Sponsored Programs & Grants Manager

Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Jan 13, 2021
Feb 11, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

The Central Administrative Services (CAS) unit of AURA is seeking a Sponsored Programs and Grants Manager to be responsible for AURA’s day-to-day operational oversight and management of sponsored programs and grants activities.  AURA’s sponsored programs portfolio includes cooperative agreements, grants, and government contracts. The position can be based in Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, or Tucson, AZ.

The Sponsored Programs and Grants Manager serves as the central coordination point for all cooperative support agreements, grants, and contracts, and partners with AURA’s NSF-funded Centers to ensure compliance with Uniform Guidance, Sponsor agency requirements, federal, state and local laws, and AURA policy.

This position will manage AURA’s sponsored program funds from pre-award through award close-out while working with programmatic staff from AURA’s NSF-funded Centers on proposal development, budget development, and related pre-award requirements. This position will also manage post-award processes, including monitoring and reviewing of programmatic spending.

This position will collaborate across the organization and work closely with program leadership and the CAS finance and accounting team. 

Essential Functions:

  • Supervise staff and/or performs sponsored programs and grants support functions to effectively ensure that AURA’s sponsored programs administration is in compliance with Uniform Guidance, Agency requirements, federal and state regulations, and AURA policy.
  • Interpret, communicate, and implement policies and procedures pertaining to and consistent with the functions of sponsored programs and grants administration.
  • Document processes and automate procedures to ensure efficient operations and controls.
  • Work with AURA Headquarters, NSF-Funded Center leadership and CAS management to troubleshoot budgeting, proposal submission, expense allowability, reporting, and invoicing issues.
  • Act as primary POC with NSF and other federal agencies for interactions related to management of the terms and conditions of AURA’s awards.
  • Lead, manage, and coordinate cross-functional teams for proposal preparation, contract negotiation and administration of highly complex contracts and agreements through all phases of the awards (from pre-award through close out), while ensuring internal controls.
  • Ensure timely and accurate submission of grant and contract financial and programmatic reports as required by award specific terms and conditions.
  • Monitor expenditures for sponsored projects to ensure costs are allowable as defined by Uniform Guidance and award specific terms and conditions, and that advance approval is obtained prior to incurring costs when required.
  • Monitor programmatic spending and commitments in order to anticipate whether budget modifications are needed, if grants are at risk of being overspent, if no cost extensions are required, and if subrecipients are over- or under-spent.
  • Prepare and negotiate change proposals, budget revisions, extensions, and other contract or grants modifications/amendments, and prepare required supporting documentation.
  • Provide oversight, review, and maintenance of sponsored project award documentation information for sponsored project activities and grants in order to provide assistance in management planning, forecasting, and reporting.
  • Prepare and disseminate information throughout the organization regarding grants and contracts status, compliance, modification, deviation, negotiation, and termination.
  • Provide professional and high-quality customer service to both internal and external customers which includes supporting internal customers’ goals, helping to resolve conflicts and overcome obstacles, adding value, and meeting overall organizational objectives for success.
  • Stay up to date in the use of Sponsored Agency electronic proposal and reporting systems and internal systems impacting Sponsored Program Management.
  • Maintain AURA profile in all electronic submission portals.


Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, Business Administration, Finance, or related field.
  • Minimum of ten years’ experience in contract administration in federally funded environment to include considerable experience in complex contract and grant functions such as: proposal preparation, award negotiations, contract/grant administration, and closeout with government agencies. Five years’ experience managing National Science Foundation awards is also required.
  • Advanced working knowledge of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200), Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and other applicable regulations covering contract and grant administration, closeout procedures and requirements, and proposal preparation and review.
  • Training or education in contract and sponsored agreements negotiations, terms and conditions and risk assessment.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of export and technology transfer issues in contracting and sponsored agreements.
  • Highly developed contract negotiations skills.
  • Possesses an expert knowledge of grant administration.
  • Demonstrated working relationships with federal granting and funding agencies in general, and experience with NSF and NASA.
  • Advanced knowledge of the basic and complex concepts, theories, principles and practices that govern legal and financial transactions.
  • Working knowledge of government contract law, commercial contract law, procurement regulations and practices and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
  • Must possess the ability to anticipate and resolve complex problems, exercise sound judgment, and plan, organize, and prioritize multiple demands efficiently and effectively.
  • Ability to analyze, interpret and evaluate requests for proposals and contractual agreements.

Ability to manage costs and schedules, in order to ensure contract compliance.

  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing, to cooperate with, and gain the cooperation of others.
  • Ability to facilitate and build consensus of diverse ideas and opinions while mitigating or resolving conflict. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders. 

Note:  Substitution of additional relevant education or experience for stated qualifications may be considered.

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities

  • Master's Degree in Business Administration, Legal Studies or Federal Contracting, or JD;
  • CPCM (Certified Professional Contract Manager) designation;
  • Specific certifications such as Grants Management Certificate;
  • Experience in a non-profit, scientific environment.
  • Experience working with ERP systems (Deltek Costpoint preferred) in a Sponsored Programs environment.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms and stoop; kneel; crouch; or crawl.
  • The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • Must possess - sufficient mobility, strength, or dexterity in both arms and hands and both legs to a) reach upward, sideways, downward to work with paper files; b) sufficient mobility and dexterity to utilize computer systems, fax machines, copiers, and other office machines.
  • Must possess – 1) ability to read and understand instructions, drawings, safety guides, and other written materials necessary to perform job; 2) sufficient visual capacity to perform the applicable functions without assistance of visual aids other than eye contacts or eye glasses; 3) sufficient spoken aural capacity to hear and understand instructions, warning bells, fire alarms, or shouted instructions without assistance of auditory aids other than a hearing aid; and 4) ability to impart information orally so that others understand and can respond appropriately.
  • Some travel may be necessary in or outside the contiguous United States.

AURA offers an excellent benefits package including paid time off and retirement plan contributions, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion at AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at http://www.aura-astronomy.org/diversity.asp

This position will remain open until filled. Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates. 

Please list 3 professional references in your application (references will only be contacted later in the recruitment process) and attach a cover letter and CV or resume (PDF files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to employment@aura-astronomy.org. 

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at employment@aura-astronomy.org

****AURA has the majority of staff working remotely during COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape. Offers of employment can be extended and new hires can on-board virtually and arrangements may be made for remote work. Relocation benefits will be available to those eligible when travel can be supported**** 

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and three international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws.