Director of Sponsored Programs


The San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) partners with SJSU’s Office of Research to assist faculty in the pursuit of external funding for sponsored research, service projects, and other discretionary activities. Fully committed to delivering best in class services, OSP serves as the central coordination point for all research grants and contracts, and partners with principal investigators (PIs) to ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local administrative requirements and costing principles, regulations, grantor restrictions and SJSURF’s fiscal policies.


The ideal candidate will provide leadership to a large and diverse team responsible for submission of grants and oversight of sponsored programs in alignment with SJSURF’s mission and strategic plan to support SJSU. The Director is responsible for the administration and management of both pre- and post-award, compliance and communications. This position has delegated signatory authority for external funding proposals, contracts, grant documents, other agreements for sponsored projects and proposal funding approval authority.


  1. Provides leadership and support to a diverse team of staff involved in review, approval, negotiation and administration of research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, subawards and self-support programs that may include ancillary research agreements such as material transfer agreements, confidentiality agreements and data transfer agreements.
  2. Supervises the various team leaders of pre-award and post-award teams serving campus Colleges and departments.
  3. Implements or modifies existing OSP protocols and procedures to increase efficiency,
  4. Oversees contract and agreement drafting and execution, sponsored program activities, tech transfer administration, intellectual property management, self-support programs and competitive fellowships.
  5. Provides financial and administrative oversight for a growing research enterprise currently at $58 million in annual contracts and grants (more than 350 proposals submitted), with aspirations to double research expenditures by 2030.
  6. Ensures proper financial and preparation of specific institutional reporting for internal purposes and federal agencies.
  7. Establishes and maintains productive, and cooperative communications and professional working relationships with university administrators, faculty, staff, federal, state and private funding agencies. Frequent communication with PIs and administrative personnel regarding contracts and grants.
  8. Administers and interprets applicable federal and state laws and regulations including agency guidelines for grants management and sponsored research including NASA, DOD NSF, US DOE, NIH, NEA and NEH and knowledge of Single Audit and the Uniform Guidance.
  9. Continually reviews and updates information pertaining to changes in federal regulations, specific agency requirements, and procedures for administration of funded awards.
  10. Develops and manages the $2.2M operational budget for OSP programs and the allocation of its resources in accordance with goals and objectives including operations, staffing, etc.
  11. Sets strategic goals for the department and team metrics for performance focused on operational efficiency, maximum productivity, employee proficiency and stakeholder satisfaction.
  12. Prepares reports and projections regarding the status of these activities and the progress towards research goals and objectives.
  13. Participates in professional conferences or meetings. Serves on appropriate University committees as required.
  14. Performs other duties, as assigned.


  • Reports to the Executive Director of the SJSURF.
  • Frequently and regularly interacts with the SJSU VP of Research and Innovation, the AVP of Research, Director of Research Development, Director of Innovation, Director of Research Compliance, College Deans, Department Chairs, faculty, other university personnel; with sponsor agencies on a regular basis; with colleagues across all levels, internal and external.


Supervises an Associate Director, two managers within Proposal Development, a Compliance team and Research Communications team.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent; Master’s degree is highly preferred.
  • Minimum seven years of experience in the full life cycle of the pre and post-award activity at a similar institution; familiarity with issues of research compliance; knowledge of federal agency practices, regulations and policies.
  • Evidence of leadership success in comparable situations and of effective management of budgets.
  • Minimum of 5 years of supervisory management experience, including mentoring, coaching and holding staff accountable for work performance and results.
  • Experience analyzing contracts, legal documents and policies.
  • Experience defining processes, improving workflow and providing relevant information to stakeholders is highly preferred.
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) designation preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities Required

  • Advanced level knowledge of the full life cycle of a Sponsored Programs Office including Information services, pre-award, and post-award.
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of research administration, government relations and principles applicable to contracts and grants.
  • Excellent communication skills, oral, written, and presentation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships with colleagues, senior administration, faculty, and representatives of various organizations and agencies.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize tasks, to work independently, to maintain confidentiality, and to take initiative to improve upon current operations.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment, and to be able to effectively manage multiple deadlines and tasks with diplomacy under pressure.
  • Possess political acumen essential for negotiating workable solutions to complex problems.
  • Excellent judgment, and independent creative problem-solving skills.
  • Accuracy in the development of complex multiyear budgets.
  • Working knowledge of Uniform Guidance and Single Audit processes and protocols.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to operate a computer, including mouse and keyboard.
  • Must be able to operate general office equipment.
  • Must be able to sit and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Must have a valid CDL along with a clean driving record.
  • Must be able to travel on an occasional basis.
  • Must have visual acuity associated with concentrated computer use.

Complexity of Duties

  • Works on a variety of problems of very complex scope, where analysis of data or solutions requires an evaluation of intangible, variance factors. Exercises independent judgment in developing methods and evaluating criteria for achieved results.
  • Must be able to act on critical issues in an independent manner. Must be able to represent the Research Foundation in any appropriate forum or before any appropriate agency.
  • Erroneous decisions or recommendations, or failure to obtain certain results, would cause serious costs and adversely impact personnel and operations as well as programs.

NOTE: This position description intends to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. It is not intended to include all duties and responsibilities. The order in which duties and responsibilities are listed is not significant.


The San José State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) provides excellent benefits package to benefited employees. The comprehensive benefit package includes:

  1. Ten company subsidized CalPERS health insurance plans to choose from (employee contributions differ according to plan and level of coverage).
  2. Employer paid dental and vision for both employee and eligible dependents.
  3. Life, AD&D, LTD with supplemental coverage opportunities.
  4. 13 paid federal & state holidays.
  5. Retirement Plan: 403 (b) employee contribution plan component and a 403 (b) employer contribution component, which vests immediately.
  6. Vacation hour accruals and separate sick hour accumulations.
  7. Employee discounts.
  8. Paid training and professional development conferences.

Please visit the Benefits & Compensation page on the SJSU Research Foundation website for more detailed information. Additionally, Research Foundation offers hybrid schedule with the option of working two days remotely per week.


As required by the CSU Vaccination Policy, all new hires must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 starting on September 30, 2021. Fully vaccinated means it has been 14 days after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine has been given, or it has been 14 days after the one dose of the J&J vaccine has been given.  Proof of being fully vaccinated does not need to be disclosed until a job offer has been made, and proof must be submitted after the acceptance of the job offer. New hires may request a reasonable accommodation of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement based on medical or religious reasons. New hires must submit their request for an accommodation form after they accept the job offer, and before their scheduled start date.  The reasonable accommodation provided to the employee, if any, will depend on the employee’s job and the applicable facts, but it may include weekly COVID-19 testing. New hires who do not submit, before their scheduled start date, proof of being fully vaccinated or a request for reasonable accommodation will have their job offer revoked.


To apply for this position, an applicant must submit a formal application for employment, as well as a resume and a cover letter. The applicant may do this via e-mail. The formal employment application is located on the SJSURF website on the Forms page. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, all candidates must submit their application materials to Please add DIR OSP in the subject line when submitting application.

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the SJSURF. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current SJSURF employees who apply for the position.


The San José State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with physical or mental disabilities in the employment, recruitment, examination, hiring and interviewing processes. If you are a job seeker with a physical or mental disability and require a reasonable accommodation to search, apply, or interview for a job opening or otherwise need a reasonable accommodation during the application and hiring process, please contact us at In the email message, please indicate your full name, phone number and the type of assistance required. You must not reveal the underlying medical reason for your needed reasonable accommodation or otherwise disclose confidential medical information.


SJSURF employment is separate and distinct from San José State University or state of California employment. SJSURF employees are not employees of SJSU or of the state of California.

SJSURF is a non-profit auxiliary of San José State University. SJSURF is totally self-supported. The majority of the organization’s funding comes from the federal government, and other public and private entities. With annual revenues totaling over $65 million, programs managed through SJSURF cover a rich diversity of applied research, public services, and educational related activities.

SJSURF is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sex, genetic information, sexual orientation, military and veteran status or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.

Contact Information

San Jose State University Research Foundaiton



210 N 4th St

San Jose, CA 95112


Background Information

4-Year Degree

7 years or more

  • College/University
  • Non-Profit
  • Administrator or Administrative
  • Department Administrator
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

155000 to

  • Full Time