Sr. Administrative Assistant

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is seeking an experienced administrative professional to join the Geology & Geophysics Department. The internal working title for this position will likely be Senior Administrative Assistant I or Senior Administrative Assistant II; the level will be determined and commensurate with the selected candidate's level of education and experience. This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position and is eligible for full benefits.


As part of the administrative team, this position interacts with a diverse group of scientists and staff, and supports a fast-paced, dynamic research environment with federal and non-federal sponsors. The work is varied and rewarding. The incumbent provides complex administrative support to a portfolio of Principal Investigators (PIs) and technical staff, focusing on pre- and post-award related activities. The ideal candidate can oversee multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, work independently and under pressure, use tact and discretion, and maintain superior organizational skills. The work requires someone with excellent analytic, problem solving and interpersonal skills; preference will be given to those with experience working closely with federally funded scientists and engineers in an academic research environment.


Essential Functions

Senior Administrative Assistant II:

• Provides administrative assistance in proposal development and submission, with particular emphasis on development and review of proposal budgets and with the administrative portions of proposals; advises PIs of agency and/or organization needs and requirements.
• Assists PIs in the fiscal management of their funded projects, including ensuring compliance with established budgets, and with funding agency/Institution regulations.
• Assists with oversight of service center(s) which includes providing usage estimates to clientele; tracking costs and revenue; and invoicing.
• Makes and confirms appointments or travel/cruise arrangements, sometimes complex in nature and assists in preparing expense reports.
• Arranges large meetings/conferences, scheduling rooms, and ensures requirements are met.
• Maintains knowledge of Institution practices and procedures.
• Uses software (e.g., on-line systems (FSRs, WHOIgrants, Unanet timecards, etc.), spreadsheets, and databases, Microsoft Office applications, etc.) pertinent to position at an advanced or expert level on PC and/or Macintosh platforms.
• Proactively handles related administrative issues as they arise: investigates issues and presents solutions.
• Prepares and submits documents in an accurate and timely manner.
• Provides website updates (WordPress) to department's homepage and/or specific labs.
• Performs other duties deemed necessary by the supervisor.

Education & Experience

Required Experience
• Ability to function as a team member while taking initiative and ownership of assigned duties and projects. Self-motivated and proactive in resolving issues, with ability to multi-task and prioritize workload.
• Strong customer service focus with an emphasis on respectful and tactful communications and the ability to interact and collaborate with diverse internal and external constituents.
• Ability to cultivate relationships and communicate regularly with research administration officials at collaborating organizations.
• Demonstrated critical thinking skills. Ability to read, analyze, interpret, and manage complex documents and agreements.
• Excellent communication skills, organizational and time management skills.
• Computer proficiency (e.g. microsoft office suite, ability to learn new platforms)

• Attention to detail.
• Proven ability to exercise discretion and good judgment. 

• Strong interpersonal skills, tolerance, flexibility, and humor.


Desired experience

• Knowledge of research administration methodologies, practices, and policies including federal regulations and statutes.

• Experience in supporting scientists and engineers in the areas of federal and non-federal research administration, and of research administration methodologies, practices, and policies, including federal regulations and statutes.
• Knowledge of budget preparation, grants management and proposal preparation.

• Experience in website updates, design; use of WordPress or other webite management tools.  



Senior Administrative Assistant I
• Two- or four-year college degree
• A minimum of 1-3 years of relevant work experience


Senior Administrative Assistant II
• Two- or four-year college degree
• A minimum of 3-5 years of relevant work experience


Special Requirements

WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status [vaccination plus booster] in order to begin your employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.

Physical Requirements

Physical tasks include mostly sedentary with occasional prolonged standing/walking, use of hands for basic grasping and manipulation, and repetitive motion. Other occupational requirements include talking, working around others, and with others. Physical duties are subject to change.

Sea Duty



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