Administrative Associate

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering (AOPE) Department plans to hire a Administrative Associate to assist with coordinating and supporting the activities and functions of the Department research enterprise.  The successful candidate will provide experienced and knowledgeable administration support of grants and contracts, executing tasks related to the whole life cycle of the project, from the initial proposal phase through award and close out. The role includes financial monitoring, forecasting, and reporting elements associated with research projects, as well as day-to-day administrative support for scientific and engineering staff.  The work is varied and rewarding.


Reporting to the Department Administrator, the Administrative Associate will provide complex administrative support to the Department Administrator, Principal Investigators (PIs) and technical staff related to both pre- and post-award related activities. This position will provide key support to a fast-paced, dynamic group with varied scientific and engineering funding sponsors. The ideal candidate has the ability to coordinate multiple tasks/projects, work independently and under pressure, use tact and discretion, and maintain superior organizational skills. Successful applicants will have the ability to function as a team member while taking initiative and ownership of assigned duties and projects.


The internal working title for this position is Administrative Associate I.  


Essential Functions

  • Expected to demonstrate independence as appropriate to analyze and solve problems, seeking additional information and consulting with supervisor as necessary.
  • Handles complex proposal preparation, interpreting and executing detailed instructions and communicating both internally and externally to attain the finished product. Advises PI’s of agency, Institution or unit policies and requirements.
  • Provides proactive assistance with the fiscal management of funded projects for PI's supported, including insuring compliance with established budgets and with funding agency/Institution regulations including reporting. May have significant responsibilities in enforcing compliance within the project team within the bounds of Institution and agency policies and terms. Will be expected to assist with determining spend-down plans, which may have a cost-sharing element.
  • May assist with tracking materials and purchases including vendor relationships associated with complex builds.
  • May be responsible for timely completion of financial reporting of projects. May be required to coordinate with other administrative groups both internally and externally to achieve the desired results.
  • May coordinate calendars and schedules and assist with travel/cruise arrangements, sometimes complex in nature.  Assists in preparing expense reports and may assist with project purchases.  May arrange meetings/conferences, scheduling rooms and services.
  • Facilitates communication within the unit and creates clear, articulate correspondence on behalf of the unit.
  • May be assigned training and mentoring responsibility for junior staff.


  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

  • Typically requires 7-10 years’ relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills, ability to work independently, assess priorities, and manage a variety of activities with exceptional attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of budget preparation, grants management and proposal preparation preferred.  Some accounting experience is desirable.
  • Uses software (i.e., on-line systems, Microsoft Office applications, Excel, databases, etc.) pertinent to position at an advanced or expert level on PC platforms. Will be required to develop expertise with the various WHOI systems: Financial Status Reports (FSRs), Streamlyne, etc.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, written and organizational skills
  • Must have proven ability to exercise discretion, good judgment, and be proactive in resolving issues.
  • Takes a leadership role in effectively working with internal and external constituents; effectively interact with others resolving conflicts; mentoring of junior staff, setting work standards; identification and resolution of problems; has project management skills, and identifies problems or opportunities and takes action to address them.

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, repetitive motion, use of hands for basic grasping I manipulation, mostly sedentary. Visual abilities to include near vision, ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively. Ability to work with others as well as around and alone. Physical duties are subject to change.


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