Job Details

Lead Research Administrator

  2023-03-24     University of California Santa Cruz     Santa Cruz  

Lead Research Administrator

Location: Santa Cruz

Job ID: 49759



UC Vaccination Policy: With limited exceptions, for Covered Individuals under the Policy. Covered Individuals include all employees, students, or trainees who physically access a University facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training.

Covered Individuals do NOT include employees who work 100% remotely with NO expectation that they will physically access any University location or program at ANY time. If 100% remote work ends, the employee is subject to policy.


UC Santa Cruz staff jobs are posted until filled. Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. NOTE: Materials submitted after the IRD will be forwarded only at the request of the hiring unit. Submit your materials before the IRD to ensure consideration by the hiring unit.

The IRD for this job is: 03-30-2023


UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It's known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus's DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.


Originally founded in 1997, the Baskin School of Engineering is the first professional school at UC Santa Cruz. Over the past 20 years, Baskin Engineering has become a unique 21st century school of engineering and technology, characterized by evolutionary growth fueled by on-going research opportunities that open new areas of intellectual inquiry. Baskin Engineering has grown to include six academic departments, a variety of research centers and institutes, and has ambitious plans for further programmatic growth. The focus of Baskin Engineering educational programming is to instill strong basic knowledge for sound practice in science and ethical engineering for the well-being of society, and its diverse curricula facilitate creative thinking and prepare students for productive and rewarding careers. Baskin Engineering is focused on building collaborative connections and expanding instruction and research activities for faculty and students at UC Santa Cruz, both at its Santa Cruz campus and at its campus in Silicon Valley, the international center of technological innovation.

We champion new ideas and uphold the


Under general supervision, the Lead Research Administrator functions as part of a team that provides administrative and financial management services to the Baskin School of Engineering (BE) faculty and research programs/centers/institutes. The incumbent manages a high volume and high complexity of transactions with management responsibility over at least $5,000,000 in sponsored funds across a diverse portfolio of moderate to highly complex contracts and grants for industry, private non-profit and government sponsors, plus an additional $4,000,000 non-sponsored startup and gift funds where analysis of financial information or reports requires review of a variety of factors (e.g. budgets, salaries, expenses, etc...). They fully analyze problems, gather data and information, and implement solutions. The Lead Research Administrator prepares and completes as well as approves transactions prepared by others and may supervise, train and/or coach junior team members.

The incumbent will provide guidance and advice to research program faculty and staff to achieve short-term goals in support of the division/department mission and consistent with longer-term strategic financial and programmatic goals. They inform and coach faculty and research staff on standard operating procedures, divisional/departmental or university policies and processes; ensures that these policies are sensibly applied. Provides decision support analysis and guidance for short- and long-term planning.

The Lead Research Administrator is expected to provide high-level customer service as part of a dynamic, responsive team. Post-award financial management and reporting are critical functions of this position, as well as minimizing risk and assuring compliance with applicable University and sponsor/donor policies and federal/state regulations.


Budgeted Salary: $91,850 - $107,800/year. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.

Under California law, the University of California, Santa Cruz is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary above the posted range. The salary shown above is the budgeted range the University reasonably expects to pay.

No. of Positions: 1

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:

• Full-time, Fixed

• Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week

• Days of the Week: Mon-Fri

• Shift Includes: Day

Employee Classification: This is a Career appointment

Job End Date: None

Work Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Campus

Union Representation: Non-Represented

Job Code Classification: 006207 (RSCH ADM 4)

Travel: Never or Rarely


60% - Research Administration

• Leads Baskin Engineering (BE) in planning, establishment and monitoring of fiscal budget control of complex awarded projects, budgets, support documents, gifts, endowments and privately funded projects for faculty research portfolios with broad impact.

• Provides highly complex projections, analysis and recommendations as part of comprehensive, periodic reporting to stakeholders. Independently gathers information as needed to perform financial analysis of transactions, expenditures, etc...; identifies and resolves discrepancies.

• Reviews award notices, guidelines, budgets and effort commitments with Principal Investigators (PI) and others, as necessary, to assure that funds will be spent within budget and in compliance with awarding agency and campus policies.

• Coordinates setup of new awards and non-competitive renewals, including verifying accuracy of funding information and budget appropriations, allocation of budget to sub-projects as applicable, subcontract setup & request for carryover funds from sponsor.

• Initiates and maintains ongoing, timely and effective communication with all relevant stakeholders throughout the entire post-award process (e.g. agencies, investigators, lab and/or program staff, division administration, Office of Sponsored Projects, Extramural Funds (EMF), other campus service units, etc.). Assists in the completion and submission of internal forms in collaboration with the Office of Sponsored Projects.

• Monitors sponsor payment of fixed price awards, and coordinates with EMF for sponsor invoicing.

• Provides payroll information for appropriate distribution of salary in the payroll system, obtains confirmation of effort on awards, supports institutional effort reporting process. Oversees payroll transactions and processes transfers as necessary for Academic and staff appointments. Ensures accurate effort on federal awards for institutional Effort Reporting System.

• Researches and investigates unusual charges in the payroll and general ledgers. Ensures that funds are reconciled, and consistent with university policies.

• Generates final financial reports required by the sponsoring agency or EMF. Coordinates the closeout of projects, cost transfers, equipment management, invention statements, subcontract closeouts, final progress reports, grant transfers and relinquishments, as appropriate.

• Determines budget deviations and potential problems, providing resolution in a timely fashion.

• Maintains BE database for Faculty Awards in order to provide the division with accurate data for reporting to the campus as well as annual external surveys.

• Researches, interprets, clarifies and applies all applicable divisional, UC, and sponsor policies and regulations; attends trainings, town halls, and webinars to stay current on policy updates.

• Monitors indirect costs and tracks cost sharing commitments.

30% - Guidance & Counsel

• Provides guidance and counsel on a wide variety of highly complex research administration matters to principal investigators, senior divisional/departmental administrators and less experienced department staff, including compliance regulations, standard operating procedures, divisional or university policies and processes; ensures that these policies are sensibly applied.

• Ensures complete and accurate collection of research management administration data at all stages of the contract and grant life cycle. Independently oversees award reporting and closeout.

• Researches and resolves unclear areas of the policy and disseminates information to the appropriate faculty and staff.

10% - Internal Business Processes

• Meets regularly with the Research Administration Manager and other members of the Research Administration team to discuss current issues in research administration.

• Attend weekly Research Administration Meetings, to help lead conversations in solving problems of the department.

• Reviews internal business processes. Actively engages in, and leads the development of, new processes and change management initiatives.

• Maintains knowledge of team workloads in order to provide backup for other team members as needed.

• Assists in support of audits, as required.


• Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

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

• Ability to manage high volume and complex transactions.

• Ability to perform highly complex financial analysis and customized reporting.

• Demonstrated advanced competence in the use of spreadsheet and database software in financial analysis, fiscal management and financial reports.

• Ability to maintain independent judgment.

• Strong organizational skills.

• Strong oral communication skills.

• Ability to build consensus with various stakeholders.

• Strong written communication skills.

• 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.

• Able to maintain working 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.


• Experience with all types of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts, subcontracts, and cooperative agreements.

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

• Demonstrated experience and success in research administration.

• Experience working with university fund accounting and knowledge of OMB Uniform Guidance for grants and agreements with institutions of higher education, hospitals, and/or other non-profit organizations.


• Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.

• Ability to work long periods of time at a computer with or without accommodation.

• Will be required to work a hybrid work schedule, days of the week and number of days to be determined, and be able to fulfill requirements of the UCSC telecommuting agreement.

• Selected candidate will be required to complete training within established time frames as directed including UC compliance training.

• Ability to travel to multiple work locations on and off campus.

• Ability to maintain appearance and conduct suitable for working in a professional setting.

• The University of California has implemented a covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, covered employees must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exception or deferral, eight (8) weeks from date of hire.

• Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), this position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter. The selected candidate will be required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect as defined by CANRA and will be required to sign a Statement Acknowledging Requirement to Report Child Abuse prior to commencing employment. CANRA Penal Codes, and related definitions, requirements, and responsibilities may be obtained


All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


Attach your resume and cover letter when applying for this job opening. Do not attach any documents to 'My Activities'. Visit our tutorial for detailed instructions on our applicant process.


The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.


View full job description and access on-line application:

To ensure review of application materials by the hiring unit, they must be submitted on or before the initial review date (IRD) via the Staff Employment Opportunities web site; A computer is available at the UC Santa Cruz Staff Human Resources Office located at Scotts Valley Center. The Scotts Valley Center is located at 100 Enterprise Way, Suite E100, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. To learn more or to request disability accommodations, call 831-459-2009. Hearing impaired are encouraged to use the California Relay Service at 800-735-2922. UC Santa Cruz is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

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