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Director of Research Administration

Job Description

Posting Number


Internal Recruitment


Working Title

Director of Research Administration

Anticipated Hiring Range

Commensurate with education and experience

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

Job Location

Raleigh, NC


Electrical and Computer Engineering

About the Department

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has as its mission the accumulation, generation, and dissemination of knowledge in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Central to the mission is a high-quality research and educational program that benefits our students, the State of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. The Department acts as a focal point for development, growth, and entrepreneurship. The national and international reputation of the Department facilitates future growth in areas of fundamental economic importance to the State.

Essential Job Duties

The primary purpose of the Director of Research Administration is to assist the Department Head in providing overall leadership and management for all contracts and grants matters in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department.

The Director of Research Administration works closely with the Department Head on sponsored research transactions and activities; and is responsible for communicating and promoting research administration procedural best practices, as well as performing tasks in several functional areas. The Director of Research Administration is responsible for making decisions within policy guidelines; communicating policies, procedures, and guidelines; and recommending solutions, as well as offering suggestions to other departmental personnel in the following areas:

  • Contracts & Grants Management
  • Effort Management
  • Compliance Management
  • TEARS Coordinator
  • Supervision of Contracts &Grants Staff
  • Oversee File, Record, Report, and Data management

This position is specifically responsible for the management of all sponsored research accounts, which includes providing support to principal investigators in the review and timely submission of complex proposals by providing guidance with the preparation of their budgets and justifications. The Director of Research Administration will ensure the university cost accounting standards (CAS) and Uniform Guidance (UG) – as set forth by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – are applied consistently throughout the life of each award. The Director of Research Administration will lead the grant submission process, including PINS (Project Information and Navigation System).

The Director of Research Administration independently manages the New Award Review process – reviews the award for special terms and conditions; advises the principal investigator (PI) on the need for the cost share setups and alerts PIs on the need and due date of technical reports and back-up documentation requirements for invoicing. Identify effort, release time, cost sharing, subcontracts, and any other budget cost requiring special handling.

Responsible for ensuring compliance, identifying, documenting, and reporting cost sharing to the University’s Contracts and Grants Office and ECE Departmental Personnel (Department Head, Director of Finance, etc.). Setup efforts as required by the agency, certify cost sharing per Contract, and Grant Confirmation memos. Generate account balance reports. Review accounts and request extensions when needed. Identify over expenditures in major spending categories, such as travel, tuition, and equipment, and pay special attention to overhead.

Advise Principal Investigators of balances and notify them, including the Department Head of any issues that would greatly impact the project. Initiate and obtain agency/university prior approval when required for the following actions: re-budgeting, equipment acquisition, travel, no-cost extensions, pre-award account numbers, and pre-award costs.

Ensure TEARS (The Employee Activity Reporting System) reports are approved, signed, and returned to Contracts & Grants’ on time. Responsible for the submission and managing of release time and summer salary for PI’s. Responsible for managing (initializing, amending, tracking, and closing) subcontracts. Track completion of Conflict of Interest records and track RCRs (Responsible Code of Research).

Other Responsibilities

  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience

Requires post-baccalaureate credentials with 5+ years of relevant experience; a bachelor’s degree with 5+ experience including or exceeded by 1-2 years of supervisory experience may be substituted for the advanced qualifications on an exceptional basis.

Other Required Qualifications

  • Previous experience with sponsored research management.
  • Demonstrated experience working in complex financial systems Prior Modification Request (PMR), Research Administration Data And Reporting (RADAR), PeopleSoft HR or similar products, and Payroll Distribution Reports.
  • Extensive financial knowledge with experience working in a large complex organization. Must be highly skilled and experienced in PeopleSoft Financials or similar products, Word and Excel.
  • Thorough knowledge of accounting principles and practices including knowledge of budgetary planning, development, and control; understanding of audit requirements and a thorough knowledge of government accounting methods and procedures, financial practices, federal circulars, governmental accounting standards board (GASB), fund accounting, budgeting, and state and university policies and regulations.
  • Full knowledge of policies and procedures within the University and federal statutes, including Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars, and Generally Accepted (GAPP).
  • Ability to interpret and apply complete Federal and State fiscal regulations to analyze and correct accounting and financial problems and errors; ability to make changes in the accounting system and procedures; ability to establish effective working relationships with business and program personnel; ability to plan and supervise the work of other accounting personnel.
  • Must be knowledgeable of processes and procedures, as well as experienced in the closeout process for sponsored research.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must have excellent leadership, supervisory, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
  • Must be able to work independently and be able to multitask.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 3 years of experience supervising employees and programs.
  • 5 years of accounting experience with PeopleSoft Financials, including RADAR, PARs, and the close-out process or similar platforms.
  • Successful completion of RAMP Training and understanding of PeopleSoft HR or similar product and Payroll processes.
  • 5 years of supervisory experience to include supervision of employees and/or supervision of programs.
  • Certified Research Administrator

Required License(s) or Certification(s)


Valid NC Driver's License required


Commercial Driver's License required


Job Open Date


Special Instructions to Applicants

Applicants should submit an updated resume, cover letter, and full contact information for three (3) professional references including a current or existing supervisor.

Position Number


Position Type

EHRA Non-Faculty

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week)



12 Month Recurring

Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather

Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather

Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events

Non Mandatory - Emergency Event

Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?


Department ID

140401 - Electrical & Computer Engr.


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process are welcome to contact 919-515-3148 to speak with a representative at the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or workatncstate@ncsu.edu.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

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