Associate Director, Pre-Award


Posting number 246441

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 must outline your skills and experience that directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of this position.



A hybrid remote work option is available.

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.

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 teams providing pre-award services and oversight for the institution. The incumbent in this position: directly supervises a team of two or more managers who each oversee a team of Pre-Award Officers; oversees the accurate and timely submission of University-wide sponsored research grant proposals; and oversees the review, negotiation and acceptance of sponsored project awards for the University of Michigan; trains new staff in the above duties; maintains business process documentations for assigned lines of business; and acts as subject matter expert for consultation (both internal and U-M wide) on assigned lines of business. This position has the responsibility and authority to review and agree to sponsor terms and conditions on behalf of the University at time of award as a project representative in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects. Under management of the Director, Proposals and Award Management, this position is responsible for the following:


Manages a team of teams. Provides guidance and mentoring to managers and staff on operational and policy issues, as well as routine activities.

Reviews and monitors the daily workflow of proposals, post-submission requests, just-in-time negotiations, and change requests and reassigns work as needed. Maintains awareness of individual workload and flow of proposals and other administrative activities.

Facilitates cross-team collaborations to understand important and frequent contracting issues and to ensure seamless handoffs between team members.

Hires, promotes, evaluates, and counsels staff with input from direct supervisor and ORSP Leadership.

Identifies issues in ORSP pre-award workflows, provides recommendations to ORSP leadership for 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 ORSP leadership on emerging and pressing issues. Recommends options and participates in resolution of issues.


Training and Development

Delivers scheduled and ad hoc training for staff within ORSP, U-M and externally.

Oversees training of incoming pre-award staff within direct reporting line.

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

Optimizes staff skills and organizational structure and is responsible for staff development and continuing education. Provides staff 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

Salary range:  $117,628.00 - $147,035.00

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.

Five (5) or more years of experience in pre-award and/or non-financial post-award related to various extramural sponsors, such as Federal agencies, state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and industry.

Two (2) or more years of management experience leading a high-functioning team.


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.

Certification in Research Administration (CRA)


Additional Information

The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan and to maintain the excellence of the University. We welcome applications from anyone who would bring additional dimensions to the University's research mission, including women, members of minority groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, like the University of Michigan as a whole, is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons and will not discriminate against any individual because of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status.


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.


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
  • Research Administrator/Manager
Work Authorization
U.S. Citizen
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time