Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$80,000 - $93,400/year
Hybrid Remote
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#127681 Lead Research Administrator 3

Extended Deadline: Fri 3/1/2024

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 1/23/24 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 2/2/24. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

  • This position is open until filled. First Review Date 2/2/24.


UC San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides an opportunity for all. Recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide, a culture of collaboration sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact.

Founded by Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences, our Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy & Astrophysics have all played a central role in UC San Diego’s rapid rise to national and international prominence. Just as it was at its founding, the School of Physical Sciences is broad in scope and inherently interdisciplinary.

Researchers within the school delve into scientific and computational issues that are of critical relevance to all facets of society. We address climate change, fabricate nanoparticles to image tumors and deliver drugs, probe the fundamental nature of matter, trace the evolution of the universe, hunt for elusive sub-atomic particles, and design detection systems for toxins and explosives, to name only some of the faculty’s achievements.

Because the physical sciences are fundamental to all disciplines, including engineering, medicine, and biology, we contribute to the education of most undergraduate students at UC San Diego.

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is a new and growing department within the School of Physical Sciences. It currently has a Ph.D. program and is in the process of implementing BA and BS programs.

This is a professional position at the experienced level of the Research Administrator Series. The incumbent is an experienced professional who knows how to apply theory and put it into practice with an in-depth understanding of the professional field, independently performs the full range of responsibilities within the function, possesses broad job knowledge, analyzes problems/issues of diverse scope, and determines solutions.

As Lead Research Administrator, the incumbent is responsible for the work direction of other Research Administrators in the unit, including PI assignments, workload balancing, and input on performance to the department manager.

Uses skills as a seasoned, experienced research administrator to independently develop and/or oversee research proposals, awards, and/or transactions related to contract and grant management, and maintains contract and grant records in compliance with institutional research sponsor policies. Works on proposals and awards of diverse scope where analysis of data requires a thorough understanding of complex regulations. Completes and approves transactions for signature by manager or other authorized institutional official. Works on complex proposals and awards that may involve multiple investigators and/or multiple sub-awards. Guides less experienced staff. Department Role (DR): Typically works on complex proposals such as grants/contracts that require task budgets, option years, multiple investigators, and multiple sub-awards.

The incumbent provides analytical and financial support in proposal processing, contract and grant administration, and budget development, including pre-award proposal initiatives, management of funds post-award, and closeout activities for federal, state, local, and private sponsors. Involves activities associated with forecasting, planning, and managing research portfolios by performing some or all of the following: coordinating, identifying, developing, and/or presenting proposals, contracts, and other agreements, reviewing proposals to ensure institutional compliance, negotiating, administering, and monitoring contract and grant awards, including compliance with regulations, terms and conditions, financial management and reporting, and sub-award/subcontract issuance and administration. Complexity is defined as follows: Type of Proposals - Highly complex proposals involving one or more of the following: multiple departments, multiple institutions (sub-awards), significant institutional cost-sharing, institutional commitment proposals, responsive to award agency proposal requirements (RFP, RFA, PA), numerous integrated projects, Program Project or Center applications, training grant applications, Contracts, extensive variety of agencies and extensive number of awarding entities, significant and unique reporting requirements, significant equipment acquisition or fabrication, and performance milestones. Total proposals will usually be in excess of $8 million (direct cost) annually.

  • Must be willing to work additional hours during peak times and/or flexible schedule to accommodate business needs. May be required to work evenings and weekends.

  • Please submit a cover letter for a complete application.


  • Experience and thorough understanding of research administration guidelines of Federal and non-Federal sponsors supporting research and educational activities, preferably in a university environment. Knowledgeable about Federal Acquisition Regulation, Code of Federal Regulations, sponsor-specific policies, intellectual property policy, conflict of interest requirements, publication rights, and application of indirect cost rates and other complex concepts in research administration.

  • Experience with all types of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative agreements. Maintains current knowledge of compliance regulations in all areas of research administration.

  • Ability to manage a significant volume of transactions. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with overlapping deadlines and short lead times and maintain a high level of attention to detail. Ability to work with a high degree of accuracy.

  • Ability to perform complex financial analysis and customized reporting.

  • Ability to maintain independent judgment; strong organization and communication skills; and a customer service focus across broad and diverse subject areas. Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills to interact with diverse individuals and groups.


  • Job offer is contingent upon a satisfactory clearance based on FBI and DOJ background check results.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $67,200 - $119,600 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $32.18 - $57.28

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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