Assistant Vice President for Research - Post-Award Contractual Compliance


Assistant Vice President for Research - Post-Award Contractual Compliance

Penn State's Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR) seeks a demonstrated leader to serve as Assistant Vice President for Research (AVPR). This individual will report to the Associate Vice President for Research Administration Services. The primary purpose of this position is to serve the Penn State research administration community with a particular focus on post-award contractual compliance. Responsibilities include the following:

Supervise the Office of Research Accounting (ORA), the Financial Analysis and Compliance Office (FACO), and the Subaward Administration and Compliance Office (SACO): ORA supports accounts receivables and final financial reporting for all restricted grants and contracts. The FACO and the SACO are new offices; one of the first responsibilities of the new AVPR is to support the staffing of both offices. The FACO will work closely with Internal Audit and college research offices to ensure restricted grants and contracts are properly monitored and driven to a successful close. This group will review high risk transactions, identify areas of weakness, and work with the Penn State post award community to identify opportunities for improvement. The SACO will support the issuance, monitoring, and payment of subawards and subcontracts in accordance with sponsor terms and conditions.

Serve as the OSVPR's point person for university-wide post-award contractual compliance: The AVPR will work closely with college research administrators, financial officers, and the Office of Budget and Finance to implement best practices across all business areas. The AVPR also will spearhead training efforts to ensure research administrators are aware of new, emerging, and ongoing contractual compliance obligations. The AVPR will monitor key indicators of the fiscal health of the sponsored portfolio, including account set-up times, aging reports, overspend reports, cost transfer frequency, and timelines for project closeout.

Implement recommendations from audits and other reviews: Penn State expensed $762M in federally funded research expenditures in FY23, $179M in other externally funded research expenditures, and another $298M in university-funded research. (Total research expenditures = $1.239B.) Penn State also received $105M in externally funded non-research awards in FY23. Because of the magnitude of Penn State's portfolio, Penn State is subject to many audits and reviews. The AVPR will serve as the OSVPR's liaison to Internal Audit, external auditors, federal investigators, and other officials conducting program reviews. The AVPR will work closely with auditors and other reviewers to ensure delivery of accurate and timely information. The AVPR also will work with all Penn State business units to ensure audit findings, concerns, and recommendations are appropriately addressed. This includes long-term follow-up to ensure that new practices are not implemented in the immediate aftermath of an audit and then forgotten a few years later.

Identify opportunities to increase the efficiency, accuracy, and transparency of Penn State systems: The Office of Research Information Systems (ORIS) maintains systems used by the Penn State research community to develop budgets, submit proposals, process awards, issue subawards, and set up accounts. ORIS regularly receives recommendations for improving and streamlining these systems. ORIS also delivers data to Penn State's financial system (SIMBA), which is also subject to continuous improvement efforts. The AVPR will work with both the ORIS team and the SIMBA team to facilitate a strategic approach to prioritizing these many requests. The AVPR will coordinate with groups of staff and faculty who are interested in identifying ways of increasing the efficiency and transparency of Penn State systems.

Coordinate the OSVPR's financial reporting obligations: The OSVPR prepares critically important reports, including the Annual Report of Research Expenditures, the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, and other ad hoc reports, many of which are delivered to the Board of Trustees. The AVPR will work with Research Accounting, the University Budget Office, the SIMBA reporting team, and the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR) to facilitate the accurate completion of these reports.

Review F&A waiver requests: The AVPR will review all such requests and coordinate with the Senior Vice President for Research to ensure such requests are denied or approved in accordance with Penn State policy.

The AVPR will be expected to keep current on new and emerging sponsor requirements, university policies, and state and federal regulations regarding sponsored project administration. They will work with the Associate Vice President for Research Administration Services to implement research administration policies, procedures, FAQs, and training materials. They will facilitate the career development of staff through goal setting, cross-functional training, team building, and professional development.

Education and Experience: Successful candidates are typically expected to have a Master's Degree and 12 years of experience (or an equivalent combination of education and experience).

Application: Candidates should submit a cover letter expressing their interest and qualifications in the position, as well as a resume describing their education and work experience.

The OSVPR is supportive of flexible work arrangements when aligned with the ability to meet the needs of the unit and the essential duties of the position. The location of this position is flexible and can operate fully remote within the United States, fully in-person at our University Park Campus, or in a hybrid model of both in-person and remote. Standard working hours are in the eastern time zone. Individuals working fully remotely may be asked to travel to Penn State to participate in certain on campus activities. Such travel costs will be covered by Penn State.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability in all its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity in society and nature, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Penn State offers competitive benefits to full-time employees, including medical, dental, vision, and retirement plans, in addition to tuition discounts, and paid holidays. Please visit for more detailed information.

Apply online at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Copyright ©2024 Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by the FREE value-added recruitment advertising agency


Contact Information

Pennsylvania State University
First Name
Last Name
(814) 865-4700
Contact Email
Contact URL

Background Information

Years of Experience
  • College/University
  • Research Administrator/Manager
Work Authorization
Security Clearance

Target Job Information

Job Type
  • Full Time