Sponsored Research Development Manager


The Sponsored Research Services (SRS) division supports the research mission of the University in the areas of grant development and administration, including developing and submitting proposals; negotiating grant and contract awards and subawards; and administering grants, contracts, research support funds and other campus and community programs. In addition, the division provides administrative support for gift funds on behalf of The Campanile Foundation.

Under direction of the Associate Director, the Sponsored Research Development (SRD) Manager is responsible for performing at an advanced level. Responsible for staff supervision, day-to-day management of operations; managing a complex and diverse workload that is comprised of grants and contracts proposals to federal, state, and local government and private funding agencies. Responsible for pre award activities, focusing on the development and preparation of a variety of applications, understanding, interpreting, and effectively communicating proposal requirements, complex federal regulations and internal policies and procedures, applying specialized knowledge.

Position Overview:

The SRD Manager is required to exercise independent judgment and discretion when working with faculty, funding agency personnel, and SDSU Research Foundation (SDSURF) and University (SDSU) personnel. Must be self-directed and able to prioritize and organize their own tasks and duties as well as the priorities and tasks of their employees and be able to function effectively and efficiently in situations requiring an elevated level of tact and diplomacy. 

Demonstrates an understanding of the global view of the organization (both SDSURF and SDSU) and how their actions and level of professionalism may impact the organization. Serves as part of the leadership team in the SRD department and SRS division focusing on their personal expertise in research administration and knowledge of the organization to positively impact staff morale, service, and business practices.


Under the supervision of the associate director, the SRD manager responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Leadership and supervision (60%)

The SRD manager has supervisory and mentoring responsibilities for a team of development specialists and support staff. Supervisory duties include playing a lead role in the selection, hiring and training of development specialists and technical support staff, day-to-day training and mentoring of staff, analyzing proficiency and readiness for more complex assignments, on-going monitoring and evaluation of performance, analysis and assignment of workload, oversight of tasks, and advanced problem solving. The SRD manager provides guidance and support to development specialists on communication and interactions with principal investigators and project staff and provides assistance with problem resolution. The SRD manager communicates regularly with staff to provide feedback and support to foster professional growth and development. The SRD manager is seen as an expert and technical advisor within the department.

The SRD manager is responsible for providing mentorship and training, taking lead roles in department activities and initiative to streamline and improve processes that impact the SRD Department, SRS Division, and SDSURF. Provides support and develops plans for long-term workload coverage as needed. Works in partnership with the SRD and SRA Management teams in taking a lead role on special projects, often initiating ideas for efficiency and process improvement; regularly exercises independent determination of approaches to projects and priorities for themself as well as their staff.

Manage a workload of complex projects and faculty with unique research administration needs (30%)

  • Assist in the preparation of complex proposals, coordination of collaborative projects with multiple partners, developing capability statements and resource information.
  • Contact agency representatives to discuss complex issues related to the proposal on behalf of the principal investigator.
  • Communicate with deans and other university executives on issues related to high volume principal investigators and unique situations related to proposal development and submission.
  • Explore several solutions to situations experienced by high-volume principal investigators, requiring a high level of expertise in sponsored research administration and in-depth knowledge of University and Foundation regulations and guidelines.
  • Function as a resource for high-volume PIs on issues related to research administration such as cost sharing, compliance items, budgeting, subcontracting with collaborators, international activities, and other related issues.
  • Inform and advise principal investigators and project personnel on contract and grant restrictions to ensure regulatory compliance. Enforce restrictions to protect against audit disallowance or non-reimbursement of expenditures. Apprise management of situational events requiring additional review, including items that may have potential risks and/or irregularities.
  • Review proposal budgets with consideration to sponsor restrictions, regulatory compliance, and consistency. Understand and analyze contractual agreements and grant awards to determine administrative restrictions. Carefully review proposal requirements in compliance with funding source. Understand and interpret broadly stated policies and guidelines; apply comprehensive knowledge and use independent judgment when policies or guidelines are not specific or clearly stated.
  • Provide detailed and comprehensive proposal submission guidance to faculty and project staff on proposals a variety of sources with multiple performance periods and varying administrative requirements.
  • Regularly interact and provide advice, support, analytic services, and corrective action to management and principal investigators; work with funding agencies to discuss proposal budget, submission and award acceptance matters and obtain required approvals. Acts as a resource and liaison for the SR grants specialist when transitioning awards to SRA. 
  • Advise and counsel faculty on the appropriate use of cost sharing and ensure proper approvals and budgeting in accordance with sponsor requirements. Work with faculty, management, and funding sources to negotiate modifications to cost sharing requirements.

 Outreach and Promotional Activities (5%)

  • Visits project directors at their project sites;
  • Develops presentations and leads discussions at departmental, center, or college meetings, makes suggestions for enhancements to trainings or promotional activities for SRD;
  • Initiates and arranges meetings with new faculty; volunteers and participates on University and project committees and task forces;
  • Initiates suggestions and helps develop specialized workshops for faculty and departmental staff.
  • Prepare information for Foundation reports and publications as requested. Initiate ideas and suggestions for communications related to assigned faculty’s projects, improved procedures for pre-award services, or other initiatives.

 Professional Development and Other Responsibilities (5%)

  • Remain up to date on Foundation, University and CSU System policies and procedures, sponsor agency electronic proposal submission systems; programs, application procedures, and regulations of funding agencies;
  • Be proficient with budgeting techniques and methods;
  • Attend trainings and workshops; review publications containing grants development information;
  • Refer development "leads" on faculty to research advancement in the division of research and innovation.
  • When appropriate speak/present educational sessions or trainings at outside professional meetings (NCURA, SRAI, AOA).
  • Other duties for the manager may include participation in long-range initiatives that may involve the Research Foundation and SDSU such as strategic planning, systems enhancements, or policy development. The manager will be directly involved in department planning and needs assessment. In addition, the manager may take a lead role in the development and/or delivery of departmental or inter-departmental training or a task force focused on process or system improvements for the Foundation as a whole


Knowledge and Abilities

  • Demonstrates and applies a broad knowledge of sponsor agency proposal requirements, policies, and federal circulars such as 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance), and Federal Acquisition Regulations.
  • Ability to analyze a variety of complex regulations, applies sound judgment, draw logical conclusions, and determine solutions in a timely manner. Will collaborate with other department professionals for clarifications and questions.
  • Ability to anticipate problems and address them proactively. They also understand the broad impact and effects of issues at the department, division or organizational level and takes proactive measures to recommend enhancements and improvements to processes. Has the ability to determine when regulations have room for interpretation and apply sound judgment in determining solutions to complex issues where no clear guidance in regulations exists.
  • Ability to possess the necessary skills essential to conduct and/or direct special projects, including researching, compiling, and analyzing information needed to problem solve and resolve issues.
  • Requires the ability to review and research materials, reports, and other information to assist with sound decision-making; and to draw logical conclusions and determine solutions in a timely manner.
  • Knowledge, experience, and expertise in planning, managing, and submitting proposals to funding sources with varying terms and conditions. Strong mathematical/analytical skills using Excel; develop skills over time to include complex calculations across multiple funding sources and the ability to prepare and present complex proposal budgets to principal investigators.
  • Takes initiative to share their expertise through mentoring or providing training to SRD development specialists and/or project staff. Routinely engages with other professional colleagues to assist with problem resolution for staff as well as others within the department.
  • Ability to demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills. Understands the culture of SDSU and SDSURF and has developed effective communication strategies when communicating with principal investigators, university administrators, SDSURF staff, and agency representatives. Ability to communicate effectively with representatives from outside entities and high-level SDSURF and SDSU staff and oversee potentially sensitive situations. Effectively uses all communication methods and uses expertise as well as persuasion and negotiating skills to build consensus. The SRD manager is a consummate professional who exhibits excellence and actively seeks to cultivate professionalism to support and enhance the morale of other individuals across the division and consistently contributes in a positive manner to foster a service-oriented environment.
  • Ability to analyze and evaluate a variety of complex regulations, apply sound judgment, draw logical conclusions, and find creative solutions to a variety of problems, as well as independently prepare analytical documentation in clear, concise format for review. Demonstrates substantial judgment in the analysis and interpretation process and may serve as a key contact for overly complex programs. The SRD manager is self-directed and actively shares their expertise in providing clarification and developing solutions for their staff and with other employees in the division.
  • Knowledge of an experience with interpreting and applying terms and conditions in conjunction with institutional policies and procedures. Work collaboratively with other department professionals on clarifications and questions. Uses independent professional judgment in situations that are different from the typical daily experience and develops solutions to issues where no clear regulatory guidance or policy exist using good judgment and analytical skills.
  • Ability to provide advanced planning and organizational skills and to use ingenuity and innovation to conceive novel approaches and solutions to address familiar challenges as well as complex problems and issues.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, overseeing multiple deadlines and tasks with tact and diplomacy under pressure. Ability to prioritize, plan and organize tasks with the ability to independently develop solutions, seeking consultation with other department professionals as needed.
  • Knowledge of the SRD manager role within the organization and how their actions and level of professionalism may impact the SDSURF and SDSU. Is proactive in reaching out and building relationships across the division and with personnel in other functional areas. Demonstrated ability to establish partnering relationship with faculty and project staff resulting in enhanced communication and understanding of the programmatic as well as the fiscal aspects of the funds.
  • Knowledge of and highly skilled in utilizing internal and external information systems and accounting applications in analysis, research and reporting activities and other projects and regularly shares this expertise within the department and across the SRS Division. May have knowledge of systems used by other departments within the division and has a role as a resource to other professionals on technical systems.
  • Ability to be an effective supervisor/leader and maintain confidentiality; provide feedback on performance, coaching and mentoring.
  • Ability to demonstrate initiative and strong leadership skills when interacting with their contacts throughout the department, SDSURF, SDSU, as well as sponsoring agencies.
  • Ability to review and research materials, reports, and other information to assist with sound decision-making; and to draw logical conclusions and determine solutions in a timely manner.

Required Experience and Education

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Business Administration, Accounting or related field, or 4 years of progressive responsibility in an institution of higher education, research institution or non-profit organization or related accounting experience
  • Minimum of 5 years of direct experience in the field of research administration
  • Two or more years of experience leading and supervising employees

Preferred Qualifications and Special Skills 

  • Advanced experience working in research administration in either a pre-award or post award capacity
  • Previous experience supervising, coaching and mentoring staff
  • Demonstrates and applies a broad knowledge of governmental regulations, sponsor proposal guidelines and requirements, requirements and policies and federal regulations including 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance) and the Federal Acquisition Regulations
  • Experience in the use of InfoEd, Ellucian SCT Banner, and other technology tools


  • Hybrid telework arrangement in place.
  • Incumbent must live within a commutable distance to SDSU.
  • A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with SDSU Research Foundation
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer

The COVID-19 vaccine is required by the CSU for all SDSU Research Foundation employees as a condition of employment. Should you be offered a position, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination status. Individuals who obtain an approved medical or religious exemption on file will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing.

Contact Information

SDSU Research Foundation



5250 Campanile Dr.

San Diego, CA 92182


Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • College/University
  • Non-Profit
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

7,500 - 7,

  • Full Time