Director of Research Admin
Columbia University New York, Department of Pediatrics
United States

Position Summary

The Director of Research will work under the direction of the Vice Chair and Associate Vice Chair of Finance and Administration. The Director will lead our Research Administration team and be financially responsible for the performance of the department’s overall grant portfolio. The Director will work closely with departmental leadership, division leadership, the grants management team and principal investigators, as well as other University and external stakeholders to oversee Pediatrics’ project portfolio in compliance with Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, Federal, and sponsor specific requirements.


  • The Director will be responsible for the financial performance of the Department’s research portfolio
    • Ensure full recovery of indirect costs and maximize direct cost spend
    • Report and monitor the Department’s sponsored research portfolio: overall and categorical grant support, unfunded and over-the-cap salary, number and types of awards, etc.
    • In conjunction with Division and Finance teams monitor department-funded research including start-up and retention packages
    • Partner with departmental directors, especially Director of Budget and Finance, to accomplish departmental goals
  •  Manage, and be ultimately responsible for, a staff of grants management professionals
    • Work in partnership with Division Administrators to supervise staff
    • Mentor and develop staff. Work closely with Human Resources with staff recruitment.
    • Ensure training is up to date
    • Develop project-specific and summary financial reports for the team
    • Manage and monitor the Research Administration budget
  • Provide leadership and expertise for sponsored research management
    • Actively engage in preparation of atypical grant proposals (program project grants, cooperative agreements, special calls, etc.)
    • Resolve contractual issues/problems/disputes
    • Serve on the Department’s research committee.
    • Serve on the Department’s Innovation Nucleation Fund committee and administer the INF program (the INF provides seed funding to Pediatrics investigators).
  • Serve as a subject matter expert in sponsored projects administration, including research compliance, procurement, financial reporting, sub-award monitoring, and program-related audit functions.
    • Provide Principal Investigators and project key personnel with guidance on purchasing policies and best practices; analyze and oversee expenses
    • Ensure compliance with rules & regulations
    • Provide guidance on compliance matters
    • quarterly and annual grant attestations;
    • Maintain current knowledge in all areas of grant administration requirements and cost principles and individual funders. 
    • Inform relevant staff and team members in a timely manner of changes and updates to rules & regulations.
  • Maintain and continually develop good relationships with stakeholders from University office and department as well as external agencies
    • Serve as Pediatrics’ point of contact for University Offices and other departments in areas of research administration, including Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA), Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF), Office of Research Compliance and Training (RCT), Clinical Trials Office (CTO), and other University Offices involved in sponsored projects administration and compliance.
    • Serve as Pediatrics’ point of contact for external funding agencies

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required or equivalent in education and experience required, plus 5 years of related experience. 
  • Must have strong computer skills with an emphasis on developing complex spreadsheets and facility with enterprise software systems.
  • Excellent oral/written communication, interpersonal organization, problem solving and detail-oriented skill required.
  • Experience in managing others and interacting with personnel of all levels.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree preferred.
  • Knowledge of Federal grants portals, such as NSF Fastlane and, Workspace, and eRA Commons ASSIST.
  • Educational or practical experience in biological science or a related field is highly desired.
  • Experience in managing a team and getting work done in cooperation with peers.
  • Knowledge of CUMC systems.

Other Requirements

  • Exceptional written and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and to manage multiple priorities and projects effectively.
  • Demonstrated experience in research, program or project administration, and collaborative work.
  • Ability to work effectively under tight deadlines, self-reliant, good problem solver, results-oriented, and capable of making decisions in a dynamic environment while anticipating future needs.

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