Assistant Director, Office of Research Development Services - Georgetown University's School of Nursing and Health Studies
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The Assistant Director provides direct management and oversight of the Proposal Specialist and Subcontract Administrator for the Basic Sciences team, while also providing leadership to university-wide research administration initiatives and training in conjunction with the RDS Deputy Director, the GUMC Dean for Research, and other university leaders involved in the research enterprise.
The major responsibility of the position is the planning, preparation, assembly, and submission of external funding proposals for researchers in the Medical Center's Basic Sciences departments, as well as all departments within the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The Assistant Director is:
Solely responsible for all external funding proposals submitted by over 270 active researchers from fifteen departments within GUMC.
Assists with proposals for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and research associates housed within these departments. On average, this entails the submission of at least one complete proposal each working day throughout the year (minimum of 260 proposals per year). On major federal deadlines, this position must be capable of independently managing the preparation and submission of twenty or more proposals due on a single day, while simultaneously providing guidance, support and expertise to junior staff in Research Development Services.
The volume of GUMC proposal submissions has more than doubled since the initial creation of RDS and this position in 2015, while the number of RDS positions has reduced. In March of 2015, GUMC submitted 26 proposals, while 57 proposals were submitted in March 2020. Similarly, May-June in 2015 (typically the busiest proposal submission time of year) saw 71 proposals submitted, while the same period in 2020 required 151 proposal submissions.
The Assistant Director is also responsible for supervising the Subaward Administrator in the preparation and submission of all subaward agreements, as RDS is currently staffed with only one subaward administrator for GUMC awards.
Responsible for ensuring that vacant positions' responsibilities are met: if the Clinical & Population Sciences team is lacking a Subaward Admin or Proposal Specialist, the Assistant Director is expected to manage the work overflow from the Clinical & Pop Science team, and when the Clinical & Pop Science Proposal Development Manager is absent, the Assistant Director is the primary contact for support and leadership for the Clinical & Pop Science staff. During these periods, the Assistant Director assumes responsibility for the planning and submission of proposals for up to 500 active researchers at GUMC.
The Assistant Director therefore must be capable of managing an extremely high volume of proposals, juggling multiple deadlines at once and must have a working knowledge of research and compliance issues relevant to human subjects such as clinical trial budgeting and Medicare cost coverage analyses.
This is a mission critical position to ensure the submission of proposals for GUMC faculty, especially as a goal of the Medical Center is to increase its funding base to improve university rankings. Additionally, proposals generate indirect cost revenue needed to maintain and improve infrastructure.
The Assistant Director is responsible for all proposal and preaward actions for three-quarters of the faculty in Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) (all those contained within the Breast Cancer (BC) Program and the Molecular and Experimental Therapeutic Research in Oncology (METRO) Program). For this reason, the Assistant Director must have a thorough knowledge of and experience with all National Cancer Institute (NCI) expectations and requirements for the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG). This includes but is not limited to federal laws regarding oncology clinical research, oncology-specific regulations that apply to cancer clinical trials, NCI expectations of cancer centers as relates to membership and participation in national and international networks for oncology research, and NCI reporting requirements for CCSG recipients. The Assistant Director is the primary point of contact for the LCCC Director's Office and other LCCC administrators when support is needed to ensure compliance with and meeting of NIH/NCI requirements.
The position works closely with the Deputy Director RDS, the GUMC Dean for Research, the Office of Sponsored Research, and the Senior Associate VP for Sponsored Research to improve proposal submission processes, systems, and research administration across the university. The Assistant Director conducts trainings for Main Campus research administrators and assists the Main Campus Vice Provost for Sponsored Research with initiatives to improve the university's overall research enterprise, including Main Campus' initiative to update and streamline reports and processes in the GU-Pass External Proposals and Subawards modules. Additionally, this position will interact with Huron consultants on mission critical and strategic initiatives, including the planning, mapping and re-organization of a potential new preaward office to support investigators across the Medical Center, Main Campus and Law Center. This initiative, which is supported at the highest levels by senior leadership, will require this position to have a strategic skillset capable of being involved in a high priority initiative.
This position has lead responsibility for proposal management for high-profile new recruits to GUMC, and is assigned lead responsibility for especially complex proposals, whether or not the PI is housed within one of the Basic Sciences departments. This includes highly competitive and important program projects, training grants and cooperative agreements. These types of complex proposals are a strategic initiative from senior leadership and are important not only to the university rankings, but also for maintaining the designation as a comprehensive cancer center.
The Assistant Director is the primary contact in RDS for all proposal development and submission troubleshooting, regardless of home department of the PI. This position serves as the RDS point of contact for main campus's Office of Research Services when assistance and troubleshooting is needed with proposal development or submission.
This position is recognized by peers and faculty as a leader, motivator and resource; this position trains not only the staff within his/her team, but also peers across the institution in research development and specifically for the Certified Pre-Award Research Administration, Certified Research Administrator, and Certified Financial Research Administrator certificates.
The Assistant Director identifies underlying and systemic barriers (specifically in the internal routing systems in GU-Pass), and works to successfully resolve these issues independently, and to communicate solutions and improvements to peers and supervisors in RDS, the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), UIS, CROO and other collaborating offices. The Assistant Director provides leadership support when the Deputy Director is out of office or unavailable, and steps in to represent RDS in committee meetings, such as Research Committee, Shared Resources Committee and GU-Pass Working Group. This position co-directs RDS staff meetings, and participates in staffing considerations (hiring, completion of probation periods, etc).
The Assistant Director reports directly to the Deputy Director for the Office of Research Development Service. The Assistant Director supervises the Proposal Specialist and Subaward Administrator in the Basic Sciences team to provide efficient, effective proposal development support to all GU investigators, and provides direct leadership to the entire office. This position is responsible for meeting one-on-one with department chairs, faculty, deans, and other administrative directors and staff across campus upon request and as needed to ensure comprehensive preaward support and compliance across the university. The Assistant Director also develops and supports campus wide trainings as needed for research administration.
10+ years of experience in academic research administration required
Certified Research Administration (CRA), Certified Pre-Award Research Administration (CPRA), and Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA) strongly preferred.
Familiarity with NIH and NCI research grant mechanisms and regulations strongly preferred
Familiarity with postaward financial management
Familiarity with the FAR clauses
The required skills for this position include:
Expertise in electronic grants submissions through ASSIST, Workspace, Proposal Central, Grants.gov and other electronic portals
Familiarity with all components of NIH, NSF and DOD grants and contracts, including knowledge of the Uniform Guidance
Experience and expertise in multi-program, multi-institutional budget and proposal development for complex federal funding mechanisms, including NIH P01, P30, U54, T32, S10
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, organization skills, and ability to function in a fast-paced academic setting
Editing skills, ideally in science or medical field
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