Associate Director, Research Administration - Office of Research Support (ORS) / Remote

Duke Careers
 Durham, NC

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of Americas leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

This position may have an opportunity to work remotely. All Duke University and Duke Health remote workers must reside in one of the following states or districts: Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Montana; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia or Washington, DC.


The Office of Research Support (ORS) is the pre-award office that serves a diverse constituency including all nine Campus schools, as well as several Provost Area institutes and centers. The position requires a deep understanding of Duke policies and procedures as well as knowledge of federal rules and regulations, compliance requirements, and cost accounting standards.

The Associate Director coordinates and helps manage grants and contracts personnel dedicated to pre-award and/or post award activities in ORS. In consultation with the Director and Executive Director, the Associate Director assists with the implementation of new institutional policies and interoffice procedures to help ensure that the office is operating within stated guidelines. The Associate Director assists section staff members on issues of concern regarding proposal submissions and award acceptance and recognizes when the issue cannot be readily resolved and brings it to the superiors attention.

The Associate Director works closely with the Director to evaluate ORS standard operating procedures with a goal towards constant improvement. This position is required to fulfill and maintain all of the institutional training requirements for research administrators.

Work Performed

Manage day-to-day operations of ORS grants and contracts staff

  • Review proposals for institutional approval
  • Review and negotiate terms of awards and contracts ensuring conformity with University and agency policy, procedures and law
  • Write and execute subcontracts related to sponsored projects
  • Provide post-award administrative review and institutional approval for changes
  • Process various research related regulatory requirements including conflict of interest, effort commitment, and subrecipient monitoring
  • Train and develop new and existing staff members to ensure consistency of performance across the University,
  • Participate in the develop and delivery of training materials for the broader research administration community.
  • Participate in the daily workflow during the mail meeting
  • Consult with the Executive Director and Director to complete annual review process for each staff member

Pre-award responsibilities

  • Provide guidance, interpretation, and technical assistance to grants and contracts staff, research administrators and PIs on University and sponsor guidelines and policies
  • Review and negotiate terms and conditions of contracts and grants
  • Monitor ORS compliance with institutional guidelines, such as Intent to Submit, the 5-day deadline
  • Act as a liaison between University and sponsors
  • Consult with the Executive Director and Director to resolve outstanding issues in a timely manner

Post-award responsibilities

  • Work with Award Specialists to ensure that fund codes and subcodes are set up for awards in a manner that facilitates financial monitoring of the grant by departmental grant administrators and PIs.
  • Work with Award Specialists to ensure that BFR codes are properly attached to codes so that F&A costs are directed to schools and departments as appropriate
  • Draft, review, issue, and negotiate subcontracts
  • Monitor to ensure all necessary risk assessments and COI forms for subcontracts has been completed
  • Manage grant transfers in and out of the institution


  • Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program. Research or grants education and/or certification is preferred.
  • Training: Successful completion of required department training such as GC101& 201 Introduction to Research, Financial Services Introduction to R3, Introduction to Duke GL, Introduction to Accounting, Sponsored Research Reporting, Research Administration at Duke (on-line), Basic Compliance (on-line) within first six months of hire is required.
  • Successful completion of the Research Administration Academy (RAA), Advanced Grants Management, and Research Administration Institute (RAI) training is required. Employees hired into this classification without the expected credentials will work closely with their manager to schedule and complete all training (12 months for RAA and an additional 6 months for AGM). Successful completion of all expected training will be an annual performance goal until complete.
  • Upon successful completion of expected training, the employee must maintain Research Administration Academy (RAA) certification and Advanced Grants Management (AGM) certification by completing continuing education requirements.
  • Certified Research Administrator (CRA) certification is preferred.
  • Employees hired into this classification without the expected credentials will work closely with their manager to successfully complete all training within 12 to 18 months of their hiring date.


  • Work generally requires five years of relevant grants and contracts experience.


  • Leadership skills
  • Innovative problem-solving skills
  • Ability to coach and develop employees
  • Ability to build employee commitment through frequent feedback and meaningful performance evaluations
  • Demonstrated skills in analyzing data and formulating conclusions
  • Ability to learn changing technologies related to grants and contracts management
  • Full command of grants and contracts systems; requires solid working knowledge of MS Office Suite (Word, Access, Excel, Power Point)
  • Ability to communicate both verbally and in writing with all levels of the organization
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects/tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to create verbal and written reports
  • Comprehensive knowledge of federal rules and regulations relating to grant and contract activity and ability to apply knowledge to Duke University policies and procedures
  • Knowledge of grant and contracts processes, systems and offices related to and/or involved in grant and contract submission and management
  • Knowledge of responsible conduct of research, management of advanced compliance issues
  • Knowledge of processes and systems related to or involved in the management of cost-sharing and effort allocation
  • Experience with functions in SPS, R3, grants.duke, SES, iForms and eCrt and other related systems associated with assigned duties

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideasan exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.