Research Program & Contract Specialist

University of Washington   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Finance
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Posted on July 18, 2020
Req #: 179233
Job Location: Harborview Medical Center
Posting Date: 05/18/2020 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and education 
Shift: First Shift 
Notes: As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.  

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for six consecutive years. 

The Department of Global Health was established in 2007, bridging the schools of Medicine and Public Health, with a mandate to harness the expertise and interdisciplinary power of all UW schools and colleges. Our mission is to improve health for all through research, education, training, and service; to understand and address the causes of disease and health inequities at multiple levels; and to collaborate with partners to develop and sustain locally-led, quality health systems, programs and policies. Driven by tremendous interest among both students and faculty, the Department has grown explosively to more than 400 graduate students and hundreds more undergraduates. We have more than 380 faculty and 1,000 staff working on projects across 130 countries with our deepest ties in United States, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, Mozambique, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua. At the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, opportunity and equity for all.

The Department of Global Health has an outstanding opportunity for a full-time Research Program & Contract Specialist who will provide comprehensive financial and accounting functions such as domestic and international subcontract management, and compliance monitoring, tracking and reporting, and administrative support to our UW Kenya program. This position provides an excellent opportunity to work with highly productive faculty and with a team with strong research administration expertise.  Most of the funding is expensed internationally which results in significantly higher complexity.

Under the general supervision of the Associate Director, this position will be responsible for day to day administrative duties of subcontracts within their assigned contract/group portfolio to include issuance of new subcontracts and modifications, processing purchase requisitions in support of these actions, resolving subcontractor at-risk and funding issues, evaluating any contractual performance issues of subcontractors and maintaining subcontractor procurement file documentation to ensure 100% compliance. Other related duties may be assigned at the supervisor’s discretion.

The individual will work closely with other Grants & Finance Managers on pre-award and post-award subcontracting actions. The selected candidate will have an understanding of fiscal management and an appreciation of financial/analytical issues and profit and loss implications.


Subawards Management
This position performs the following approximately 50 domestic and international Subawards for approximately 20 faculty in the Department of Global Health (actual numbers may vary depending on timing of awards).
Manages domestic and international outgoing subcontracts in the post-award stage including:
• Navigate the complexities of working with international partners, including exchange rates, cultural differences, time differences
• Understands and interprets complex requirements and be able to prioritize and manage updates from multiple sponsors, both federal and non-federal.  Maintains up-to-date knowledge of requirements
• Works with department faculty, other campus units, and collaborative/subcontract institutions
• Manages subcontracts from start to finish ensuring that all sponsor requirements are adhered to
• Takes appropriate steps to initiate, close, and make addenda to subcontracts
• Serves as the primary liaison between the Office of Sponsored Programs, Principal Investigators/Program Managers, Budget Managers, and staff at partner organizations to establish maintain and modify outgoing Subawards
• Assures Subawards agreements are executed in a timely manner by regularly monitoring status and communicating with appropriate internal and external administrative offices
• Coordinates and monitors invoices and advance payments to Subawards recipients through internal DGH system and UW accounting systems
• Ensures correctness of invoices prior to payment and tracks the balance of payments and advance spend down over time
• Proactively contributes clear communication regarding timelines and next steps to increase efficiency and follows up on time sensitive documents and actions
• Works closely with Budget Managers and investigators to monitor existing subcontracts and to prepare for anticipated awards
• Navigates the complexities of working with international partners
• Expertly navigating UW software including Ariba, SAGE, MyFD and others to carry out job functions
• Maintain up to date knowledge of new federal and funding sponsor regulations
• Provides final approval for scope of work and budgets for Subawards before advancing documents to the Office of Sponsored Program (OSP)
• Ensures, with the assistance of Program Managers that all contract deliverables are completed
• Manages tracking tools that present invoice and subcontract information in a clear and meaningful format
• Provides appropriate supporting documentation for review and maintains audit-readiness

Program Management
For the UW-Kenya program (UW Kenya is an NGO registered in Kenya, which serves as an operational arm of the UW in support of multiple projects based in Kenya):
• Provides complex program management and administrative coordination to the UW-Kenya program as follows:
    o Manage staffing intake Catalyst survey for UWK hire requests
    o Manage all hiring steps and coordinate status across multiple teams.
    o Manage the coordination across multiple investigators, the CEO< and multiple institutions to ensure timely execution of contracts and other documents.
    o Serve as point person for multiple critical communication channels including the UW-Kenya website, stakeholder listserv
    o Coordinate the UW-Kenya employee recognition program
    o Coordinate appropriate responses to HR inquiries
    o Project Manage action items across the operations teams located in Seattle and Nairobi – ensure timely and appropriate follow up from all team members.
    o Lead the coordination of required and ad hoc Board meetings
    o Participate in interdisciplinary discussions regarding ensuing UW-Kenya HR policies and workflows remain updated, communicated, and available to all who need to reference them.
    o Educate and advise new investigators in regard to the UW-Kenya hiring process.
    o Additional complex project coordination and special projects upon request
    o Actively participate in team meetings
    o Contribute to the design and implementation of tracking tools as needed
    o Contribute to Process Improvement discussions and process revisions
    o Support special projects as requested

Research Program Support
• Organize periodic meetings with the research focal points across the department to ensure appropriate information flow
• Lead routine eFEC coordinating processes
• Other projects as assigned

• Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Finance or other related academic discipline, or any equivalent combination of education/professional experience
• Two to three years of experience in related field
• Demonstrated ability to maintain harmonious relationships and effectively address complex and sensitive administrative issues
• Ability to exercise independent judgement and manage competing priorities using strong organizational skills
• Demonstrated ability and/or experience handling high volume of diverse tasks, under deadlines, with consistent accuracy and attention to detail
• Flexible and resourceful
• Experience working with international partners and associated complexities, including cultural differences, time differences, exchange rates etc.
• High degree of professionalism and diplomacy; excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with a wide-ranging constituency (e.g., community partners, faculty, staff, students, and institutional officers). Ability to remain personable, professional and organized under potentially stressful situations
• Ability to operate in situations of uncertainty, and trouble-shoot challenges semi-independently while demonstrating appropriate judgment and seeing projects through to completion
• Demonstrated ability to identify, interpret and follow policies and procedures (academic, federal, state, and other)
• Familiarity with general principles and processes in accounting and finance
• Demonstrated problem-solving and fiscal
• Ability to interpret and apply institutional administrative and fiscal compliance guidelines and practices
• Familiarity with the complexities of working with international partners

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

• Experience with federal sponsors such as NIH, USAID and CDC as well as nonfederal sponsors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
• Experience with navigating exchange rates in relation to Sponsored Projects
• Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
• Demonstrated problem-solving and fiscal skills, strong detail orientation and ability to adeptly manage multiple deadline dependent priorities
• Ability to interpret and apply institutional administrative and fiscal compliance guidelines and practices

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or