Job Listings

Director, Data and Systems - Sponsored Programs Administration (146285)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, Illinois
Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts
Director of Data and Systems

Sponsored Programs Administration

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) is a service unit under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, supporting the research enterprise throughout the entire lifecycle of an externally sponsored project, from proposal submission to award closeout. SPA consists of both a pre-award section, primarily responsible for proposal submission and award negotiation, and a post-award section, responsible for managing awards from account setup through closeout.

The Sponsored Programs Administration within the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has an opening for a Director of Data & Systems to direct a professional staff dedicated to the support of research administration software and systems, data management including retrieval and analysis, cash management activities supporting the campuses and Systems offices, and training and outreach activities related to system use and support.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit


  • Manage and direct a professional staff dedicated to supporting the University of Illinois' electronic research administrative needs. Monitor the progress of goals and objectives;determine the effectiveness of the organizational structure;review responsibilities assigned to professional and support staff to ensure overall operational needs are efficiently being met;develop strategies to improve and automate overall operations and services.
  • Develop, monitor, and maintain software and electronic system solutions to be compliant and integrated across the life cycle of sponsored projects ensuring alignment with institution, state, federal, and sponsor requirements. Work in close collaboration with the SPA functional teams to facilitate efficient business and system processes and ensure institutional compliance across the entire sponsored project lifecycle including the review and recommendation of software and hardware to improve operational and data management efficiencies.
  • Serve as the executive lead in the strategic development and implementation of electronic research administration software and systems for the University at large, with a focus on training and operational impacts. Lead in prioritization of system initiatives and resource allocations. Direct the development and implementation of training sessions/programs related to system processes to ensure appropriate University officials/staff are kept informed on system functions. Manage and oversee system user security and permissions for systems, distribution groups, directories, etc. Oversee documentation and maintenance of user accesses and perform annual security reviews.
  • Coordinate the collection, interpretation and analysis of data to improve quality and efficiencies and to share this data with strategic decision-makers to further goals and objectives of the SPA and the OVCR. Establish, formulate and communicate sponsored project policies and procedures related to areas of system processes, data retrieval and analysis, billing and cash management.
  • Coordinate and manage queries to capture daily, month-end, quarter-end and fiscal year-end close of sponsored project data for all campuses. Develop and manage queries to generate ad hoc data for special projects to meet the need of the Sponsored Program offices, numerous campus units and external sponsors and audit activities.
  • Oversee and participate in University fiscal year-end activities, including testing and data verification during the yearend roll, participating in project team meetings, data analysis and problem resolution and coordinating and communicating fiscal year-end deadlines and information to SPA staff.
  • Maintain an awareness of technological advancement and innovation in information technology and develop an active and ongoing relationship with the University of Illinois information technology community.
  • Serve as the SPA technical representative at relevant national, regional, and institutional meetings. Provide leadership and direction with other duties appropriate for the position of Director, Data and Systems.


  • Bachelor's degree in information technology or alternate degree field with training and work experience at a level equivalent to a degree in this or a related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience, including demonstrated leadership, organizational and administrative skills related to the development, implementation, and management of electronic systems in a complex academic research institution.
  • A minimum of five years of supervisory experience or equivalent experience demonstrating the ability to lead teams and individuals to develop and accomplish shared goals.
  • Experience in developing electronic research management systems to remain compliant with federal, state, and institutional policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrated participation in relevant systems working groups focused on electronic research administration.


  • Master's degree preferred but a Bachelor of Science will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience in electronic research administration.
  • 10 years' experience with electronic research administration systems preferably at a large academic research institution.
  • Familiarity of current research administration system trends.


Required: A basic understanding of the sponsored project lifecycle from proposal submission to award closeout and an introductory understanding of current external regulations, laws, and sponsor policies related to other areas of research administration including financial and non-financial management of sponsored projects. Demonstrate effective administrative and technical skills and ability to exercise a wide range of independent judgment and discretion in discharging the duties and responsibilities of the position.

Preferred: Demonstrate understanding and leadership in the development and enhancement of automated workflow/processes and systems that support the operation of sponsored programs administration. General knowledge of sponsored accounting principles and general financial management practices.


The Director of Data & Systems position is a full time, benefits-eligible academic professional position. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date.


For full consideration, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references as a single pdf by July 31, 2021. Full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date. For further information regarding application procedures, contact Leslie Lewin Reinhart at

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visitPolicy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois Systemuses E-Verifyto verifyemployment eligibility.

The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

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