Careers at UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst COVID-19 Response: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is currently re-examining open positions as our campus monitors and responds to the novel coronavirus pandemic. At this time, hiring priority is being given to positions that are critical to academic, research, and business continuity. Searches for current openings may be placed on hold or cancelled. Candidates will be contacted directly by the hiring department with regard to the status of their current application(s). We appreciate your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times and thank you for your interest in the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Pre-Award Research Admin Dev

Apply now Job no: 508883
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.


Job Summary

The Pre-Award Research Administrator - Development (PARA-D) is a resource to faculty and research staff in Schools/Colleges and institute offices on all aspects of proposal development in the pursuit of funding from federal and non-federal sponsoring agencies. The PARA-D will provide leadership, guidance, and expertise to ensure timely, high quality, and coordinated research administrative services.


Essential Functions

  • Work with campus unit financial managers and with departmental and institute staff to: identify and provide critical analysis of solicited and unsolicited relevant funding opportunities; facilitate grant and contract proposals, including assistance in information gathering, making decisions on and building appropriate and realistic budget proposals and justifications, preparation of Internal Processing Forms, and assurance that final proposal compilation and submission is in compliance and is as competitive as possible; review proposals and ensure commitments (both fiscal and technical) and accountability are in accordance with University and sponsor policies, procedures, and regulations; manage an efficient and timely budget development process for research proposals, progress reports, and grant renewals or modifications.
  • Provide professional consultation, management, and staff leadership to ensure that faculty investigators have: assistance in the proposal and budget development process for research proposals and progress reports to improve success rates, encourage multi-disciplinary submissions and project development; assistance with system-to-system proposal development and routing requirements; an effective team to package complete, accurate, and competitive proposals; assistance with obtaining all compliance approvals by the appropriate University regulatory committees (e.g. Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Conflict of Interest).
  • Act as liaison between Principal Investigator, the Office of Pre-Award Services (OPAS) and other Research and Engagement offices for all pre-award/proposal matters. Be proactive and reactive to problems/concerns and find appropriate and timely solutions.
  • Make recommendations to OPAS Director on specific subject matter, training and educational outreach to Principal Investigators at the school/college/department level.
  • 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 in Business Administration, Public Administration, Financial Management, or related field including reading and writing intensive fields such as English and five years’ experience in pre-award processes, research and fiscal compliance, information technologies, and/or technology transfer in academic, research institute, corporate, audit, or government environment.
  • Experience applying federal rules, regulations, and policies (e.g., Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), Code of Federal Regulations [CFR], Federal Acquisition Regulations [FAR], Cost Accounting Standards [CAS]) to analysis of 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 effectively, prioritize, and be flexible in a high-paced, high-volume professional environment
  • Outstanding organizational 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.
  • 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 in Business Administration, Public Administration, Financial Management, or related field including reading and writing intensive fields such as English and three years’ experience in pre-award processes, research and fiscal compliance, information technologies, and/or technology transfer in academic, research institute, corporate, audit, or government environment.
  • 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 position may have the potential to work remotely a designated percentage of time.


Work Schedule

37.5hrs/week; M-F

Required to work some nights & weekends.


Salary Information

PSU Grade 26

PSU Salary Range


Special Instructions to Applicants

Review of applications will begin July 14, 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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