Contract (Grants) Administrator

Department: Contract Management

Reports to: Assistant Director, Contract Management


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Position Summary


The Contract (Grants) Administrator is the external PCORI representative providing project management and research administration support to applicants, reviewers and awardees.


The Contract Administrator manages their assigned PCORI Funding Announcement(s) (PFA) portfolio throughout the pre-award activities including support for the development of PFA and Application Guidelines; town halls, and PCORI Request for Information (PIR), Helpdesk response, budget reviews through the Post-Award stage of a funded application. The Contract Administrator analyzes proposals and awards for special conditions/restrictions and establishes controls as needed to ensure full compliance with PCORI policy. The Contract Administrator communicates PCORI policy to provide regulatory compliance guidance; provides advice to applicants and reviewers; and uses scoped judgment in determining if a request is allowable or is not permissible according to PCORI policy. It is expected that the Contract Administrator will utilize prior work experience and skills to apply knowledge; provide specialized counsel to internal and external stakeholders; and make decisions that affect PCORI research awards.


The Contract Administrator will provide oversight for all PCORI pre/post-award processes while assuming accountability for post-award data compilation and resource allocation. The incumbent also trains and mentors junior team members; and provides coverage for those Administrators on leave.


The Contract Administrator will lead a PCORI program through the entire cycle of pre/post-award activities from Board of Governors approval, to activation, contract execution, reporting, and auditing. The Contract Administrator will lead the build-out (and ongoing updates) of the Contract Management System in order to address Pre/Post-Award activities and workflows. The Contract Administrator will develop reports and metrics to assess process success and make recommendations for continuous improvement to internal staff, the Board, and Board Committees.


The Contract Administrator must thoroughly understand the Institute, department activities, operations, policies, and procedures to perform all duties, informing procedures when inconsistencies or inadequate guidance is provided. 


Duties and Responsibilities:




  • Use independent judgment to analyze needs within PCORI Science; develop funding announcements; ensure consistency and compliance; and apply knowledge during contract negotiations and award execution
  • Serve as a liaison for Merit Review Officers for an assigned research portfolio
  • Distribute pertinent information to applicants relating to contractual provisions and obligations
  • Assist in development of milestones with applicants based on PCORI guidelines and standards
  • Formulate ad-hoc correspondence for reviewers and applicants, as needed
  • Provide direct support to reviewers and applicants through the Call Center and Helpdesk in accordance with PCORI policies and procedures
  • Provide website updates to Funding Center, Applicant FAQs, and Reviewer FAQs
  • Provide surge support to other team members during application deadlines via Helpdesk/Call Center
  • Maintain proficient skills in PCORI Online (Salesforce, other CNMS)


 PFA Development and Policy


  • Assist in the development and launch of PFAs in conjunction with Science and Communications
  • Support the department in defining policies and processes related to operation improvements
  • Work on cross-cutting projects with Science and Engagement on the lifecycle of an application through public release, including development and/or updates to their assigned PFA(s), application materials, guidelines, and templates


 Tasks in Support of the Board Governors


  • Coordinate with the Specialist(s) System & User Support to review parameters for assigned PFA in PCORI Online (Salesforce, other CNMS) and test for any bugs/issues prior to each LOI/application launch
  • Perform analysis of letters of intent and full applications for compliance with PCORI policy and guidelines
  • Serve as technical expert for pre/post award functions, including applicant requirements, policies and procedures, and contract administration
  • Create and modify report templates as needed for effective tracking of applicant submissions, reviewer assignments, and provision of submission rates and other statistics
  • Participate and contribute to the training materials and lead large webinars for applicants and reviewers
  • Collaborate and assist team members to interpret applicant/application statistics, including returning applicants/institutions, resubmissions, disease areas, methodology, etc. for assigned portfolio
  • Support administrative Merit Review activities for assigned portfolio



Post-Board of Governors


  • Review budgets of funded applications for compliance with PCORI budget policy and negotiate budget revisions directly with applicants
  • Lead the PCORI Information Request (PIR) process across all portfolios
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of awards with funded applicants
  • Collect and review all required assurances prior to award execution to include IRB reviews, COI disclosures, audit records etc.
  • Track and monitor the award negotiation timeline for assigned portfolio ensuring awards are fully executed within 90 days of Board of Governors approval


Contract Administrator Duties & Responsibilities 


  • Under the direction of the Assistant Director, convey and collaborate on establishing operational direction to the Operation’s team, and strive to provide work products on-time and of acceptable quality.
  • Based on past work experiences, policies/procedures, and the direction from leadership within Contract Management, provide training to new Contract Administrators and those in need of performance improvement
  • Based on experience and familiarity with the organization’s research programs, provide workforce coverage and additional support to specialized or large programs in need of extra staff resources. Analyze progress and convey the need for additional support to the Supervisor.
  • Maintain pre/post-award database and be able to provide accurate, real-time data for senior management reports regarding PCORI-funded research
  • Manage and oversee accurate recording of information in file system and/or records. Create, update, and revise as needed.
  • Work closely with counterparts on to develop fluidity between pre- and post-award processes.
  • Actively contribute to the design, implementation, and testing of PCORI Online. In collaboration with managers, develop communication strategy for messaging of PCORI Online to research community.
  • Ensure that the documentation for each award is maintained in a manner that is compliant with the Institute’s policy and with auditors’ specifications
  • Operate with great latitude for independent judgment and initiative. Participate in meetings, providing input and suggestions.
  • Ensure that the confidentiality and security of all information under his/her team’s supervision is maintained
  • Perform all other responsibilities and projects as assigned by his/her immediate supervisor and senior management
  • Provide excellent customer services to all PCORI constituents

Contact Information

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute



1828 L Street, NW, Suite 900

Washington, DC 20036


Background Information


Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Full Time