Director for the Office of Research and Agreement Administration

The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally, and internationally.

Program Summary

We are seeking a Director for the Office of Research and Agreement Administration (ORAA) to provide leadership, guidance, and oversight for the tens of millions of annual sponsored research portfolios at PHI and the thousands of agreements with outside parties related to funding, non-monetary transactions, goods, or services. Our team is based in Northern California in our Oakland, California, and Sacramento, California offices. This is a unique opportunity to work with one of the top 50 “Best Non-profit Organizations to Work For” as awarded by the Non-Profit Times in 2010, 2014, and 2019.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead overarching Research and Agreement Administration functions to ensure compliance, conduct risk analysis, support conformance with regulations, terms, and conditions of prime awards, and the advice and counsel of PHI’s Office of Chief Legal Counsel.
  • Act as the subject matter expert in the areas of regulations, terms and conditions, non-monetary agreements, sub-award, subcontract administration, and monitoring.
  • Draft, negotiate and administer agreements flowing down from a wide range of funding sources including federal, state, local government agencies, and industry sponsors.
  • Serve as the leader for all department staff; represent the department in internal meetings
  • Acts as a subject matter expert for Principal Investigators on questions related to research and agreement administration.
  • Interpret, recommend actions, and/or resolve complex issues that span the considerations of research administration in the policy areas of PI eligibility and criteria for an exception, IRB oversight, responsible conduct of research, various types of research agreements (including non-monetary agreements), and indirect cost waivers.
  • Coach and mentor staff for professional development and on best practices related to the field.
  • Communicate and execute key policies and procedures sponsored research and agreement administration and monitoring.
  • Work directly with Principal Investigators/Project Directors to keep them apprised of status, strategies, and solutions to challenges that arise during the negotiation of terms and conditions in any non-monetary or monetary agreements.
  • Work with the Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for Research Administration to continue to improve on PHI research administration procedures, workflows, informal training, communication, quality of services, and customer satisfaction.
  • Coach and develop a robust and growing research and agreement administration team.
  • Serve as the lead negotiator and surface issues to OCLC that arise during the research and agreement administration processes and require advice and counsel.
  • Use and maintain ORAA data management systems.
  • Ensure coordination and smooth transactions and transitions with other departments; field requests for information and clarification of policies and procedures.
  • Work with Bid & Proposal, Development, Finance, Grants & Contracts, Human Resources, Office of Chief Legal Counsel, and Operations to coordinate efforts when issues arise during the research and agreement administration process.
  • Create and generate reports/dashboards to reflect the work of the Department.
  • Participate in interdepartmental management team meetings.
  • Command ability to create efficiency and manage complex data systems for the research and agreement administration data.
  • Serve on the PHI Central Credentialing Committee.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ten (10)years in an academic, nonprofit, or research setting in a role supporting research or contract administration.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • CITI IRB Certification (current).
  • Knowledge of federal, state, or local government grant and contract regulations of funding for nonprofit research.
  • Experience with contracts management databases such as Salesforce and/or Conga.
  • Experience on or working with an Institutional Review Board in a large nonprofit research organization or educational environment.
  • Substantial experience in a university or large nonprofit setting with demonstrated expertise with federal and state contract and grant regulations as they apply to nonprofit organizations.
  • Advanced ability to manage relationships and communicate with broad and diverse constituencies with advanced customer service skills.
  • Advanced listening, political acumen skills, problem recognition, and resolution skills.

Desired Qualifications

  • Masters in Public Administration, Business Administration, or related field (or the equivalent experience) is ideal.

Important Information

  • This is a full-time (40 hours per week) position which may be based in Oakland, CA or Sacramento, CA.
  • Our offices are currently closed until at least January 2021. Until then, this work will take place remotely.

Contact Information

Public Health Institute (PHI



555 12th Street
10th Floor
Oakland, California 94607


Background Information



  • Non-Profit
  • Research Administrator/Manager


Target Job Information


  • Full Time