Pre-Award Grant Specialist

About Cornell Tech
Cornell Tech is a new graduate campus of Cornell University that brings together faculty, students, business leaders and tech entrepreneurs in a catalytic environment to reinvent the way we live in the digital age.

A hallmark of Cornell Tech is a rapid pace of change and growth, which serves as opportunities to pursue excellence and improvement, not merely scale. We iterate to learn quickly from our activities and to improve our programs and ways of working. We further expect our organizational structure to continue to change, given the pace of our activities and programs and our iterative learning process. We see Cornell Tech serving as a model organization for our students, demonstrating the operations of a highly effective, dynamic, information-age organization. Further information about the Cornell Tech campus is available at

Cornell Tech is seeking a pre-award grant specialist to join the Finance and Research Administration team at their growing Roosevelt Island campus. This position will report to the Director of Finance, and will be primarily responsible for assisting principal investigators in the preparation, submission, and pre-award administration of grants and contracts. This position is also primarily responsible for processing student appointments for graduate research assistants, teaching assistants, and other associated positions, and providing backup post-award coverage as needed.

  • Partner with principal investigators in the preparation, review, submission and renewal of grant and contract applications.

  • Research and inform investigators of specific application requirements by varying funding sources;

  • Oversee, prepare and compile all components of grant submissions ensuring proposals are formatted, assembled, validated and submitted in accordance with institutional and granting agency requirements;

  • Prepare grant budgets and draft budget justifications based on investigator input, grant requirements, and in compliance with sponsor/donor and Cornell University policies;

  • Monitor status of applications submitted until final determination notification is received;

  • Coordinate with sponsor and Cornell Sponsored Programs Office (OSP) to resolve pre-award related issues, and to track application status;

  • Support investigators in responding to Just-In-Time requests and ensure files are complete for awarded applications, secure missing information from principal investigators and/or administrators;

  • Aid principal investigators in the preparation and updating of biosketches, other support pages, resources & equipment forms, and other grant template documents;

  • In coordination with principal investigators and the Research Administration Team, promote accurate preparation and timely submission of progress reports as required by sponsoring program;

  • Work closely with principal investigators and the Research Administration Team to ensure proper financial setup of new awards and subcontracts;

  • Assist with the on-boarding of new faculty, communicating proposal development procedures, and assisting with award transfers;

  • Process all appointments for graduate research assistants, teaching assistants, and other student positions in collaboration with the Student Services and HR teams;

  • Provide post-award backup coverage when required;

  • Perform other related duties as assigned, including support on special projects, as required.


Required Qualifications

Bachelor's degree and a minimum of three (3) years of pre-award grant submission experience in an academic grant funded research environment required. Prior experience with, and understanding of, relevant pre-award systems (e.g. Fastlane,, required. Proficiency in Excel, Word, and Adobe Acrobat Pro required. Superior customer service and communication skills, including the ability to communicate clearly, confidently, and concisely in verbal and written formats to a wide variety of constituents.

Position requires a demonstrated ability to:

  • Independently plan and prioritize responsibilities to meet competing deadlines while working under pressure;

  • Multi-task in a high-volume setting;

  • Operate in a team environment and contribute effectively to team goals;

  • Apply excellent analytical and problem-solving skills to identify, research, and resolve issues;

  • Thrive in an extremely fast paced environment

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with other donor systems (e.g. NIH Commons) and experience working with non-federal agencies (e.g. industry donors) is advantageous.

An interest in engineering, computer science, and information science research and enthusiasm for working closely with investigators preferred


Contact Information

Cornell University



2 West Loop Road

New York, NY 10044

(607) 255-0056

Background Information

4-Year Degree

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Full Time