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Senior Research Administrative Director

Preventive Medicine Los Angeles, California

The Department of Preventive Medicine, at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, is seeking a Senior Research Administrative Director to join its team. 

Reporting to the Chair, the Senior Research Administrative Director directs and oversees administrative, financial, and research operations for the Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, through subordinate managers, supervisors and professional staff. Provides administrative leadership, guidance and oversight of all administrative and operational functions including finance, business strategy and planning, program development, human resource management, compliance, research administration, and facilities. Collaborates with the department Chair on strategic planning initiatives, quality assurance, and staff development. Develops, recommends, and implements operating policies and procedures for the effective and optimal functioning for the department as a whole. This is the top administrative position for the Department of Preventive Medicine with a total expense budget of $47 million comprised of approximately 110 faculty and 200 staff.

Specific duties include:

Research Operations Management

The Senior Research Administrative Director is responsible for overseeing the department’s research activities.  Oversees the grant proposal submissions (Federal, State, and Private including Industry) for the department including review and approval of proposed salaries and effort, appropriate application of fringe benefits and indirect cost rates. Reviews, approves, and tracks any cost sharing commitments by the department. Maintains currency with, understands and enforces university and Keck research compliance policies for use of research subjects, conflict of interest, biosafety and effort certification. Ensures adherence to sponsor and USC requirements, deadlines, and internal schedules for tracking proposal development and responses are communicated.

Financial Management

The Senior Research Administrative Director directs the overall financial operations of the department.  Specific responsibilities include directing overall finances across all funding groups, dean’s allocations, research, and outside contracts.  Performs short-and long-term financial forecasting and planning, analyzing financial data for trends, making major budgetary and resource allocation decisions, advising faculty and/or staff regarding budget preparation.  Implements and manages strong internal controls to ensure the department’s strong financial status.  

Strategic Planning

Responsible for strategic planning and evaluation. This position fosters and stimulates wide engagement in development, execution and monitoring of the current and future strategic plans to optimize the research mission. This includes leveraging data and analytics, developing tracking tools, and fostering transparent internal and external communication.

Personnel Management

Oversees personnel operations to include employee engagement efforts to cultivate an employer of choice work environment.  Determines organizational structure, reporting relationships and short- and long-range staffing needs based on department goals.  Partners with HR leadership to ensure appropriate hiring practices, performance management, professional development, and succession planning for all areas.


Ensures effective and transparent communication among faculty and staff, adapting to meet evolving member and departmental needs. This fosters collaboration and engagement across the center as well as with external stakeholders.


Ideal Experience

·Candidates for the position of Senior Research Administrative Director will be selected from a diverse pool and will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

·Seven (7) years of progressive, successful leadership experience preferably in academic research. 

·Master’s in business administration or related advanced degree is required, with additional education or experience in strategic and operations management viewed favorably.

·Demonstrated managerial and business acumen.  Exceptional analytical skills.  In particular, strong business and financial aptitude, with the experience and demonstrated understanding of complex pressures facing research and academics. 

·Previous responsibility and success in establishing and implementing strategic and operational plans.

·Ability to engage and motivate a senior professional team and provide the necessary guidance, mentorship, and direction to achieve strategic goals and achieve high employee engagement.

·Strong strategic written and verbal communication skills, including strong grant writing skills.

·Demonstrated ability to work well with people at all levels.   Culturally sensitive and compassionate.  A creative problem solver.  A reputation as a consensus builder and someone who can resolve conflict and manage through ambiguity.

Critical Competencies for Success

·Leadership Presence:  Must be confident, composed and courageous while demonstrating integrity and humility. The successful candidate will have a track record of identifying, supporting and developing future leaders.

·Team Builder:  Must be able to inspire and build strong, collaborative relationships with colleagues, faculty leaders and a staff in a complex, multi-site environment.  He/she will possess the ability to interact with associates at all levels of the organization in order to solve problems.  The successful candidate will successfully drive a true sense of team and will always prioritize the needs of the organization over any individual needs.

·Operational Excellence:  The successful candidate will drive operational excellence through data metrics and broad-based collaboration, sustained through an effective governance model that empowers individuals at all levels while ensuring appropriate elevation of critical issues.

The successful candidate must demonstrate, operate, and lead with core values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence.

Minimum Education: Master's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 7 years Minimum Field of Expertise: Degree in Business Administration, Accounting, or related field. Management experience in a large, multi-faceted research or clinical department/division for a school, corporate or hospital environment. Thorough knowledge of management principles, budgeting, finance, accounting, marketing, and applicable laws/regulations.

REQ20062629 Posted Date: 06/29/2020 - Thru date - 2020-08-31

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