The USC Viterbi School of Engineeringâs Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) is seeking an experienced full-time Associate Research Administrator to join its contract and grants research administration team.Â The AME faculty members generate wide-ranging and complex research programs, sponsored projects, grants and contracts.Â With guidance and direction from the Department Business Manager and/or Supervising Research Administrator, this position supports the daily research activities and other financial needs of the department and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) within the AME.Â The position will require the successful candidate to work at least 1-2 days a week on-site at the CAM facility near campus.Â Â Â Â Â
Core Department Accountabilities:
Assists assigned faculty (Principal Investigators) and research team members in the preparation and submission of the administrative components of sponsored and non-sponsored proposals to assure all necessary university and agency requirements are met.Â May resolve issues related to the proposal process and submittal process. Â Â Â Â
Prepares project budgets.Â Gathers data necessary to submit proposals and budget justifications in accordance with agency and university guidelines.Â Disseminates information to Viterbi Business Affairs Office, Department of Contracts and Grants, Principal Investigators and Agencies.
Post-Award /Account Management and Financial Reporting:Â
Administers assigned accounts, monitors actual income, authorizes expenses and may develop projections for departmental and CAM financial commitments.
Â When notifications of awards are received, assists with updating original proposal account budgets and communicates necessary expenditures.Â Confirms any cost sharing requirements are set up properly and fulfilled, and may initiate cost transfers, if required.
Assists with maintaining project reports and data sheets to document and communicate current project status.Â
Monitors account activity and reconciles accounts to assure all account activity is related to the project and charged appropriately.Â When discrepancies are found, inform the faculty and take necessary steps to correct the transactions, such as expense transfers or object code corrections.Â
Consistently monitors AME departmental and CAM account(s) balances, and processes budget changes when necessary, to comply with original scope of the project.Â Reviews agency guidelines to confirm budget changes are in compliance with the specified requirements of individual agencies.Â
Advises research personnel of University disbursement and purchasing policies and procedures.Â Processes, tracks and posts expenditures for travel reimbursements, settlement of advances and invoices on appropriate accounts.Â Expedites procurement orders and reimbursements, requisitions and foreign drafts.Â
On a monthly basis, provides faculty with account summary reports.Â On a quarterly basis, provides faculty with account projections on awards to ensure the original scope of work will be satisfied.
Keeps current with USC/School/Department/Agency compliance and spending guidelines and expenditure policies and procedures.Â Communicates information to faculty and research staff to insure these policies are followed for purchasing requests, including but not limited to, equipment, travel arrangements, conference registrations, supplies and travel reimbursements.Â
Participates in project closeout and extension processes.Â Advises faculty in advance of the remaining time of project periods and the account balances to insure extensions on research projects are requested timely if research will be extended beyond current project periods.Â May collaborate with USC Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) on questions that arise on continuing and expiring awards related to preparation of financial and/or progress, closeout, and audit reports.
May serve as primary communication liaison between faculty principal investigators and the Office of Sponsored Research, Department of Contract and Grants, and program sponsors, as required.Â May serve as a subject area resource on University and government policies related to projects, and may guide other staff in interpreting complex policies.
Payroll and Personnel:
Reviews Monthly Payroll Projection Reports generated by the Viterbi Payroll Office.Â Prepares monthly payroll projections for faculty, staff and students who are supported fully or partially on assigned research project funding. Â Â
Ensures the monthly and bi/weekly payroll supported on the projectâs funding is prepared and set up accurately based on the Schoolâs internal payroll processes,Â Â is submitted timely, charged to appropriate account(s), and paid timely.Â If payroll issues arise, takes immediate corrective action, and communicates outcomes to faculty and affected employees.
Utilizing the Universityâs on-line E-Cert effort certification system, reviews and prepares quarterly and semester reports for faculty who serve as Principal Investigators.Â
When appropriate, may assist with responsibilities related to recruitment, hiring, on-boarding, and immigration visa processing for the projectâs research faculty, research staff and students.Â
Routinely meets with Principal Investigators.
Attends Department, School and Central meetings.
Contributes to process improvements.
May take on additional administrative tasks as determined by the department.
Additional Core Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Accountabilities:
Supports CAM Director in various administrative tasks, including contact management, manage google groups and requests for information.
Organize, track, and set up building access to CAM employees and visitors.Â Serve as facilities liaison with university departments and external vendors to address grounds keeping, service requests, deliveries and security issues at the facility.
Assists in purchasing equipment and supplies for facility.
Processes reimbursements for CAM faculty, staff and students.
Approves timesheets for students working in lab; may oversee their work as appropriate.
Supports Industry outreach efforts for AME department by arranging industry meetings.
Generates invoices and processes service billing for services provided by CAM; manages scheduling of shared resources at CAM.Â Handles deposits for service center payments.
Supports two Manufacturing USA Nodes (ARMI and CESMI) supported by CAM by managing data needed to generate reports.Â
Preferred â Bachelorâs Degree.
â Four (4) years. Proficient knowledge in field of sponsored research and research administration with strong accounting skills.
Required Applicant Documents:
Applications must include a complete and current resume and a cover letter describing interest in this role.Â Incomplete applications may not be considered.Â The documents may be uploaded as one or two documents.
Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum educationMinimum Experience: 3 yearsMinimum Field of Expertise: Basic knowledge of govermental regulations. Strong accounting skills. Competency in project management. A Bachelor's Degree with broad knowledge of relevant research conputer software, e.g.: Microsoft Access, Word, Exel, PowerPoint; Outlook, SPSS, Visio, and SunGard. Experience in creating and analyzing statistical reports. Must be able to utilize computer technology to access data, maintain records and generate reports. Proven oral and written communication skills to interact with other employees.
USC is the leading private research university in Los Angeles—a global center for arts, technology and international business. With more than 47,500 students, we are located primarily in Los Angeles but also in various US and global satellite locations. As the largest private employer in Los Angeles, responsible for $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic and professional schools and administrative units. As a USC employee and member of the Trojan Family—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who make USC a great place to work—you will enjoy excellent benefits, including a variety of well-being programs designed to help individuals achieve work-life balance.