Manager Research Administration


Job Summary:

The Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) within Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine was founded in 2012 with a vision to achieve the best possible health for all people and is comprised of 16 research centers.  IPHAM is recruiting a manager of research administration to collaboratively support IPHAM’s faculty with pre and post award grants management.

Provides strategic leadership and advanced problem solving in support of unit's research programs and mission. Acts as the chief research administrator for a dept. or division & oversees the administration of the entire grants & contracts portfolio, some of which are very complex involving multiple years, venues, collaborators, subcontractors, etc. & ensures fulfillment of all requirements & compliance with rules & regulations.  Partners with faculty to develops research initiatives, collaborations & projects that will increase & improve overall research & associated financial management & performance.


Specific Responsibilities:



  • Typically administers or oversees entire research projects such as:
    • Research portfolio for a larger department
    • Government contracts
    • Center or program grants
    • International projects
    • Master agreements with industry



  • Provides creative, strategic leadership in pre-award administration of research grants &/or contracts, expertly balancing customer service and compliance needs. 
  • Establishes procedures at the large unit level related to pre-award administration.
  • Coordinates federal contract proposals, international proposals, and proposals with difficult/troublesome terms and large sponsored agreements with industry partners.
  • Uses metrics to monitor report and adjust unit pre-award performance.



  • Provides expertise regarding post-award research administration.
  • Ensures that proposed projects meet goals of dept. & that necessary resources are available.
  • Manages and follows through on high-risk situations.
  • Coordinates or oversees application completion and detailed review & submission.
  • Interprets sponsor guidelines.
  • Creates procedures regarding day-to-day administrative & financial functions.
  • Resolves issues with collaborators &/or other involved parties.  
  • Establishes procedures at the large unit level related to post-award administration.
  • Manages all day-to-day grant &/or contract functions such as administration, finance, facilities, compliance, reporting, etc. ensuring timetables are created & maintained as appropriate. 
  • Uses metrics to monitor report and adjust unit post-award performance.
  • Recommends & facilitates procedural changes in grant &/or contract administration as necessary. 
  • Recommends policy to enhance research administration.



  • Oversees & manages all research portfolio fiscal activities, from research development to close-out activities, continually evaluating & recommending alternatives to minimize risk while maximizing goals. 
  • Ensures that budgets are created, proposed & administered in a fiscally responsible manner. 
  • Resolves complex issues such as determining appropriate & reasonable cost-sharing percentages on complex grants involving multiple locations; effort reporting problems; under- or over-spent grant budgets; recommend changes to eliminate deficit balances; overdrafts. 
  • Coordinates price negotiation, purchase, & ongoing maintenance support contracts of all major research equipment. 
  • Provides information to senior management that is used for department budgeting purposes.


Human Resources

  • Hires, evaluates, promotes, &/or counsel staff. 
  • Oversees training for all staff regarding research administration in unit. 



  • Creates, implements & oversees programs, policy & practice for dept./division designed to ensure compliance with all appropriate NU policies & practices; local, state, federal, agency & sponsor rules, regulations & requirements regarding grant &/or contract administration.
  • Ensures resolution of all compliance problems & issues, including those involving research safety, animal subjects, human subjects, and conflict of interest.
  • Supervision
  • Mentors other administrative staff in research administration.



  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • A minimum of 7 years’ experience required with 4 years of research administration and 3 years of research, finance, administrative or other relevant experience.


Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Organization, time management, detail oriented
  • Multi-tasking, communication
  • Self-starter, diplomatic, pro-active, manage stress
  • Managing people
  • Provide leadership by cooperatively anticipating, coordinating, strategizing


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience prioritizing work and managing detailed work under deadlines.


For more information and to apply:


Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

Contact Information

Northwestern University



Evanston, Illinois 60208


Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • College/University
  • Research Administrator/Manager


Target Job Information