Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$80,000 - $102,000 / Year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon - Fri

#121318 Lead Research Administrator 4 (Hybrid)

Extended Deadline: Fri 10/6/2023

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.

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and influenza before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit: Flu Vaccine Mandate / COVID Vaccine Policy

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 02/03/23 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 02/14/23. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

Job posting will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.


Incumbent will serve as a Lead Research Administrator (Fund Manager) within the shared service unit of either the Post Award Fund Management team or the Pre Award Proposal team for the School of Biological Sciences (SBS). The Lead Research Administrator is responsible for independently managing a portfolio of various types (detailed below) of Federal, State and various non-federal or state sponsors (e.g. industry, private industry, donors, etc.) totaling ~$50M across all types of fund sources and agreements. This can range between 100-250 PPMs for between 50-100 proposals.

At the direction of the Sponsored Projects Director, the Post Award Lead RA provides day to day oversight, work direction, and hands-on training to ~4 of the Post-Award Fund Managers (RA 2 and 3 levels), while the Pre Award Lead RA provides day to day oversight, work direction, and hands-on training to ~3 Pre Award Research Administrators.

The SBS' diverse portfolio of sponsored projects range across federal agencies, state and local organizations, foundations, private philanthropic sponsors, with the full range of various types of agreements and contracts. The numerous and varied agencies include, but are not limited to: NIH, DOD, NSF, DOE, private foundations, state and county agencies, and private funding. This requires a breadth and depth of experience in sponsored project administration across the full lifecycle of award. The Lead Research Administrator is required to be a subject matter expert in all areas of sponsored project administration and is responsible for the analysis of the pre-award proposal and management of the post award administration for portfolios.

These positions will work in partnership across the post award and proposals and pre-award teams to provide financial analysis, budget preparation, cost estimates, interim financial report, and other financial related matters. The incumbent will act as a key member of the proposal team to ensure resources and financial impact is understood for the most complex proposals within the School, such as training grants, large scale cooperative agreements, program project grants, and other complex and multifaceted proposals.

This requires an intermediate knowledge of project management, along with expert level of grants and research administration experience, as well as financial management and analysis.This position of Lead Research Administrator (RA 4) reflects a higher degree of independence and experience compared to the Sr Research Administrator (RA 3) due to the following criteria-1) Considered a subject matter expert; (2) has demonstrated mastery in job responsibilities, with minimal supervision; (3) 75% of the body of work is considered "complex." Complex is defined as:

~Multi-project grants

~Classified agencies

~Significant volume of sub awards

~Fellowship Awards

~International institutions/awards

~Multi-campus awards

~PPG/Center Grants

~Significant institutional cost sharing

~Grants/Contracts with task budgets/option years

~Lead RA for interim assignments

In addition to the above duties, the Lead Research Administrator will provide mentorship, training, and guidance to ~4 of the post award research administrators or ~3 of the pre award research administrators. Additionally provide expert fiscal management for a full range of sponsored projects, core, operating and other restricted funds including large, complex contracts, industry service agreements, grants, cooperatives agreements, business agreements, gift funds proposals, training grants and educational programs. Incumbent is responsible for comprehensive training grant pre-award analysis, support, and post-award administration. This position serves as liaison between OCGA, SPF, General Accounting, AMAS and other central offices. May participate in organizational committees for research administration.In coordination with Director of Sponsored Projects, leads the development, training and implementation of complex financial reporting and analysis of revenue and expenditures. Maintains internal controls and quality control for processes that allow for compliance and to meet regulatory requirements of UC, UCOP and the sponsors. Incumbent will need to understand and interpret large sets of data to provide guidance around business decisions for School and faculty. Perform other duties as assigned.

This position is eligible for a Hybrid flexible work arrangement, which could include a non-standard work schedule, and/or the ability to work off-site part of the time.


  • Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.Five (5+) or more years of relevant experience, preferred.

  • Extensive knowledge of program administration guidelines of Federal and non-Federal sponsors supporting research and educational activities, preferably in a university environment.

  • Advanced knowledge of applicable compliance requirements related to use of human or animal subjects in research, financial conflict of interest, biosafety, etc.

  • Ability to manage high volume and complex transactions. Ability to perform highly complex financial analysis and customized reporting.

  • Advanced competence in the use of spreadsheet and database software in financial analysis, fiscal management and financial reports. Skill in using computers to enter, manipulate, and especially retrieve, aggregate, and analyze data. Strong proficiency in utilizing a variety of reports and queries, and ability to effectively use pivot tables utilizing computer programs such as excel, google sheets, etc.

  • Maintains knowledge of and ability to interpret and apply sponsor, institutional and departmental policies. Knowledge of current compliance regulations in all areas of research administration.

  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge of generally accepted accounting, fiscal and reporting principles.

  • Experience with all types of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative agreements. Knowledge of complex funding sources for various projects, including DOD, DOE, DHS, NSF, NIH, and NASA and other federal and state agencies, Foundation or gift funds, and state funds. Ability to analyze which differences and similarities are important.

  • Full knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulation, Code of Federal Regulations, sponsor-specific policies, intellectual property policy, conflict of interest requirements, publication rights, application of indirect cost rates and other complex concepts in research administration.

  • Ability to interpret policy for others.

  • Strong leadership skills and experience in providing work direction and training to professional staff, fostering innovation, service and accountability, and to give clear instructions and guidelines. Ability to delegate and assign tasks and monitor production and quality of work. Ability to teach/train staff in all aspects of job duties/responsibilities.

  • Experience working in higher education with faculty and researchers, preferably in the preparation of proposals.

  • Extensive experience successfully preparing large and complex research proposals.

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with overlapping deadlines and short lead times and maintain a high level of attention to detail, and ability to work with a high degree of accuracy and follow through.

  • Extensive knowledge of payroll and personnel regulations including impact of salary scales, merits, range adjustments. Knowledge of employee benefit regulations, leave accruals, summer salary policies, and a range of flexible salary options to meet appropriate fund source uses.


  • Occasional non-standard work hours.

  • Occasional evenings and weekends may be required.

  • Job offer is contingent upon satisfactory clearance based on Background Check results.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $63,400 - $142,800 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $30.36 - $68.39

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).

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

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.

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