Manager, Research Administration Stanford University, School of Engineering United States

Manager, Research Administration


School of Engineering, California, United States



Manager, Research Administration

Job Code:  4484

Job Grade:  J

FTE:  100%, Exempt, Continuous

School of Engineering, Office of the Dean


Are you ready for the next step in your research administration career? Are you excited by an opportunity to lead and develop a team? Do you want to be part of a dynamic team that supports cutting-edge research at a top-tier research institution? If so, this may be the job for you!

The School of Engineering (SoE)

SoE has been at the forefront of innovation for nearly a century, creating pivotal technologies that have transformed the worlds of information technology, communications, health care, energy, business and beyond. Our faculty and students are creative risk-takers who pursue excellence across a breadth of disciplines. Our alumni include some of the world's most successful leaders in technology and business. Our staff facilitate SoE’s efforts to accomplish its mission: seeking solutions to some of the world's most urgent challenges and educating leaders who will make the world a better place through the power of engineering principles, techniques and systems. 

On behalf of eight SoE academic departments, Engineering Research Administration (ERA) administers approximately 920 annual awards and over $120 million in annual sponsored research. ERA is a high-volume and productive administrative unit, and ERA staff collectively manage the pre- and post-award activities for a large and diverse portfolio of sponsoring agencies (over 290 different agencies). You will oversee a team of Research Administrators (RAs) and the management of the pre-award, proposal preparation, and post-award activities for a diverse set of sponsored research projects. These portfolios include federal and non-federal sponsors, and involve multiple sub-awards, principal investigators, and/or cross-school initiatives. As a subject matter expert in these areas, you will be responsible for developing, implementing, and managing support functions and programs to share this expertise.


As Manager, you:

Have the opportunity to shape, guide, and manage a dynamic team of RAs. We are looking for a leader who will foster communication, build good working relationships within the unit and across campus, develop team support and rapport, improve customer service, produce compliant and accurate work, and simplify the flow of work among the faculty, ERA, and Stanford’s Office of Sponsored Research. Reporting to the Director of ERA, you will be an integral part of ERA’s leadership team.

In this role, some of your specific responsibilities will be to: 

1. Orient new staff; build a team; delegate tasks and projects; monitor the timely and accurate completion of work; mentor and manage staff; conduct performance appraisals; help RAs close gaps in performance.

2. Work with ERA Training Specialist and other resource providers to develop training tools and programs; ensure the continuous improvement and development of team members in the field of research administration and in customer service, finance and general administration. 
3. Assist team members in developing proposals for a large and diverse collection of external funding agencies; review departmental proposals for soundness and compliance with proposal guidelines; help team interpret complex regulations, rules, policies, and procedures; provide advice and guidance to ensure the team’s operations comply with policies and guidelines set forth by ERA and the University; oversee the closeout of grants and contracts, periodic updates to files, and distribution of all official notices; provide financial management services to PIs and administrators within the Department. 
4. Serve as a “working lead” by managing staff but also administering a portfolio of contracts and grants; provide short-term backup coverage within the team or other ERA teams during times of heavy workload, after hours, absentees, etc.; serve as a sponsor-specific expert to other ERA teams (e.g. NSF expert, NIH expert, etc.). 
5. Solve complex problems; escalate issues to senior management when necessary; participate in making strategic and managerial decisions for ERA; attend and periodically lead ERA’s staff meetings. 



To be successful in this role, you demonstrate:

  • Bachelor’s degree and seven years of job related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • High-degree of proficiency in pre-and post-research administration for a large number of diverse external funding sources; financial management; in-depth knowledge of governmental regulations
  • Ability to independently interpret complex policies; direct experience enforcing policies throughout a large operation. Experience working successfully with PIs and their administrative staff; mission-driven and able to understand the importance of research to PIs, departments, and the School; committed to consistently providing excellent customer service.
  • Experience hiring, managing, and motivating staff; effectively managing the completion of a high volume of work, some of which is cyclical.
  • Experience holding a position in which being a self-starter with strong organizational skills was essential, and independently meet deadlines; excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong interpersonal skill including tact, diplomacy, and flexibility.
  • Available to work periodically after normal business hours, when such flex hours are necessary to ensure, for example, the successful submission of an important proposal.
  • Excellent analytical skills, including proficiency in producing spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel).

 *Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.



Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Ourculture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more!


How to Apply

We invite you to apply for this position by clicking on the “Apply for Job” button. In order to be considered, a cover letter and résumé must be submitted along with your online application. Your one-page cover letter should briefly describe your background in customer service and provide examples of your experience with attention to detail, responsiveness, and decision-making. 


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