Executive Director, Grants & Awards


Who We Are:

The Office of Grants and Awards manages all stages of the process to apply for, receive, and administer external funding at Swarthmore College. Grants and Awards is a central part of Swarthmore’s new ASPIRE Offices: the Affiliated Sponsored Projects, Institutional Relations, and Research Integrity and Engagement Offices. ASPIRE represents a focus on cooperative and collaborative work across research supporting offices on campus, with particular attention to proactive faculty outreach. As such, the Grants and Awards Office works closely with the offices of the Provost, Finance, and Communications, in addition to building relationships with faculty across campus to cultivate funding opportunities that can promote and expand the exciting and cutting edge research and scholarship activities with which they are engaged.

The Opportunity:

Reporting directly to the Provost, the Executive Director of the Office of Grants and Awards will provide leadership, support, and strategic direction for all sponsored extramural funding. The position is responsible for maintaining knowledge of and responding to changes in federal government requirements, sponsor terms and conditions, shifting levels of funding, and the financial and cash management of all sponsored projects.

The Executive Director will oversee all aspects of proposal review and submission, negotiation of award terms and conditions, compliance with administrative and fiscal award terms, as well as identifying and resolving issues through the life-cycle of an award. The Executive Director will also demonstrate expertise and be responsible for supporting proposal development in the natural sciences and engineering (NSE).

The Executive Director collaborates with Swarthmore colleagues, as well as external sponsors and agencies, to ensure compliance, efficient execution, and cooperation in the management of sponsored programs/projects. The incumbent will also be responsible to collaborate with other stakeholders in the coordination of financial and non-financial award management, contract negotiations, sub-award management, effort certification, A-122 A 133 and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) compliance.

Essential Responsibilities

Administrative & Financial

  • Oversee daily administration of the Office of Grants and Awards, which includes collaborative but separate divisions for Sponsored Projects and Institutional Relations.
  • Oversee the complete life-cycle of grants and other extramural funds, including but not limited to both pre-award and post-award responsibilities.
  • Oversee and manage accounts, expenses, and budgets and ensure the preparation of quarterly and annual reports.

Management and Leadership

  • Provide leadership, direction, and management of all staff and activities within the Office of Grants and Awards.
  • Responsible for the overall direction and effective management of the Office of Grants and Awards including hiring, training, supporting, developing, and supervising personnel.
  • Provide opportunities for ongoing professional development for self and staff while maintaining a collegial working environment.

Policy Development & Strategic Planning

  • Serve as a resource for investigators and leaders ensuring that they have the information needed to obtain, manage, and close grants and contracts effectively and compliantly.
  • Work collaboratively with the College’s legal team to ensure efficient, effective, and compliant contract review and approval processes when needed.
  • Create and implement an approved strategic plan to leverage the existing infrastructure while identifying opportunities for further growth and expansion of research programs at the College.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Directly supervises the work of the Director and Assistant Directors of Institutional Relations, and the Associate and Assistant Directors of Sponsored Projects, a total team of four.
  • Effectively organizes workflow and ensures employees understand their duties or delegated tasks, and provide fair, constructive, and timely feedback and coaching to staff to drive performance and work toward established goals developed during the annual performance assessment process.
  • Maintains a safe, diverse, and inclusive work environment.

Who you are:

  • Desire and ability to enact change, strong task orientation, and high level of energy.
  • Work collaboratively, efficiently, and proactively with faculty across departments and divisions.
  • Personal characteristics associated with successful professionals, including a vigorous work ethic, sound judgment, impeccable integrity, demonstrated initiative, appropriate professional attitude, and personality to work effectively with colleagues, senior leadership and foundation, federal, state, and local officials, and constituents.
  • Strong written communication, oral communication, and presentation skills.
  • Strategic thinking with the ability to manage multiple projects and initiatives both collaboratively and independently.

What you bring:

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree with at least five to seven years of combined experience in financial management, sponsored programs administration, contract negotiations, and research program administration.
  • Knowledge and expertise in NSE-related awards.
  • Proven expertise in budget and financial reporting with the ability to accurately analyze complex financial and accounting data.
  • Proven experience in promoting and expanding grant opportunities and in securing grants.
  • Proven experience in developing and leading a collaborative team environment and in collaborating and leading teams across and throughout the organization.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to work with information technology to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of institutional operations, including process redesign and simplification.
  • Strong computer skills with the ability to master financial and research systems.

What You Will Get:

You’ll work at one of the world's most renowned liberal arts Colleges, with incredible benefits, a stunning 420-acre campus, and a collaborative work environment. Join a team of passionate, creative people who work hard and have fun supporting the College students, faculty, and staff.

We want to hear from you if you are excited about this role! For full consideration, submit applications with pay expectations, including a resume and cover letter, by April 1, 2024.

Contact Information

Swarthmore College
First Name
Last Name
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

Years of Experience
  • College/University
Work Authorization
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time