Director of University Grants

Position Summary:

The Director of University Grants provides leadership for the development and administration of externally funded grants, contracts, and related research functions in support of the University’s strategic priorities, mission, and institutional values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. With a high level of independence and autonomy, the Director is responsible for the successful identification, cultivation, collaborative conceptualization, solicitation, and stewarding of a wide range of proposals and grant reports submitted on behalf of the University from foundations, government agencies, and other relevant institutional funders.

Reporting to the Provost, this individual leads the office of University Grants and oversees the Assistant/Associate Director of University Grants. They work closely and collaboratively with the Provost, Deans, University Advancement staff (including the Vice President for Advancement), staff in the President’s office, and other program leaders to ensure that institutional and faculty grantseeking efforts are aligned with Willamette University’s strategic priorities. This position also serves as the University’s research compliance officer.

Reasonable Accommodations Statement
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Job Duties:

Essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Director Duties: Provides leadership for the University Grants office. Leads the development, implementation, and evaluation of the office’s operational and long-range plans as well as the program’s annual budget. Serves as point-of-contact to maintain university registration with federal agencies and represents the university to various funding agencies. 

  • Prospect Research: Identifies, monitors, and matches relevant funding opportunities to faculty/staff interests, and works with University Advancement’s prospect research staff to cross-reference funders’ alumni/board connections. Executes strategies to pursue and secure new funding sources for university and faculty grantseeking efforts, utilizing all available data sources, external liaisons, internal stakeholders, and professional contacts.

  • Pre-Award Functions: 

    • Proposal Development: Assists campus partners in developing funding proposals that align with Willamette’s institutional priorities, follow funder solicitations and guidelines, adhere to University policies and practices, and utilize good practice in project planning and assessment.  The Director may directly author institutional grant proposals, or may work with campus partners to review proposal and application materials to ensure that they meet application guidelines and deadlines.

    • Budget Development: Assists campus partners in developing and reviewing budgets, budget justifications, and subrecipients budgets/documents for accuracy, consistency, thoroughness, and compliance with funder and university guidelines and regulations.

    • Proposal Approval and Submission: Ensures grant submissions are reviewed and approved by University leadership to guarantee timely submission of proposals. Assembles various supplemental materials for proposals, and ensures the timely submission of proposal materials thatbbest reflect the University.

  • Post-Award Administration: Works closely with PIs and Financial Operations to ensure the successful implementation of grant projects, usage of funds, and tracking of funded activities.

    • Award Setup: Reviews, analyzes, and negotiates award terms and conditions in keeping with University requirements, funder guidelines, and federal/state laws and regulations. Liaises with advancement and/or finance colleagues to ensure the proper creation of fund accounts and receipt of gifts, as needed.

    • Monitoring: Assists PIs in ensuring that projects comply with university payroll, accounting, and personnel policies and practices. Advises faculty and staff regarding funder and university prior-approval requirements for changing aspects of the project. Assists with extensions, budget revisions, and funder negotiations, as needed. 

    • Reporting/Stewardship: Manages relationships with external funders and campus clients throughout the award cycle. Monitors report deadlines, and prepares (or oversees the preparation of) interim and final stewardship reports for institutional, programmatic, and faculty grants.

  • Supports a culture of grantseeking across the University and its various stakeholders: Cultivates relationships with faculty, administrators, staff, and other key campus stakeholders to stay informed of funding trends and opportunities. Meets regularly with campus partners to develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of the University’s priorities, programs, and administrative/financial policies and practices. Help PIs connect their programs and interests to funding opportunities as well as to the University’s mission and strategic priorities. Serves as the primary adviser and point of contact for institutional proposals to foundations, and manages the president’s relationship with foundation program officers, as appropriate. 

  • Data Collection and Reporting: Maintains databases of grant opportunities, submissions, outcomes, and reports. Ensures grant files are complete and current for audit purposes. 

  • Research Compliance and Administration: Serves as the University’s Research Compliance Officer, acting as a liaison between university leadership and administrative units charged with research compliance. Works collaboratively to develop and implement policies and procedures relevant to effective sponsored project services, to ensure Willamette’s compliance with new/changing federal regulations, and to improve eRA pre- and post-award systems for data management and reporting and research administration. Supports campus partners in their compliance with university, funder, and federal policies and procedures.

  • Confidentiality: Safeguards confidentiality of departmental or office administration by exercising discretion in communicating information to faculty, students, and staff, and in handling departmental records, files, applications, proposal evaluations, and similar confidential materials.

  • Other: Perform committee service and other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • A minimum of five to seven years’ experience in grant development and research administration or equivalent experience. 

  • Evidence of successful grant writing and development to federal agencies (e.g. NSF, NIH, NASA, DOE, etc.) in support of faculty research and/or institutional initiatives.

  • Experience using electronic research administration application software (e.g.,, Fastlane) and web-based applications for document sharing, uploading, storing, and organizing documents (e.g., Raiser’s Edge NXT). 

  • Experience working in higher education or other organizations with significant grantseeking activity.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of pre- and post-award processes and administration, including a knowledge of federal policies and regulations as related to sponsored projects. Ability to interpret, explain, and apply complex regulations, policies, and procedures. 

  • Exceptional organizational, time-management, and project-management skills, including the ability to manage multiple priorities in a complex environment and function as a self-motivated, integral member of a team aimed at accomplishing specific goals.

  • Excellent writing, revising, editing, and proofreading skills. 

  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty, staff, and administrators in diverse disciplines, and represent the University effectively to funding agencies and the public. 

  • Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse colleagues, students, and community members, and shows an active engagement in learning and practicing the principles of equity, inclusion, and diversity.

  • Computer expertise sufficient to carry out the duties of the office, including skills using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Professional, internet and funding database searches, and web-based conferencing and collaboration tools.

  • Ability to work independently and with good professional judgment, as well as establish and maintain harmonious relations with university faculty and administrators.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, or closely allied fields.


Typical Work Schedule:    

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm


Applications will reviewed beginning September1. The position will remain open until filled.

All University positions require that candidates submit to a criminal conviction record check prior to hire. Conviction does not automatically preclude candidates from being hired. Nature of conviction will be considered relative to the duties of the position.


You will need to upload the following two documents as part of your application materials in the "My Experience" section labeled Resume:

  • Cover letter addressing the required/desired qualifications and presenting any other applicant characteristics which deserve emphasis

  • Current Resume


‚ÄčIncomplete applications will not be considered.

Contact Information

Willamette University



Salem, Oregon


Background Information

4-Year Degree

5-7 years

  • Non-Profit
  • College/University
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Compliance


Target Job Information

  • Full Time