Post-Award Research Administrator

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, July 28, 2023


Provost URA: Post-Award Services

About the Department

University Research Administration has the responsibility to review and provide institutional endorsement for all proposals to federal and other external sponsors (excluding gifts), assuring compliance with University policies and sponsor terms and conditions. URA is the institutional authority for the negotiation and acceptance of financial support or other contractually-binding obligations in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, including material transfer agreements and clinical trials.

Job Summary

The job executes a range of activities to support the functional areas of University Research Administration. Supports research, training, and other sponsored activities at the University, building upon knowledge of the University, processes, and customers. Assists in the development of research compliance education programs.

The Post Award Research Administrator is responsible for identifying and remediating deviations from established account management expectations. Responsible for all financial and non-financial post-award activities for all sponsored projects for the University and acts as a liaison to sponsors for all departments and units assigned to the position.


  • Distributes awards through AURA, establishing accounts in the financial system and updating records as necessary.

  • Processes all concurrence requests (CRs) and continuations (CNs) in AURA; ensures cost share is properly established and reported.

  • Directs preparation of, monitors and approves sponsor required fiscal and management reports. Prepares and/or reviews billing reports and requests invoices as appropriate. Completes/reviews and approves back-up documentation as necessary prior to submission of reports.

  • Reviews and approves cost transfers. Assists billing area as needed to claim payments.

  • Prioritizes work in order to complete assignments on a timely basis.

  • Partners with business units/departments to monitor post-award activities (grants management), such as submitting progress reports (RPPRs), requesting no-cost extensions, and obtaining sponsor approvals for major changes to project work scope or major changes to anticipated expenditures, etc.

  • Implements actions to proactively avoid problems with accounts.

  • Manages all close-out activities for sponsored projects, coordinating efforts between the PI, department/unit, and Sponsor.

  • Administers and/or coordinates project transfers and closeouts when a faculty member leaves the University.

  • Communicates and collaborates with University departments/units to facilitate smooth transition throughout the full life cycle.

  • The individual is a member of a Team and must contribute to the team effort, as needed. This involves assisting colleagues to ensure timely service to departments, units, and sponsors as needed and to perform backup duties during vacation or sick leaves of other award team staff.

  • Through interaction with a variety of federal and non-federal funding agencies, faculty, and staff, provides professional assistance with the administration and coordination of proposals and awards in research and training.

  • Maintains correspondence between the agency and University community to obtain and process necessary pre- and post-award information. Reviews and processes various pre- and post-award activities.

  • With moderate guidance, helps to obtain sponsor approvals for major changes to project work scope, etc. Transmits proposals and manages post award administration, gathers and submits closeout documentation, and maintains records. Ensures completeness and accuracy and coordinates any internal controls prior to the submission of documents to awarding agency.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in business or liberal arts field.


  • Prior experience working with sponsored research administration in an academic environment.

  • Participation interpreting sponsored research grants and contracts, and working with budgets, ledgers, invoices and fiscal reporting.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of Federal Circulars applicable to universities (OMB A-21, A-110, A-133 or the Uniform Guidance) or interpretation of similar regulations.

  • Background with the University of Chicago systems such as AURA, FAS, ACCTS/PETS, and Business Objects.

  • Rapid proficiency in the use of University of Chicago systems such as AURA, FAS, Workday, ACCTS, PETS, GEMS, e-Payments, Business Objects and a high level of proficiency in Excel.

  • Strong computer skills including word processing, database management and spreadsheet skills.

  • Proactive, solution-oriented, with exceptional communication and analytical skills necessary to review a sponsored award agreement; determine the type of award, payment terms, reporting requirements, budget limitations, and establish accordingly per departmental guidelines.

  • Work with various sponsor electronic systems.

  • Interpret sponsor guidelines and regulations to ensure accurate response.

  • Incumbents are expected to review Sponsor guidelines and process or manage awards in compliance with university and sponsor policies and assist with other grants and contracts activities. Escalate issues accordingly within the office of University Research Administration.

Preferred Competencies

  • Customer service is a high priority of the office with a demeanor of civility and professionalism at all times.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Develop and manage interpersonal relationships.

  • Good negotiation skills.

  • Make decisions independently that will have downstream impacts on the management of sponsored projects.

  • Manage detail-oriented workload, to organize and prioritize during high-pressure, high-volume periods and manage stress.

  • Exercise sound judgment and absolute discretion regarding confidential matters with tact.

  • Handle multiple, concurrent tasks.

  • Interact by phone, email or in person with faculty and administrative staff at the University and occasionally with staff of federal government, non-federal sponsors, and other institutions and organizations.

Working Conditions

  • Sit for 4 hours or more.

  • Use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.

  • Travel to various on-campus locations on a daily basis.

  • Use standard office equipment.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

  • Cover Letter (preferred)

  • References Contact Information (3)(preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Financial Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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