Director, Grants and Contracts

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at the University of Virginia seeks a Director of Grants and Contracts to lead the pre-award activities for OSP, including proposal review and submission, contract negotiation, issuance of outgoing subawards, and sponsored account creation.  In addition, the Director provides guidance to faculty and administrators regarding proposal development and compliance, and coordinates with multiple administrative offices to ensure appropriate resources are available to project teams seeking funding. The Director works with the research administration community to develop and improve business processes to more effectively serve our faculty’s research endeavors and meet the ever-changing compliance requirements of sponsors.  Because of the Director’s expertise in contract negotiation and interpretation of regulations, the position has proposal and agreements signing authority for the University.   

Office of Sponsored Programs

Reporting to the Vice President for Research, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) leads research administration activities at the University including proposal review and submission, contract negotiation, sponsored accounting and other post-award financial activities, internal and external reporting, optimization of the University’s Huron Grants and Agreements-based pre-award system and the sponsored programs interfaces with the Workday financial system. University faculty submit nearly 2,000 proposals per year and in FY22 received more than $448M in funding. OSP is comprised of four units: Grants and Contracts, Post-Award, Electronic Research Administration, and Operations. Within Grants and Contracts, pre-award and account create activities are led by the Assistant Director of Pre-Award, and contract negotiation is led by the Associate Director for Contracts.

OSP’s relationship with the University’s research administration community is pivotal to our collective success.  OSP leadership meets routinely with colleagues through scheduled weekly meetings and quarterly community meetings. The weekly meetings are community driven and provide opportunities to share ideas for process improvement and resolving specific challenges. OSP also cultivates educational and training opportunities for the community.

Three schools at the University have delegated proposal submission authority: School of Medicine, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Education and Human Development.


Key Responsibilities

  • Reports to the Executive Director for OSP.
  • Direct and coordinate staff, systems, and business processes related to the review and submission of sponsored proposals, negotiation and execution of agreements, creation of sponsored accounts and other related activities.  
  • Promote the professional development and work satisfaction of team members.
  • Provide expert guidance on research administration matters to faculty, research administrators, external colleagues and sponsor personnel.
  • Lead efforts to develop and improve business processes, procedures and policies pertaining to research administration.
  • Catalyze partnerships with team members and schools/central leadership for strategic initiatives.
  • Provide, and conduct as appropriate, training opportunities for your team.
  • In partnership with other offices, facilitate proposal preparation for large, complex partnerships and opportunities.
  • Identify and support partnerships with both internal and external organizations (regionally, nationally, and internationally) in seeking funding opportunities.
  • As needed, participate in internal or external audits of grants, contracts, and agreements and associated project activities.
  • Clarify, interpret, and disseminate information related to sponsored programs to colleagues with varying knowledge and experience related to grants and development programs.
  • Serve as an OSP representative on relevant committees
  • Manage personnel actions including hiring, performance appraisal, promotions, transfers, and vacation schedules for direct reports.
  • In addition to the above job responsibilities, other duties may be assigned.

Candidate Profile

Although the University will consider a range of profile, expressions of interest are sought from candidates possessing the following:

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and ten years of sponsored research administration experience, preferably in an academic environment.
  • Demonstrated acumen for leading a multifaceted team, facilitating professional development, and promoting a culture of inclusiveness, mentorship, collegiality, and support.
  • Ability to effectively articulate the mission and objectives of OSP and research administration generally.
  • Ability to be a strong advocate for the University’s research mission.
  • Excellent knowledge of sponsors appropriate to the span of research conducted at the University.
  • Excellent knowledge of Uniform Guidance and other federal regulations related to sponsored research.
  • Ability to initiate, cultivate, and strengthen relationships related to research with various stakeholders, including university leadership, faculty, administrators, external collaborators, and sponsors.
  • Substantial experience with agreement negotiation with federal and non-federal sponsors.
  • Strong written and oral communications skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and coordination skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in related field.
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) certification.
  • Experience with implementing enterprise-level pre-award and financial systems.
  • Active with professional organizations such as National Council of University Research Administrators and Society of Research Administrators.

To Apply or Nominate

UVA Executive Search Group, an internal search firm in the Office of the President, is assisting in the recruitment of the Director, Grants and Contracts in the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to AJ Davidson, Senior Search Consultant, at

To apply, submit a resume and letter of interest that includes interest in the role and previous experiences working with diverse stakeholders. The search will be carried out with full confidentiality.

Additional information can be found at:

COVID Vaccination Requirement and Guidelines

Please visit the UVA COVID-19 Job Requirements and Guidelines webpage prior to applying for current information regarding vaccination requirements and guidelines for employment at UVA.

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff.  We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences.  We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


Contact Information

University of Virginia



1001 N. Emmet Street

Charlottesville, VA 22903


Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • College/University
  • Administrator or Administrative
  • Compliance
  • Department Administrator
  • Government
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Research Administrator/Manager
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Full Time