Department: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Classification: Financial Svcs Specialist 1
Job Category: Classified Staff
Job Type: Full-Time
Work Schedule: Full-time (1.0 FTE, 40 hrs/wk)
Location: Fairfax, VA
Workplace Type: Hybrid Eligible
Pay Band: 04
Salary: Salary commensurate with education and experience
Criminal Background Check: Yes
About the Department:
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is the largest college at Mason. It offers 19 undergraduate majors, 65 minors, 10 doctoral degrees, 18 master's degrees and 13 graduate certificates. CHSS has 400 full-time faculty, 100 staff, 400 graduate assistants and 200 part-time faculty. The faculty and staff are highly active in research, with $15-$20 million receive in external research funding each year. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences provides a broad and integrative liberal arts education through both the Mason core curriculum and also through the college's majors and minors. The college prepares students well for both civically engaged and financially successful lives.
About the Position:
The primary purpose of this position is to provide CHSS researchers with direct pre-award research administration support as they develop and submit proposals to external sponsors to support their research, scholarship and creative works (RSCW). This position works with faculty to assist in all aspects of proposal development. This work includes identifying funding opportunities, reviewing the program announcement, preparing checklists, working with faculty on budget development, budget justifications and all technical aspects of proposal submission to ensure that proposal submissions meet department, CHSS, university and sponsor guidelines.
Perform pre-proposal activities for a unit (department, program or research center) within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Pre-proposal activities include, but are not limited to:
Assist researchers/PIs in the cultivation of interest in external funding and the identification of funding sources and Requests for Proposals (RFPs);
Consults with faculty to understand their research, provide guidance to help them identify appropriate funding opportunities; and
Tracks consults in the school tracking system to be developed.
Performs pre-award activities including:
Developing proposal submission timelines and checklists to aid proposal development, and ensure proposals meet deadlines for internal review and submission;
Advise the PI on administrative requirements in preparing proposal submissions; compiling proposal documents, and uploading proposal documents so that application packages are in the proper format;
Ensure all applications meet agency and university guidelines and published time tables and deadlines;
Advise PI or department administrators on practical approaches for successful research proposal submissions;
Ensure sponsor guidelines are acquired and terms and conditions are carefully reviewed in a timely manner;
Ensure checklists are prepared to clearly communicate sponsor requirement to PI; and
When required, contract transmittal letters documenting university policies with respect to contractual issues and financial considerations are prepared according to Mason contracting guidelines with input/guidance from OSP contracting staff. Proposal transmittal letters with exceptions noted (as applicable) are drafted for approval and signature of AOR.
Works with PI to create budgets that accurately reflect the effort and resource commitments of each proposal:
Reviews budget with PI to ensure adequate funding request is made for project; appropriate F&A rates are applied; fiscal and operational aspects of proposed and awarded projects are clarified; potential administrative concerns (F&A distribution, cost-sharing, allowable/unallowable cost considerations) are brought to the attention of the CHSS Associate/Director of Pre-Award Research Administration and OSP for resolution;
Ensure budget justifications, with institutional rates/charges explained, are reviewed for adherence to proposed budget;
If subrecipients or consultants will be included on the project ensure all information is gathered prior to submission;
Ensures costs are allowable, appropriate rates are applied, cost share issues are resolved and that budget and budget justification are finalized in time to complete the internal review process before submission to the sponsor;
Budget is prepared using Mason budget format and additional budget forms (if required by sponsor) are completed accordingly;
Electronic files are labeled and saved appropriately for team/office accessibility;
Ensure congruency between budget and budget justification;
Ensure sub-award packets are reviewed for completeness and have agency AOR signature; and
Monitor compliance with agency and university regulations regarding submission; verify all financial information to include application of the appropriate Facilities & Administration (F&A) rate for the project.
Effectively prioritizes each aspect of proposal preparation:
Coordinate and review certain proposal elements (biosketches and facilities & resources) for consistency, accuracy, and completeness;
Review proposals for consistency with sponsor guidelines on budget, format, font size, page limits, excluding narrative content (obtain and review sponsor guidelines);
Assist with assembling the final proposal package to ensure successful integration of all components of the application;
Enter data in the Research Administration Project Management System (RAMP) and sponsor proposal systems as required;
Ensure proposals are entered and routed in a timely manner for further review by School and OSP; and
Thoroughly and accurately complete assembly of submission packet. Ensure, all documents are routed to meet institutional time requirements. Confirm the proposal submission is recorded.
Works closely with the post award team to ensure a smooth transition from pre-award to post award, thereby providing high quality services throughout the sponsored life cycle:
The RA provides effective and efficient workflows and adhere to quality standards; and
The RA is responsible for contributing to the college goal of providing high-quality services for sponsored projects, specifically with the transition of pre-award to post award.
Collates current and pending information (as required by sponsor) or for Just in Time requests; for PI and Senior/key personnel. Puts into correct format; then seeks PI approval;
Communicates well with PI and all partners on the grant submission, including OSP other departments and outside collaborators, in a clear and professional manner;
Ensures all proposal documents are saved according to school process;
Performs additional tasks as needed;
Ensures all proposal documents are completed accurately and stored in the appropriate folder locations;
Represents CHSS in a professional manner and provide assistance within other areas as requested by the supervisor; remaining flexible and positive to assisting on special projects as required.
High school diploma or equivalent;
Considerable (generally three or more years) demonstrated work-related experience, with sponsored projects and contract research proposal submissions;
Experience creating proposal budgets and working with faculty members on revisions as needed;
Knowledge of federal rules and regulations relating to research grant and/or contract activity;
Knowledge of University policies and procedures relating to grant and contracts activity;
Knowledge of University processes, systems and offices related to and/or involved in grant and contract submission and management;
Knowledge of best practices in sponsored research to facilitate successful pre-award research administration;
Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite;
Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to clearly and effectively answer questions from faculty, staff and other customers;
Demonstrated ability to research, investigate, analyze and interpret proposal requirements;
Ability to review, interpret and apply federal, university and sponsor rules and regulations to assigned projects;
Ability to be precise, detail oriented and reliable, work independently, and adapt to frequent changes in work assignments;
Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills; and
Ability to work effectively and respectfully as part of a team.
Bachelor's degree in related field;
Considerable (generally three or more years) experience working in a university environment, working with externally funded research projects;
Basic understanding of conflict of interest, human subject and vertebrate animals and biohazards compliance regulations; and
Knowledge of OMB cost principles and Uniform Guidance 2CFR 200.
Instructions to Applicants:
For full consideration, applicants must apply for Pre-Award Research Administrator at https://jobs.gmu.edu/. Complete and submit the online application to include three professional references with contact information, and provide a cover letter and resume.
George Mason University is a public, comprehensive, research university established by the Commonwealth of Virginia located in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. Mason was initially founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1949, and became an independent institution in 1972. George Mason University is an innovative and inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world.