Grants & Contracts Specialist

DePaul University

Job Identification: 674
Locations: Chicago, Illinois 60601 United States
Job Schedule: Full time
Job Category: Research & Program Admin

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Guided by an ethic of Vincentian personalism and professionalism, DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community. We seek to hire collaborative, open-minded, and dedicated professionals who are committed to advancing our university mission to making education accessible to all, with special attention to including underserved and underrepresented communities. Successful candidates thrive in an environment where ideas and perspectives representing a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds and experiences are welcome and supported.

The Highlights
The PreAward Grants and Contracts Specialist position provides guidance and assistance to DePaul faculty, staff, and administrators from across the university in all phases of the pre-award grant process, from identification of appropriate funding sources through proposal preparation, review and submission. Sponsored proposal activity averages $100 million per year.

Is This You?
Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • PreAward:
    Opportunity Identification/Cultivation/Solicitation
    Works directly with faculty and staff on opportunity identification, cultivation, and solicitation of grant support. Reviews and evaluates funding opportunities; implements an outreach strategy to market and ensure relevant opportunities are brought to the attention of DePaul faculty and administrators. Uses electronic technologies including but not limited to public domain and subscription database search engines, email blasts/opportunity alerts/ORS website updates to work with faculty to explore and conduct research and feasibility assessments on new ideas, interdisciplinary opportunities, and emerging themes in funding. Conducts customized searches for faculty and staff necessary to implement and maintain a program of opportunity identification/cultivation and solicitation for specific scholarly activities.
  • Proposal Development
    Provides a range of technical support and guidance to PIs during proposal development, assisting faculty and staff with the technical aspects of preparing grant proposals: downloads and interprets RFPs and application guidelines, sets faculty up, as may be required, in electronic submission systems, establishes a timeline with the PI for proposal development and submission. A key portion of this activity includes budget development and justification in support of the submission, including adequately costing existing and new personnel, and other direct costs , including equipment, travel, participant support, subawardees and vendors costs, to institutional and agency standards., and securing commitments of DePaul and/or third-party cost sharing as may be dictated by a submisssion. Completes institutional forms and, as needed, those required of the PI, such as current and pending support; secures subcontract proposals and commitment letters from partners, as requested; contacts program/grants officers at funding agencies to resolve questions as they arise; involves other DePaul offices and experts, as needed, to resolve issues and facilitate proposal development.
  • Proposal Review, & Submission
    Performs detailed review of proposals to ensure they conform to institutional, program, agency and applicable federal requirements. In some cases this includes complex issues of interpretation and implementation of tiered agency standards and requirements, as well as a detailed analysis of DePaul materials including the ability to link proposal narrative, scopes of work and milestones to costed budget elements and sponsor requirements. Identify those areas that need to be revised in order to conform to the RFP, university policy, or sponsor policies, including federal regulations. In consultation with the Principal Investigator, reworks proposals to address such concerns and to obtain optimum conditions for both the University and the PI. This activity requires a knowledge of federal costing policies, and grant application guidelines/procedures at a wide range of federal, state and private agencies, including methods of electronic proposal preparation and submission. Monitors completion of revisions and timeline. After reviews and revisions are completed, determines and conducts appropriate processes for institutional review and approval with academic and/ or administrative units as dictated by each proposal. Determines which project team members are subject to FCOI Certification and secures such certifications. Serves as AOR, approving and submitting proposals to agency's on behalf of the University; in the case of Advancement submissions (private foundations/corporations), releases institutionally approved submissions to Advancement for transmittal to funding agencies. Establishes and maintains electronic record of the submission in BlueSky Grants. Supports the PI in responding to any agency-requested queries or requests for information, including budget revisions and just-in-time information, post-submission of the proposal.
  • Grants Systems/ Policies/ Training Monitors and maintains a mastery of evolving grant policies, procedures, and submission systems and regulatory requirements--especially those that pertain to proposal development and submission--at a wide range of federal, state, municipal, and private/non-profit agencies and public charities. In 2021, this include maintaining skills with grant policies, procedures and submission systems of over 120 distinct agencies. and submission systems. Provides 1:1 and group training to faculty and staff on all aspects of the PreAward processes.
  • Award Management
    Award Acceptance and Setup
    Sets up grant awards within the BlueSky Project module. In doing so, abstracts key information regarding the project and the award from multiple proposal and award documents to create an award profile; translates the award budget into DePaul's budget categories, taking into account any cost sharing committed; identifies and enters project milestones for which DePaul will be responsible; and works with Restricted Accounting to finalize the grant award. Upon award finalization, generates and issues the Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) to the PI and his/her academic unit. As a follow-up to the NOGA, collaborates with Award Management team to conduct individualized orientations for each new PI that supplements the general web-based grants management training by focusing on the specific requirements and challenges associated with his/her grant award.
  • Award Maintenance
    Provides a range of technical support and guidance to PIs during the implementation of the grant award. This includes working with PIs to: establish new positions included in award budgets and assign existing positions partially or fully to grant accounts; monitor spending rates and develop spending projections; address budget error reports from Restricted Accounting, processing salary reallocations/redistribution and cost transfer requests, as needed; prepare and process requests for budget modifications and for other award modifications, including no-cost extensions and changes in the scope of work. Also monitors due dates for reports and other deliverables, issuing reminders to PIs and coordinating report submissions, as needed.
  • Award Closeout
    Works with PIs to help ensure well-managed grant closeouts. Monitors upcoming closeouts and sends periodic reminders to PIs. Reviews closeout procedures as well as roles & responsibilities with PIs. Works with PIs to reassign grant staff and redistribute salary costs; coordinate the closeout with vendors and subrecipients; identify and move or end recurring costs; monitor spending to achieve a full utilization of the grant funds. Also monitors due dates for final reports and deliverables, issuing reminders to PIs and coordinating submission of final reports, as needed.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Your Education

  • BA required. Two (2) years of relevant experience preferred.

Financial Responsibilities

  • This position involves significant financial responsibility. The Office of Research Services processes over $100 million annually in proposal requests to a wide range of federal agencies, foundations, and other sponsors. Grant awards processed annually total approximately $13 million.

Other Skills & Abilities Required

  • PreAward: Ability to travel between Loop and Lincoln Park campuses. Ability to work at a computer for long periods of time daily.
  • Pre-and Post-Award: Good organizational skills and experience coordinating a variety of activities in a timely, prioritized manner; close attention to detail; well-developed writing, analytic, verbal, and written communication skills; knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (especially Excel and Word). Familiarity with enterprise software such as BlueSky preferred.
  • PreAward:
    Knowledge of federal and non-federal funding agency policies and procedures (e.g., OMB Uniform Guidance, and NSF, NIH, ARI, AFOSR, ONR, NCPS and DED Grants Policy Manuals);
    Knowledge of research and financial compliance issues, including human subjects, animal care, conflict of interest, intellectual property, export controls, and cost sharing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collegially in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment;
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion;
  • Familiarity with select electronic proposal submission systems (,, NIH Assist, Fastlane, etc).
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct advanced database and internet searches.

Additional Information
For consideration, please include a resume and cover letter.

  • PreAward: Demonstrated ability to handle unscheduled urgent requests and multiple requests at one time working with several schedules and deadlines. Working extended hours may be required at time of proposal deadlines.


  • Working for a stable and well-known University that values diversity and inclusion.
  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits.
  • Generous paid time off, sick time, holidays, floating holidays, and more!
  • Matching retirement plan up to 10%.
  • Tuition waivers for employees and dependents!
  • Full-Time Benefits
  • Part-Time Benefits

Required Background Check:
Employment at DePaul University is contingent on passing a background check. Only final candidates who are extended an offer of employment will undergo a background check.

Required COVID-19 Vaccination:
Employment at DePaul University is contingent upon receiving all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including the booster, or having a valid religious or medical reason not to be vaccinated. To request a religious or medical exemption, please email

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect:
Upon accepting an offer of employment with the university, you will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status at the time of hire. A mandated reporter is required to make a report to the Illinois DCFS Hotline whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected. For more information, please visit the following pages:

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)
Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

Title IX Contact Information
Federal Title IX policy requires that all colleges and universities make known the contact information for the person responsible for coordinating its efforts to comply with Title IX responsibilities. The Title IX Office is on the Lincoln Park campus on the 3rd floor of the Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Avenue. The Title IX Office can be reached at 312-362-8970 or

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local EEO laws.

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Contact Information

DePaul University



Chicago, Illinois 60601


Background Information

4-Year Degree


Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Part Time
  • Full Time