Executive Director, Sponsored Projects Office (0383U) 55848


Executive Director, Sponsored Projects Office (0383U) 55848

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

At UC Berkeley, we believe that learning is a fundamental part of working, and our goal is for everyone on the Berkeley campus to feel supported and equipped to realize their full potential. We actively support this by providing all of our staff employees with at least 80 hours (10 days) of paid time per year to engage in professional development activities. To find out more about how you can grow your career at UC Berkeley, visit grow.berkeley.edu.

Departmental Overview

The Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) is part of the Office of Research Administration & Compliance (RAC) and is responsible for all aspects of pre-award and non-financial post-award contract and grant administration. The SPO staff work closely with UC Berkeley faculty and Berkeley Regional Services to submit approximately 4,000 proposals, resulting in over 1,600 awards that total more than $800 million each year. These awards come from federal and state agencies, local and foreign governments, foundations, corporations, and other outside organizations. SPO has stewardship responsibilities for contracts and grants from all government, foundation and non-profit organizations. SPO supports the research mission of the university by ensuring that UC Berkeley is fully compliant with sponsor terms and conditions, university and campus policies, and federal regulations and requirements. Specifically, the office is responsible for endorsing and authorizing proposals, interpreting, negotiating, and accepting contracts and grants from federal and state agencies, foundations, and other public and private sources. Additionally, SPO initiates the set-up of sponsored project accounts and prepares, issues and negotiates sub-awards for collaborative research.


The SPO Executive Director:

  • Reports directly to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Administration and Compliance and is responsible for independently managing all activities related to governmental and charitable foundation-sponsored projects through subordinate managers including implementing delegation of authority to request and accept extramural funding up to $10 million in annual direct costs per agreement.
  • Collaborates and interacts with diverse groups of stakeholders, including staff and faculty in various units.
  • Possesses strong organizational and project management skills and a passion for advancing research.
  • Provides leadership, strategy, and vision to a diverse team of staff involved in the review, approval, negotiation, and administration of research, educational, and public service proposals, grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and sub-awards and may include ancillary research agreements.
  • Represents SPO and the campus research enterprise as an expert with the Office of the President units related to research, other collaborating research institutions, and governmental and charitable foundation sponsors.
  • Collaborates with and advises senior management, including the Assistant Vice Chancellor, and if necessary, the Vice Chancellor on controversial or sensitive contracting negotiations or policy decisions.
  • Serves as campus expert for policies and procedures relating to sponsored projects issues and concerns.
  • Promotes constant review and improvement of the administrative procedures governing sponsored research to ensure the highest quality service is provided to all principal investigators.
  • Builds relationships with the Vice Chancellor for Research Office and other administrative offices such as Berkeley Regional Services and Contracts and Grants Accounting to ensure effective communication, cooperation, and collaboration.
  • Serves as a research administration resource within and external to the campus.
  • Represents campus and Office of the President in external networks on sponsored projects, cost, regulation, and other key issues.
  • Strategically conducts high-level analysis on changes in regulations, policies, and procedures regarding external funding and research compliance.
  • Advises and supports Vice Chancellor for Research in formulating policies/procedures to administer changes.
  • Develops campus positions and policies related to grant and contract administration in response to national and system-wide concerns.
  • Ensures training and education programs are developed and implemented to administer mandated training and other training deemed advisable to enhance research effectiveness.
  • Represents the department on university and community committees and strategically responds to university needs, requirements, and requests to identify priorities.
  • Makes executive decisions and sound judgments regarding the resolution of highly complex, urgent, administrative, and operational issues that may require a high degree of initiative and flexibility.

Required Qualifications


  • Expert strategic planning and implementation skills that lead to successful change management and program assessment
  • Possess strong management and leadership skills to develop, coach, mentor, assess, and motivate managers and a team
  • In-depth knowledge of state, federal, university, and agency guidelines for research administration.
  • Possess experience and expertise in a broad range of research administration issues.
  • Experience addressing research administration issues in a complex research environment.
  • Ability to plan for and balance federal, state, and local regulations, as well as campus and system-wide policies and procedures with the goal of creating a facilitative research environment.
  • Creativity and analytical thinking to enhance effective and efficient development of campus-wide programs.
  • Flexibility and entrepreneurial approach as well as financial acumen in balancing complex regulatory requirements with practical needs and resource constraints.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate verbally and in writing with audiences with diverse educational and professional backgrounds.




  • Bachelor's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.

Preferred Qualifications



  • Advanced degree and/or equivalent experience/training.

Salary & Benefits

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California's Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, analysis of internal equity, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.

The budgeted salary range / annual pay scale that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $195,000.00 - $220,000.00.

The full salary range for this position classification is $140,400.00 - $279,400.00.

This is a 100% full-time (40 hours per week), career position that is eligible for full UC benefits. This position is exempt and paid monthly.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter.

Diversity Statement

Please include, as part of your application a brief (1-2 paragraph) statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in your professional experience.

Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to our UC Berkeley Principles of Community, which states that “every member of the UC Berkeley community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring, and humane environment in which these values can thrive."

Other Information

The initial application review will begin in mid to late August. This position will remain open until filled.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, please see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, please see the University of California Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy.

To apply, visit https://careerspub.universityofcalifornia.edu/psp/ucb/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=21&JobOpeningId=55848&PostingSeq=1

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Contact Information

University of California, Berkeley
First Name
Last Name
(510) 642-7053
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

4-Year Degree
Years of Experience
  • College/University
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs
Work Authorization
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type