The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in the College of Science and Engineering is seeking a Grants and Contracts Professional to support the development of funding opportunities for faculty research projects and programmatic initiatives. The Grants and Contracts Professional will decrease the administrative burden placed on faculty researchers during the identification and submission process, while increasing the competitiveness of submitted proposals. She/he will work closely with faculty to identify potential funding sources, match funder requirements, and ensure an efficient and successful proposal process. She/he will also serve in an advisory capacity – providing one-on-one consultation (particularly to new faculty); fostering internal and external collaborations; and identifying larger trends in research and development spending.
The Grants and Contracts Professional position, dependent on interest and experience, will also be able to provide additional high level services to our team of approximately 50 research faculty. Potential areas to explore include (a) Business Development – working with local business and industry to identify mutually beneficial research areas that lead to new funding opportunities; and (b) Education Integration – identifying and coordinating access and collaboration with ongoing education efforts such as undergraduate research programs, community outreach, and efforts to enhance inclusion and diversity. Most of all, we are looking for a thoughtful, motivated, and detail-oriented team player to help us improve an already excellent research portfolio that extends across a diverse array of funding agencies and industries.
Areas of Responsibility and Accountability
Development and Planning (10%)
Build relationships with ECE leadership, faculty, and staff in order to develop appropriate systems, processes, and policies to meet grant funding goals.
Monitor solicitations for research and program funding.
Share targeted solicitations (with deadlines and links to further information) via regular communication with faculty.
Share specific solicitations with individual faculty researchers according to his/her research agenda.
Maintain ECE intranet to provide links to funding announcements and search resources.
Identify and share with ECE faculty and student advisors research funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
Attend University and outside seminars, workshops and meetings related to the job.
Manage grant proposal submission process (50%)
Review and summarize individual solicitation requirements and review criteria.
Determine and communicate internal (eg, department, university) and external agency deadlines.
Identify, maintain, and share with faculty examples of successful proposals and boilerplate for standard documents.
Assist faculty with proposal budget planning: decipher funder requirements; and create tools for accurate and efficient proposal budget creation.
Assess need and provide assistance to faculty as necessary (e.g., editing, copy editing, formatting) in order to meet funder requirements and deadlines.
Assemble all final proposal documents for timely submission to the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA).
Review and sign off on proposals created outside the department (e.g. other colleges, institutions and agencies) that include ECE faculty or resources.
Keep electronic files of applications and application materials.
Manage grant finalization process (10%)
After initial award continue to work with SPA and agencies to finalize awards.
Serve as departmental administrative liaison to funding agencies, and subaward institutions.
Ensure a smooth handoff to the accounting team once the award is finalized.
Provide grants training and support resources to faculty. (10%)
Meet one-on-one with new faculty to walk through proposal submission process, including University policies and procedures as well as funding agency requirements.
Provide individualized instruction to faculty on Fastlane (NSF), grants.gov (NIH, DOD) and other agency proposal submission processes. Routinely monitor and communicate to all faculty changes in agency guidelines and requirements.
Provide links to publications on grantsmanship on the ECE intranet.
Encourage and manage faculty funding requests for proposal development activities (e.g., funds to attend grant writing workshops, meet with program officers, hire consultants, etc.).
Direct individual faculty to University resources necessary to propose and conduct research (e.g., OTC, IRB, IACUC, RCR).
Facilitate collaboration and interdisciplinary research. (10%)
Support large multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional grant proposal submissions, working with ECE faculty, outside agencies, other universities, and other colleges within the University.
Work with Department Head on interdisciplinary research initiatives.
Connect ECE faculty with others who have received funding from a particular agency or funding mechanism of interest.
Monitor grants environment and departmental grant seeking activity and success rates. (10%)
Follow trends in Federal R&D spending.
Query University reports and systems to benchmark ECE grant seeking activities relative to other University departments and centers.
Query federal reports and systems for information on funded research by agency/solicitation.
Maintain record of departmental proposal submissions and awards.
Forecast peak grant seeking activity, based on historical record, and upcoming deadlines of funding announcements.
Create research fund analysis reports for departmental, collegiate and external Industrial Advisory Board information and decision making.
Bachelor’s Degree and 4 years experience or a combination of education and related work experience totaling 8 years.
Excellent team development and management skills and the ability to effectively interface with all levels of the organization (students, staff, faculty, central administration).
Demonstrated experience in designing, implementing, and coordinating projects to ensure meeting stated goals and objectives, and agency requirements.
Ability to simultaneously work on multiple projects with fixed deadlines and ability to reprioritize tasks as needed to successfully meet all deadlines.
Experience and expertise in technology and software as related to the needs of the position (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Adobe, etc.).
Experience with budget development, monitoring, and reporting.
Demonstrated effectiveness in problem identification and problem solving.
Experience with electronic proposal submission systems such as Fastlane and Grants.gov; with internal grants management systems (e.g., EGMS), and funding opportunity databases (e.g., Pivot, SciVal).
Knowledge of and technical skills in sponsored projects administration as evidenced by previous experience in a sponsored projects environment, workshops, training, etc.
Demonstrated willingness to learn and grow professionally as evidenced by previous professional development activities.
Capable of accepting responsibility with a high level of independent initiative, proactivity and creativity.
Decisive self-starter and effective team member.
Demonstrated ability to work effectively with complex and sensitive issues.
Master’s Degree and/or a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or one of the sciences.
Experience working with the following funding agencies: NSF, DARPA, DoE, NIH, DoD, SRC, NASA.
Experience working in a higher education institution and an understanding of the academic culture, especially engineering.
Current or past sponsored projects-related work in a higher-education setting.
Experience working with or in the technology business sector, especially as related to Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.