Sponsored Research Business Manager

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) seeks a highly motivated, well-organized person for the position of Business Manager in the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (DEES) in Reno, NV.  DRI is the non-profit environmental research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education.  DEES is one of the three research divisions at DRI.

The Business Manager reports to and works closely with the Executive Director of DEES in a division leadership partnership. The Business Manager acts as the division's research administrator, working directly with faculty, staff, and administration to develop grant proposals (ex. DOE, NSF, USDA, NIH, DOD, State of Nevada, etc.) and contract bids for research projects; coordinates the development of 60+ proposals per year; assists faculty in responding to RFP/RFQ/RFA guidelines; creates research proposal budgets; reviews proposal packages for accuracy and compliance; and authorizes and submits final proposals.

This position is responsible for pre- and post-award administration of research grants and contracts for the division, and reviews and negotiates their terms and conditions in compliance with Federal, DRI, and Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) policy. The Business Manager tracks and authorizes all internal and external expenditures on grants, contracts and division accounts. The position requires preparation and monitoring of sub-awards, requesting contractual amendments from sponsors, and developing recharge rates for specialized service centers as needed. 

In addition to sponsored research duties, the Business Manager ensures that divisional operations run efficiently by assisting the Executive Director with preparing fiscal year budgets, tracking and authorizing expenditures, and providing analyses, trends, and metrics for division budgets.

The Business Manager works collaboratively with the Business Managers of the other research divisions, Sponsored Projects Office, Human Resources Office, Financial Services Office and other administrative departments to help drive success. The Business Manager supervises the division business staff which includes a team of 5 employees (Assistant Business Manager and Program Specialists).

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a science field, business administration, accounting, or closely related field.
  • Five years of full-time relevant experience in a sponsored-research environment, including pre- and post-award administration of grants/contacts from a variety of Federal, State and private organizations. (ex. DOE, NSF, USDA, NIH, DOD, State of Nevada, etc.)
  • US Citizenship.
  • Experience in cost estimating, research proposal budget development and grant/contract expenditure tracking.
  • Experience with electronic proposal submissions, including Grants.gov, NSF Fastlane, NSPIRES, etc.
  • Knowledge of Federal Circulars and Regulations (2.CFR 200 Uniform Guidance and OMB A-133).
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, management, and supervisory abilities.
  • Evidence of ability to prioritize and complete multiple tasks within competing time constraints.
  • Successful record performing in a deadline-driven environment, while supporting multiple-proposal deadlines/ schedules.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Word, Excel, and automated accounting systems.
  • A leader that thrives in a team environment.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business administration, accounting, or related fields from an accredited institution.
  • At least 2 years of direct supervising responsibilities, including hiring, performance development and assigning work.
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) credentials.
  • Experience and/or understanding of accounting principles

Conditions Of Employment

  • Due to restricted programs oversight, access and locations, ALL applicants for this position MUST be citizens of the United States and the incumbent will be subject to a formal background check and work status verification through E-Verify.
  • Employment is contingent upon a successful completion of a background check.
  • The deadline driven nature of some of the Business Managers responsibilities will occasionally require work outside normal business hours.
  • Due to the current health and safety emergency declaration, anyone hired must receive a complete (and verified) COVID-19 vaccination series or an approved medical or religious waiver request as a term and condition of employment prior to any start date at any Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institution.
  • This is an on-site position with the intent for the applicant to start as soon as possible. The potential of remote work for up to 6 months will be considered to ensure the applicant can start as soon as possible.


The expected minimum starting salary is $90,000 per year, but is negotiable based on education and experience. 

DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance; including 15.50% retirement match, 24 annual leave days, beginning balance of 30 sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, educational benefits, and the choice of three health insurance plans that can be supplemented with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction. This position is eligible for relocation assistance.

Application/Review Process

Qualified individuals interested in this position must apply online at https://nshe.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/DRI-External.To ensure full consideration, your application package must include:

  1. Cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed in this DRI role.
  2. Current resume.
  3. Contact information for three professional references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission.

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments to receive full consideration. Failure to address each required qualification in the materials will disqualify the candidate from further consideration.

Lists of eligible candidates will be established and hiring may occur early in the recruiting process. Recruitment will close without notice when a sufficient number of applications are received, or a hiring decision has been made. For more detailed information about DRI, please visit us at www.dri.edu. For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-673-7319.

Contact Information

Desert Research Institute



2215 Raggio Parkway

Reno, Nevada 89512



Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • Other
  • Non-Profit
  • College/University
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs
  • Research Administrator/Manager
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Finance, Operations
  • Department Administrator
  • Compliance
  • Business Manager
  • Administrator or Administrative

U.S. Citizen


Target Job Information

Starting M

  • Full Time