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The Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington (APL-UW) is a national center for advanced science and engineering research and development and education. APL-UW was formed in 1943 for the U.S. Navy to bring university research resources to bear on urgent WWII defense problems. APL-UW has developed an international reputation for its broad based programs in science, engineering and for designing, building, and deploying the advanced technology required to meet the research needs of numerous government and commercial sponsors. With modern facilities, equipment and over 350 talented researchers and staff, APL-UW provides a unique, dynamic work environment with many opportunities.
APL-UW is organized into eight scientific and technical departments. The ability to turn ideas and hypotheses into experiments, field programs, and new instrumentation relies on the composite of many science and engineering disciplines. The Laboratory owes its success to the synergy created by investigators and technicians working across these departments and their commitment to basic and applied research.
Research at APL-UW is funded by grants and contracts, primarily with government federal agencies such as the U.S. Navy, NSF, NASA, NIH, and DARPA. APL-UW receives no support from the state of Washington. The Laboratory relies on private gifts for new faculty positions, new buildings, student fellowships, seed funding for new research projects, endowments, matching funds to secure federal research grants, educational outreach to schools, undergraduate mentorships, and new programs.
The Ocean Physics Department (OPD) is currently comprised of 10 Principal Investigators (PIs), 3 Emeritus Principal Investigators, 2 Research Associates, 8 scientific support staff, 2 administrative staff, 4 graduate students, and several hourly employees (often undergraduate students). OPD PIs pursue research focused primarily on small-scale and meso-scale oceanographic processes, participate in sea-going experiments, design, build and deploy unique instruments, and educate undergraduate and graduate students through instruction and employment. Yearly research funding averages $10M with 65 + individual grants and contracts.
The Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington has an outstanding opportunity for a Financial Compliance & Travel Specialist.
As a key member of the administrative team the primary role of this position is to manage the expanding efforts of OPD's remote field operations for the Applied Physics Laboratory UW. This position will be the primary person responsible for travel arrangements and logistics for the OPD Field Travel Program. This includes managing highly complex travel and procurement in support of sea-going research field programs all over the globe. This position will perform expenditure monitoring, fiscal analysis, and financial reporting on the department's grants, contracts, and operations budgets. It is responsible ensuring compliance of post- award administration utilizing the uniform guidance of post award funds from various agencies. Additional responsibilities include grant and contract proposals, procurement, meeting coordination, and other duties as assigned.
The position will independently be responsible for the development and continuous process improvement of administrative tasks and procedures related to coordinating and supporting aspects of complex field programs in remote regions, compliance, and reporting for sponsors. This position requires a high degree of expertise and knowledge of complex proposal requirements both at the University and sponsor level. Successful candidates will be expected to understand and interpret those complex requirements and be able to prioritize and manage updates from multiple sponsors.
The incumbent must interact effectively with a broadly diverse staff, including scientific Principal Investigators and support staff, including but not limited to, accounting, purchasing, human resources, and research administrators. The position must understand complex regulations- Federal, State, and University- governing grants and contracts, travel regulations, fiscal management policies and procedures, accounting principles, etc. The incumbent must have extensive knowledge of UW systems such as SAGE, FIN, My Financial Desktop, OPUS, Ariba, etc.
Independently arrange travel logistics, including but not limited to, payments and reimbursements, primarily in support of sea-going field experiments in remote regions. This is complex due to extremely remote field destinations, special immunizations, international visa and other documentation requirements, and date flexibility to ensure traveler participation in research cruises that can be affected by weather or other unanticipated delays. Additionally sea-going research travel is unique in that it may involve the administration of payroll actions for special compensation including sea-pay, equivalent leave or holiday credit. Independently manage the department's central travel account card, from purchases to reconciliation, ensuring compliance with UW policies and procedures.
Financial Monitoring, Reporting, and Compliance
Determine and advise PIs on the viability of proposed resource allocation to ensure lack of conflict between funding sources and viability of adequate effort and resource commitments. Maintain and update research scientists' current and pending support regularly. Manage awards, budget revisions and continued funding on multiple complex budgets including federal grants and contracts, subcontracts, University sub-budgets, and APL internal funding. Manage ongoing expenditures and coordinate with UW Grant and Contract Accounting and subcontractors' institutions as necessary. Manage expenditures on grant and contract budgets, alert PIs to potential problems and propose possible solutions. Prepare financial reports for PI grant and contract budgets that track expenditures, discover trends, and identify potentially erroneous charges. Develop system and process improvements, such as forms, budget reporting templates, annual reporting schedules and structure, and effective and timely tracking tools to streamline and efficiently gather and process required information. Independently carry out necessary corrective actions such as retroactive salary transfers (RSTs), request to transfer expenditures (RTEs), and fabrication journal vouchers in compliance with APL and UW policies and procedures. Directly advice PI's on financial strategies for completing the work within funds available.
Grant and Contract Award Setup and Closeout
Independently complete the post-award processes from start to finish ensuring that all sponsor requirements are met by managing the award setup and change action process within APL. Exercises independent judgment interpreting and applying sponsor, University of Washington, federal, state and industry policies, rules and regulations with grant/contract preparation and implementation. APL is one of the few units on campus to use the University's Project Cost Accounting (PCA) system. The PCA system requires additional APL-internal steps in post-award setup to establish project/sub-project numbers, establish or revise periods of performance, and disburse funds to sub- projects accounts. Provide funding breakdowns to OSP when award funding arrives in irregular increments. Manage outgoing subcontracts using APL Purchase Request System and direct new subcontracts and amendments with the APL Grants Office. Lead the effort in OPD for equipment fabrication by establishing asset IDs with PI and APL Purchasing. Complete budget extensions in consultation with PIs as necessary. Coordinate award closeout process with PIs and APL Grants Office including ensuring completion of final reports, invention disclosures, and other required documents.
Lead the efforts for OPD's field operations purchase and reimbursement requests for PIs and scientific support staff through utilization of the APL Purchase Request System. In consultation with PIs establish, modify or terminate satellite services (such as Iridium and Argos) for data telemetry and communication with oceanographic instrumentation like seagliders and profiling floats. Create, maintain, and update accurate records of all sim cards, the oceanographic instruments they are paired to, and the project budget they are associated with. This type of remote region programs management requires high level independent decision making and often expedited response time.
Grant & Contract Proposal Preparation
Creates and compiles all administrative proposal documents, ensures proper document formatting and requirements are met, accurate compilation of proposal documents based on sponsor requirements, and uploads all proposal documents via appropriate sponsor websites. Create, maintain, and update a repository of current and pending support for PIs. Organize and maintain up-to-date biographical sketches for PIs. Create eGC1's for proposal routing. Develop budgets and travel estimates for proposals.
Meeting Coordination, Site Visits, and Visitors
Coordinate and organize research program meetings, proposal review panels, workshops and other meetings both on and off campus. This includes agenda preparation, room reservations, catering, minutes, organizing presentations and providing for special requirements. Facilitate site visits for research sponsors, US Government representatives, and collaborators. Coordinate international academic or student visitors with APL Human Resources to ensure compliance with US laws and UW policies.
Bachelor's Degree in accounting, business administration, economics or a closely related field.
Three years of work experience in a university setting involving travel and fiscal responsibilities
Experience processing UW travel and knowledge of UW travel policies and procedures
Knowledge and experience with UW Systems (FIN, MyFD, Ariba, SAGE, EDW)
Able to make independent decisions based on UW and APL policies and procedures
Experience monitoring expenditures, analyzing budgets, and preparing financial reports
Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat, including strong skills in Excel and Word
Excellent organization skills, multi-tasking skills, attention to detail, and a flexible approach to solving problems
Strong interpersonal skills with a variety of people from different backgrounds
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration. Proven ability to interpret and apply institutional administrative and fiscal compliance guidelines and practices.
Demonstrated ability to teach, mentor, and guide all levels of staff in the Department, specific to responsible research program area.
Familiarity with APL operational research programs and policies.