Award and Contract Specialist

Description: The Award & Contract Specialist independently manages the processes for sponsored program award intake and acceptance, handling just-in-time and point-of-award interactions with the sponsor, PI, and associated UTC stakeholders. This position requires cross-departmental collaborations with multiple campus stakeholders including critical communications related to award intake and set-up, contracts, and post-award compliance. Duties include:

Award Intake

Reviews awards to UTC totaling in excess of $12+ million per year to identify key award considerations and addresses any challenges or barriers to award acceptance; analyzes award document, proposal elements, project budgets, and award terms & conditions to identify and troubleshoot any discrepancies or potential issues prior to award acceptance; reviews and, when necessary, revises award budgets to comply with sponsor terms & conditions; coordinates budgetary or programmatic adjustments to align with the award terms & conditions; notifies relevant offices of the award based on unique award characteristics (e.g., COI Committee, IRB, IACUC, RCR, Financial Aid, etc.); identifies and coordinates with relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance and communicate award management requirements; coordinates with Accounting Services on account requests and identification of key events within the life-cycle of each sponsored program award; coordinates any required execution or processing of award documents; processes award following both ORSP internal procedures and enterprise system (e.g., Cayuse, IRIS, etc.) procedures; sets up awards and interfaces with Accounting Services to request restricted accounts for sponsored programs; and provides time-of-award support, information, and training to a variety of related stakeholders.

Sponsored Programs Contracts & Agreements

Reviews sponsored programs contracts and agreements, negotiating language, terms, & conditions to align with UT policies and UTC business practices and capacities; assists the Assistant Director with processing of all sponsored program contracts receivable to ensure records are maintained and all contract agreements are well-documented in ORSP files and the appropriate UT enterprise systems; and  assists with origination, negotiation, and execution of subawards payable from sponsored programs where UTC is the lead.

Post-Award Compliance

Analyzes individual award requirements and provides timely information and reminders; identifies training needs, designs trainings and resources materials to address needs; coordinates with Accounting Services to monitor and communicate with faculty regarding expenditures; and assists with both routine post-award actions such as time extensions, personnel changes, and budget changes that require sponsor pre-approval or notification as well as non-routine items that often require significant background understanding of the project and research administration, critical thinking, and excellent communication. 

Data Analytics, Reporting, and Research Enterprise System Administrator

Oversees the integrity of UTC's proposal and award data and other metrics associated with research and sponsored programs; takes lead on routine and special reporting, preparing information for a variety of institutional and UT stakeholders; assists, as needed, with trouble-shooting and managing updates within research enterprise systems; and other duties as assigned by the Director or Assistant Director. 

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes:

  • Communication skills - ability to assimilate complex data, convey relevant information in verbal and written form, and provide advice and counsel in a persuasive, encouraging manner.
  • Writing skills – ability to craft language that is grammatically correct, reader-friendly, and that constitutes a clear, coherent, and compelling argument for the suggested course of action; and ability to apply strong writing skills within a variety of sponsored program-related document types (contracts, subawards, communications to sponsors, etc.).
  • Computer skills - ability to use technology resources; enterprise systems; and software programs to complete attractive, professional-quality reports, contracts, information guides, and other documents; and ability to effectively use a variety of electronic proposal development systems to comply with funders who require electronic interaction in a variety of systems.
  • Interpersonal skills - ability to work effectively with individuals from a variety of disciplines; and ability to persuasively suggest ideas or strategies needed for sponsored programs administration.
  • Reasoning and problem-solving skills- ability to formulate, articulate and draft reports, contracts, or training materials as well as originate and revise editorial and stylistic changes that will maximize impact; and ability to anticipate / identify potential challenges or issues and develop appropriate corrective actions to avoid or minimize problems.
  • Analytical skills – ability to simultaneously process and synthesize information from multiple, sometimes incongruent sources; ability to make appropriate inferences and deductions and to secure confirmation from appropriate sources; and ability to engage in strategic planning and to initiate actions that support strategic plans and goals.
  • Project Management - Ability to manage a varied workload including multiple deadline-driven and/or time-sensitive tasks while maintaining on-going tasks. 

Review of applications will begin June 28, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.  Applications received by this date will receive priority consideration.

Applicants should include a resume or CV and cover letter uploaded into the Taleo system. In your application materials please include details to aid the search committee in evaluating your experience and capacities with regard to the attributes of an ideal candidate (listed above) as well as a discussion of alignment with the minimum or preferred qualifications (listed below).

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in English, Public Administration, Psychology, Social Science or other relevant field; and two years of working in an educational or non-profit office environment, including as an intern or similar experience.

Preferred Qualifications: Master’s degree in English, Public Administration, Psychology, Social Science or other relevant field; experience in apposition dealing with grants/research administration, contract negotiation, project management, compliance management or related activities; knowledge of federal regulations governing sponsored programs administration, UT policies and procedures, and funding agency guidelines; knowledge of financial and research enterprise systems such as Cayuse, IRIS/SAP, or similar; knowledge of UT policies and ability to apply policy requirements in a variety of fiscal, HR, and research policies to sponsored program and research administration; and knowledge and skill in working with data-sets and producing reports using Excel pivot tables. 

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or protected veteran status.


Contact Information

University of TN at Chattanooga



615 McCallie Avenue

Chattanooga, TN 37403


Background Information

4-Year Degree

  • College/University
  • Administrator or Administrative
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs


Target Job Information

  • Full Time