Assistant/Associate Vice President of Sponsored Program Administration (AVP)


Wayne State University, a premier urban public Carnegie R1 research university in the heart of Detroit, seeks a collaborative leader who is a strong communicator and connector to serve as the next Assistant/Associate Vice President of Sponsored Program Administration (AVP). The AVP will be a leader who prioritizes a focus on service and support of faculty, the University and sponsors and is data-centric and able to track outcomes and achievement. They will also be a person who is an accomplished subject-matter expert, able to direct the Sponsored Program Administration Office in supporting and stewarding the University’s research activities with a commitment to service and technical excellence that will also sustain institutional compliance. 

Wayne State University (WSU) is Michigan’s only urban research university and holds the Carnegie Foundation’s highest rankings for both research intensiveness and community engagement. It has world-class research programs in biomedical and life sciences, engineering, social sciences, education, law, and humanities. In fiscal year 2022, the University’s research and development expenditures totaled nearly $242.2 million — a 10.9% increase since 2014. Based on NSF data, Wayne State ranked 72nd among public universities and 108th among all universities in FY21 research expenditures. 

The Sponsored Program Administration Office (SPA), a unit of the Division of Research led by the Vice President for Research, is responsible for the institutional oversight for Wayne State University's external sponsored programs. In this capacity, SPA provides service to three distinct groups: 1) faculty, 2) the University, and 3) the sponsors. SPA plays a role throughout the lifecycle of the project that includes: 

[proposal preparation and submission, award acceptance, and successful completion of the project objectives. SPA plays a role throughout the lifecycle of the project that includes Proposal preparation and submission, award acceptance and successful completion of the project objectives. For more information, please visit: 

Reporting to the Vice President for Research, the Assistant/Associate Vice President (AVP), Sponsored Research Administration provides vision and University-wide leadership while leading a team of 40 staff. This role will oversee all aspects of proposal review and submission, negotiation of award terms and conditions, compliance with administrative and fiscal terms and conditions of all awards, as well as identifying and resolving issues throughout the entire award life cycle. The AVP will work with various offices and academic leaders across campus to foster a positive, productive, and growing research enterprise and serve as the lead administrator for sponsored grants and contracts for the University. The AVP will represent the Office of the Vice President for Research on appropriate business and administrative councils and committees.  

Wayne State University is seeking a successful leader with a demonstrated track record of serving faculty and delivering effective and efficient research-support services in a complex university, research institute, or funding agency environment.  The AVP will have strong management and leadership skills and proven ability to work collaboratively with faculty, administrators, and both private and public sponsoring agencies. 


To Apply 

Wayne State University has retained Opus Partners to support this recruitment. Kenna Boyd, Associate Partner, and Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent to The search process will unfold with the greatest possible attention to candidate confidentiality. Required application materials include a resume and cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the role. 

Wayne State’s deep-rooted commitment to excellence, collaboration, integrity, diversity and inclusion creates exceptional educational opportunities preparing students for success in a diverse, global society. Wayne State University encourages applications from women, people of color, and other underrepresented people. WSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. 

Wayne State University is an equal opportunity employer. No person will be discriminated against or harassed in employment because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, arrest record, height, weight, sexual orientation, qualified Vietnam era veterans, qualified special disabled veterans, recently separated veterans and other protected veterans, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal or state law. 

University policy requires certain persons who are offered employment to undergo a background check, including a criminal history check, before starting to work. If you are offered employment, the university will inform you if a background check is required. 

Contact Information

Wayne State University
First Name
Last Name
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

Years of Experience
  • Non-Profit
  • College/University
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs
  • Research Administrator/Manager
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Finance, Operations
  • Department Administrator
Work Authorization
U.S. Citizen
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time