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Director of Research Development

University System of Maryland Office
East Case, MD
Closing date
May 18, 2024

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Organization Type
Posted: 4/4/2024

Best Consideration Date: 5/17/2024

Closing Date: Open until filled

Department: h & Development



The Director of Research Development is responsible for supervising daily pre- and post-award research administration processes within the USM. The Director contributes to a service-focused culture and works with the system institutions to address system-wide research administration needs and propose improvements to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. It will be critical for this role to establish relationships with PIs and research leadership within the University System of Maryland as well as with research administration leadership throughout USM's 12 institutions and 3 regional higher education centers.

The role involves actively addressing challenges in research operations, creating a new structure within USM to support researcher needs, maintaining regular communication with USM leaders and staff, and ensuring efficient communication about challenges, issues, or delays in USM research operations. As this is a newly created function, this role will be responsible for creating and implementing many procedures and policies related to research administration functions within USM.


Manages all aspects of pre- and post-award activities within the USM office:

Establishes clear roles and responsibilities, standard operating procedures, research related policies, and clear expectations for the management of sponsored research within the USM Office.

Manages all aspects of pre-award proposal development (including budget development), preparation, review, and submission on behalf of USM researchers.

Manages all aspects of post-award management, including ensuring USM is financially compliant with federal and sponsor guidelines for externally sponsored awards.

Serves as the point of contact for faculty and staff throughout the proposal development and submission process and once an award is made throughout the life cycle of that award.

Establishes and leverages broad networks and builds collaborative relationships to ensure a seamless process for the life cycle of sponsored research studies at USM.

Interfaces with funding agencies, as needed, to seek clarification on guidelines or obtain additional information.

Reports data related to grant performance.

Completes external reports, like the National Science Foundation HERD and Facilities Surveys, and can provide technical assistance to other institutions on their completion.

Communicates grant opportunities to PIS at the USM.

Works in partnership across the USM on joint submissions for large scale grant efforts.

Improves on current or creates new processes and systems for research administration within the USM Office:

Serves as a subject matter expert, advising research staff and the broader research community on a variety of areas impacted by or relating to research administration, including ensuring USM remains compliant with federal and sponsor regulations.

Addresses process bottlenecks, roadblocks, and other challenges to ensure services are investigator-focused, while maintaining proper compliance protocols.

Keeps researchers and research leadership informed about changes in grant regulations and policies.

Implements continuous improvement processes for streamlining pre- and post-award activities.

Compiles and manages research administration-related job aides, presentations, and other training materials into a repository easily accessible by staff.

Learns about and understands research administration needs across the USM and proposes and implements solutions to address those needs (where applicable) at the system level:

Designs and develops commonly used templates for faculty and research staff, ensuring content aligns with industry standards, organizational policies, and best practices.

Creates and maintains reference documentation, including manuals, guides, and online resources, to support ongoing learning and reference for research administrators and faculty.

As applicable, expands USM research administration staff to support pre- and post-award needs for smaller schools who may not have PI-focused support to assist with proposal development and award management needs.



Required Education Level/Certifications:

Bachelor's degree.

Required Experience:

Five (5) years experience in research administration or a related field or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Experience in all aspects of grant submission to federal agencies.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

Knowledge of federal research compliance regulations related to grant submissions.

A strong and demonstrated ability to develop and maintain positive and productive relationships with faculty, staff, partners, and other stakeholders.

Proven strong critical thinking and analytical skills; specifically, the ability to analyze/interpret data and make recommendations.

Demonstrated process improvement and project management experience.

Excellent interpersonal, presentation, verbal and written communication skills.

Knowledge of system-to-system grant submission processes.

Strong knowledge of business software, including MS Excel and other data management tools.


Preferred Education Level/Certifications:

Master's degree.

Preferred Experience:

Direct experience in one or more areas of research administration.

Experience implementing business process improvements and directing teams.

Experience managing post-award grant activities.

Experience managing grant award reporting.

Experience with tracking metrics related to grant awards and expenditures.

Preferred Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

Knowledge of third-party grant assistance technologies (Like InfoReady) to manage limited and internal grant submission processes.


Paid Leave: 22 days of annual leave, 15 days of sick & safe leave, 15 holidays, 3 personal leave days, 12 weeks paid parental leave

Health Benefits: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with flexible spending accounts.

Retirement Plans: Mandatory and supplemental options with major providers like Fidelity and TIAA.

Life Insurance: Optional term life and AD&D benefits through MetLife.

Tuition Benefits: Tuition remission for employees and their families.

Training & Development: Free professional development conferences and unlimited LinkedIn Learning access.

Credit Union Access: Membership eligibility for SECU, Maryland's largest credit union.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Free counseling, legal, financial, and work-life support services.

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