Job Listings

Sponsored Research Administrator

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Laboratory and Research
Harvard Kennedy School


Job-Specific Responsibilities
The Growth Lab is a Harvard research program housed at Harvard Kennedy School's Center for International Development. The Growth Lab works to understand the dynamics of sustainable, inclusive growth and to translate those insights into more effective policymaking in developing countries. The Growth Lab is a high-profile research program with a fast-paced environment with friendly and energetic staff and fellows.

The Growth Lab has an immediate opening for a Sponsored Research Administrator (SRA) to provide life-cycle administration of multi-faceted or non-standard projects, both federal and non-federal. The SRA will proactively establish relationships with the Growth Lab team and with the HKS Research Administration Office (RAO) and Harvard's Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) to provide expert guidance on all sponsored research issues. This position also manages the research administration of a second research program, Building State Capability (BSC).

The Sponsored Research Administrator plays a central role in the support of Growth Lab research initiatives and works closely with the lab's Assistant Director of Programs and Finance Manager. This person is responsible for (1) all aspects of the research administration process from budget development to contract negotiations to invoice collection in collaboration with Growth Lab Program Management, HKS Research Administration Office, and Harvard's Office of Sponsored Programs, (2) collaboration of post-award monitoring and reporting activities, ensuring compliance with HKS, Harvard University and sponsor policies as they specifically relate to data and IRB management, and (4) overseeing the development of the Growth Lab's data management processes and policies to uphold agreed-upon and school-wide security standards. The Senior Research Administrator is an important liaison between the Growth Lab and BSC programs and several central offices such as the HKS Research Administration Office, HKS Office of Financial Services (OFS), Harvard's Office of Sponsored Programs, Global Support Services (GSS) and Office of General Counsel (OGC).

This position requires experience overseeing complex contract negotiations preferably with country ministries (or the like) and must have the skillset to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions. This position requires the experience to operate in a highly complex environment managing political relationships both internally and externally with funders.

Pre-award responsibilities:
  • Track research proposal and grants as they move through pre and post award activities;
  • Develop proposal budgets, detailed cost analyses and budget justifications;
  • Provide policy interpretation on sponsored, grant and gift parameters in accordance with university and funder policies and procedures;
  • Liaises closely with HKS Research Administration;
  • Collaborates with OSP to resolve issues that occur during the internal review/approval through submission to sponsor; and
  • Administers grants to ensure accuracy and compliance with award and institutional guidelines.
Post-award responsibilities:
  • Manage sponsored, grant, and gift contracts;
  • Review transactions and work with the Program and Finance teams to appropriately apply internal controls;
  • Verify salary allocations to research accounts, including faculty supplemental salary, and coordinates changes to payroll on sponsored awards. Review effort statements to ensure accuracy before release to PI certifiers;
  • Works closely with the Growth Lab team and Harvard OSP to establish accounts, maintain accurate financial records, prepare financial reports and invoices, and close out projects;
  • Keep grant proposal team apprised of developments in post-award grants management, ensuring financial compliance with federal regulations and agency guidelines.
Typical Core Duties
  • Oversee such pre-award areas as: funding, searches, proposal submission, document tracking and reporting
  • May act as signatory for the University, to endorse, negotiate, and/or accept grants and awards
  • May function as a subject matter expert and/or project lead
  • Evaluate pre- and post- award research administration procedures, recommend improvements
  • Perform complex post-award activities including award approval and set up, analysis and reporting and long range financial planning
  • Provide technical advice for and problem resolution for a school/unit financial community on research administration
  • Act as the department representative at the School/University level
  • Ensure financial compliance with University policies and procedures and applicable federal and sponsor rules and regulations
Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience required
  • Minimum of 5 years' relevant work experience
  • Advanced knowledge of sponsored research regulations
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, the ability to interact well with faculty, staff, and research partners in developing countries
  • Experience with federal awards and grants
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, advanced Excel skills
  • Experience with project budgeting, oversight and reporting of sponsored awards
  • Demonstrated knowledge of sponsored research rules and regulations
  • Experience in an institution of higher education a plus
Working Conditions
  • Work is performed in an office setting
Additional Information
This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending one year from date of hire, with possibility of renewal.

We regret that the Harvard Kennedy School does not provide visa sponsorship.
Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks.
Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.

Please note: During the current period of Covid-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with transition to onsite in Cambridge, Massachusetts when the office reopens.
We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 and lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University's COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University's "COVID-19 Vaccine Information" webpage:

Harvard Kennedy School's Mission and Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

At Harvard Kennedy School, fostering a diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels they belong is a matter of basic fairness consistent with our core values as an institution. It is also essential to our mission of improving public policy and leadership-because recruiting the best people and creating an environment where they can thrive make us better at what we do, because we learn more from people with different perspectives, and because we work in diverse groups and serve diverse societies.

Learn more about Harvard Kennedy School's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Harvard offers a generous benefits package including:
  • Time Off:3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision:We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement:University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program:Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
  • Transportation:Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options:Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
    Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.
Salary Range: $69,100 - $116,100
Note: Starting salaries typically fall in the lower half of the salary range; however, they are ultimately determined by the scope of the position, the candidate's relevant experience, and internal equity.

Job Function

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
F1357P Research Admin III PrPs


Center for International Development

Time Status

Salary Grade

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

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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