Assistant Director, Research Administration - Pre-Award (ADRA Pre-Award)

Assistant Director, Research Administration - Pre-Award (ADRA Pre-Award)


Location: Office of Sponsored Projects
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 606421
Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Workplace Culture

NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values. We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU's culture of excellence.

Job Description

The ADRA-Pre Award is a member of the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) leadership team responsible for the management and supervision of all pre-award intra- and extramural sponsored grant and contract functions in the OSP. The ADRA-Pre Award oversees and supervises a team of Pre Award Research Administrators (approximately eight) who conduct pre-award service functions for NAU researchers and staff. These functions include, but are not limited to: opportunity identification, proposal development, budget development, proposal review and edit, along with sponsor submission. The ADRA-Pre Award also oversees the review, negotiation, and acceptance of grant terms and conditions and sponsored contracts. Finally, the ADRA-Pre Award also has responsibility for campus-wide training and education on grants and contracts administration. The person in this role works seamlessly with the ADRA-Post Award, and reports to the Associate Vice President for Sponsored Projects (AVPSP).

Pre-Award Strategic Leadership



  • Collaborate with Research Faculty and staffs across the enterprise
  • Serve as NAU's primary point of contact for matters related to all aspects of pre-award sponsored project management
  • Manage and supervise all pre-award functions and staff in the OSP
  • Develop, direct, and monitor processes for the review and timely submission of grant and contract proposals to funding agencies
  • Monitor the timeliness of the review and acceptance of awarded sponsored projects
  • Help monitor award set-up, activation, and modification processes to ensure timely handling and execution
  • Help monitor the process for outgoing subcontracts/subawards to ensure timely handling and execution
  • Provide oversight, guidance, and technical expertise to OSP staff, faculty, and other research staff
  • Maintain an elevated level of knowledge and understanding of Federal and State guidelines and regulations as they pertain to pre-award sponsored project administration in a university environment
  • Provide and oversee training sessions on sponsored projects administration as needed to stimulate submission of grants/contacts and compliance with sponsor and institutional guidelines and procedures
  • Participate in the planning discussions as needed for business purposes and organizational readiness for new administrative initiatives, which will impact grant administration, compliance, and support services
  • Represent OSP on special project workgroups to ensure OSP pre-award service requirements are considered and accounted for
  • Establish and maintain a high degree of visibility and accessibility to campus department administrators and Principal Investigators
  • Foster a positive team climate by working collaboratively and proactively across OSP divisions to disseminate and share information

Pre-Award Administration & Functional Tasking



  • Direct and track the workflow and assignments of grant and contract proposals to teams within the OSP
  • Review proposed cost-share commitments, Facilities and Administrative (F&A) waivers, and other requests and make recommendations for approval or non-approval
  • Review outgoing grant and contract proposals for institutional approval prior to submission to funding agencies
  • Track grant and contract proposals; collect and share pre-award data/analytics with interested parties and participants
  • Prepare templates and other resource documents to assist teams and Principal Investigators (PIs) with various components of grant and contract proposals
  • Review and execute (when applicable) institutional certification and assurances documents by working closely with colleagues in Regulatory Compliance (IRB, IACUC) to identify proposals involving human or animal subjects
  • Work closely with the Technology Transfer to identify potential intellectual property issues or concerns referenced in proposals
  • Serve as lead administrator for complex pre-award and contractual sponsored project compliance matters such as budgeting, cost allowability, PI and other key personnel eligibility and changes
  • Serve as the point of contact to funding agencies and assist faculty in contacting funding program officers to discuss and/or inquire about pre-award matters
  • Collaborate with other OSP staff over external and internal audits, including OMB Uniform Guidance, ABOR, A-133 single, and other State audits
  • Develops and facilitates training for new and existing grant and contract administrators and coordinators, campus-wide




  • Committee work
  • Audit Response(s)
  • Other University Special Projects as Assigned


Minimum Qualifications




  • Bachelor's degree in relevant field AND
  • 5 years of experience in positions of increasing responsibility in pre- or post-award sponsored projects administration, with at least two of those years in a supervisory capacity OR
  • Any equivalent combination of related experience, training and/or education from which the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved.


Preferred Qualifications





  • Experience as a manager or director of a pre-, post- or combined pre- and post-award sponsored projects office/group
  • Credentialing as a Certified Research Administrator (CRA)


Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities





  • Knowledge of principles of programs, policy implementation, and department administration.
  • Knowledge of higher education administrative systems and related business principles.
  • Knowledge of industry compliance laws and administrative practices.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property management, both patents and copyright.
  • Knowledge of supervisory practices and principles.




  • Organizational and project management skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).




  • Possesses strong leadership practices.
  • Possesses strong problem solving, organizational, and analytical capabilities.
  • Motivates and empowers staff and facilitates communication across individuals and teams.
  • Communicates effectively to both small and large groups.
  • Promotes a diverse, inclusive environment.


COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

As of 12/10/21, the Safer Federal Workforce employee vaccination requirement is currently suspended pending the outcome of a federal court-issued injunction. This injunction has suspended the recent executive order issued by President Biden requiring all employees of federal contractors to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. For current status of the vaccine requirement and/or questions, please visit FAQs for Employee Vaccination Requirement.

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Salary range begins at $95,809. Annual salary commensurate with candidate's qualifications and related experience.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


This is a Service Professional (SPF) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program; 22 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified dependents. More information on benefits at NAU is available on the Human Resources benefits website. NAU is a tobacco and smoke-free campus. Service Professionals are hired on a contract basis, renewable each 6 months according to terms of the Conditions of Professional Service. Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan). New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. If a new employee chooses the ASRS retirement option, participation in the Arizona State Retirement System, and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it, will begin on the first of the pay period following 6 months after the new employee's start date. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), which is an alternative to the ASRS plan for faculty and other appointed staff, will begin to participate on the first day of employment. Additionally, the long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of employment.

Learning and Development

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days. If your position includes the supervision of a benefit-eligible employee, we offer the NAU Supervisors Academy for you to complete within your first 2 years.

Immigration Suppt/Sponsorship

NAU will not provide any U.S. immigration support or sponsorship for this position.

Application Deadline

Open until further notice.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit

Copyright ©2022 Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by the FREE value-added recruitment advertising agency



Contact Information

Northern Arizona University




(928) 523-2223

Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • College/University
  • Research Administrator/Manager


Target Job Information