Associate Vice President for Research


Job Summary 
Oversees the Office of Research Administration.  Coordinates development and administration of externally funded research and sponsored program activities for the University of Southern Mississippi and ensures the University complies with all Federal, State and sponsor regulations regarding the programmatic and financial administration of funded grants and contracts.  Ensures the use and awareness of best practices for research administration and implements systems and training programs to support the research mission. Oversees strategic initiatives for the Vice President for Research.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities  

  1. Supervises the operations of the Office of Research Administration by ensuring best practices in the management of external sponsored project funding by facilitating; a) information dissemination related to sponsored projects, b) submission of all sponsored projects proposals on behalf of the University, c) review and negotiation of sponsored project award agreements, d) expenditure review and approval related to funded awards, e) financial invoicing and reporting, and f) audits.  Ensures use of appropriate technology to facilitate ORA activities and data availability.  As authorized by the USM President, provides signature authority on agreements and other documents related to external funding.
  2. Ensures professional development and training for faculty and staff to assist in the submission of proposals and implementation of sound management of projects awarded to the University. Ensures policy and procedure documents, website, and other tools for faculty and staff are available and maintained.
  3. Interacts with faculty, researchers, deans, directors, staff and leadership to answer questions, and investigate and resolve problems with diligence and professionalism.  
  4. Monitors national developments in academic research funding and related regulations. Advises the Vice President for Research in all matters pertaining to research administration. Collaborates with other members of the VPR staff, including economic development, technology transfer, research security, coastal operations, and research integrity. Represents the Vice President for Research at both USM and external meetings and events as required.
  5. Engages with representatives of federal and state government agencies, government officials, nonprofit organizations, and business and industry partners to develop projects and programs of mutual interest, and to address any questions or concerns about funded projects.
  6. Oversees strategic initiatives to enhance the research mission, including grant and contract compliance under federal law and regulation such as USM’s compliance with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification process. Collaborates with other stakeholders within and external to USM.
  7. Serves as an ex-officio member of the Research Advisory Council, the USM Research Foundation, and on other university committees as needed.
  8. Performs other duties as assigned.



Minimum Qualifications 

Master’s degree or equivalent in an appropriate field and more than 10 years’ progressively responsible experience in research administration, university administration, or related area including staff management experience.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Knowledge of the federal regulatory environment surrounding external funding and research, especially 2 CFR 200 and Federal Acquisition Regulations. Knowledge of the broader legislative, regulatory and policy environment impacting research. Takes initiative to develop and apply professional knowledge and skills in order to enhance individual effectiveness and improve organizational performance.  Creates opportunities to apply new learnings and best practices into innovative solutions that positively impact results.  Seeks opportunities for development for both self and the team.
  •  Business Strategy & Acumen:  Understands higher education and research administration and can use industry/professional terminology fluently.  Thinks strategically and seeks to align department services and goals with institutional strategic goals.  Asks critical questions to delve to root cause to identify solutions.  Understands the interconnection of decisions, actions, outcomes and measures.
  • Business Execution:  Leverages professional expertise and University knowledge to assess areas of opportunity, identify solutions and effectively execute the plan.  Demonstrates a high level of planning and organizational skills and the ability to move projects forward to completion. Adept at review and negotiation of contract and grant agreements, often in partnership with other stakeholders such as legal counsel and technology transfer.
  • Self-motivated and accountable for results.  Seeks advice and input from others and recognizes when to escalate issues or seek help.   
  • Communication: Demonstrates the ability to deliver accurate, concise and quality communication (verbal and written) in a timely manner.  Ability to write clear policy and procedure, and well-developed public speaking skills. Encourages an open exchange of ideas and differing perspectives.  Adapts communication style to meet the needs of diverse audiences and situations.  Listens to understand others.  Provides quality feedback. Ability to engage in discussions and problem solving that includes careful listening and idea exchange.
  • Relationship Management: Works to build and manage productive relationships with peers, leaders and customer groups.  Effectively engages and interacts with others to collaborate and provide value-added support that enhances department results and team effectiveness.  Affects outcomes and direction of customer’s decisions through effective relationships, trust and credibility.   Ability to engage in discussions and problem solving that includes careful listening and idea exchange. Ability to engage and foster positive relationships, as well as manage conflict in a healthy fashion.
  • Leadership:  Demonstrates an openness and flexibility towards new ideas and concepts and effectively influences or facilitates during times of change.  Helps others become more effective through development and coaching.  Ability to coalesce and support the Office of Research Administration, and develop staff into trusted subject matter experts providing quality service and guidance to researchers and staff.  Ability to foster a culture of high ethical standards, integrity, respect, and inclusiveness. Utilizes candid feedback, knowledge, resources and opportunities to improve the performance of others and to increase their contributions.  Sets clear expectations for performance, provides meaningful feedback, holds employees accountable and recognizes successes.
  •  Travel, both day trips and overnight trips, is required.

Preferred Qualifications  
Master’s degree plus research administration certification (CRA) or JD or PhD in an appropriate field with Supervisory experience in central higher education research administration. Active engagement and networking with appropriate professional organizations such as Society of Research Administrators International, National Council of University Research Administrators, and/or Council On Government Relations A proven track record of leading research administration within a university, research center or institute. Eligibility for a national defense security clearance.


About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 131 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education's "R1: Doctoral Universities - Very high research activity" designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and large event venue safety and security, among others.  USM is also one of only 37 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of more than 14,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 37 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 27 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit

As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.


Contact Information

University of Southern Mississippi
First Name
Last Name
(601) 266-5116
Contact Email
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Background Information

Years of Experience
Work Authorization
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time