Grants and Contracts Specialist

Position ID: #8207
Title: Grants and Contracts Specialist
Department: Office of Research Administration – Pre Award Services

The grants and contracts specialist functions with minimal oversight in a professional capacity for Case Western Reserve University in School of Medicine. Duties include the coordination of grants and contracts from the proposal preparation stage through submission and award. This includes proposal/contract review, negotiations of subcontracts and awards, and the establishment of accounts. The specialist functions independently to analyze problems and devises and implements solutions, in accordance with appropriate policies and procedures. The grants and contracts specialist is responsible for using independent judgement to carry out the essential functions described below including consulting with the contracts team to make decisions on and prepare subagreements for execution and ensuring that contractual terms and federal regulations are acceptable and implementable within CWRU financial and compliance systems. The work of the grants and contract specialist is reflected in reports to the Board of Trustees, the Internal Revenue Service, and the ranking of the university by research expenditures.


  1. Implement sponsored program awards and subawards by interpreting contractual language into CWRU financial and compliance systems on behalf of the university. Interpret levels of subawardee risk and propose solutions to mitigate contractual risk in subawards. Resolve questions where sponsors question CWRU handling of contractual matters related to sponsored awards. Review terms, conditions and budgets of each Notice of Award received from sponsors. Ensure compliance with rules and regulations. Troubleshoot problems by contacting the department, principal investigator, or management center. Establish appropriate accounts which involves understanding complex budgets, terms and conditions, university's policies and federal requirements. Establish and maintain sponsored project accounts in PeopleSoft Financial system ensuring that all university policies and sponsor requirements are met. Troubleshoot problems that staff and others have in establishing sponsored project accounts. Provide expertise and guidance to principal investigators and department administrators on policy guidelines for sub contracts, and related budgetary, personnel and expenditure control activities. Facilitate individual agreements by securing necessary institutional information for each sub-recipient. Review subcontracts for a variety of legal and policy issues, including financial arrangements. Negotiate acceptable alternatives to contract terms within parameters. Oversee the terms and conditions of the prime awards and ensure that proper flow-down occurs. Prepare and issue sub-award agreements to collaborating institutions. Review and analyze initial required documentation for items such as indirect cost rates, IRB approvals, IACUC approvals, Certification of Conflict of Interest disclosure, etc. Determine if there are any issues, recommend solutions and ensure compliance. (55%)
  2. Research and resolve post award problems as they arise. Interpret Sponsor and CWRU policies and regulations (including federal regulations and laws) as related to proposals and awards for sponsored programs on behalf of the university. Resolve issues where sponsors question or express concern about CWRU handling of sponsored program proposals. Advise on questions of federal regulation and CWRU policy interpretation and implementation from school administrators and faculty leadership. Consult with investigators and staff in all aspects of preparing applications by interpreting sponsor and/or institutional guidelines and policies. Provide direction and training to investigators and department administrators on current regulations, priorities, and compliance. Represent Office of Research Administration to funding agencies regarding guidelines, compliance issues and allowable expenditures. Resolve issues, referring the most difficult ones to the supervisor for advice and decision. Serve as initial contact for external sponsors for award negotiation. Oversee the preparation of information sent to the sponsor relative to the negotiated grant/contract to ensure that information is correct and meets all requirements. Prepare budget detail for grant/contract applications and renewals for investigators without support staff. Review budgets for grant applications, assure budget requirements are met and coordinate the accounting and pre-award administration functions. Proper review requires thorough knowledge of complex and myriad applicable school and university requirements for the proper conduct of research and administration of sponsored projects and the ability to analyze the information provided and use independent judgment to determine if there are issues that must be addressed. (40%)


  1. Maintain up-to-date knowledge regarding federal and non-federal Research Administration practices and policies. (1%)
  2. Assist in maintenance of assigned email boxes. (1%)
  3. Maintain log of all awards, draft contracts, and subcontracts. (1%)
  4. Serve as backup to counterpart grants and contracts specialists. (1%)
  5. Perform other duties as assigned. (1%)

Department: Contact with assistant senior director (daily), grants and contracts specialists (daily), department assistants (daily and post award staff (daily).
University: Contact with central office of Sponsored Research
External: Contact with sponsor agencies (federal and non-federal) (daily), peers at other universities (weekly) and contacts at subrecipient organizations (daily).

No supervisory responsibility.

Experience: 3 to 5 years of experience in sponsored projects administration at a research university or other academic institution is required. Experience with both pre award and post award aspects of sponsored projects administration is desired.
Education/Licensing: Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in the field required.


  1. Commitment to excellence and growth in sponsored project funding.
  2. Understanding of and commitment to effective compliance with sponsored project regulations and restrictions.
  3. Knowledge of process required for submission of proposals to and acceptance of awards from federal and non-federal sponsors.
  4. Knowledge of federal/state/private sponsor regulations and procedures relating to the pre-award administration of grants and contracts.
  5. Highly motivated with a strong service orientation.
  6. Must be an effective communicator and advocate exercising strong interpersonal skills with the ability to bring people together to create solutions and to forge a successful conclusion and, when necessary, to communicate difficult messages effectively.
  7. Ability to organize and manage projects with a focus on results and deadlines.
  8. Knowledge of current federal regulations of sponsored project activities.
  9. Knowledge of requirements for submitting proposals to (including budget development and allowable costs) and setting up awards from a variety of sponsors but particularly federal agencies.
  10. Familiarity with PeopleSoft Financials a plus.
  11. Ability to meet consistent attendance.
  12. Ability to interact with colleagues, supervisors and customers face-to-face.

Typical office working setting.

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

CWRU offers a flexible benefits package including tuition waiver for employees and dependents; Respond in confidence, including salary history:, human resources job code #8207.

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Contact Information

Case Western Reserve University



Cleveland, Ohio


Background Information

High School


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