Associate Director - Pre-Award Administration (Grants and Contracts Manager 3)

Associate Director - Pre-Award Administration (Grants and Contracts Manager 3)

The Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Office (SIRO) is a research administration unit under the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR) dedicated to providing active support for the development, submission, and management of large-team multidisciplinary proposals. SIRO supports pre-award and project management for multi-college and multi-institutional efforts, while the Finance Office (FO) within OSVPR provides post-award support for complex large-team funded awards.

This position seeks a highly skilled professional to guide the pre-award team with proposal submissions. The Associate Director will report to the Associate Vice President for Research and Director, Strategic Initiatives. On a regular basis, the candidate will perform tasks in a large volume, fast paced, and multifaceted environment. The job responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Collaborate with SIRO Proposal Development and Project Management Team on items such as processing the service request forms, allocation of resources for proposal submission, and planning the timeline and tasking for proposal submission
  • Partner with Associate Vice President for Research Director, Strategic Initiatives and SIRO Proposal Development and Project Management Team on implementing the SIRO vision and mission in relation to the OSVPR strategic plan.
  • Lead/supervise/mentor SIRO Pre-Award Team
  • Monitor/manage proposal submissions across institutes and colleges and delegate duties/tasks to Pre-Award Team to ensure quality and timely submissions
  • Maintain University Delegated Signature Authority (DSA) and facilitate junior team members towards DSA
  • Prepare and submit large-team interdisciplinary proposals according to sponsor guidelines on behalf of The Pennsylvania State University
  • Review SIRO Pre-Award Team proposals for University signature and submission to various federal, state and local agencies, private companies, and foundations
  • Create, streamline, and implement proposal submission processes across the university in collaboration with colleges and institutes
  • Facilitate/coordinate proposal cost share internally and externally
  • Prepare sponsor post-submission inquiry/request responses prior to issue of an award
  • Assist the Office of Sponsored Programs with award processing
  • Oversee Academic Research Services Order (ARSO) process for OSVPR CORE Facility services; ensure progress through the Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Communicate with sponsors regarding incremental funding, extensions, clarifying agreement terms and conditions
  • Monitor compliance of contractual terms, conditions, and University policies. Ensure federal, state and other agency requirements are met on fully executed awards
  • Prepare proposal submission reports and data analysis for Associate Vice President for Research Director, Strategic Initiatives


This position will be filled at a Grants and Contracts Manager (Level 3 and typically requires a Master's degree or higher plus four years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Knowledge of government regulations and University policies applicable to sponsored research is mandatory.

The preferred candidate will be qualified to be approved as an Authorized Organizational Representative with full signature authority. Familiarity with advanced Microsoft Word and Excel functions, Strategic Information Management System (SIMS) grant reporting and budget functions (or similar institutional programs), and award management experience are highly preferred. Requires flexibility and self-management skills, including the ability to prioritize among a large number of diverse responsibilities. Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Excellent communication (both verbal and written) and interpersonal skills required. Capability to work both independently and as a team member, ability to multi-task and respond professionally in challenging situations is essential. Certified Research Administrator (CRA) or strong desire to obtain certification is ideal.

Application reviews will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Penn State provides a comprehensive benefits package, including 75% tuition discount for employees, their spouse or domestic partner and eligible dependents. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until position is filled.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

SIRO offices are located at the University Park campus of Penn State University. Known as “Happy Valley”, the surrounding region boasts great outdoor recreation opportunities and high-quality public-school systems. The Penn State Center for the Performing Arts brings world renowned music, theatre, and dance artists to the campus. The Bryce Jordan Center hosts larger events including sports exhibitions, family shows, commencements, Big Ten Basketball, and top name performers in the music and entertainment industry.

University Park is centrally located, just 3-4 hours by car from New York, Philadelphia Baltimore/Washington and Pittsburgh with a reliable commuter airport 10 minutes from campus.

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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Contact Information

Pennsylvania State University




(814) 865-4700

Background Information



  • College/University
  • Administrator or Administrative
  • Grants and Contracts


Target Job Information