Careers at UMass Amherst

Grants & Contracts Coordinator II (Research Support Specialist - Post Award)

Apply now Job no: 519337
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Pub Health & Health Sci
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Administrative & Office Support

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.


Job Summary

This position will provide specific expertise and support for all post award activities occurring at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS).  This position will work closely with the Research Development and Support Specialists (who are responsible for the full life cycle of research administration ranging from proposal development through to grant closeout) as well as staff in the individual departments, in the Dean’s office, and in several business units across campus.  This position requires extensive knowledge of school and university policies, procedures, systems; federal, state, and private grant policies and compliance issues, as well as a high level of discretion when handling confidential material and information.


Essential Functions

  • Provide oversight and tracking of newly funded grants (and associated subcontracts) through the various UMass departments and systems from receipt of Notice of Award through to actual spending.
  • Provide up-to-date and accurate information on SPHHS grant spending.
  • Develop and provide routine budget analysis reports showing grant expenditures (to date/per period/per year) by relevant grant category versus what was proposed and/or awarded.  
  • Provide reports of faculty and employee efforts across multiple grants and over time as needed.
  • Assist with decisions and activities related to tracking of faculty effort on grants, including teaching buyouts, academic year salary recovery (including faculty bonuses) and summer salary.
  • Process subcontractor invoices, including creating and amending purchase orders and maintaining account ledgers.
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date grant-related faculty “Other Support” documents.
  • Prepare forecasts of spending to keep projects on track and to assist in completing grant progress reports (e.g., RPPR). 
  • Assist with rebudgeting of sponsored funds as needed.
  • Assist with annual effort certification.
  • Assist in grant and contract closeout process.
  • Interpret and apply principles, rules, regulations, policies, precedents or other guidelines specific to the assigned research project(s) and its sponsor to resolve problems, answer questions and provide information and advice.
  • Work with the Research Administration Office (RAO), the Office of Post-Award Management (OPAM) and the Controller's Office to  respond to problems/concerns and find appropriate and timely solutions.
  • Work with OPAM and the Controller's Office on compliance with federal and private cost and administrative principles (Uniform Guidance, etc.) and assist in preparing and presenting responses to audit findings.
  • Work with the Director of Finance and the Associate Dean of Administration and Finance to develop processes to provide up-to-date data on grant expenditures and remaining funds (both for a single grant, and for tracking personnel efforts spread across multiple grants). Work with the Director of Finance and the Associate Dean of Administration and Finance to develop fiscal management processes for faculty to expedite paperwork and reduce investigator burden.


Other Functions

  • Perform other duties as assigned or required to meet the research goals and objectives of the RAO, SPHHS and the University.
  • Contribute toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understand and contribute to implementation of school and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Use access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercise care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.  


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

  • High school diploma or equivalent and four (4) years of professional experience in finance/accounting; including at least two (2) years of experience in sponsored programs and grant management. An Associate's degree in a related field may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.
  • Demonstrated post-award financial management experience; ability to analyze and interpret financial information.
  • Familiarity and experience with a range of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative agreements. 
  • Knowledge of program administration guidelines for both federal and non-federal funding agencies.
  • Ability to keep up-to-date on, understand and apply university policies and procedures, as well as the laws, rules and regulations pertaining to grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, sub-awards and subcontracts.
  • Ability to work independently within the school, and to work as a team member within RAO and with the Office of Pre-Award Services, OPAM and other central administrative units of the university.
  • Ability to plan ahead, prioritize, and work under pressure in a deadline-oriented environment in which workload ebbs and flows and can require the management of multiple activities across multiple research projects in a short span of time with frequent interruptions.
  • Ability to maintain accurate records and to prepare summary reports as required.
  • Ability to analyze complex situations, identify workable solutions, and effectively balance service with regulatory compliance.
  • Outstanding organizational skills; ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously; capable of self-direction. Ability to work effectively and be flexible in a high-paced, high-volume professional environment.
  • Ability to deal diplomatically with people at all levels, a high degree of personal integrity and discretion, solid decision-making skills, and judgment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Intermediate level of experience with Excel and Word and the willingness to learn new technology. 


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

  • BA/BS in accounting, finance, business administration, or related-field.
  • Experience in the interpretation and application of regulations pertaining to sponsored programs.
  • Experience with enterprise research administration systems.
  • Experience managing finances and/or projects with an institution of higher education, including knowledge of government and fund accounting. 
  • Experience with Cost Accounting Standards and Uniform Guidance requirements.
  • Certification in Research Administration such as CRA, CPRA, CFRA.
  • Membership in professional organizations such as SRA and/or NCURA.
  • Strong math skills, as well as expert Excel spreadsheet skills.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 37.5 hours per week.


Salary Information

Grade 16


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please complete online application, submit cover letter, resume and provide contact information for three (3) professional references to ensure consideration.


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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