Pre-Award Research Administrator
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This job has expired.


Provost URA: Pre-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 Pre-Award Research Administrator is responsible for preparing, reviewing, and submitting proposals for support of research, training, and other sponsored activities at the University of Chicago. External funding to the University that is managed by University Research Administration includes all submissions involving federal grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts; all submissions to domestic and foreign non-profit entities; all submissions to corporate sponsors (for-profit sponsors), State of Illinois, and City of Chicago agreements; and all submissions for federal flow-through subawards to the University that are passed through from all other sponsors. The position requires direct contact with professional staff at the federal government, with non-federal sponsors, corporate sponsors, with other institutions, and with faculty and administrative staff at the University.

Requires knowledge and experience in pre-award research administration, while still acquiring higher-level knowledge and skills in the field. Builds knowledge of the organization, processes, and customers. Solves a range of problems. Analyzes possible solutions using standard procedures. Receives guidance and direction as needed, but the expectation is for the individual to be an independent contributor.


  • Supports the pre-award activities for all sponsored projects for the University departments and units as assigned or directed.
  • Provides review and approval of all proposal submissions prepared by departmental and unit grants personnel and routed through the AURA Grants system for institutional approval.
  • As assigned or requested, prepares the full administrative portions of a proposal for designated opt-in partners, which require professional assistance in the development of a proposal application.
  • Provides additional support for large, complex proposals to any department or unit to increase consistency and expertise in the application process.
  • Provides pre-award proposal review for assigned campus units, reviews applications to ensure compliance with agency and institutional guidelines, regulations and policies.
  • Provides written comments on applications in AURA Grants and coordinate with local units and PI for timely and accurate submission of applications; reads and interprets agency guidelines and policies. Informs related offices as needed for input.
  • Coordinates contact with external funding sources, acting as a liaison between the sponsoring agency and the University community to obtain and process pre-award or proposal information.
  • Reviews and provides institutional endorsement for all modifications or file updates (Just-in Time (JIT)) including revised budgets, regulatory protocol approvals, subaward commitments, determination of subaward vs vendor documentation and any other documentation materials requested the agency prior to an award
  • Coordinates with the Award team counterpart at the transition from proposal to award to ensure a timely and smooth hand-off; exercises final institutional signature authority for proposals and JITs submitted (up to delegated dollar limit) and transmits proposals and other documents, including report submission, using various sponsors' systems - federal and non-federal.
  • Confirms appropriate evidence of approvals that commitments (cost sharing, matching, space) made in proposals can be honored, to help protect the University from the inability to meet proposal requirements and to protect the University and PI from potential claims that might arise resulting from work proposed or completed under a sponsored project.
  • Communicates and collaborates with University departments, and teams within URA as well as technology transfer and compliance teams to facilitate smooth transition throughout the full sponsored project life cycle; update AURA as necessary when are not funded, withdrawn, or not routed.
  • Coordinates and/or assists with other activities and/or special projects in coordination with the Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs Pre-Award.
  • Performs other duties as assigned or requested by the Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs Pre-Award.
  • Reviews Sponsor guidelines and processes or develops proposals in compliance with University and sponsor policies and assists with other grant and contract activity within AURA-GRANTS; escalates issues accordingly within the office of University Research Administration.
  • Prioritizes work in order to complete assignments in a timely manner.
  • The individual is a member of a Team and must contribute to the team effort, as needed. This will involve assisting colleagues to ensure timely service to departments, units, and sponsors as needed and to perform back-up duties during vacation or sick leaves of other pre-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.
  • Provides faculty and administrators with application preparation, analyzing possible solutions to problems that arise using standard procedures. Reviews, interprets, and negotiates contract and grant terms to determine compliance and/or conflict with federal regulations and procedures.
  • 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.
  • Background with the University of Chicago systems such as AURA or similar systems.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of Federal Circulars applicable to universities (OMB A-21, A-110, A-133 or OMB's Uniform Guidance for Grants (2 CFR 200)) or interpretation of similar regulations.
  • Analyze, interpret, and implement University policy and procedures.
  • Work with various sponsor electronic systems.
  • Rapid proficiency in the use of University of Chicago systems such as AURA and a high level of proficiency in Excel.
  • Strong computer skills including word processing, database management and spreadsheet skills.
  • Interpret sponsor guidelines and regulations to ensure accurate response.

Preferred Competencies
  • Proactive, detail-oriented, with exceptional communication and analytical skills necessary to prepare, review and coordinate proposals submissions accordingly per departmental guidelines.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Working Conditions
  • Interact by phone, email, online meetings 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.
  • Sit for 4 hours or more.
  • Use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.
  • Use standard office equipment.
  • Travel to various on-campus locations on a daily basis.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • References Contact Information (3)(preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe 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


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

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.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

This job has expired.

Disability Inclusion Jobs

Gain Access

Add Your Resume

Add your resume to our resume database that can be searched by employers looking to hire!

Job Alerts

Stay up to date with job alerts! Customize your alerts based on a specific area, category and receive weekly updates!

Sign up now to gain access!

More Education and Training jobs

University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Posted about 2 hours ago
University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Posted about 2 hours ago
University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Posted about 2 hours ago
View Education and Training jobs ยป