Director of Research Administration

About the Department

The College of Sciences (COS) brings together the mathematical, physical and biological sciences in a research-intensive environment that simultaneously values excellence in teaching and a strong community engagement. The COS Research Office is the nucleus of research administration and support; providing a full suite of pre- and post-award services to enhance the research, teaching, administrative and outreach functions of the College. Key office responsibilities include proposal development and submission, portfolio management, effort reporting, and responding to departmental and faculty post-award and other research administration needs. Please visit our Sciences Strategic Plan and the College of Sciences Culture Charter to learn more about the College of Sciences.
NC State promotes an integrated approach to problem-solving that transforms lives and provides leadership for social, economic, and technological development across North Carolina and around the world. NC State’s land grant mission of teaching, research and service is dedicated to the service of North Carolina and its people. Applicants are encouraged to review the institution’s mission, vision and strategic plan, and consider how their background, interest and experience would enable them to support the university.

Essential Job Duties

The Director of Research Administration at the College of Sciences (COS) is a pivotal role responsible for overseeing research staff and managing research administration functions within the college. Reporting directly to the Associate Dean of Research Administration, the Director also maintains a collaborative relationship with the Assistant Dean of Finance and Business Management. This role involves administering both pre-award and post-award activities, managing a substantial research budget, and maintaining vital relationships with STEM sponsors, including NIH, NSF, NASA, DOD, DOE, and various foundations.

Key Responsibilities:

Research Administration Leadership:

  • Act as the primary point of contact for all research-related matters within the College Research Office, serving six departments and four Centers, and other affiliated programs.
  • Interface with central offices to ensure that the College complies with University, Sponsor, Federal, and State guidelines.

Collaboration and Liaison:

  • Serve as a liaison between the COS Research Office, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Services (SPARCS), Contract and Grant Accounting at NCSU, Federal, State, Industrial funding agencies, and other NCSU college research offices.
  • Be an active member of the RSC Executive Committee, working towards enhancing service quality for Faculty through Research Administration at NCSU.
  • Collaborate closely with College faculty, staff, university officials, and officials at other institutions.
  • Play an essential role in the COS Office of Research Administration’s continued success.
  • Mentor, coach, train, and guide Research Office employees to ensure their professional development and retention.
  • Adapt to changing needs and provide effective solutions.

Training and Development:

  • Develop and deliver comprehensive training programs for pre-award and post-award services, aligning with Research I institution standards.
  • Provide training to college and departmental staff in areas such as compliance, cost accounting standards, electronic research applications, and interpretation of relevant policies and laws.
  • Lead regular meetings of college staff and identify opportunities for career development.
  • Stay updated on governmental regulations, policies, and practices through continuing education.

Compliance Oversight:

  • Exercise discretion and independent judgment for compliance issues associated with sponsored programs administration.
  • Ensure proposals submitted through the College adhere to agency, University, State, and federal government guidelines.

Award Management:

  • Oversee all proposals for submission to sponsors and manage the signing and awarding of memorandums of agreement (MOAs).
  • Submit FDP sponsor proposals on behalf of the University, indicating the college’s agreement to proposal terms.
  • Coordinate new award meetings and monitor reporting, approvals, and budget justifications during sponsored project lifecycles.

Financial Reporting:

  • Prepare and present financial information, including NSF HERD data and US News & World Report’s data, reflecting the College’s research activity.
  • Contribute to the college’s ranking by showcasing proposals submitted, awards received, and expenditures.

Team Management:

  • Supervise a team of 18 pre- and post-award staff, with direct supervision of 5 pre-award team members and the compliance officer (subject to change).
  • Devise and implement continuity plans for vacant positions in the College Research Office and affiliated departments.

The Director of Research Administration plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth operation of research activities within the College of Sciences and contributes significantly to the college’s overall success in the field of research administration.

Minimum Education and Experience

Graduation from a four-year college or university with a minimum of three years in research administration, budgeting, research, or administrative management; or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.

Other Required Qualifications

  • Outstanding problem solver.
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain effective working relationships with other university offices, College and departmental staff, and contract agencies.
  • Prior team-leadership experience, strong leadership abilities, and ability to work in a high-volume, fast-paced office is a must.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and managerial experience in a hybrid work environment.
  • Experience managing office workflow to maximize efficiency and a service-oriented mindset.
  • Knowledge of accounting and auditing principles and practices and the ability to explain and apply these practices.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, as well as demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat, the Google suite of tools and use of shared drives, and the ability to rapidly adapt to new technology, including Smartsheets and new systems internal to NC State.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with groups of stakeholders to create a productive work environment.
  • Extensive knowledge of uniform guidance, direct and indirect costs, progress reporting, and other compliance issues related to federal, state, and other sponsors.
  • Advanced budgeting skills.
  • Mental flexibility and the ability to juggle competing responsibilities and deadlines.
  • Capacity to train others on complex tasks related to compliance, grant preparation, federal oversight of research activities, and all NC State rules and regulations regarding research activities and college procedures.
  • Global understanding of the total research environment at a university.
  • Extensive knowledge of all research components, inclusive of proposal preparation, final deliverables to the funding agency, and financial closeout.
  • Ability to interpret guidelines, rules, and regulations and analyze policies and procedures and make decisions based upon the interpretation.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Certified Research Administrator or working towards certification preferred.
  • Previous proposal development or management experience is highly desirable.
  • Extensive knowledge of research policies, procedures, and management systems associated with a higher education environment is preferred.
  • Experience with NC State systems, including the RED system.
  • Ability to make sound decisions independently in a fast-paced environment.

See more information and apply at

Contact Information

North Carolina State University



College of Sciences Research Office
Campus Box 8209
Raleigh, NC 27695-8209


Background Information

4-Year Degree


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

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Full Time