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Associate Research Administrator

Viterbi School of Engineering Los Angeles, California

The Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering

is seeking an Associate Research Administrator to join its research administration team.  Under the direction of the Department Chair, Department Business Manager and faculty, this position will support the daily departmental contracts and grants research activity and other department financial needs. The core job duties are:


Research Proposals:

  • Assist assigned faculty, research associates/assistants, and post-docs with the submission of proposals to assure all necessary university and agency requirements are met.

  • Prepare budgets and gather data necessary to submit proposals in accordance with agency and university guidelines. Disseminate information to Viterbi Business Affairs, the Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG), Principal Investigators, and Agencies.

  • Assist when notifications of awards are received by updating original proposed account budgets. Notify faculty of the receipt of awards and communicate necessary expenditures.

Account Management:

  • Monitor account activity and reconcile accounts to assure that all account activity is related to the project and is charged appropriately.  When discrepancies are found, inform faculty and take necessary steps to correct the transactions, such as expense transfers or object code corrections.  Observe account balances and process budget changes when necessary to comply with original scope of work.  Reference agency guidelines to make sure that budget changes are in compliance with the specified requirements from individual agencies.

  • Process, track, and post expenditures for travel reimbursements, settlements of advances, and invoices on the assigned accounts.  Expedite procurement orders and reimbursements, requisitions, and foreign drafts.

  • Reconcile and review monthly account statements and provide faculty with account summaries and projection reports on a monthly basis.

  • Keep current with information regarding agency funding/spending guidelines and restrictions.  Communicate information to faculty and other research-related staff to ensure that guidelines set forth by agencies are followed.

  • Keep current with USC/School/Departmental compliance guidelines and expenditure policies and procedures, and advise faculty and research related-staff to assure these policies are followed when handling their requests for all purchases, including but not limited to: equipment, travel arrangements, conference registrations, supplies reimbursement, and travel expense reimbursements, etc.

  • Work closely with Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) on questions that arise on continuing and expiring awards.

  • Advise faculty in advance of remaining time of project periods and account balances to assure that extensions on research projects are requested in a timely manner if research has to be extended beyond current project periods. Consult agency guidelines to provide faculty with options regarding extensions on research periods.

Financial Reports:

  • Reconcile and generate monthly post-award financial reports.

  • Conduct forecasts/projections for awards received to assure that original scope of work will be satisfied.  Communicate with faculty, review original proposal submission, and verify applicable fringe and F&A rates to prepare forecasts, annual, and final agency reports. 


  • Prepare payroll for research staff, faculty, research assistants, student workers, visiting scholars.  Prepare and process hiring paperwork for research assistants and research staff.  Assist with immigration visa processing when appropriate.  Enter graduate research assistant awards in the university student information system.

  • Using the eCERT Effort Certification Online System, review & prepare quarterly and semester reports for all faculty that serve as Principal Investigators.


  • Stay informed regarding agency funding/spending guidelines.  Communicate information to faculty and other research-related staff to ensure that guidelines set forth by agencies are followed.

  • Assist SPA and DCG with the preparation of financial and/or progress reports requested by agencies for award continuation and/or final reports.

  • Advise research staff of disbursement & purchasing policies and procedures.  Assure these policies are followed when processing requests for purchases, travel, conference registrations, supply reimbursements, and travel expense reimbursements.

  • Attend department meetings and central meetings (e.g. Viterbi Business Affairs, USC Research Administration Office, DCG etc.)

  • Assist with department events (e.g. seminars, student welcome luncheon, graduation etc.)

Job Qualifications:

Minimum Education:

-Bachelor’s degree

-Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience

-3 years

Preferred Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree with three years of account and budget experience, including knowledge of government and fund accounting and knowledge of university financial systems.  Strong computer skills using MS Office Suite, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.  Excellent communication skills both written and verbal, ability to prioritize, organize, analyze and work independently in a fast paced work environment.

A complete application should include a cover letter and resume/CV uploaded to the completed online application.  Failure to complete all the steps of our application process will negatively impact consideration of your candidacy.


REQ20111649 Posted Date: 01/13/2022

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