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Sponsored Research Subcontract Specialist

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Sponsored Research Subcontract Specialist

La Jolla, CA
  • Responsibilities

    SBP is a preeminent, independent biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding human biology and disease, and advancing scientific discoveries to profoundly impact human health. For over 40 years, our research has produced breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience, immunology and children’s diseases, and is anchored by our NCI-designated cancer center and advanced drug discovery capabilities.


    The Sponsored Research Office (SRO) provides timely, high-quality, and coordinated pre and post-award research administrative services to SBP faculty, researchers and other SBP department administrators for sponsored projects.

    The Sponsored Research Subcontract Specialist performs sponsored project work of considerable difficulty in interfacing with Principal Investigators (PIs) and support staff to develop for submission of proposals to various federal and state agencies, non-federal agencies, and foundations. The subcontract specialist identifies funding opportunities that support the Institute’s research goals, and functions as a point of contact for final review of grant and contract proposals as well as in a direct support capacity when developing and managing proposals for SBP faculty. This position also advises faculty on award management issues related to elements of post-award administration and provides advice and expertise in the resolution of complex grant management issues.

    Specifically, the subcontract specialist advises, educates and helps the SBP research community, including department administrators, PIs and other SRO staff, regarding subcontract institutional policies and processes and subaward terms and conditions.

    The subcontract specialist exhibits superior grants management expertise and a commitment to high-quality customer service and willingness to support faculty, staff and agencies in all matters related to sponsored research.

    Duties and Responsibilities

    • Proposal development:

      • Supports the department’s externally-funded research activities including funding opportunities, proposal development, grant budget creation, completion of proposal related forms, progress report submission deadlines, research compliance requirements, subcontracts, renewals and closeouts
      • Assists faculty to resolve administrative issues related to scientific overlap, allowability of proposed costs, intellectual property (IP), cost sharing, subcontracting and effort reporting related to sponsored research administration
      • Maintains an awareness of Federal Acquisition Requirements (FAR), Institute operations and SOPs for maintaining compliance with federal regulations
    • Complex proposal submission:

      • Prepares for large collaborative and/or complex proposals and follows through by creating project checklists and agendas for kick-off meetings with faculty and staff and develops timelines to ensure timely and smooth submissions
    • Awards:

      • Analyzes award documents, clauses and applicable regulations and provides advice and counsel to faculty with respect to applicable regulations and award provisions
      • Analyzes terms, conditions and budgets of award documents to identify potential problem areas
      • Provides administrative support to investigators when working with sponsors to resolve programmatic and/or scientific questions
      • Responds to funding agency sponsor inquiries to explain actions taken, decisions made and to clarify award terms
    • Federal contract/subcontract monitoring and compliance:

      • Provides direct oversight, guidance and support to subcontractors to ensure compliance with contract requirements, agreed upon services levels and customer service excellence standards
      • Determines the impact of government contract requirements (FARS) and specific SBP operations and communicates those impacts so necessary SOPs and workflow changes can be made to ensure compliance
      • Identifies and communicates opportunities for redefining operations and processes based upon analyses of “lessons learned” to improve effectiveness and efficiency
      • Develops and maintains SOPs to ensure consistent processes and practices for SRO staff regarding contract and subcontract development, review, management and reporting
      • Ensures all required reviews have been conducted for subcontracts (including subrecipient versus contractor determination, documentation of approval of budget and statement of work, etc.,) to ensure compliance with Institute and sponsor requirements
      • Monitors SBP subcontract population to ensure timely submission of required sponsor compliance reports including FFATA, IP, property, etc.,
      • Tracks subrecipient review and risk assessment to ensure accurate and current compliance documentation is on file; monitors schedule of compliance approvals and ensures periodic follow-up occurs to obtain updated subrecipient audit reports, financial materials and project compliance approvals prior to their expiration
      • Supports subcontracting needs and serves as one of the key points of contact for day-to-day performance monitoring and resolution of subaward related issues
      • Ensures subrecipients fully understand and meet all regulatory and subaward compliance requirements, including OMB Audit requirements, funding agency policies and all other third-party reporting requirements
      • Provides management a review and interpretation of unique terms and conditions
      • Serves as one of the key points of contact to address contractual issues; renegotiates contract modifications and amendments and resolves disputes with subcontractors
      • Manages relationship with the primary subcontractors, handling day-to-day contact across multiple functional areas and reports issues on status of subcontractor performance and risks
      • Assesses, identifies and communicates opportunities for operational and management changes to achieve improved effectiveness, efficiencies, and quality
      • Provides leadership with subcontract performance feedback and reports as measured against agreed upon standards and metrics
    • New faculty:

      • Coordinates and develops on-boarding/tracking tools for new faculty with large volume grant transfers to ensure timely and smooth transition between institutions, which includes award transfers and compliance implementation
    • SRA training program:

      • Participates as an integral member of SRO training initiatives for new department staff
      • Provides guidance to newly hired personnel on processes and procedures related to sponsored research and SBP and provides targeted training on subcontract review, administration and reporting processes
    • Compliance:

      • Recommends and monitors compliance with research administration policies and procedures
      • Provides oversight and ensures sponsor and Institutional compliance

    Required Skills Required Experience

    • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance or a related field and five years’ directly related experience or an equivalent combination of education, training and/or experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been attained is required
    • Experience with grant preparation/submission processing and a proven success rate of accurate and on-time completion of multiple, concurrent grant submissions
    • Prior experience/familiarity with scientific research nomenclature is strongly preferred

    Other Knowledge, Skills and/or Abilities

    • Work independently as well as in a team environment
    • Possess strong time management skills
    • Demonstrate professional communication and interpersonal skills
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to accurately document and report findings to a variety of audiences
    • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective professional working relationships, and to influence and guide PIs, third party administrators, funding agency representatives, and other external parties
    • Ability to resolve complex problems and facilitate the decision-making processes
    • Professional proficiency in Microsoft Office including Adobe Acrobat
    • Operational efficiency of submission portals such as ProposalCENTRAL, and ASSIST
    • Knowledge of policies, procedures and regulations of various funding sources
    • Knowledge of research methods, grants and contracts
    • Knowledge of SBP financial and research management tools such as OneSolution (preferred) and InfoEd
    • Embody the Institute’s core values of Commitment, Collaboration, Communication, Community and Compassion

    Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute is an Equal Opportunity employer – M/F/Veteran/Disability – committed to the hiring, advancement and fair treatment of all individuals. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected status as designated by federal, state or local law. For additional information about your rights as an applicant, click HERE.