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Director of Sponsored Projects and Compliance

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Please see Special Instructions for more details.

Qualified individuals interested in this position must apply online. To ensure full consideration, your application package should be received by September 7, 2017 and must include:
  1. Completed online faculty application
  2. Cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed in this DRI role
  3. Current resume
  4. Contact information for three professional references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission
Submissions not meeting these requirements will not be considered. Further information on DRI can be obtained at or by calling the recruitment office at 775-673-7332.

Posting Details

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Position Information

Posting Number F053
Position Title Director of Sponsored Projects and Compliance
Location Reno or Las Vegas, NV
FTE 100%
Position Summary

Desert Research Institute (DRI) is seeking to hire an outstanding individual to serve as the Director of Sponsored Projects and Compliance (DSPC). This position reports to the Vice President for Research (VPR). The DSPC is responsible for assisting with sponsored project pre-award activities including: interpreting sponsor guidelines; interpreting and negotiating contract terms; preparing or reviewing documents including non-disclosure agreements, intellectual property clauses, teaming agreements, and MOUs; continual fine tuning and improving sponsored projects management systems (ARGIS; DRI’s software for project management); and serving as certifying official for DRI. Additionally, the DSPC is responsible for developing programs, policies and procedures to address compliance requirements associated with sponsored projects including export controls, ethics and conflict of interest. This position can be located at DRI’s Reno, NV campus or at the Las Vegas, NV campus with occasional travel to Reno.

Duties include:

  • Under the leadership of the VPR, the DSPC collaborates with the Division Executive Directors, Division Business Managers (DBMs), and Legal Counsel to provide high quality services to the faculty to maximize the successes in securing and managing grant and contract awards.
  • Serves as administrative liaison for grants and awards between DRI and outside funding agencies including national organizations, local, state, and federal governments.
  • In concert with the DBMs, Principal Investigators, and Legal Counsel, negotiates contracts, reviews terms and conditions, and is responsible for leading the efforts to meet client requirements and assure NSHE policy compliance for agreements and contracts.
  • Serves as authorized organizational representative with signature authority for award acceptance.
  • Works collaboratively with Information Services (IS) and other administrative units to maintain and improve the functionality and responsiveness of DRI’s sponsored project management system (ARGIS).
  • Chairs DRI’s Sponsored Projects Administration Management (SPAM) meetings to address issues relating to the management of grants and contracts from the proposal stage through closeout.
  • In conjunction with other responsible DRI officials, develops policies and procedures to ensure compliance with DRI, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), state, and federal regulations and standards for proper sponsored projects administration. Continually monitors for compliance with established policies and procedures and recommends courses of corrective action as necessary.
  • Serves as the DRI lead for Export Control compliance and is responsible for assessing risk and development plans, policies, and procedures to manage such risks within budget constraints.
  • Provides backup for DBMs during planned vacations, or any other leave, which consists of helping faculty prepare and submit proposals, when needed.
  • Provides training, guidance, policy interpretation, and assistance to Executive Division Directors, DBMs and their assistants.
  • Supports DRI’s Facility Security Officer with the Federal Ownership, Control and Influence (FOCI) certification process for institutional clearance, as needed.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • At least eight years of high-level administrative experience in a university or non-profit research environment in the areas of leadership, contract review and negotiation, grant and contract administration, policy and procedure development, and compliance.
  • Knowledge of the structure, operations, and compliance requirements of federal, state and local financial regulatory and funding agencies.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with federal regulations and standards, specifically OMB Unified Circulars, federal acquisition regulations (FARS), and code of federal regulations (CFRS).
  • Demonstrated experience and familiarity with pre-award grant and contract requirements and fiscal issues, grant and contract law and negotiating changes in language as needed for organizational compliance assurance.
  • Knowledge of Export Control Regulations
  • Excellent negotiation skills with demonstrated strong interpersonal and organizational skills in addition to well-developed analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to review, develop, and implement operations and procedures, formulate policy and develop and implement new strategies and procedures relating to sponsored research.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and explain complex policies and principles to agencies, faculty, and staff.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information, including citizenship information as well as matters learned as part of compliance investigations.
  • Experience in electronic research tracking and administration.
  • Experience with electronic proposal submissions, including, NSF Fastlane, NSPIRES, etc., to support division business managers if needed.
  • Skilled at building and maintaining relationships with subordinates, colleagues and supervisors while fostering a customer service oriented program; and diplomatically and effectively working with multiple constituencies within an academic/research setting.
  • Ability to work in a deadline-driven environment, in a team environment and possessing an attitude towards responsive and helpful customer service.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s degree business, finance, accounting, law, or public administration or related area from an accredited institution.
  • Certified Research Administration (CRA), or comparable certifications.
Conditions of Employment / Physical Requirements

Due to export control oversight duties of this position, ALL applicants MUST be citizens of the United States. Employment is contingent upon a successful completion of a background check.

Salary Information

DRI salaries are competitive and commensurate with qualifications. This position is eligible for DRI’s Faculty benefits package and relocation assistance. For more information about benefits visit:

Note to Applicants

Within 30 working days of his/her start date of the position, the individual who is offered and accepts this position must provide a copy of the transcript(s) up to the highest degree that he/she acquired as awarded by an accredited institute recognized by the United States Department of Education and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

EEO Statement

DRI is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, age, political affiliation, disability (whether actual or perceived by others) or military status or obligation, and veteran status in employment, programs, and activities. It is further required that DRI take affirmative action in all employment matters to ensure that our policies and practices are non-discriminatory.

Posting Detail Information

Position Type Administrative Faculty
Open Date 08/09/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled No

Reference Letters

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
    • Other online resource. Specify URL below.
    • Newspaper or Professional/Trade Journal. Specify title below
    • Association or Listserv. Specify below
    • Personal Contact. Specify person and affiliation below
  2. If the answer to the question above included "specify below" text, please let us know how you found out about this position.

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. * Indicate your highest level of education attained:
    • GED
    • High School Diploma
    • Associates Degree
    • Bachelor's Degree
    • Master's Degree
    • PhD

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Reference Contact Information
Optional Documents