Director, Proposal & Award Management


Director, Proposals & Award Management

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.


A hybrid remote work option is available. 

The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) safeguards and advances U-M's research enterprise by providing its partners with efficient pre-award and non-financial post-award services for the compliant administration of externally sponsored grants, contracts, and ancillary agreements. ORSP aspires to be recognized across the globe as the leading provider of innovative, and high-value guidance on the conduct of sponsored research and other funded activities. Additional information regarding ORSP is available on our website

Our office is growing and looking for a talented and experienced individual to oversee a team of teams providing pre-award and non-financial post-award services and oversight for the institution. The incumbent in this position will be a confident and accomplished leader who combines domain expertise in the leadership and management of sponsored programs/research and research administration, emotional intelligence, a strong grasp of organizational dynamics and development, and process improvement skills. S/he will be someone who wants to have a measurable impact on the sponsored contracts and negotiation activities of a top-tier research institution. The Director, Proposals and Award Management directly supervises a team of Assistant and Associate Directors who each oversee two or more managers leading teams of Sponsored Project Officers; ensures the accurate and timely submission of University-wide sponsored research grant proposals; oversees the review, negotiation, and acceptance of sponsored project awards for the University of Michigan and provision of administrative oversight for those awards; trains new staff in the above duties; ensures the establishment and continuous improvement of business processes for assigned lines of business; acts as subject matter expert for consultation (both internal and U-M wide) on assigned lines of business; and actively engages in external meetings and professional organizations. This position has the responsibility and signature authority to review and agree to sponsor terms and conditions on behalf of the University at the time of award as a project representative in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects.

Why Work at Michigan?

Being part of something greater, of serving a larger mission of discovery and care - that's the heart of what drives people to work at Michigan. In some way, great or small, every person here helps to advance this world-class institution. It's adding a purpose to your profession. Work at Michigan and become a victor for the greater good.

- In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family, and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

Generous time off

Many choices for comprehensive health insurance

Long-term disability coverage

Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses and parental leave options

Hybrid working arrangements, including a combination of on-campus and remote work

A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting

Dental and vision insurance


Under the leadership of the Executive Director for Sponsored Projects, this position is responsible for the following:


- Leads a team of teams. Provides guidance and mentoring to Assistant and Associate Directors. 

- Facilitates cross-team collaborations to ensure seamless handoffs between team members. 

- Hires, promotes, evaluates, and counsels leadership team in assigned line of business. 

- Participate in the implementation of strategic planning and continuous improvement initiatives and direction of ORSP in collaboration with other members of the ORSP leadership team. 

- Actively participate as a member of the ORSP Leadership Team, playing a key role in ensuring the smooth and effective delivery of research administration services across the U-M research enterprise.

Sponsored Projects Operations 

- Identifies issues in ORSP pre and non-financial post-award workflows, and develops and directs the implementation of resolution and/or works with the appropriate offices to address. 

- Participates in the development and implementation of new policies and revisions to existing policies. 

- Leads ongoing service excellence and continuous improvement initiatives 

- Advises Executive Director and Assistant Vice President for Research on emerging and pressing issues. Recommends options and participates in the resolution of issues. 

- Communicate and present procedures and policy within ORSP and externally to the university community. 

- Optimizes staff skills and organizational structure and is responsible for leadership development and continuing education for those in the direct reporting chain. Provides team members with feedback and direction.

Outreach and Collaboration 

- Serves as a subject matter expert and ORSP conduit to key stakeholders (e.g., Office of General Counsel, Risk Management, Conflict of Interest, Innovation and Technology, Corporate Engagement, Development, and Export Control) and collaborators for ORSP office staff. 

- Provides comprehensive and concise advice and analysis on issues related to sponsored research. 

- Engages in collaborative educational and outreach efforts across U-M's campuses, with research administration and contracting associations (SRAI, NCURA, NCMA, MAGI) with peer universities (i.e., Big 10, FDP, COGR, AAU, NACUO, and UIDP member institutions), industry sponsors/partners and government agencies to establish and promote sustainable best practices in research administration. 

- Serve as a representative of ORSP on University committees 

- Provides input to optimize enterprise-level systems supporting research administration, and participates in managing change within the research administration community 

- Meet and consult regularly with faculty and departmental staff to discuss research administration policies, procedures, and issue resolution.

Required Qualifications*

- Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.

- U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident Status: ORSP deals with export-controlled information, the handling of which is regulated by the U.S. Federal Government and access to which is restricted to U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.

- Six (6) or more years of progressively responsible experience in research administration or directly related field.

- Four (4) or more years of management experience leading a high-functioning team.

- Experience in pre-award and non-financial post-award related to various extramural sponsors, such as Federal agencies, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and industry.

- Certification in Research Administration (CRA)

Desired Qualifications*

- MBA, JD, or similar advanced degree.

- Working knowledge of sponsor software systems (e.g. eRA Commons,, Proposal Central, etc.).

- Familiarity with U-M policies and procedures related to research administration (including, but not limited to, accounting, purchasing, personnel, and regulatory compliance).

- Experience providing excellent customer service.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third-party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


Contact Information

University of Michigan
First Name
Last Name
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

Years of Experience
  • College/University
  • Hospital
  • Administrator or Administrative
  • Compliance
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Research Administrator/Manager
Work Authorization
U.S. Citizen
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time