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

For nearly 75 years, the University of Southern California has been dedicated to ensuring that people of every age and from every circumstance can live their lives to the fullest—no matter what. When I entered the profession more than three decades ago I looked to USC because of its reputation for innovation during the 20th century. Today, the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy proudly carries this tradition of leadership forward to improve the quality of life of people and communities across the world.

The Mrs. T.H.Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is looking for a talented and experienced Research Administrator who can manage pre- and post-award sponsored research activity.  We are seeking a dedicated professional with exceptional multi-tasking skills.

Job Summary:

The Research Administrator plays a central and critical role in assisting principal investigators with preparation and submission of research proposals and with management of post-award administration. 

Job Accountabilities:

  • Prepares complex proposals within parameters of sponsored and non-sponsored research guidelines as an individual contributor or in collaboration with faculty members. Oversees and communicates submission process, both paper and electronic.  Resolves issues relating to proposal preparation and submittal process.
  • Develops, prepares, revises, and finalizes project budgets, and provides budget justification
  • Management of post-award expenditures, setting up advance funding, cost-sharing, and sub-contracts.  Preparation of progress reports, processing of effort certifications, account reconciliation, and preparation of budget forecasts and account status reports.
  • Prepares ad hoc reports as needed for university reports regarding the division’s total research portfolio.
  • Collaborates with Office of Sponsored Research to ensure awards are set up properly, including cost-sharing requirements are fulfilled.
  • Reviews and approves expenditures.
  • Develops and communicates reports supporting project status. Manages contract closeout process and audits inquiries.
  • Serves as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) / Interprets complex University and government policies. Identifies and implements process improvements.
  • May negotiate and communicate with federal and state sponsors, industry sponsors, other institutions, and/or University schools or divisions in regard to application issues.
  • Tasked with ensuring compliance with all research policies and procedures including IRB, intellectual property, disclosures, etc.
  • Position advises faculty on proposal submission timelines, policy changes, and funding opportunities and announcements, as well as serves as a liaison between principal investigators and USC Sponsored Projects Accounting, the Office of Contracts and Grants, and sponsoring agencies.
  • Maintains currency on changes within legal, regulatory, competitive economic and technology environments which may affect specialized programs.
  • Keeps payroll manager informed of employee effort on sponsored projects, monitors grant payroll transactions and initiates payroll expense transfers when needed.

Minimum Qualifications include:

Bachelor’s degree and previous experience in research administration, including:  proposal preparation and submission, budget forecasting, report writing, budget justifications, tracking of expenditures including payroll expenses, preparation of effort certification reports.

Excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to understand, interpret, and communicate University policies and procedures.  Proficiency in Excel and web-based tools, Adobe DC, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, SP Cayuse, VPN, Workday Financials, Secure CRT, CAFÉ, and Zoom.  Must be able to multi-task and have excellent organization skills in order to prioritize workload. 

Preferred Qualifications include:

Master’s degree and a minimum of 7 years’ experience. 

*Please upload cover letter and resume to be considered*

USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans; tuition benefits for staff & their family; free professional development online courses; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses & free tram pick up services; discounts to football, basketball & other campus events. To view more information, please visit:

Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s Degree
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education
Minimum Experience:
5 Years
Minimum Field of Experience:
Expert knowledge and fluency of governmental regulations (e.g. FAR, A-21, A-110, A-133,
CAS). Knowledge and ability to understand, interpret, and communicate University policies
and procedures. Excellent oral, written, and communication skills. Excellent analytical
skills; demonstrated proficiency in Excel and web-based tools. Strong accounting skills;
knowledge of accounting principles. Expert in project management, including managing
international collaborations and complex multi-sub award contracts. Knowledge of
personnel management, including proposing effort for and training and hiring of students,
post-doctorals, academic appointments, regular staff, bargaining unit staff, and consultants,
along with the circumstances appropriate for each type of position.

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