Pre-Award Research Administrator


The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is an exciting, collegial and dynamic academic environment in which to work.    We are adding one more new pre-award research administrator position at the college level as part of the university’s effort to enhance the research infrastructure across the campus. As part of this new and exciting initiative, you will be part of the CHSS research team, working in the CHSS Dean’s Office; a great place to work.


George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia and CHSS is one of the largest colleges on campus. As a major contributor to the university’s R-1 status, CHSS submits an average of 167 proposals a year to a diversity of sponsors, including NIH, NEH, NSF, DOJ, Library of Congress, NEA, US Department of Education, Kresge, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a host of university partners, state agencies and other organizations.  The College manages about 200 active grants worth approximately $18 million in annual research expenditures.  

The college enrolls over 7,300 students in undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs who are taught and mentored by 400 full-time faculty in 20 academic departments and programs. Faculty are engaged in research, scholarship and creative works (RSCW) that advance knowledge, create research opportunities for students, and engage the public in both new and traditional ways.  The College is home to ten chartered research centers, and boast faculty who also engage in transdisciplinary and transformative university centers for advanced study and university institutes. You can read more about CHSS on our website: The university's location in Fairfax, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area provides access to a culturally diverse and fast-paced environment, with outdoor recreational and scenic locations in the Commonwealth of Virginia also nearby. 

George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment. Mason offers a great benefits package, work /life options and the opportunity for personal and professional development.  This position is telework friendly.


  • Follow and adhere to processes, activities and best practices related to pre-award functions;
  • Perform pre-award activities for a unit (department, program or research center) within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • Assist Researchers/PIs in the identification of funding sources and Requests for Proposals (RFPs);
  • Develop proposal submission timelines and checklists to aid proposal development, and ensure proposals meet deadlines for internal review and submission;
  • Ensure all applications meet agency and University guidelines and published time tables and deadlines, including management of the Just-In-Time process; ensure proposals are entered and routed in a timely manner for further review;
  • Assist PI in the development of budgets and budget justifications that follow College and University policies, review the budget for inconsistencies and accuracy, and review budgets for consistency with sponsor requirements;
  • Monitor compliance with agency and University regulations regarding submission; verify all financial information to include application of the appropriate Facilities & Administration (F&A) rate for the project;
  • If applicable, assist PI with cost share requests and/or F&A reduction requests for CHSS and OSP approval;
  • Advise PI on budget adjustments and revisions necessary to meet the sponsor requirements;
  • Confer with PI and pre-award staff at collaborating institutions to secure necessary sub-award documents for proposals;
  • Advise PI or department administrators on practical approaches for successful research proposal submissions;
  • Coordinate and review certain proposal elements (bio-sketches and facilities and resources) for consistency, accuracy, and completeness;
  • Review proposals for consistency with sponsor guidelines on budget, format, font size, page limits excluding narrative content (obtain and review sponsor guidelines);
  • Assist with assembling the final proposal package to ensure successful integration of all components of the application;
  • Assist faculty with entering data into the Research Administration Management Portal (RAMP) system and external sponsor portals as needed;
  • Monitor and facilitate proposal process through the routing process in compliance with university procedures and institutional signatures; obtain signatures as needed;
  • Monitor proposal status and advise PI on requirements and deadlines associated with research protection protocols;
  • Develop and maintain a collaborative working relationship with faculty and staff in CHSS; inform faculty on availability of resources within and outside of CHSS;
  • Work effectively with other offices (OSP, Fiscal Services, ORIA, college, departments, divisions) on research proposal;
  • Participate in professional development activities and share information with CHSS RA team.


  • High-level interpersonal skills in a professional environment;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to analyze data and formulate conclusions;
  • Ability to learn changing technologies related to grants and contracts acquisition and management;
  • Proficient use of computers; requires solid working knowledge of MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint);
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects/tasks simultaneously;
  • Ability to work collegially and collaboratively as part of a team;
  • Ability to create high-quality written documents;
  • Ability to interact and communicate well with senior leadership, colleagues and peers;
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision;
  • Proactively resolve issues in a timely manner;
  • Demonstrated customer service skills;
  • Deadline oriented; work well under pressure.

Required Qualifications:

  • Any appropriate combination of relevant education and/or work experience may be considered;
  • Knowledge of federal rules and regulations relating to research grant and/or contract activity;
  • Knowledge of University policies and procedures relating to grant and contracts activity;
  • Knowledge of University processes, systems and offices related to and/or involved in grant and contract submission and management;
  • Knowledge of best practices in sponsored research to facilitate successful pre-award research administration;
  • Experience creating proposal budgets and working with faculty members on revisions as needed;
  • Ability to be precise, detail oriented and reliable, work independently, and adapt to frequent changes in work assignments;
  • Demonstrated proficient organizational and interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated proficient oral and written skills required; demonstrated ability to clearly and effectively answer questions from faculty, staff and other customers;
  • Ability to work as part of a team;
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office software suite.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 3 years effective work-related experience with sponsored projects and contract research proposal submissions;
  • Experience in electronic research administration;
  • CRA or CPRA;
  • Basic understanding of conflict of interest, human subject and vertebrate animals and biohazards compliance regulations;
  • Ability to review, interpret and apply federal, University and sponsor rules and regulations to assigned projects; knowledge of OMB cost principles and Uniform Guidance 2CFR 200.

Contact Info

Contact email:

Contact Phone: (703) 993-5645

Pre-Award RA Position

Position number 03247z


Contact Information

George Mason University
First Name
Last Name
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

4-Year Degree
Years of Experience
  • College/University
  • Research Administrator/Manager
Work Authorization
Authorized to work in the US
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

$65,000 -
Job Type
  • Full Time