Pre & Post Award Research Administrator

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is seeking a Pre- and Post-Award Administrator to work in the Physical Oceanography (PO) Department. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits. The Administrator will be responsible for working with Principal Investigators (PIs) and staff to manage pre- and post-award processes. Administrative support and financial management will include working with a portfolio (PIs), working on the full lifecycle of awards from proposal submissions through post-award activities, and ensuring compliance with agencies and institutional regulations, policies, terms, and conditions. Working within a world-renowned organization, the work is fast-paced and complex and requires excellent organizational, critical thinking, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. A preference will be given to those who have experience working closely with federally funded scientists in an academic research environment.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Provides key support for the department in working on the full lifecycle of grants and contracts: preparing proposals for submission to overseeing aspects of post-award management.
  • Prepares proposal submissions to agencies for federal grants and contracts, as well as WHOI internal awards; with guidance from PO Grant and Contract Lead and Pre-Award Specialist, coordinates all aspects of the proposal submission.
  • Transitions funded grants and contracts from pre- to post-award in an organized and collaborative process working with departmental, institutional, and central office staff.
  • Conducts an initial review of awards; Ensures they are correctly assigned and helps ensure oversight of the award compliance and deliverables.
  • Generates instructions and corresponding detailed guidelines for the full lifecycle of the award and maintains contact with each Principal Investigator. 
  • Assists in monitoring award budget status and identifies spending patterns within those awards; keeps track of possible issues with charges and alerts responsible counterparts. Reconcile sponsored project expenses against financial systems, track cost share expenses, and forecast budget balances. 
  • Facilitates set-up of subrecipient agreements: monitors execution, invoicing, compliance, and reconciles accounts.
  • Works on Current and Pending reports used in proposals and uses the government-required system (SciENcv).
  • Assists with the management & monitoring of post-award activities for a portfolio of PIs, including prior approvals, review of award modification requests, and possible contract funding shifts.

Education & Experience


Bachelor’s degree with 3‐5 years of increasingly responsible, directly related research administration experience or equivalent combination of education and 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 the ability to multi-task and prioritize workload.
  • Strong customer service focus with the ability to interact and collaborate with diverse internal and external constituents.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking skills. Ability to read, analyze, interpret, negotiate, and manage complex documents, federal contracts, and agreements. Strong project management skills are desired.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with confidential information, exercise discretion, good judgment, and take initiative.
  • Experience supporting scientists and engineers in the areas of federal and non-federal contract administration. Knowledge and experience working with diverse funding agencies and sponsors.  Familiarity with the Department of Energy is preferred.
  • Knowledge of research administration methodologies, practices, and policies, including federal regulations and statutes.
  • Highly proficient in budgeting and reporting using Microsoft Excel. Strong analytical skills are a plus.
  • Demonstrated intermediate/advanced level proficiency with the use of Microsoft Office applications (e.g. spreadsheets, databases, Adobe, etc.), ERA systems (Kuali, Streamlyne, InfoEd, etc.), ERP systems (Workday) on PC and/or Macintosh platforms.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships and communicate regularly with research administration officials at collaborating organizations.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Aptitude and interest in learning new systems and databases.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce and maintain accurate data and records.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment to provide solutions for improved workflow of tasks related to a large and diverse scientific community.

Physical Requirements

No pre-determined physical requirements; all candidates are encouraged to apply.


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