

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) serves as an advocate and catalyst within the University of Oregon (UO) for expanding the range and impact of UO's research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. The OVPRI encompasses sponsored programs, research compliance, technology transfer, economic development, industry engagement, research-based ventures, and research development. OVPRI has administrative responsibility for numerous high-profile research centers and institutes and core research facilities, which provide opportunities for faculty across the university to collaborate on research efforts that are inherently interdisciplinary, and of significant societal importance. As a university that holds the distinction of a “very high research activity” ranking (R1) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the UO is also one of only two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Visit research.uoregon.edu to learn more.

Within OVPRI, Sponsored Projects Services (SPS) is a full-service central unit comprised of over 25 employees. SPS is team-based and customer service-oriented central office that works to ensure the smooth and compliant administration of approximately $175 million of sponsored awards annually. SPS provides pre-award and post-award services for sponsored projects and ensures that research administrators across the institution can directly support their units in a compliant, efficient, and service-oriented manner.

The OVPRI is committed to a respectful work environment. We value the cultural, educational, and life experiences of each employee. We believe that a diverse workforce enables us to deliver culturally responsive services to all members of our community. As part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we welcome, respect, and foster a sense of belonging for a wide range of identities and experiences in our workforce. We strongly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and/or LGBTQIA+ community members.

Position Summary

The Assistant/Associate Vice President of Sponsored Projects Services directs the research administrative units responsible for assisting UO faculty and staff in their efforts to secure and fulfill externally funded sponsored programs. This includes the pre-award and post-award contract and grant administration at the University of Oregon. The position ensures compliance with federal, state, and local laws, policies, procedures, Uniform Guidance, and sponsor-specific guidelines in the negotiation and execution of grant awards and contracts for funded research projects. It also supports other units in developing best practices to provide excellent support and compliance. OVPRI is seeking a leader who can continue developing Sponsored Projects Services as a best-in-class, high-performing, customer-centric team that aligns with the goals and objectives of the institution.

The AVP of SPS has signature authority for most grants and contracts, and budget authority for SPS. The AVP of SPS reports to the Vice President for Research and Innovation and, together with other AVPs and directors, is a key member of the OVPRI’s executive management team. The AVP of SPS may also represent the interests of the UO on national research administration policy advisory groups and participate in national professional organizations that deal with the administration of research.

The University of Oregon continues to experience a rapid phase of growth in its sponsored research portfolio, as a result of increasing the number of its hiring of tenure-line faculty with a significant increase in the sciences and other grant-active disciplines. UO opened the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact in 2020 and it is expanding in 2025, adding up to 30 tenure-line faculty with large sponsored research portfolios. The Ballmer Institute was established in 2022 and will further expand UO’s sponsored research portfolio. We expect rapid growth in the amount and diversity of funding over the coming several years and are seeking a leader who can ensure that SPS is able to meet this new demand.

Success for this position after 36 months would include increased engagement of research relationships and impact of University of Oregon research; better and more efficient support of sponsored projects through improved processes; and successful and smooth implementation of new grants management software (Huron’s Research Suite). This person will provide leadership during the transition from our legacy system to the Huron research suite for pre-award and post-award. A successful transition will require change management in the operating unit and substantial outreach to the research community.

Minimum Requirements

• A Master's, M.B.A., J.D., or equivalent degree in an applicable area.
• Ten years of experience in the field of research administration with demonstrated experience in working with a broad range of federal and non-federal sponsors, including at least 5 years of higher education experience.
• Seven years of progressive experience in leading and managing professional and administrative staff, including at least three years of supervisory work in a grants or financial administrative setting in an institution of higher education or relevant research-related entity.
• Three years of experience reading and interpreting Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), sponsor guidelines, and other statutory or policy documents.
• Certification as Research Administrator ® (CRA ®), OR the ability to pass the CRA exam within one year of hire.

We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come with relevant transferable skills from a variety of sources and experiences. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

Candidates with advanced skills and experience may be considered for the title of Associate Vice President of Sponsored Projects Services.

Professional Competencies

• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to develop, scale, and advance multiple complex projects/problems simultaneously.
• Commitment to advancing the university goal of creating a facilitative and service-oriented environment for faculty research and sponsored programs while navigating an increasingly complex research administration environment.
• High level of technical expertise and proven experience in a broad range of research administration areas, including but not limited to in-depth knowledge of federal regulatory frameworks governing grants, contract and subcontract negotiations, pre-award and post-award research administration, and audits.
• Demonstrated abilities in leading, planning, or managing complex projects, organizational development initiatives, policy and procedure development, and business process optimization.
• Demonstrated ability to lead a large team with diverse skills.
• A sophisticated approach to cultural change that balances awareness of established practices with bold, reasoned pursuit of innovation; ability to build energy and enthusiasm in working with others.
• Ability to communicate clearly and effectively regarding UO’s mission, innovation, and research strategy both verbally and in writing with all levels of the organization and external stakeholders.
• Ability to manage and provide oversight for budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting for sponsored program activities.
• Ability to interact with financial decision-makers and maintain a high level of discretion and confidentiality.
• Ability to interact, communicate, and work effectively with a diverse range of internal and external partners, recognizing and respecting the many and varied identities of each person.
• Demonstrable commitment to integrity, diversity, equity, and inclusion in research.
• Demonstrated ability to work independently, set appropriate work priorities, and require minimal supervision over regular work activities.

Preferred Qualifications

• Significant expertise in establishing and managing grants and contracts procedures and systems across the “lifecycle” of sponsored programs in a higher education research environment or at a funding agency.
• Experience with enterprise and sponsored research administration systems, including Grants.gov, NIH ASSIST, and Research.gov, and an interest in advancing the operations of the office using systems and technology.
• Experience implementing research administration software tools such as Huron’s Research Suite.
• Experience at a major research-intensive university or other institution (R1) of comparable complexity.
• Experience in a team-based professional setting, including developing and leading teams.
• Experience with BANNER or a similar enterprise resource planning administration system of record.

FLSA Exempt: Yes


All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit http://hr.uoregon.edu/careers/about-benefits.

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at uocareers@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5112.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at https://clery.uoregon.edu/annual-campus-security-and-fire-safety-report.

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