Senior Grants Specialist

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Updated: September 6, 2018
Job ID: 214057
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Bethesda, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Senior Grants Specialist  to support the Research Administration Office located at Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Position works directly with investigators, site administrators, funding agency contacts, and other Foundation departments to manage pre-award and post-award sponsored programs activities including proposal development, budgeting, project execution and evaluation, research administration and close-out. Works in a team setting with other grants specialists and reports to a grants manager.

Job Responsibilities

Pre-award:                                                                                                                           10%

  1. Coordinate with OSP Proposal Team on upcoming proposals.
  2. Work directly with program managers, SPAs and investigators as needed to prepare grant applications by assisting with budget development and budget review, text formatting, overall compliance with submission guidelines of the funding agency and the specific proposal requirements, grant submission authorization from the performance site institution, and various assurances and certifications.
  3. Track and facilitate the internal progress of proposals in view of established deadlines and agency regulations and assists in the collection of documents necessary to process proposals.
  4. Review grant applications prior to submission by the Foundation to funding agencies or private sponsors and assures that the applications are accurate, complete, and comply with all applicable Foundation, Federal, State and County regulations and conform to all policies and regulations of the research performance sites.

Post-Award:                                                                                                                         85%

  1. Review award agreement, and if necessary, negotiate the terms and conditions with sponsors.
  2. Set up kick-off meetings with PIs and PMs before a new award is set up to review sponsor terms and conditions, advise financial structures, plan future work including setting up subcontracts and Subawards, and address other concerns of the Program.
  3. Set up award including other award information, reporting requirements and corresponding budget in the Oracle financial system in accordance with: 1) the sponsor’s award terms 2) the PI or Program Manager operational management needs, and 3) in adherence to the Foundation’s best practices to ensure accurate corporate reporting.
  4. Conduct weekly phone conference with PIs and PMs to discuss pending items and address concerns. Meet in person with PIs and PMs on a monthly basis to discuss pending issues and planning for upcoming activities.
  5. Maintain the grant file in ImageNow.
  6. Maintain expertise in Research Administration by keeping abreast of regulations and other news effecting research administration.
  7. When a new PI is brought in to HJF, set-up a getting to know HJF meeting.
  8. Program Management Activities:
  1. Track reporting requirements, and inform PIs and PMs at least 30 days before a report is due. Make sure all submitted reports are filed in ImageNow. For reports not received in a timely manner, escalate the omission to the grants manager team lead.
  2. Work with Billing Department to ensure all financial reporting requirements are met. Assist Billing Department with billing issues with sponsor.
  3. Coordinate with OSP Subaward Team on initiate new subawards, modifications, and close out of Subaward. Assist Subaward Team to resolve any grants issue (see separate section on subawards).
  4. Process approvals for equipment, foreign travel, animal purchases, personnel actions, etc. Make sure all necessary approvals are received and budget is available.
  5. Review all projects with Grants Manager on a weekly basis to identify any potential problems or come up with continuing plan. Notify PIs and PMs and provide recommendations. Work with PIs and PMs to process necessary requests to continue the project. Work with PIs and PMs on possible contingent plans, i.e. set up tentative No-Cost Extension or funding.
  6. Complete the Task Expiration report each month after speaking with PIs, SPAs or Program Managers regarding the future of expiring tasks.
  7. Assist Subcontracting department with grants issues with subcontacts.
  8. Assist PIs and PMs to follow with other departments to resolve pending issues.
  9. Coordinate other agreement process, i.e. CRADA, MOU, MTA, with the program, Legal, and other departments. Enter Purchase Orders in the system if such agreement requires payments. Process invoices and monitor agreement reporting requirements.

9. Financial Analysis:

Each Week:

  1. Use Budget Summary Reports to identify any budget deficit and potential shortage of funding. Notify PIs and PMs and provide recommendations based on available budget. Perform rebudget to ensure availability of the fund. Obtain prior approval if necessary.
  2. Perform personnel salary analysis using Budget Summary Report, Payroll Detail Report, and Personnel Projection Tool to identify potential salary shortages. Notify PIs and PMs and provide recommendations based on available budget. Perform rebudget to ensure availability of the fund. Obtain prior approval if necessary.
  3. Use Open Commitment Report to identify any POs are older than 60 days. Work with purchasing and PMs to close out these outstanding POs.
  4. Use other available reports to solve other financial issues of the program, i.e. financial report discrepancies, changes in Indirect Cost rates, expense analysis, etc.

Each Month:

a.   Perform burn rate analysis and review spending. Inform PIs or PMs of any concerns including both lack of spending and overspending. Note that lack of spending can be a symptom of problems in operationalizing the award.


  1. Review annual Financial Status Report prepared by billing. For restricted projects, work with billing to ensure carryforwards are properly identified.
  2. If required, ensure new tasks are set up in Oracle to segregate activities by year or identify restricted carryforwards.

10. Subaward:

a. Coordinate with OSP Subaward Team on initiate new subawards, modifications, and close out of Subaward. Assist Subaward Team to resolve any grants issue.

11. Close-out:

a.   Notify PI of specific issues at the end of the award such as:

  1. Consider rebudgeting funds to appropriate categories and then changing controls to absolute.
  2. Notify them of the reasoning behind further justifications required for purchases in the last month of the award
  3. Notify them of the 30 day notice that will go out to employees.
  4. Offer additional support to manage the finances during close-out. b. At close-out ensure final report is filed within terms and conditions

NONESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES:                                                                          5% of time

  1. Uses Oracle, ImageNow, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel applications, and others as needed to perform and enhance preaward and postaward services.
  2. Completes other projects as assigned.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of and experience in research administration or financial and/or accounting management in an academic or business setting with the ability to interpret and understand regulations and operations, and ability to understand different business processes and operate different financial and database systems. Strong customer service, interpersonal and computer skills; ability to meet multiple deadlines and handle multiple priorities, and ability to become proficient on Oracle Grants and Financials software.

Preferred Education/Training Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree (preferably in Business Administration, Health Care Administration, or related field).

Minimum Experience: 4 to 7 years directly related experience in research management or financial management, preferably in grants management at a university, medical school, or nonprofit institution. Strong financial experience will be considered. Federal government contracting experience may be considered.


Physical Capabilities: Requires long hours of sitting and working at a computer.


Work Environment: Office environment.


HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.


Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.