Assistant Vice President, Office for Sponsored Programs


The Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) leads the administration and compliance functions across the entire award lifecycle of one of the world’s broadest, most complex, and exciting research portfolios.  With responsibility for over $1 billion in research funding annually, the OSP is responsible for research finance, pre-award services for the university area, cost analysis, and compliance.

OSP leads the administrative functions of Harvard’s inter-disciplinary research and academic community to facilitate faculty research. The Assistant Vice President (AVP) plays an important  role in that partnership including the design, establishment of priorities, and the implementation of the University’s varied research administration systems, by ensuring compliance with all applicable institutional, sponsor and regulatory requirements, and by leading, coordinating and convening cross-departmental activities.   The OSP’s success is based on its leadership and critical partnerships with school-based research offices as well as other administrative centers, including the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), Risk Management and Audit Services (RMAS), Harvard Global, Office of Technology Development (OTD), Office of General Counsel (OGC), Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT), Harvard Public Affairs & Communications (HPAC), Alumni Affairs & Development (AA&D), and the Office of the Controller.

Reporting to the Vice President for Finance, with a secondary reporting relationship to the Vice Provost for Research, the AVP plays a leading role in setting the strategic direction, policies, training, and guidance for the University’s research administration functions. The AVP is responsible for leading and managing the OSP; which currently includes 68 employees, four direct reports, and EDIB efforts and staff engagement.  A primary responsibility is oversight of the operations necessary to support faculty with the administrative and compliance aspects of securing and managing grants and contracts throughout the lifecycle of awards, from proposal review and submission through award close-out.  This includes oversight of audits of the University’s research programs,  reporting on the portfolio of research activities, representing the University on research compliance matters with sponsors and oversight bodies, creating and maintaining training programs for staff, and assisting with faculty training.  Additionally, the AVP, in partnership with other key stakeholders (e.g., University Leadership, OVPR and HPAC) plays an active role in monitoring the regulatory landscape and identifying changes to regulations and policies from sponsors and regulatory agencies; assesses their impact on the institution; works with the stakeholders to provide feedback to agency requests; and proactively engages internal stakeholders to review the impact and any changes needed to meet the forthcoming changes

Specific responsibilities for these areas include but are not limited to:


  1. Ensure proper stewardship of sponsor funding and ensure accurate financial and compliance reporting of research activities to key stakeholders.
  2. Serve as a senior-level stakeholder for systems implementations impacting the overall University’s research administration community, advocating and communicating the strategy and vision for technology projects and their importance for optimal business operations across the entire university. Partner with research school administration leaders and university IT to support successful implementations by ensuring technology solutions match needs of the research community.  
  3. Responsible for the overall strategic direction of OSP and for developing and sustaining an advanced capacity for consultation, service, and support and advocating for advancement of the University’s highly interdisciplinary research administration community. Oversee the management of OSP operations. 
  4. Responsible for ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements, sponsor terms, and University policies through collaboration and partnership with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, faculty and departments.
  5. Responsible for working with the two pre-award offices on the Longwood campus on the development and implementation of a coordinated strategy to ensure consistency on implementation of policy, systems, training, and operational matters.
  6. Provide analytical support through reporting and data collection to clients. Keep client base informed of potential impact of changes to research portfolio and support trend analysis and other metrics.
  7. Oversee the design and implementation of training programs for new and existing research administration staff members, as well as supporting training for faculty and other researchers.  
  8. Review trends in research funding and key metrics with Office of the Vice Provost for Research on a regular basis to help inform research strategy and support for the University.
  9. Act as co-chair or in a senior leadership role in a variety of critical university-wide meetings and create new working groups or subcommittees as needed with clear goals, membership, and duration.
  10. Represent Harvard, in leadership roles, within a variety of national organizations (FDP, COGR, NCURA, Ivy Plus meetings).

Contact Information

Harvard University
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Background Information

4-Year Degree
Years of Experience
Work Authorization
Authorized to work in the US
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time