Salary and benefits are competitive. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.
As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.
UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a Great College to Work For for four consecutive years.
Our department of Astronomy, Astrobiology Graduate Program, has an outstanding opportunity for a Program Operations Specialist.
Provide Professor Meadows with administrative and management support for the UW's Astrobiology Graduate Program, for which she is the Director, and for the NASA Virtual Planetary Laboratory research group, for which she is the Principal Investigator.
The Astrobiology Program consists of a graduate student program and associated faculty research activities. The graduate student program offers both a graduate certificate and a dual-title PhD in the home department and astrobiology, implemented as coordinated degree tracks within 8 participating UW departments. This program is a course of study comprising interdisciplinary classes, laboratory rotations, seminar series and workshops. There are 30 students currently enrolled, and the program is largely supported by ~14 faculty in 8 different departments. The largest research activity associated with the Astrobiology Program is the Virtual Planetary Laboratory, a lead team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and UW professor Victoria Meadows serves as the Principal Investigator for this research effort. The research focus of this group is on the interactions between aspects of stellar, planetary and planetary system characteristics that can potentially lead to extrasolar planets capable of supporting life, and using models of these interactions, along with laboratory and field data, to understand the best way to detect life on extrasolar planets. The interdisciplinary VPL comprises 75 researchers at 20 different institutions nationally and internationally, and is a $9.8M research effort over 5 years. The administration of the majority of the project's funding is through the UW, which supports 8 subcontracts with external organizations. The VPL re-proposed to NASA for a further 5 years of funding in mid-2017.
This position will have primary responsibility for Academic Program management for the Graduate Certificate and Dual-Title PhD in Astrobiology, including time scheduling, student admissions, records management, coordination of PhD milestones with students and faculty, and other administrative support of students and faculty for the courses and workshops. Additionally, the position will be responsible for fiscal and other administrative management of both the Astrobiology Graduate Program, and the VPL research group, including development of the project budget, management of the associated subcontracts, preparation of the yearly annual report to NASA, and preparation, in collaboration with senior scientific personnel, of funding proposals to NASA. The position will also be required to assist Prof. Meadows in managing the scientific research activities of the VPL, including running and managing collaborative meetings and internal research workshops, and long-range planning, as well as assisting with astrobiology community activities such conference organization. However, because the project is relatively small, in addition to these higher level functions, the position may also be required to support more mundane tasks such as travel logistics and bookings for student and faculty travel, travel reimbursements, purchase requests, and web page support for the program.
Position Complexities The position will be responsible for a wide variety of administrative tasks at various levels of complexity from routine to highly skilled, with a significant degree of individual initiative. The position will be responsible for overseeing budget development and implementation, including high level interactions with funding sponsors. The position will also be involved in long-term planning for the dual-title PhD program, and in developing improved practices and procedures for the program.
Position Impact Position will provide an organized and professional interface for the Astrobiology Program to internal and external communities. The position will be the principal interface with our students for academic management. For budget development and management, the position will be required to interface extensively with the NASA Astrobiology Institute central management at NASA Ames, and potentially with NASA HQ, in addition to providing the primary administrative interface with our subcontractee organizations such as Yale, Caltech, the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland. The position will also be primarily responsible for organization and management of education and public outreach activities for the program in addition to interacting with UW development and fundraising organizations. The position will also be the first point of contact for members of the public and the external scientific community when interacting with the program.
Responsibilities Provide the Astrobiology Program (including the VPL) with administration of fiscal reporting/tracking including primary responsibility for coordination and maintenance of fiscal record files and fiscal report systems for grants, contracts and subcontracts (may include setting up and closing budgets, and budget development and projections for an $11M research project). Monitor, prepare, and execute monthly reconciliation. Process purchase requests through various systems.
Academic Program management, including primary responsibility for time scheduling, student admissions administration, records management, coordination of PhD milestones with the students and faculty, and other administrative support of the faculty and students for Astrobiology courses and degrees. Report on status of the program at faculty meetings and community events. The position will also have long-term planning responsibility for the dual-title PhD, and in developing improved practices and procedures for the program.
Assist the PI with research management for the Virtual Planetary Laboratory. This includes developing techniques and processes to enhance interdisciplinary research interactions, organizing and managing collaborative meetings and internal research workshops, and long-range planning. The position will also take a major role in the coordination of inputs and preparation of the VPL Annual Report to NASA. The position will be primarily responsible for the collection and collation of student and faculty contributions to the report, as well as scientific editing and proofreading.
Proposal preparation and submission. The position will also assist the PI with identifying appropriate funding sources, and developing science proposals in support of the program. This position may be called upon to serve as proposal manager for the larger VPL reproposal effort. May also be solely responsible for development of EPO or teaching proposals to support the UW Astrobiology program. This is in addition to the routine administrative responsibilities related to proposal submission and post-award administration.
Travel and logistical management for scientific collaboration, conference and field trip related travel for faculty, students and visitors. Position will be expected to work with a travel agent for travel booking and provide logistical support for major astrobiology conferences, including AbSciCon 2019 in Seattle, astrobiology PhD field workshops and lab rotations for students, community workshops organized by the VPL research group, and support of the VPL PI for programmatic meetings at NASA HQ and elsewhere.
Public relations for the program and the Virtual Planetary Laboratory, including planning and decision-making roles in the organization and publicity for public lectures, community social events and fund-raising activities, and web page support.
Requirements: Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, Engineering, Business or Administration (advanced degree preferred) AND two years working experience, including experience using project management/accounting-related software and/or computer skills.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
Desired: PhD in the sciences, interdisciplinary research or project management experience. Use of project management software. Experience with scientific proposal preparation. Experience with scientific conference management. Previous experience with UW fiscal management and academic data systems.
Conditions of Employment:
Appointment to this position is contingent upon obtaining satisfactory results from a criminal background check
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Criminal Conviction History, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select Apply to this position. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your My Jobs page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergra...duate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.