Careers at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all UMass Amherst employees. Individuals may apply for a religious or medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. More information regarding the University’s COVID-19 vaccination policies can be found at the UMass Amherst COVID-19 Information page or HR Fall 2021 website.

Pre-Award Research Admin Dev

Apply now Job no: 511027
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Pre-Award Services
Union: PSU
Categories: Laboratory & Research

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


About Research & Engagement
The UMass Amherst community engages more than 30,000 students, 1,400 faculty, and 5,000 staff in 11 schools and colleges with a wide variety of degree programs, research, and public service. More than 800 faculty lead sponsored research projects in many areas from basic to applied are sponsored by federal, state, and private sources with expenditures of more than $200 million in 2021.


Job Summary

The Pre-Award Research Administrator - Development (PARA-D) is a resource to faculty and staff in schools, colleges, centers and institutes offices on all aspects of proposal development in the pursuit of funding from federal and non-federal sponsoring agencies. The PARA-D provides leadership, guidance, and expertise to ensure timely, high quality, and coordinated proposal support services.


UMass Amherst welcomes qualified applicants who want to live near the campus and is equally interested in candidates who are available only for remote work arrangements.


Essential Functions

  • Work collaboratively with a diverse community of investigators and staff to manage an efficient and timely budget preparation process for research proposals, progress reports, and grant renewals or modifications.
  • Provide analysis and advice on funding opportunities; facilitate information gathering, realistic budget proposals and justifications, preparation of materials in our electronic research administration system (Kuali Research), ensure that proposal compilation and submission is in compliance and as competitive as possible.
  • Provide consultation, management, and staff leadership to provide investigators with assistance in the proposal and budget preparation process for research proposals and progress reports to improve success rates, support multi-disciplinary submissions and project development; assistance with proposal development and administrative and compliance approvals such as Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Conflict of Interest.
  • Act as liaison between investigators and their staff and central research administrative services for pre-award/proposal matters. Be proactive and reactive to problems/concerns and find appropriate and timely solutions.
  • Make recommendations on specific subject matter, training, and educational outreach to investigators and research support staff in academic units.
  • Cross train with the Pre-Award Research Administrators who specialize in review and evaluation (PARA-R) in order to foster a flexible team approach to the development, review, and submission responsibilities of the office.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Associate’s degree and three years of experience in pre-award processes, research and fiscal compliance, information technologies, and/or technology transfer in academic, research institute, corporate, audit, or government environment; an equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted
  • Willingness and ability to work to obtain the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) certification as part of their professional development.
  • Experience applying federal rules, regulations, and policies such as Uniform Guidance,  Federal Acquisition Regulations, and Cost Accounting Standards [CAS]) to proposed sponsored programs or research activities or related transferable experience.
  • Ability to analyze complex situations, identify workable solutions, and effectively balance service with regulatory compliance.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively, prioritize, and be flexible in a high-paced, high-volume professional environment.
  • Outstanding organizational and collaboration skills, ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, capable of self-direction, ability to deal diplomatically with people at all levels, a high degree of personal integrity and discretion, solid decision-making skills, and judgment.
  • Ability and desire to work effectively and collaboratively with co-workers and clients to support and improve the community climate and advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Intermediate level of experience with Excel and Word.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree and three years of experience in pre-award processes, research and fiscal compliance, information technologies, and/or technology transfer in academic, research institute, corporate, audit, or government environment; an equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) certification.
  • Demonstrated experience in the interpretation and application of regulations pertaining to sponsored programs.
  • Experience with the development of budgets and/or proposals in accordance with agency or institutional guidelines under tight deadlines
  • Ability to interpret and translate programmatic needs into cost effective budget proposals to maximize funding opportunities.


Additional Details

This role has the potential for on campus or remote work according to our flexible work guidelines. Reliable internet access is required for remote work.


Work Schedule

37.5hrs/week; M-F

May be required to work some nights & weekends.


Salary Information

PSU Salary Grade 26

PSU Salary Range


Special Instructions to Applicants

Review of applications will begin November 19, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.  Required application materials include: a cover letter, resume and names and contact information for three professional reference.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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