Director, Sponsored Programs Administration

The Director of Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) provides administrative and financial oversight for sponsored research funding for Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The office of Sponsored Programs Administration at HMS is one of three submitting offices at the University which provides administration of sponsored projects, managing approximately $270 million of sponsored research funding per year. The Director is the authorized institution signatory for HMS, and is responsible for negotiating and acceptance of external awards. Reporting to the Associate Dean for Finance and Chief Financial Officer, the Director of SPA is also responsible for sponsored programs, research policy development, and grants management initiatives. The Director represents HMS on University-wide and School-level sponsored research administration committees.

In this capacity, the Director is expected to initiate outreach efforts, provide information on grant opportunities and provide training for research departments. The Director is the resident expert resource on: grant preparation, funding agency requirements and negotiating grant terms and conditions. Additionally the Director assesses sponsored systems needs and policies to ensure pre-award compliance as well as the deployment, modification, and effective use of the Harvard grants management system (GMAS).

The successful candidate will provide management and leadership for the office of Sponsored Programs Administration (12 staff) with a strong emphasis on providing service and maintaining high standards of SPA employee performance. The Director is expected to develop strong, positive and collaborative relationships with individuals within the office of Financial Operations and Analysis (FOA) and the University Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) as well as the individuals responsible for research coordination and management within the School’s research departments. S/he will also function as a strategic partner with the Office for Research Compliance, Office of Technology Development, Research Subject Protection office, and the Office of General Counsel in order to ensure the development of robust administrative services to support faculty and their department administrators. In close collaboration with the FOA/SPA management team, the responsibilities of the Director will also include the preparation of timely, accurate, and detailed updates of Schools sponsored funding, including data on grant submissions and success rates.

Bachelor's required, along with 10-plus years of progressively responsible experience in a complex research and/or regulatory environment, including six or more years of progressively responsible management experience in a complex research and/or regulatory environment. The ideal candidate for the Director will be a collaborative, service minded individual who brings the operational and government funding expertise and the strategic capacity to implement administrative and management systems to enhance and facilitate research goals. This position requires someone who enjoys working in a large, complex organization comprised of various schools and offices who share a matrix relationship in terms of responsibilities. In particular, in-depth knowledge of federal funding sources (particularly NIH), the RFP process, and grants and contracts are all required qualifications. A track record of administrative leadership in a centralized sponsored program administration office in an academic setting or research institution would be a significant asset. Ideally, the successful candidate will possess the networks, contacts and relationships to function as a strong advocate for HMS within NIH and other funding agencies. Outstanding communication skills, as well as a demonstrated service orientation and a proven ability to serve as a change agent in a complex organization, are also required.

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Contact Information

Harvard Medical School



25 Shattuck Street

Boston, MA 02215


Background Information

4-Year Degree


  • College/University
  • Hospital
  • Non-Profit
  • Other
  • Administrator or Administrative
  • Grants and Contracts
  • Research Administrator/Manager
  • Sponsored Projects/Programs

Authorized to work in the US


Target Job Information

  • Full Time