University of Southern California Associate Research Administrator in Los Angeles, California

Associate Research AdministratorApplyMork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceLos Angeles, California

The Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science is seeking an Associate Research Administrator to join its research administration team. Under the direction of the Department Chair, Department Business Manager and faculty, this position will support the daily departmental research activity, contracts & grants, and other department financial needs. The core job duties are:


Research Proposals:

  • Assists assigned faculty with the submission of proposals to assure all necessary university and agency requirements are met.

  • Prepares budgets and gather data necessary to submit proposals in accordance with agency and university guidelines. Disseminates information to Viterbi Business Affairs, faculty home academic departments, the Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG), Principal Investigators, and Agencies.

  • Assists when notifications of awards are received by updating original account budgets proposed. Notify faculty of the receipt of awards and communicate necessary expenditures.

Account Management:

  • Serves as primary liaison and active partner between principal investigators, Office of Sponsored Research to ensure awards are set up properly and cost-sharing requirements are fulfilled.

  • Monitors account activity and reconcile accounts to assure that all account activity is related to the project and is charged appropriately. When discrepancies are found, inform faculty and take necessary steps to correct the transactions, such as expense transfers or object code corrections. Observe account balances and process budget changes when necessary to comply with original scope of work. Reference agency guidelines to make sure that budget changes are in compliance with the specified requirements from individual agencies.

  • Processes, track, and post expenditures for travel reimbursements, settlements of advances, and invoices on the assigned accounts. Expedite procurement orders and reimbursements, requisitions, and foreign drafts.

  • Develops and communicates reports supporting project status.

  • Participates in contract closeout process.

  • Reconciles and review monthly account statements and provide faculty with account summaries and projections reports on a monthly basis.

  • Keeps updated information regarding agency funding/spending guidelines and restrictions. Communicates information to faculty and other research-related staff to ensure that guidelines set forth by agencies are followed.

  • Keeps in compliance with USC/School/Departmental expenditure policies and procedures to advise faculty and research related-staff to assure these policies are followed when handling their requests for all purchases, including but not limited to: equipment, travel arrangements, conference registrations, supplies reimbursement, and travel expense reimbursements, etc.

  • Works closely with Sponsored Projects Accounting (SPA) on questions that arise on continuing and expiring awards.

  • Advises faculty of remaining time of project periods and account balances in advance to assure that extensions on research projects are requested in a timely manner if research has to be extended beyond current project periods. Consult agency guidelines to provide faculty with options regarding extensions on research periods.

  • Stays informed regarding agency funding/spending guidelines. Communicate information to faculty and other research-related staff to ensure that guidelines set forth by agencies are followed.

  • Assists SPA and DCG with the preparation of financial and/or progress reports requested by agencies for award continuation and/or final reports.

  • Advises research individuals of disbursement & purchasing policies and procedures. Assure these policies are followed when processing requests for purchases, travel, conference registrations, supply reimbursements, and travel expense reimbursements.

  • Reconciles and generate monthly post-award financial reports.

  • Conducts forecasts/projections for awards received to assure that original scope of work will be satisfied. Communicate with faculty, review original proposal submission, and verify applicable fringe and F&A rates to prepare forecasts, annual, and final agency reports.


  • Prepares payroll for research staff, faculty, research assistants, student workers, visiting scholars. Prepares and processes hiring paperwork for research assistants and research staff.

  • Assits with immigration visa processing when appropriate.

  • Enters graduate research assistants awards in the university student information system.

  • Uses the eCERT Effort Certification Online System, review & prepare quarterly and semester reports for all faculty that serve as Principal Investigator.


  • Attends department meetings and central meetings (e.g. Viterbi Business Affairs, USC Research Administration Office, DCG etc.)

  • Performs varied administrative and analytical duties for the department.

  • Contributes to process improvements.

Required Applicant Documents

Resume/CV Cover Letter

These documents may be submitted as one PDF. Applications will not be considered complete without these documents.

Preferred Experience:

Three years of account and budget experience including knowledge of government and fund accounting and knowledge of university financial systems. Strong computer skills using MS Office Suite, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Excellent communication skills both written and verbal, ability to prioritize, organize, analyze and work independently in a fast paced and demanding work environment.

Minimum Education:

Bachelor's degree

Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:

3 years

Minimum Field of Experience:

Basic knowledge of governmental regulations. Strong accounting skills. Competency in project management. A Bachelor's Degree with broad knowledge of relevant research computer software, e.g.: Microsoft Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint; Outlook, SPSS, Visio, and SunGard. Experience in creating and analyzing statistical reports. Must be able to utilize computer technology to access data, maintain records and generate reports. Proven oral and written communication skills to interact with other employees.

REQ20048508 Posted Date: 08/11/2017