Job Listings

Senior Sponsored Research Administrator

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts
Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

Reporting to the Business Office Director in the Department of Psychology, the Senior Sponsored Research Administrator (SSRA) manages complex funding portfolios for multiple Principal Investigators (PIs).

Position Description

The SSRA provides life-cycle administration of federal and non-federal sponsored awards and manages internal research funding; proactively establishes relationships with faculty members, postdocs, graduate students and other lab members; providing regular as well as ad hoc financial reports to Department faculty and administrative leadership; reconciling faculty and lab research needs with overall financial picture and making recommendations regarding spending rates; and partners with FAS Research Administration Services (RAS) and Harvard's Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) to provide expert guidance on all research finance issues.

Pre-award responsibilities

  • Interprets funding opportunity announcements to advise PIs on practical aspects of proposal preparation, including formatting requirements and use of submission systems.
  • Helps develop proposal budgets and provides detailed cost analyses and budget justifications.
  • Helps to build non-technical components for submission to external sponsors and internal University programs.
  • Reviews complex award terms and advises PIs on practical considerations that may affect the administration of a project.
  • Collaborates with OSP to resolve issues that occur during the internal review/approval process through submission to sponsor.

Post-award responsibilities

  • Advises PIs on fiscal policies and procedures as they pertain to the management of research funds.
  • Interprets financial and business terms of funding agreements, including review of congruency with sponsor cost and procurement regulations, allowability and allocability of expenses, and consistency with faculty and sponsor objectives.
  • Reviews transactions and works with Psychology team members to appropriately apply internal controls.
  • On a monthly basis, reconciles and updates accounts and provides PIs with expenditure reports and projections.
  • Reconciles faculty and lab research needs with overall financial picture, making recommendations regarding spending rates.
  • Verifies salary allocations to research accounts, including faculty supplemental salary, and coordinates changes to payroll on sponsored awards. Reviews effort statements to ensure accuracy before release to PI certifiers. Works with department administration to resolve personnel related issues and non-routine activities such as layoffs, leaves, etc.
  • Works closely with OSP to establish accounts, maintain accurate financial records, prepare financial reports and invoices, and close out projects.

Other duties

  • Prepares multiple complex and varied financial reports that require selection, preparation and interpretation of data for use in planning and decision making.
  • Confers with FAS RAS and OSP to ensure compliance with FAS, University, and sponsor regulations. Works collaboratively to identify and resolve problems arising during all phases of the sponsored programs lifecycle, and to develop/identify best practices and business process enhancements.
  • Supports team members, covering portfolio tasks for other research administrators as needed.
  • Provides superior service to faculty members and their lab members and establishes effective partnerships with other administrators within the department, school, and University.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Overtime may be required.
Basic Qualifications

At least 3 years of experience managing grants in a research environment, with both pre- and post-award experience. Education may count toward experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Bachelor's degree preferred. Knowledge of federal and non-federal regulations for sponsored research (Uniform Guidance, NIH, NSF, etc.) and familiarity with research compliance issues (conflicts of interest, export controls, IRB, IACUC, etc.). Superior skills in Excel and other applications in Microsoft Office.

Must be capable of working independently in a fast-paced academic environment with multiple competing deadlines. Proven ability to prioritize multiple projects, tasks, and demands under deadline pressure; flexibility is a must. Excellent financial and analytical skills; must be able to review, analyze, and distill financial data for lay audience. Must be able to troubleshoot, problem-solve, and take initiative/ownership of all tasks required. Excellent written, verbal, and graphic communication skills. Demonstrated use of good judgment and ability to work independently with minimal supervision. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion. Must be able to work as part of a team in a high volume, fast-paced environment while maintaining a high level of accuracy, professionalism and good cheer. Demonstrated commitment to customer service and willingness to assume increasing responsibilities.

Additional Information

The Department of Psychology sits within the Division of Social Science, which is strongly committed to creating and supporting a diverse workforce. Respect and fairness, kindness and collegiality, and trust and transparency are among the values we espouse and promote in our workplace culture. We work hard to ensure a healthy, inclusive and positive environment where everyone does their best work in support of Harvard's mission. To learn more about our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging, please see our departmental Diversity Statement.

We regret that we will not be able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.

Work Format Details
This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
405007 Financial Professional (N)

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

Social Sciences

Salary Grade


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
HigherEd360 is part of the HigherEdJobs network.