Director of Office of Research Administration

The Director will lead the Office of Research Administration, overseeing a six-person office, under the direction of the Dean of Graduate School & Research. A successful Director, with their Office, will collaborate with as well as provide support and leadership to a wide range of offices, staff, and, especially, faculty. Western highly values sponsored research in supporting its mission, and seeks increased extramural research and sponsored project funding.

The Office of Research Administration assists with grant proposal development; provides advanced institutional review, negotiation, and preliminary approval of proposals; protects the interests of the University through review, negotiation, and approval of the terms and conditions of external awards; ensures compliance of proposals and awards with sponsor, university policies, and unsponsored research compliance; issues subcontracts; maintains accurate records and provides reports on proposals and awards; and helps manage and support the post-award process.

Key Responsibilities

  • Establish and implement strategies to increase extramural research and sponsored project funding.
  • Ensure University compliance with Federal, state, foundation, and other funding requirements.
  • Disseminate and communicate regulatory directives and updates to pre-award, post-award, principal investigators and university administration.
  • Proactively assist faculty and staff with proposal preparation, budget development, reporting requirements, and regulation compliance
  • Ensure cohesive communication of pre-award, compliance, and post-award throughout project lifecycles
  • Support staff professional development activities
  • Develop and maintain contacts and act as a liaison with Federal, state, foundation, and other sponsors.
  • Oversee Federal and University research compliance requirements concerning human subjects (IRB), rDNA(IBC) animals (IACUC); conflict of interest, export controls, etc.
  • Inform the Dean of the Graduate School and Research on monthly indirect cost returns as they are distributed to university constituents
  • Oversee the UNC system mandated electronic proposal submission process (currently, RAMSeS).
  • Partner with the Controller’s Office, External Relations’ Director and other external engagement offices, and Human Resources in addressing grant issues.
  • Plan, initiate, and coordinate faculty and staff training designed to stimulate proposals and increase their success rates.
  • Provide outreach and professional development activities for faculty and staff creating greater community awareness and understanding of grant-seeking processes and opportunities.
  • Serve as a member of the Research Council and an ex-officio member on faculty and student research related advisory and award committees.

           Note: Position title pending approval from the Human Resources Advisory Board.


Minimum Qualifications

A successful candidate should have a minimum of a Master’s degree and at least five years of increasing responsibility in proposal, grant, and contract development and administration with a broad understanding of the regulations governing compliance of grants and contracts. Working knowledge of mandated regulations governing grants by federal, state, and private agencies required. Excellent supervisory, interpersonal, writing, editing and public speaking skills are required. The candidate must have experience or familiarity working with faculty and staff.


Western Carolina University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer and welcomes all qualified applicants. Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status, or other legally protected status. In addition, Western Carolina University welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Contact Information

Western Carolina University



1 University Way

Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723-9646


Background Information



Target Job Information

  • Full Time