Associate Research Administrator – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering seeks to hire an Associate Research Administrator. We encourage detail-oriented candidates with strong budget and project management skills – as well as impeccable interpersonal skills – to apply. While candidates with specific experience in research administration in the university setting are preferred, candidates with limited or no direct research administration experience may be considered.

The field of research administration encompasses everything and anything related to sponsored research. Our Research Administrators work in close partnership with Sonny Astani faculty, staff, and students to support the department’s mission (https://cee.usc.edu/research/research-areas/). This position is responsible for managing grant and contract-funded budgets and accounts; supporting faculty members in preparing grant proposals for submissions to sponsoring agencies (usually large government agencies); generating financial reports and forecasts for these sponsored projects; and supporting research operations by managing grant-funded purchases and supporting payroll operations for grant-funded researchers and staff.

The core job duties include:

  • Research Proposals/Grant Solicitation: Support assigned faculty with the submission of proposals to sponsoring agencies. Prepare budgets and gather data necessary to submit proposals in accordance with agency and university guidelines.
  • Account Management: Manage budgets and all account activity for sponsored projects. Manage expenses and procurements and reconcile account activity on a monthly basis.
  • Reporting: Reconcile and generate monthly financial reports. Provide faculty with account summaries and projection reports on a regular (monthly) and as-needed basis. Conduct forecasts/projections to ensure that original scopes of work are satisfied for funded projects. Prepare financial and/or progress reports requested by agencies for award continuation and/or final reports.
  • Payroll: Support grant-funded payroll operations for research staff, faculty, research assistants, student workers, and visiting scholars in collaboration with the central Viterbi HR/Payroll team. Prepare and process hiring paperwork; assist with immigration visa processing when appropriate; certify faculty effort funded by grants.
  • Compliance: Support all elements of institutional compliance to ensure that all policies and procedures are followed across all areas of research administration.
  • Administration: Liaise with faculty, the Viterbi Research Administration department, and USC’s Department of Contracts and Grants to further all elements of research operations. Provide other administrative support as needed.

This is a hybrid position. The Associate Research Administrator is expected to work on-site during training and will subsequently be eligible to work 2 days onsite, with 3 days of remote flexibility. This position is not eligible for fully remote work.

The hourly rate range for this position is $40.88- $46.14. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope of responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

The USC Viterbi School is committed to increasing diversity of its staff and welcomes applications from women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Required Applicant Documents: (1) Resume/CV AND (2) Cover Letter. Please upload your resume + cover letter as a single PDF document in your application.

Job Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with three years of account and budget experience, including knowledge of government and fund accounting and knowledge of university financial systems. Combined experience/education may be a substitute for minimum education.
  • Strong computer skills using MS Office Suite, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Excellent project management skills. Ability to prioritize, organize, analyze, and work independently in a fast-paced work environment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 3 years Minimum Field of Expertise: Basic knowledge of governmental regulations. Strong accounting skills. Competency in project management. A Bachelor’s Degree with broad knowledge of relevant research computer software, e.g., Microsoft Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook. 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.

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