Contracts and Grants Officer

Contracts and Grants Officer

University of California Merced


Job ID


Hiring Range
$87,000 - $105,000

Job Closing Date

Initial applicant review will begin on or around May 27th, 2022. Posting will remain open until filled.

Position may allow remote flexibility dependent on experience.

About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system's 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and professional development. With bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable, and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities for highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.

In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project nearly doubled the physical capacity of the campus, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. In 2018, UC Merced opened the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building located in the heart of Merced.

To set the course of UC Merced's evolution, in 2021 UC Merced will enact its first-ever 10-year strategic plan. This plan will guide how the values of equity and justice influence our pathway toward earning Carnegie R1 research status, growing enrollment, upholding our identity as a minority-serving institution, and operationalizing how commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion are enacted within each campus unit. UC Merced is expected to engage in sophisticated thinking, planning, and implementation of actions that effectively diversify the professoriate and staff, improve campus climate for all campus constituency groups, and strengthen our equity, diversity, and inclusion infrastructure and capacity.

About the Job

Uses advanced contracts and grants concepts to manage transactions. Review research proposals for compliance and guide campus in the interpretation of and in compliance with external and institutional policy. Works independently to assess grant, contract, and subcontract transactions where analysis requires an in-depth evaluation of variable factors. Review and negotiate research grant agreement and recommend for acceptance of the award. Advise and process all non-financial postaward activities. Be a mentor of the less experienced RAs; as the first line of contact and provide advice/solutions when issues arise as a team's subject matter expert.





  • Apply contract and grant concepts to review research proposals and ensure all proposed research activities comply with sponsor and the university's policies; verify necessary compliance according to the proposed research project; provide proposal review comments with mandatory and recommended changes to ensure the proposal packet is complete and the sponsor's guidelines are followed; coordinates proposal submissions with preaward RAs; and enforces the internal proposal submission policy.
  • Negotiate the terms and conditions of the research grants, contracts, and sub awards from a variety of domestic and international sponsors in accordance with UC policy and sponsor compliance requirements. Reviews terms and conditions of contract and grant awards of complex scope; identify potential conflicts with institutional policy and recommends resolutions. Negotiates terms and conditions of awards from various sponsors, using multiple vehicles for the award, while developing a professional relationship with sponsor representatives.
  • Mentors, trains and provides guidance to a team of research administrators; participates in the selection and development of staff to help ensure the efficient operation of the office; functions as a resource to advise staff on researching complex issues and escalate problems/concerns to the director. Participates in and recommends designs for developing and revising operating procedures, policies, and guidelines.
  • Provide advice to Deans, ORU Directors, faculty, and staff regarding sensitive, critical, and/or complex sponsored projects and contractual issues. Delivers specialized training in the area of preaward process. Provides guidance and counsel on complex research administration matters, including compliance regulations, to principal investigators and preaward RAs. Establish and maintain effective and productive working relationships with other units on campus.
  • Reviews, approves, or rejects requested fund advance setups or research account updates.
  • Processes non-competing continuations, supplements, no-cost extensions, JIT, incoming MTAs, and other post-award modifications.
  • Timely closeout administrative aspect of prime awards and subawards. Assists in support of audit as directed and other assignments when needed.


  • Bachelor's degree in Science, Business Law, Management, Business Administration, or other related fields, and five years of directly related, progressively responsible experience working with federal, state, and other contracts and grants, or nine years of equivalent experience as indicated. (Required)

  • Extensive knowledge of program administration guidelines of Federal and non-Federal sponsors supporting research and educational activities, preferably in a university environment.
  • Advanced knowledge in interpreting proposal guidelines and reviewing/submitting proposals to a variety of external sponsors.
  • Ability to manage high volume and complex transactions.
  • Ability to perform highly complex financial analysis and customized reporting.
  • Demonstrated advanced competence in the use of spreadsheet and database software in financial analysis, fiscal management and financial reports.
  • Ability to maintain independent judgment; strong organization and communication skills; and a customer service focus across broad and diverse subject areas.
  • Maintains knowledge of and ability to interpret and apply sponsor, institutional and departmental policies. Knowledge of current compliance regulations in all areas of research administration.
  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge of generally accepted accounting, fiscal and reporting principles.
  • Experience with all types of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative agreements.
  • Full knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulation, Code of Federal Regulations, sponsor-specific policies, intellectual property policy, conflict of interest requirements, publication rights, application of indirect cost rates and other complex concepts in research administration.
  • Ability to interpret policy for others.
  • Advanced knowledge of effective grant funding processes, procedures and techniques.
  • Advanced ability to create and train grant writing and other communications skills in a variety of styles to ensure securing grant funding required.
  • Advanced knowledge of negotiating awards (grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts) received from a variety of external sponsors.
  • Experience in writing and executing outgoing subawards.
  • Experience in identifying and resolving pre-award and/or post-award obstacles to successful sponsored projects.

    Background Check

    Background check and fingerprinting will be required.

    Policy Statement

    How to Apply:
    An online application is required for each position to apply.The University of California, Merced is aware that some web-based application processes may be cumbersome for differently abled applicants. Where appropriate, alternative accommodations will be provided. For applicants with disabilities who need additional assistance using TAM, or reasonable accommodations during the interview or search process, please contact

    Equal Employment Opportunity:
    The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, or other protected categories covered by the UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. UC Merced intentionally promotes and maintains a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace by demonstrating it neither condones nor tolerates employment practices that discriminate against or harass any person or specific group of persons on the basis listed above. We seek candidates who will support our vision to cultivate a vibrant, equity-minded, inclusive excellence university community. When applying to UC Merced, we strongly encourage you to reflect on our Principles of Community and our 2021 strategic plan.

    Vaccination Program Policy:

    As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is 14 days after their first date of employment.

    Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy:
    The University of California, Merced is a smoke and tobacco free workplace. Information and the Smoke and Tobacco Free policy is available at

    All employers who receive Federal contracts and grants are required to comply with E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify electronically verifies employment eligibility by comparing information provided on the I-9 form to records in the DHS and SSA databases. Certain positions funded by federal contracts/subcontracts requires UC Merced to notify job applicants that an E-Verify check will be conducted and the successful candidate must pass the E-Verify check.

    Pay, Benefits & Work Schedule:
    For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University of California visit:

    To apply, please visit:

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Contact Information

University of California Merced




(209) 228-8247

Background Information

4-Year Degree

  • College/University
  • Grants and Contracts


Target Job Information