Assistant Director, Sponsored Activity

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2023


Crown Administrative Office

About the Department

As one of the first schools of social work in the United States, the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice has shaped the field for more than 100 years. As part of the University of Chicago, the Crown Family School shares the University's core values and distinctive intellectual culture. Crown Family School faculty, staff and students focus on identifying solutions to complex problems affecting society’s most marginalized individuals and communities through the integration of research, training, and direct community engagement. Guided by an interdisciplinary tradition, Crown Family School scholars conduct innovative research to address interconnected social challenges such as educational inequality, health disparities, crime and violence, poverty, and child and family welfare—working at multiple scales, from individual to policy-level interventions. The Crown Family School is the home of several academic centers. These include the Susan and Richard Kiphart Center for Global Health and Social Development, the Urban Education Institute (UEI), the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, the Center for Health Administration Studies, the Smart Decarceration Project, the Employment Instability, Family Well-being, and Social Policy Network (EINet), and the Network for College Success.

Today, our work has never been more important. More than 8,000 Crown Family School graduates in the US and globally hold leadership positions in academia, at nonprofits, and at governmental agencies – committed to create a more just and more humane society through principles of inclusion, equity, and diversity.

Job Summary

The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice seeks an experienced administrator to serve as Assistant Director, Sponsored Activity, specifically focusing on pre-award administration. Working under limited supervision and reporting to the Director, Sponsored Activity, this position is responsible for managing all pre-award activities for The Crown Family School, including but not limited to oversight and coordination of the grant proposal submission process, preparation of proposal budgets and budget narratives, supporting investigators with drafting externally and internally funded proposals, facilitating just-in-time and progress reporting submissions, reviewing submission guidelines, creating a workable timeline, collecting and editing documents.


  • Leads all pre-ward activity, serving as project manager to gather all sections for a successful grant submission, including the preparation of all administrative aspects of grant and contract applications in accordance with Institutional and Agency Guidelines. This includes the preparation of the proposal budget and the budget justification.

  • Advises Principal Investigators, faculty, and research staff, and leads the development of all aspects of the format, preparation, and submission of grant applications to federal, industry, and foundation sponsors.

  • Works directly with the PI to develop proposal budgets and budget justifications in accordance with the needs of the research plan, agency, and University requirements.

  • Serves as the project manager to gather all required pieces for a successful grant submission, working directly with the Principal Investigators, co-investigators, and other research staff.

  • Works closely with Post Award individuals to transition grant administration upon award, including updating the proposed budget to match the Notice of Grant Award.

  • Transmits proposals, 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 the awarding agency.

  • Establishes and maintains appropriate working relationships internally and externally and serves as a unit contact for administrators outside of the department.

  • Attends institutional meetings and training opportunities that focus on grants and contracts management.

  • Reviews and processes various pre-and post-award activities.

  • Provides backup support for non-financial post-award actions such as gathering needed documentation for the execution of sub-awards, sponsored consulting agreements, amendments, material transfer agreements, and data use agreements.

  • 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 the awarding agency.

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

  • 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.

  • Master’s degree.


  • A minimum of three years of experience working with sponsored research administration in an academic environment.

  • Experience with sponsored research administration, especially electronic.

  • Experience with the University’s AURA grant system.

  • Experience with University accounting systems.

  • Knowledge of fund accounting.

  • Experience with Microsoft Office.

  • Knowledge of government grant regulations, agency policies, and university policies and procedures.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to review and process information within a computerized web system.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Ability to manage a detail-oriented workload.

  • Ability to organize and prioritize workload during high-pressure, high-volume workload periods.

  • Ability to manage stress.

  • Proven ability to work courteously, efficiently, and tactfully with diverse populations.

  • Excellent problem-solving skills.

  • Superior organizational skills.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • References (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 and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or 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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