Research Foundation Director of Proposals and Awards - Office of Research Programs


Job Description:

Title:   Director of Proposals and Awards

Unit:  Office of Research Programs (ORP)

Position location: ESF's Syracuse campus; potential for partial hybrid schedule upon completion of training.

Salary:  $90,000 - $110,000, depending on qualifications

How to Apply: Visit the Current Open Positions, ID #173572, on the ESF web site. 

Application Deadline:  Apply by April 11, 2024 for optimal consideration, although applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Job Summary

The Director of Sponsored Proposals and Awards works under the direction of the Vice President for Research (VPR) in the ESF Office of Research Programs (ORP) to oversee all phases of the administration of pre-award proposals to external sponsors, as well as post-award functions related to the management of active grants and contracted projects. The Director supervises staff responsible for these functions, and works closely with the other directors within ORP, the VPR and all relevant offices at ESF, the Research Foundation for SUNY (RFSUNY) administrators and staff, sponsoring state and federal agencies, industry, and for-profit and non-profit organizations. 

The successful candidate will:

  • Be a self-motivated problem solver with proven organizational and managerial abilities, as well as excellent critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Think independently and strategically with a record of clarity in decision-making.
  • Successfully mentor and supervise a diverse team of employees in a high-paced and high-pressure work environment.
  • Be adaptable and able to triage  in response to a constantly-shifting list of urgent priorities; ability to assist others in organizing and addressing their assigned tasks
  • Demonstrate a record of successful administrative leadership within higher education, government agencies, foundations, or other research-focused settings.


Primary Responsibilities 

General Functions:

  • Supervise and mentor assigned ORP staff responsible for proposal preparation and management of active awards and contracted projects. 
  • Manage the initiation and maintenance of the ORP and RFSUNY database records related to proposals and awards. 
  • Coordinate with the VPR and Director of Research Administration and Compliance as needed in areas that include contracting, research compliance and reporting, and RFSUNY business systems.  

Pre-Award Functions: 

  • Supervise all proposal preparation activities, including compliance with policies and procedures of sponsoring agencies; the processing and transmittal of proposals for sponsored funding to assure timely and accurate transmittal; and communications as required with other parties internal and external to SUNY ESF. 
  • Interpret SUNY ESF, RFSUNY and ORP policies regarding all aspects of sponsored program administration. 
  • Identify and interpret application guidelines and restrictions of potential research funding sources via direct sponsor information and through ORP's sponsored program databases. 
  • Assist SUNY ESF faculty and professional staff in the development and submission of proposals and provide guidance in the development of proposal budgets, required application materials, and sponsor submission requirements/restrictions. 
  • Assist the Vice President for Research and Director of Research Development as necessary in the development of multi-departmental/multi-investigator proposals as requested by the VPR, Provost, or President. 
  • Collaborate with RFSUNY and sponsor organizations on matters concerning proposal submissions and other related pre-award matters as necessary. 

Post-Award Functions: 

  • Supervise account management including award establishment; preparation of sub-award documentation and establishment; and the preparation and monitoring of account modifications including extensions, supplemental funding, and contract/grant renewals. 
  • Oversee the training and assistance of faculty project directors in all aspects of contract and award management, including:
    • Training in the effective and appropriate use of project funds.
    • Account management, including use of RFSUNY business systems software 
    • Assistance in interpreting agreement terms and conditions as well as re-negotiation of grant/contract restrictions and the resolution of post-award administration issues. 
    • Following compliance requirements in accordance with SUNY, RFSUNY, and State policies and procedures; and Federal Uniform Guidance regulations as appropriate. 
  • Assist the ESF Office of Human Resources, Payroll Office, and Project Directors with account information relating to payroll questions and related problems. 
  • Supervise the review of personnel requisitions to determine and certify, as appropriate, funding availability and budget appropriateness.  


Required Qualifications:  

  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Accounting, Public Administration, or related field, with a minimum of 4 years' experience with administrative processes
  • A minimum of 2 years' experience in preparing sponsored research proposals and managing grants and awards, with demonstrated understanding of Federal Uniform Guidance regulations and other research compliance processes.
  • Supervisory and/or program management experience, with oversight of people and/or deliverables; demonstrated ability to manage an employee team. 
  • Detail-oriented with a proven record of setting and meeting goals and deadlines
  • Organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and independently; to use initiative and follow through to complete tasks in a timely manner.
  • Strong interpersonal and analytical skills; ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with a high degree of professionalism and diplomacy.
  • Significant experience with development, review and management of project budgets
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, specifically Excel and Word

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Master's degree or higher in Business Administration, Public Administration, or related field
  • 3+ years' experience with sponsored programs administration in a university setting,
  • Familiarity with Oracle Business Systems and Oracle BI Reporting
  • Knowledge of the major STEM funding agencies and the process of federal funding for research.


Additional Information:

SUNY-ESF and the Broader Community

ESF is a specialized college within the 64-campus SUNY system, and a Carnegie R2 "High Research Activity" Institution that consistently earns high rankings in US News and World Report, Forbes, Princeton Review, and other national college guidebooks.  With a total enrollment of about 2,200 undergraduates and 400 graduate students, combined with the immediate proximity of Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University, ESF provides an intimate, small-college atmosphere within a vibrant, large-university setting.  ESF's extended campuses include more than 25,000 acres of forest properties, both close to Syracuse and across the Adirondack Park, which provide numerous opportunities for experiential coursework, research, and public outreach. 


Located on the eastern edge of the Finger Lakes region, Syracuse is a small city in a rural region offering a diversity of natural and cultural amenities, a low cost of living, and a high quality of life - ranking among the top 10 percent of "Best Places to Live" in "The Places Rated Almanac." Syracuse is situated with easy access to New York City, the Adirondack Park, Lake Ontario, and many other points of interest in the eastern United States and Canada.   


In accordance with the "Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act" institutions of higher education are required to prepare an annual report containing information on campus security policies and campus statistics. This report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by SUNY-ESF; and on property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a printed copy of this report by contacting SUNY-ESF University Police at 315-470-6667 or by accessing the following web site:


SUNY ESF is a Smoke and Tobacco Free campus and is dedicated to providing a healthy and safe environment for the entire campus.  For more information you can visit our Tobacco and Smoke Free Policy at


As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer, The Research Foundation for SUNY will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant's race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy-related conditions, reproductive health decisions, childbirth or related medical conditions, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, transgender status, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, familial status, citizenship, physical and mental disability, prior arrest or conviction record, genetic characteristics/genetic information, predisposition or carrier status, domestic violence victim status, military status or service, veteran status, or any other characteristics protected under federal, state or local law.


The Research Foundation for The State University of New York offers exceptional benefits such as healthcare, dental, vision, pension plans, competitive pay, generous paid time off, life insurance and long-term disability insurance.


The Research Foundation for the State University of New York is not an agency or instrumentality of the State of New York. Employees of the Research Foundation for the State University of New York are not state employees, do not participate in any state retirement system, and do not receive state fringe benefits. The Research Foundation for the State University of New York operates under a contract with The State University of New York and receives no directly appropriated state funding.

Contact Information

Office of Research - SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry
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Background Information

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  • Non-Profit
  • College/University
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs
  • Department Administrator
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Target Job Information

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  • Full Time