Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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FLSA Designation
Date Issued: 2008-10-24
Academic Affairs/Provost
Title: Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
Function and Responsibility
This position is responsible for establishing and developing an Office of Sponsored Programs at Lake Superior State University (LSSU). The incumbent will be responsible for increasing grants and contracts activity in the university by identifying relevant grants for university faculty and staff members, working with faculty and staff to prepare grants for submission, and processing grants once they have been obtained. The incumbent will also be responsible for working with accounting staff, departments, granting and government agencies and others to assure compliance with all required guidelines.

This position calls for an entrepreneurial generalist who is able to identify grant/contract opportunities, stimulate grant getting among faculty and staff, and oversee the submission and administration of the grants/contracts until the obtained funds become large enough to add additional staff to handle functions such as compliance.

Candidates should have a background in the management of grant/contract with knowledge of both the pre-award and post award activities with the federal and state and contracting agencies. The incumbent will also participate in the negotiation of research agreements, material transfer agreements and non-disclosure agreements desired.
Duties and Responsibilities
Identifies Institutional Opportunities for Grants and Contracts: Identifies research interests and capabilities of faculty and staff and opportunities that represent a good match with institutional strengths and needs. Scans the environment to find grant seeking opportunities relevant to faculty staff and institutional needs and strengths.

Stimulates Grants and Contracts: Works with faculty and staff to stimulate submission of grants and contracts. Supports faculty and staff with grant and contract submissions. Identifies institutional and other grant and contract opportunities, writes and submits grant and contract applications in a timely and complete manner. Serves as a credible liaison between university and granting agencies.

Develops and Oversees Grant Forms, Policies and Compliance Audit Functions: Serves as institutional expert on grant administration and agency rules and regulations relating to compliance issues. Helps establish grant processing and intellectual property forms, policies and procedures to assure that all grants and contracts are submitted, processed and administered in a manner consistent with laws and institutional regulations. In conjunction with other institutional offices, oversees obtained grants and contracts to see that all reporting requirements are met and that grant/contract is implemented in a manner consistent with all relevant requirements. Brings compliance issues that can’t be directly resolved to attention of university administration. As relevant, studies existing and new legislation and regulations in order to comply with federal, state and local legal requirements and regulations. Ensures that overall performance activities and related documentation and reporting are done in compliance with grant requirements. Obtains knowledge of, and works with other staff offices, to assure that institution complies with federal auditing requirements and knowledge of regulatory requirements, e.g., OMB Circulars A-21, A-110, and A-133. Assures all those obtaining grants and contracts are familiar with issues related to compliance programs and internal audits.
Measures Outcomes in Grants and Contracts: Oversees grants and contracts by monitoring goals, progress and compliance of grant contracts and partnership agreements to ensure positive performance. Ensures that overall performance activities and related documentation and reporting are in compliance with grant requirements. Monitors the effectiveness of appropriate compliance and fiscal controls for grants and contracts.

Prepares Reports: Assures that all required reports are submitted accurately and on time. Works with supervisors to design regular reports on grant and contract activity within the university.

Training and Consultation: Provides training sessions on grants and contracts as needed to stimulate submissions of grants/contracts and compliance with submission and administration requirements. Consults with prospective submitters of grants/contracts. Develops and delivers training and /or orientation for employees selected to serve as grant project directors. Participates in planning discussions as needed for business processes and organizational readiness for implementation or new administrative initiatives which will impact grant administration and support services.

Develops Grants and Contracts Infrastructure: As funds becomes available and grant/contract research activity expands at LSSU, develops a full sponsored programs office with staff in all major functions needed to handle the volume of work received. Works with supervisors to develop committee structure to meet various grants and contracts functions. Works with University Institutional Research Review (IRB) board to ensure institutional compliance. Develops and maintains dashboard for relevant outcome criteria. Shares information with supervisors.

Other Duties: Performs other duties as assigned.

Supervision Received: Reports directly to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and indirectly to the President.

Supervision Given: Indirect supervision and evaluation of faculty and staff involved with grants and contracts.

Coordination: Works closely and effectively with faculty and staff around the University and partners with those outside the University as needed to obtain grants and contracts for the university. Must rely on power of persuasive and skills of cooperation rather than primarily on position power to get work done.
Embraces and behaves in a manner consistent with institutional mission/vision and values.

Knowledge of grants/contracts administration in institutions of higher education and funding agencies. Experience in compliance management and a broad understanding of regulations related to grants.

Interpersonal effectiveness in working cooperatively with others to stimulate grant/contract submission and to handle people effectively while also assuring that all rules, guidelines and required progress are met.

Ability to manage and coordinate multiple projects and to meet critical deadlines. Strong persuasive abilities to influence cooperation and compliance with work methodologies without direct reporting authority.

Attention to detail with ability to assure all grant/contract requirements are met.

Strong financial, audit and computer skills. Ability to collect, analyze and interpret varied information and data, both in statistical and narrative form. Business computer applications, including word processing programs, spreadsheets, statistical analysis techniques. Proficiency in word processing, spreadsheets and database skills.

Knowledge of grant administration procedures including principles, practices, and methods of grant administration and compliance including accounting for multiple funding streams.

Excellent analytical, organizational, project management, marketing, budgeting, negotiation, strategic and business planning, communication and interpersonal skills.

Flexibility, resourcefulness, and creative approaches to complicated problems as well as an understanding of the wider institutional context in which these problems must be addressed.
Ability to conduct or work cooperatively with departments and institutional accounting staff and others to conduct internal audits. Works cooperatively, and well, while all while maintaining compliance with required rules and regulations.

Bachelor's degree in business or related field required. 3-5 years experience with grants and contracts, preferably relevant to a public university.

Physical and Mental Demands
Typical office environment; may require travel.

This is an Administrative Professional (AP) exempt position. Incumbent is expected to exercise judgment and to work hours as needed to get the job done. Evening and weekend work is required as needed to meet deadlines and complete required work.

NOTE: This job description does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise. Employment is a voluntary”at will” relationship.


Adequate physical fitness to be able to sit and concentrate for long periods of time; use of gross motor skills to allow inspection of various University and area facilities and equipment; use of fine motor skills to operate computer; problem solving ability; ability to understand and work with numbers; ability to see, hear, and speak with or without the use of aids to perform normal office tasks.

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