Job Listings

Research Portfolio Administrator

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Job Summary
The Research Portfolio Administrator (RPA) is responsible for managing a less complex portfolio of sponsored and non-sponsored funds for a group of Principal Investigators (PIs) at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The position reports to the Assistant Director of Research Administration and Finance or Senior Research Portfolio Manager. The RPA is a member of a faculty support team that provides the best possible customer service to the PI and lab members in support of their research activities. S/he uses independent judgment and problem-solving skills to ensure compliance with sponsor and donor regulations, School and University policies, and Area procedures. This is a high-volume, fast-paced, and dynamic environment. 

Job-Specific Responsibilities
  • Provides life-cycle grant support for a group of PIs who typically have awards with standard terms and conditions and standard reporting requirements.
  • Pre-award responsibilities include providing direct support to faculty and administrators with proposal preparation, developing budgets, budget justifications, supporting documentation, and required institutional information. Shepherds supported proposals through the SEAS and University proposal review and submission process. Ensures compliance with federal regulations and University, SEAS and sponsor policies.
  • Post-award duties include monthly budget and expenditure reconciliation, financial projections, interpreting financial policies and applying best practices in order to effectively communicate financial reporting to PI, sponsors, and related University offices.
  • Utilizing the PI Dashboard, manages faculty-designated funding (sponsored and non-sponsored funds), including monitoring balances and deficits, performing spending projections, developing financial reports, and maintaining working knowledge of basic fund information (ie terms and end dates).
  • Conducts financial analysis; presents financial reports that include committed and available balances across all funds, both sponsored and non-sponsored. Utilizes the PI Dashboard, HART, and OBI for these and other ad hoc financial queries.
  • Strategizes with PI on resource/personnel allocations, including initiating and processing required forms and documentation (ie Employee Action Forms).
  • Reviews and approves financial transactions, such as reimbursements for travel and corporate card payments, PCards, and Buy2Pay.
  • Processes subaward invoices for the research administration team using the Buy2Pay system.
  • Assists PI with programmatic reporting requirements of the various funding organizations, including progress reports.
  • Facilitates the effort certification process and advises the PI on related policies.
  • Serves as liaison with internal departments. Collaborates with external research groups and their institutional representatives, and communicates with sponsor agencies, as needed.
  • Works in collaboration with SEAS Finance to administer capital equipment, including purchasing, tagging and equipment inventory.
  • Provides guidance to lab administrators on finance and sponsored research matters including systems, policies, and procedures.
  • Other duties as required.
Basic Qualifications
2 years of professional administrative experience required

Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Bachelor's degree preferred
  • At least two years of experience working in research administration, finance, or accounting strongly preferred
  • Experience in an academic or related setting (such as hospital or non-profit) preferred
  • Financial management experience with both sponsored and non-sponsored funds preferred
  • Working knowledge of OMB circulars, 2 CFR 200, FAR, and other federal sponsored research regulations preferred
  • Working knowledge of federal and non-federal sponsors' policies and procedures (such as NSF, NASA, DARPA, or NIH), and current issues in sponsored research administration preferred
  • Strong skills in MS Excel, Adobe, MS Word, and ability to learn new software and systems (including web-based tools)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize duties and meet multiple deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and as a team player with a diverse constituency
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion
  • Excellent customer service and problem solving skills
  • Ability to embrace change
Additional Information
  • Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to be considered for this position 
  • The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences does not provide visa sponsorship for administrative and staff positions.
  • Many SEAS employees are eligible for Flexible Work Arrangements, which may be explored during the interview process.
  • Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position. Please note that once regular operations resume on campus, this role will be based on campus in Cambridge, MA.
Commitment to Diversity
SEAS is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment. Some of our core values include respect for all, serving the greater good, and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

About SEAS
The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences serves as the connector and integrator of Harvard's teaching and research efforts in engineering, applied sciences, and technology. Our core tenets are educating broad-minded students; interdisciplinary research; integration across disciplines; and balancing theory, experimentation and practice to create an unmatched environment for learning and exploration. Through collaboration with researchers from all parts of Harvard, other universities, and industry, we bring discovery and innovation directly to bear on improving human life and society. For more information about us, please visit

Job Function

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
403127 Financial Associate II


SEAS Research Administration

Time Status

Salary Grade

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

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.
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