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Director, Research Administration, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Office of the Dean- Senior Leadership Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California is a private global tier 1 research institution dedicated to the public good.  The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work reflects the university’s fundamental purposes through its eminent interdisciplinary faculty, intensive research and teaching programs, and deep civic engagement.  The School is noted for its innovative research enterprise and is recognized by the National Science Foundation as among the top 5 schools of social work in federal research expenditures in the nation. Along with its established MSW program, the School also has extensive doctoral student and postdoctoral scholar programs that are engaged in faculty research. A strong research infrastructure is maintained by staff experts in research administration, data analysis and database management and research communications under the direction of the Research Council, an elected faculty governance body.

The school is now seeking a Director of Research Administration to manage the daily administrative operations of defined research areas including grant and contract proposal preparation and approval, management of financial transactions, preparation of regular reporting on status of funding and approval of research expenditures. This person collaborates with the Dean, Research Council, Principle Investigators and university offices, Contracts and Grants, and Sponsored Projects Accounting on administrative operations and strategic planning.

  • Works with information from internal systems, university grant management tools, and other systems to monitor purchases, actual, and encumbered expenses as well as salary distributions. Must have a strong working knowledge of sponsored research including budget management for federal and nonfederal awards, contracts and subcontracts. Must demonstrate a strong aptitude for numbers.
  • Works with budget analyst and others as necessary to reconcile information/reports and provides investigators with regular financial status reports in user friendly-formats. Expected to have monthly meetings with investigators where projections are provided and reviewed to avoid deficit spending.
  • Responsible for managing all time and effort reporting for defined areas of responsibility. Works with PIs to regularly monitor information, make changes as appropriate. Report to PI and Research Council any unusual or non-compliant information.
  • Space management and planning for funded projects and proposals, works closely with Research Council to ensure policies are implemented and enforced in regards to space management
  • Coordinates and supports overall grant proposal submission process including budget and scope of work development for new and non-competing submissions. Advises investigators of grant policies and formal contents,- due dates for progress reports, and compliance requirements. Reviews proposal in final stage prior to the Dean and university for signature and submission to sponsor.
  • Ensures overall compliance and proper implementation of policies and procedures for Principal Investigators.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree; Master’s degree preferred  5-7  years of experience
  • CRA certificate required
  • Documented grants management, budget preparation and financial management principles and regulatory requirements knowledge and experience.
  • Previously demonstrated understanding of policy and practice governing research compliance within a large institution.
  • Experience with computer systems required, including web based applications and Microsoft Office applications including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.


  • Decision Making: Ability to make decisions that are guided by precedents, policies and objectives. Regularly makes decisions and recommendations on issues affecting a department or functional area.
  • Problem Solving: Ability to address problems that are varied, requiring analysis or interpretation of the situation using direct observation, knowledge and skills based on general precedents.
  • Independence of Action: Ability to follow precedents and procedures. May set priorities and organize work within general guidelines. Seeks assistance when confronted with difficult and/or unpredictable situations.
  • Written Communications: Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in written English with internal and external parties.
  • Oral Communications: Ability to comprehend and converse in English to communicate effectively with faculty, staff, and external parties.
  • Knowledge: Ability to demonstrate full working knowledge of standard research administrative and organizational concepts, practices, procedures and policies with the ability to use them in varied situations.
  • Team Work: Ability to act as a team leader for small projects or work groups, creating a collaborative and respectful team environment and improving workflows. Results may impact the operations of one or more departments.
  • Professional Service: Ability to provide a high level of professional service to faculty, staff and external parties in a professional, service-oriented, respectful manner using skills in active listening and problem solving. Ability to remain calm in stressful situations

Minimum Education:
Bachelor's Degree
Minimum Experience:
5 Years
Preferred Education:
Master's Degree
Preferred Experience:
7 Years
Minimum Field of Expertise:
Contract and Grant Administration

REQ20041082 Posted Date: 03/03/2017

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