University Research Administrators – Canadian Career Guide

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

jobUniversity research administrators have many responsibilities, among which invoicing financial reporting, proposal submission, approval and review, proposal preparation, and accounts receivable management, among others.

Jobs Tasks and Responsibilities

University research administrators are responsible for effort and personnel certification, program income, ongoing training, audits, reports and technical data, subcontracting plans and subcontracts, and project close-out. They are also responsible for conducting project financials and UI processes such as extensions, award initiation, advance accounts, and internal routing. Administrators are also tasked with oversight and monitoring when it comes to changes in policies and procedures, post-award project administration, grant and contract application procedures and requirements, and sponsor guidelines. They also offer direction when it comes to sponsor guidelines, expenditures, support activities, and a lot more. The role of university research administrators is to provide endorsement for sponsorships and project proposals. In general, research administration is tasked with post-award activities such as progress reports, no-cost extension, re-budgeting, and change in P.I. and other actions that require agency approval.

Additional Responsibilities

Administrators provide financial and analytical support and assistance when it comes to grant administration, contract processing, and budget development. They also act as liaison between different funding agencies and institutions of higher education. Administrators are tasked with developing, coordinating, and overseeing final proposals in compliance with agency and institutional requirements and monitoring grant awards and contracts in accordance with relevant terms and regulations. Finally, university research administrators are responsible for processing and oversight of sub-award modification, monitoring, and initiation, agreement and award amendments, and the processing of supplements, competing continuations, and non-competing continuations. Ultimately, research administrators are tasked with the administration and management of research proposals and data to keep up with workload guidelines and address key priorities.

Essential Skills and Competences

University research administrators in Canada must have a number of essential skills and competencies, including comprehensive knowledge of indirect cost rates, publication rights, conflict of interest requirements, intellectual property regulations, sponsor-specific requirements and policies, and federal regulations. Administrators typically have extensive experience with different types of award mechanisms such as cooperative mechanisms, sub-contracts, and various complex transactions. They must be able to interpret institutional requirements, policies, and regulations for others as well. Finally, research administrators must be able to carry out complex and high volume activities and transactions in a university, research, or college environment. Research administrators have strong communication and organization skills, good knowledge of complex financial concepts, and a consumer service focus. Problem solving skills and leadership skills are also a must.

Degree and Other Requirements

Research administrators must have a Bachelor or Master’s Degree and relevant certifications and licenses, if required. They must have equivalent experience and training as well. There are universities that offer programs and degrees in this area, for example, Master of Research Administration to help students master essential skills related to the implementation, management, and development of research projects and initiatives. The course work includes courses that focus on the legal framework, ways to identify funding opportunities, proposal preparation, and a lot more. Research administrators are in high demand across different institutional settings such as local and federal agencies, hospitals, institutes, centers, and private and public research universities. Job titles include grants accountant, director of export controls, research development coordinator or associate, financial administrator, research integrity officer, and contract or proposal manager.

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