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Director of Pre-award Support

Job Description


Posting Details
Posting Detail Information


Working Title Director of Pre-award Support
Position Location Fort Collins, CO
Work Location Position qualifies for hybrid/in-office work
Research Professional Position No
Posting Number 202300492AP
Position Type Admin Professional/ Research Professional
Classification Title Prof/Indiv Contrib III
Number of Vacancies 1
Work Hours/Week 40
Proposed Annual Salary Range $78,000 - $81,000
Employee Benefits
Colorado State University (CSU) is committed to providing employees with a strong and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Visit CSUís Human Resources website for detailed benefit plan information for permanent full-time and part-time faculty and administrative professional employees in the following University benefit areas: https://hr.colostate.edu/hr-community-and-supervisors/benefits/benefits-eligibility/ & https://hr.colostate.edu/prospective-employees/our-perks/ .
Desired Start Date 07/01/2023
Position End Date (if temporary)
To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 11:59pm (MT) on 04/09/2023
Description of Work Unit
The College of Engineering Research Business Office (RBO) provides coordination and direct support for the management of federal, state, and commercial grants and contracts for research groups within the college. The RBO supports management decisions at all college levels with accurate and timely data accounting for compliance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations.
Position Summary
The Director of Pre-award Support oversees the process of proposal submission for the college and record retention for use during the post award stage. This individual supervises 3 full-time pre-award research administrators and ensures that the workload is dispersed adequately amongst them. This includes assisting with the hiring process, conducting annual evaluations, and planning/implementing adjustments when positions are vacant. The general tasks overseen and completed by this position are:
  • Reminding faculty to submit proposal notifications in a timely manner
  • Organizing workloads as notifications are received
  • Reviewing proposals to ensure they meet sponsor guidelines
  • Providing faculty with feedback where proposals are missing information or otherwise outside the sponsorís guidelines
  • Ensuring proposals are submitted on time; proposal forms are routed through Kuali Research (KR) in a timely manner; final documents are uploaded in KR; and cost sharing commitment forms are accurately included in college files and systems
  • Overseeing rebudgeting during the proposal stage, including updating all college and university records
  • Participating in planning improvements in all aspects relating to the collegeís pre-award activities
  • Providing proposal information to management at all levels of the college for the purposes of planning and decision making

A successful candidate will be capable of reading complex government solicitations and communicating them clearly; reading proposals in detail to look for data entry errors, formatting issues, and solving related technical difficulties; and calculating complex budgets. In addition, they will be able to provide excellent customer service to faculty, other researchers, staff, colleagues, and subordinates. They will be passionate about mentoring staff, creating a positive work environment, demonstrating a team approach, and problem solving.
This individual reports to the Director of Business & Research Support Operations in the Walter Scott, Jr, College of Engineering at the Colorado State University.
Required Job Qualifications
  • Bachelorís degree
  • Five years of related professional experience in research administration
  • The successful candidate must be legally authorized to work in the United States by the proposed start date. The department will not sponsor a visa for this position.
Preferred Job Qualifications
  • Proven effective verbal (to be determined during interviews), written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated time management skills essential to meeting critical deadlines
  • Advanced knowledge of office productivity software including MS Office (specifically Excel), data retrieval (e.g., Oracle, Access, or other database management software), report preparation (e.g., Excel pivot tables or comparable experience), and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Two years of managerial experience
  • Familiarity with Federal Cost Accounting Standards and Uniform Guidance requirements.
  • Experience working in a higher education setting
  • Experience preparing project budgets, including salary calculations
  • Familiarity with the administrative activities associated with the scientific research process
  • Experience with Kuali Financial System Information (KFS) and Kuali Research Proposal Development (KR/PD) systems
  • Experience with the preparation of scientific research proposals including budget development
  • Certification in Research Administration such as CRA, CPRA, and/or CFRA
Diversity Statement
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Departmentís commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties


Job Duty Category Management
Duty/Responsibility
  • Manages a staff of 3 full-time pre-award research program administrators
  • Ensures that staff take vacations while balancing proposal submission deadlines and volume
  • Provides guidance on the interpretation of sponsor solicitations, sponsor policies/procedures, and on solving technical issues experienced during proposal submissions
  • Mentors staff on the technical aspects of proposal preparation and submission
  • Mentors staff on all aspects of customer service to ensure that pre-award provides excellent service
  • Consults with OSP and other offices on campus as needed so that proposal submissions contain accurate information within CSU policies
  • Works with OSP during contract negotiations so that accounts are created in the most efficient manner possible
Percentage Of Time 25%
Job Duty Category Proposal Submission
Duty/Responsibility
  • Researches and coordinates preparation of scientific research proposals to federal sponsors including, but not limited to, the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Park Service.
  • Prepares proposals for state, local, and international government funding.
  • Prepares proposals for industry, foundation, non-profit, and other potential sponsors.
  • Investigates availability of funding programs, and research submission, compliance, and project cost share requirements.†
  • Consults with sponsor representatives.
  • Prepares proposal budgets and draft budget justifications, ensuring compliance to application requirements including allowability and allocability of anticipated costs.†
  • Coordinates and recommends solutions for project cost share requirements.
  • Coordinates budget and application requirements across multiple CSU colleges and/or other institutions for collaborative projects.
  • Coordinates directly with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to meet submission requirements.
Percentage Of Time 50%
Job Duty Category Financial Management
Duty/Responsibility
  • Designs and implements models to forecast expenditures on existing projects and the likelihood of future funding via pending or planned research proposals. Identifies gaps in future funding and helps identify future funding opportunities.
  • In coordination with RBO accounting tech and PIs, researches costs of provided services and sets appropriate charge rates.
  • Ensures the award of graduate student fellowships and grants are charged to the appropriate funding source. Prepares and administers graduate student funding plans.
  • Manages the cost share associated with awards from budgeting through tracking and verifying
  • Works with faculty to ensure the subawards are paying invoices in a timely manner, and as needed, meets with subawardees to discuss administrative details/requirements.
  • Works with College of Engineering Development staff and PIs to plan and manage research projects funded through department, college, and university development efforts.
  • Prepares and recommends staffing plans for individual faculty research groups. Using funding forecasts, makes recommendations to faculty, the director of RBO, and department heads regarding needed changes in scientific staffing. This may include the recommendation to hire or change the funding source of research associates, research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students.
  • In coordination with RBO accounting tech and PIs, designs business plans to acquire, appropriately utilize, maintain, and replace scientific equipment. Analyzes equipment use in support of funded research activities. Builds models to support recharge centers (21s) and lab services (22s), considering equipment capital, operating costs, and projected equipment use based on forecast of research activity levels and directions. Sets appropriate equipment use fees to ensure adequate cost recovery and build these charges into project budgets. Prepares and updates account business plans and charge rates annually.
Percentage Of Time 10%
Job Duty Category Project Management
Duty/Responsibility
  • Works with scientists and administrators form other US and international institutions to coordinate joint proposal submissions.
  • Researches and finds solutions to institutional or governmental hurdles that might otherwise prevent or impede successful completion of proposal submission. This frequently involves working with the Office of Sponsored Programs and other administrative offices at CSU.
  • Participates in NCURA professional meetings and/or other professional growth opportunities to promote improved job knowledge and performance.
  • Interacts with program managers, contracting staff, and scientific leadership at external funding agencies to address questions and resolve problems related to project staffing, budget categories, contracting issues, project status updates, requests for project extension or supplemental funding, and project reporting.
  • In coordination with RBO accounting tech and PIs, sets up and administers sales and service accounts to support department provision of scientific services to internal and external clients. Research and project future activity levels. Coordinate with customers on project management, schedule, and deliverables.
  • Manages the award of graduate student fellowships and grants, dealing with complex, sometimes conflicting guidelines, associated with student receipt of multiple award types.

Note: Customers, collaborators, subawardees, subcontractors, sponsors, etc. may be federal, state, local or foreign governments, private sector companies, or non-profits.
Percentage Of Time 15%

Application Details


Special Instructions to Applicants
For full consideration, please upload a cover letter which addresses how professional experiences align with identified required and preferred qualifications of the position, a current resume/CV, and enter the contact information for three professional references by 11:59 PM (MST) on April 9, 2023.
References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.
This posting will remain open until filled, however for full consideration, applications must be received by 11:59 PM (MST) on April 9, 2023.
Conditions of Employment Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)
Search Contact valorie.lefebre@colostate.edu
EEO Statement
Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or pregnancy in its employment, programs, services and activities, and admissions, and, in certain circumstances, marriage to a co-worker. The University will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity and equal access institution and affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.
The Title IX Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-1715, titleix@colostate.edu .
The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836, oeo@colostate.edu .
The Coordinator for any other forms of misconduct prohibited by the Universityís Policy on Discrimination and Harassment is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, Co. 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836, oeo@colostate.edu .
Any person may report sex discrimination under Title IX to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education .
Background Check Policy Statement
Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks for the finalist before a final offer. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will also be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the University, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.

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