Assistant Director of OSPRA
Detroit, MI Sponsored Research
Job Type


Job ID


Position Classification

FT Administrator 

Position Summary

To provide assistance to the Director of OSPRA in fulfilling the mission of the department which is to attract the resources necessary to enhance research, scholarship and creative programing at University of Detroit Mercy. OSPRA encourages and facilitates submission of successful proposals to government agencies in support of high-level strategic initiatives as well as faculty and staff projects that help the University pursue academic excellence. 

Essential Duties


· Reports to the Director of the Office for Sponsored Programs and Research Activities.

· Assists in development and submission of all proposals to ensure they are consistent with University and sponsor guidelines. 40%

· Facilitates faculty and staff professional development to increase their capacity to seek external funding through training, participation in faculty orientation, mentoring, workshops, dissemination of resources (i.e. CITI), and one-on-one consultations. 10%

· Collaborates with the Office of Budget and Finance to complete budgets that ensure the fiscal integrity of all externally funded research projects and post award processes. 3%

· Proactively connects faculty with information about grant opportunities in their areas of interests including federal, state, regional, corporate and local municipal sources. 5%

· Helps to ensure the University maintains up-to-date scholarly, fiscal and research policies, monitoring intellectual property rights, conflicts of interest, IRB approval and other areas of compliance across federal, state and local agencies. 5%

· Interacts with personnel and leadership across all five of Detroit Mercy’s campuses to facilitate grant-supported activities. 2%

· Conduct subject-matter research documenting “best-practices” to assist in development of highly competitive proposals. 5%

· Review NOFOs (Notice of Funding Opportunities) preparing briefings and outlines to help faculty and staff author well-conceived proposals. 5%

· Works with Marketing and Communications to promote the scholarly achievements of Detroit Mercy faculty and staff. Varies

· Represents Detroit Mercy in appropriate national, state and regional activities. Varies

· Assist faculty and staff in completing logic models, timelines and management plans for inclusion in grant narratives. 5%

· Interface regularly with constituents through updating the website, distributing a newsletter, and maintaining electronic systems for dissemination of information. 5%

· Assist with the gathering of institutional data for grant submissions; and assist the Director in coordinating external partnerships; and working with other institutions. Varies

· Review and draft contracts, sub-awards and unfunded agreements, routing them for approval. 5%

· Provide oversight of the administration of awarded grants and contracts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, contractual terms, and other requirements of the externally funded activity. Varies

· Review proposal packages to make sure they are complete and in compliance with institutional policies, applicable laws, regulations, and certifications. Varies

· Facilitate effective internal reviews, submit grant proposals to external funding agencies, corporations or organizations on behalf of the University. 5%

· Maintain essential records and files relating to grants and contracts in Cayuse. 5%

· Coordinate with the Institutional Research Board (IRB) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) on ensuring compliance with regulations regarding human subjects, animal research and other areas as necessary. 3%

· Review modifications in awards, requests for extension and revisions in implementation schedules, assisting principal investigators with negotiations with agency representatives concerning these issues; supervise the preparation of correspondence regarding grants and contracts. 5%

· Interface with federal agencies, such as DOE, NSF and NIH, setting up, facilitating and preparing principal investigators for pre-award meetings. Varies

· Assist in planning an annual research symposium, working in conjunction with the library to compile faculty publications and other scholarly activities. 2%

· Help to staff committees and manage internal grant competitions. Varies

· Work collaboratively with the OSPRA Director to promote research development and creation of strategic priorities across the Detroit Mercy community. Always

· Perform other duties as assigned.



Minimum Qualifications 

A college degree

Two years to five years

Preferred Qualifications

· Master’s degree in business administration, liberal arts (science, English, humanities, etc.), social work, engineering or a related field. *Highly qualified candidates with have a diverse background that combines science/engineering fields the social sciences.

· Some graphic design capabilities and experience in web management.

· Ability to work with applications such as Survey Monkey, Microsoft Forms, Lime Survey, Constant Contact and other means of increasing department efficiencies.

· Experience in compliance management and a broad understanding of regulations relating to grants, sub-awards, memorandums of understanding and contracts.

· Understanding of federal regulations and agency guidelines for grants management and sponsored research, including NSF, DOE, NIH, NEA and NEH and knowledge of OMB Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards."

· Knowledge of and experience with, NSF FastLane/, ERA Commons/ASSIST, and other online proposal submission and reporting mechanisms.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

· Bachelor’s degree in business administration, liberal arts, social work, engineering or a related field.

· Three or more years of experience in higher education the areas of sponsored projects, contracts, philanthropy and/or grants administration.

· Broad working knowledge of federal grant funding policies, submissions, pre-award and post-award management.

· Basic comfort level working with EXCEL with advanced skills in WORD and PowerPoint.

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

· Knowledge of financial, audit and database management.

· Excellent customer service skills and ability to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

· Must have excellent written communication skills, editing and proofreading skills, and the ability to communicate complex guidelines and regulations to a variety of constituents.

· Must be able to handle multiple priorities and meet deadlines.

· The selected candidate should be comfortable with identifying and pursuing creative problem solving, as well as have the ability to effectively work with Detroit Mercy’s diverse staff, faculty and students.

· Values transparency and brings a growth-mindset to the position.

· Must have a strong commitment to the mission of University of Detroit Mercy and its role in the City of Detroit, the region and the state.

Physical Requirements

Job may require lifting light weight objects (1 to 10 pounds) with no repetitive bending or stooping. Occasionally lift average weight objects (1 to 10 pounds).

Work Environment

Regular exposure to favorable conditions such as those found in a normal office.

Salary/Pay Information
Commensurate with Experience 


Certified Research Administrator (CRA) desired. 

Anticipated Work Schedule

Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.