Attachment 6.3: Example ERC Administrator Job Descriptions

Last updated on 2014/12/11 by Michael Nolan

[Note: These descriptions were current as of July 2014]

Example #1

ERC for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS)

Instructions for Submitting via Applicant Tracking System (ATS)


The Classification and Recruitment form (CARF) is submitted to initiate the recruitment and/or classification process for all bargaining unit and administrative/professional/supervisory (A/P/S) position requests at the university. Please attach the completed form as indicated in ATS.

To fill A/P/S vacant position that does not need to be classified (the key duties of the job have not changed), complete:

Section 1 Job description and requirements section. Please attach a current organization chart.

(Existing job descriptions can be substituted for section 1).

COLT Vacancy - Simply enter the job class code of the vacancy when you submit your request. You do NOT need to complete the CARF.


To classify or reclassify a position (whether it is new, vacant, or encumbered), complete:

Section 1 Job description and requirements section. Please attach a current organization chart.

Section 2 Position detail section. The questions cover many different types of positions across the university. If a particular question is not relevant to the position under review, please indicate N/A (not applicable).


Section 4 Information Technology addendum. (ONLY FOR A/P/S INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY POSITIONS).


Current Title & Grade: Business Specialist

Proposed Title & Grade: Administrative Director


1. Position Summary

Provide a brief summary that expresses the primary role or reason the job exists

Administrative Director(AD) will serve the entire ERC as the guardian of resources, policies, and myriad detail. The operative word is service. Working closely with the Director, s/he must consistently maintain a "big picture" perspective. The Director and the AD must consider the needs of all stakeholders (NSF; member companies; the university; other funding agencies, including foundations, state or other government agencies; center faculty; students; and other staff). The AD usually provides the "glue" that holds the various administrative functions of the center together. The AD is apt to wear many hats.

The AD usually:

•Assists the Center Director in the overall management of the ERC;
• acts as guardian of rules, regulations, and policies;
• serves as the information "gatekeeper" and resource for all members of the center; and
• is the center's financial and personnel manager.


2. Job Description

Briefly list and describe in order of importance, the key duties for this position. For each key duty state in a few words:

  • What are the expected outcomes

  • How are the key duties performed

Please identify the percent of time spent on each.

  1. Administrative Coordination of Center Activities

NSF Engineering Research Centers are dynamic organizations serving industry, university, and government needs in rapidly changing high technology areas. A complex organization, the ERC has multiple missions (research, education, and service) and is accountable to multiple funding sources (federal, state, local, university, and private). The AD reports directly to the Center Director and will manage multiple fiscal years; many different sets of rules and regulations; an annual budget of $15 million; an average of 227 full-and part-time researchers, faculty and students; and supervise a staff of 7.


  1. Financial Management

Responsibility for budgeting, accounting, and reporting in order to maximize efficient use of funding, while ensuring compliance with rules and regulations.


  1. Liaison with University/Sponsoring Agencies

Guardianship of university and agency system requirements (federal regulations, proposal processing, etc.) and responsibility for networking with university administration and NSF to keep abreast of latest changes.


  1. Information Management and Communication

Information System Management: Oversight of management information system and report generation process (multiple reports to sponsoring agencies, university) and response to requests with accurate and timely information in format required.


  1. Personnel Management and Other Duties As Assigned

Hiring, supervision, and development of center administrative personnel and management of documents/human resource policies for academic, research, and student appointments in compliance with university personnel regulations.

Event management, communications, and public relations, as assigned.







3. Education, Experience, Skills, and Special Conditions:

Please state the minimum level of education, experience, licenses, certifications, specialized training, additional skills, abilities, physical, environmental, or special conditions required to successfully perform the key duties for the position.

Requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business administration, or related field; and five years of related professional experience in a financial/accounting function in a leadership or managerial role of increasing responsibility. Also requires skills in planning and organizing, integrating information, making decisions, and attaining results; excellent communication skills; and computer literacy.

Please state any education, experience, certification, licenses, knowledge, skills, or abilities that are not essential to the position but preferred.


Example #2


Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE)



Professional Staff

Job Duties


  • Coordinates activities by scheduling work assignments, setting priorities, and directing the work of at least two direct subordinate employees.

  • Evaluates and verifies employee performance through the review of completed work assignments and work techniques.

  • Identify staff development and training needs, ensuring appropriate training is obtained.

  • Ensure appropriate university, state, federal, and union labor relations and conditions of employment are identified and maintained.

  • In association with Center leadership, plan and forecast staffing needs, develop job descriptions, and oversee the recruitment, hiring, and termination of personnel.

  • Manage payroll function, including distribution changes, separations, new appointments and hourly timesheet approvals.

  • Encourage effective performance and high morale throughout center


  • Evaluate Information Technology and physical space needs and develop plans to meet center staffing and work needs

  • Negotiate with university and outside vendors to obtain needed facility and I.T. repairs, services, and improvements

  • Organizes and directs records storage and maintenance in accordance with NSF, state and university regulations


  • Develop and evaluate center-wide budget as well as individual budgets for each funding source and center project in order to maximize efficient use of resources and ensure compliance with appropriate rules and regulations.

  • Supervises the receipt and distribution of supplies and equipment, the maintenance of inventories, and the control of purchases and supplies.

  • Develops bid specifications, then coordinates and monitors vendor contracts.

  • Create and revise fiscal policies and procedures in accordance with university, state, NSF and donor regulations

  • Develop and lead an effective working relationship with sub-contracted universities, monitoring budgets, spending and cost-share commitments.

  • Review and approve monthly reconciliation, Procard, and CTA reports, as well as travel and reimbursement requests

  • Prepare and distribute specialized financial reports as required by center leadership.

  • Manage university and funding source fiscal reporting requirements such as cost sharing, FEC, and GCCR.

  • Assist in the creation and submission of new grants.

Annual Report

  • Lead and manage data collection process from all center members and partners

  • Oversight of management information system and report generation process (multiple reports to sponsoring agencies, University) and respond to requests with accurate and timely information in format required

  • Manage shared folders, grant access to mailing lists and secure documents

  • Collaborate with Center Director and Center Executive Director to complete required narrative sections

  • Lead and manage data collection process (e.g., abstracts; personnel information; CVs, etc.) from all Center members across all partner institutions

  • Enter data into ERCWeb for institutions, organizations, personnel, outputs, research and money

  • Draft management, infrastructure and facilities sections of annual report

  • Create all tables for annual report (Center-produced and ERCWeb)

  • Following NSF protocol layout and organize all NSF required reports

  • Responsible for all fiscal reporting for annual report

  • Create glossary, list of acronyms and table of contents

  • Collect and certify items for appendices

  • Sole authority to submit annual report

  • Submit Annual Report and required support documents to NSF FastLane


  • Serve as point of contact for external and center individuals and organizations, referring issues as appropriate

  • Attend NSF and university workshops and conferences as required

  • Represent the center to other ERC administrators throughout the nation.


  • In association with Program Coordinator, oversee all center events, workshops, meetings and seminars.

  • Manage all Human Subject applications, approvals and reporting.

  • Contribute to strategic planning of the center

  • Initiate and implement improvements in all areas of center administrative operations to encourage greater efficiency and success of center priorities.

Job Responsibilities and Duties

Administrative Director (AD)

The position coordinates a large NSF-funded center that spans the three largest colleges at the university and several national and international partner institutions. It has a very high profile with impact to educational, research and IP dimensions of the university. The Administrative Director reports directly to the Center Director and will manage multiple fiscal years; many different sets of rules and regulations; an annual budget of $3.5 million; an average of 80 full-and part-time researchers, faculty and students; and supervise a staff of 4. Administrative duties include any or all of the following areas of expertise.

Financial Management

The AD serves as central fiscal/operations administrator for the Center, acting within the policies and procedures of the University, and the National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement, to achieve Center goals. A complex organization, the ERC has multiple missions (research, education, and service) and is accountable to multiple funding sources (federal, state, local, university, and private).

  • Financial management of the Center grant totaling over $25M over a five year period plus 30% University cost share and industrial sponsors

  • Responsible for independently budgeting, accounting and reporting to maximize efficient use of funding, while ensuring compliance with rules and regulations

  • Approve expenditures; allocate resources according to funding type and purpose; alert project leaders of concerns in spending patterns

  • Manage fiscal personnel at partner institutions; host and/or lead orientation and training sessions

  • Administering multiple subcontracts to partner institutions, reviewing invoices and ensuring spending is done in timely manner

  • Reporting and tracking complex cost-sharing commitments from a variety of sources, including Provost, departments, and industry

  • Administer funds to campus departments (sub-budgets) and allocate according to internal call for proposals for Center funds

  • Supervise and oversee the work of a fiscal specialist

  • Forecast and advise directors on budgetary issues

  • Create budgets for proposals that will add to the sustainability of the Center

  • Oversee, manage and monitor the 30% NSF-mandated cost-sharing obligation

  • Create budgets in varying formats for executive review

  • Manage Partner University funding and invoicing

  • Review and approve all Pro-card spending for the Center

  • Create and update eGC1s

  • Approve expenditures

  • Manage faculty’s student funding plan and advise on budgeting

  • Work closely with partner institutions to administer subcontracts, collect data for reports and monitor spending and compliance issues

  • Create and maintain systems for purchasing, reimbursements, travel and human subject payment

Annual Report

The annual reporting is an extremely complex process that involves an average of three months of work, culling data from hundreds of participants and ensuring that all ongoing projects are appropriately aligned with research thrusts, clusters and testbeds. The AD is responsible for creating/implementing a system to track/compile the complex data and produce the annual report with all necessary elements for the annual site visit.

  • Direct faculty, staff and students to meet targets and maintain timely reporting

  • Oversight of management information system and report generation process (multiple reports to sponsoring agencies, University) and response to requests with accurate and timely information in format required

  • Manage shared folders, grant access to mailing lists and secure documents

  • Collaborate with Center Director and Center Executive Director to complete required narrative sections

  • Lead and manage data collection process (e.g., abstracts; personnel information; CVs, etc.) from all Center members across all partner institutions

  • Enter data into ERCWeb for institutions, organizations, personnel, outputs, research and money

  • Draft management, infrastructure and facilities sections of annual report

  • Create all tables for annual report (Center-produced and ERCWeb)

  • Following NSF protocol layout and organize all NSF required reports

  • Responsible for all fiscal reporting for annual report

  • Create glossary, list of acronyms and table of contents

  • Collect and certify items for appendices

  • Sole authority to submit annual report

  • Submit Annual Report and required support documents to FastLane

Personnel Management

Responsible for hiring, supervision, recruitment and development of center administrative personnel and management of human resource policies for academic, research and student appointments in compliance with university personnel regulations.

  • Make formal decisions regarding hiring, terminations, promotions, reclassifications, salary adjustments and handling of complaints and employee performance problems

  • Train and mentor on the specific requirements of the ERC program and work to integrate those with University policies

  • Write job descriptions, research appropriate salary and job classifications; coordinate with department HR administrators

  • Direct reports include up to 2 staff plus 1-3 temporary staff

  • Approve leave requests for staff; conduct performance evaluations and professional development planning

  • Advise Center Directors of ongoing changes to HR and Union policies

  • Serve as chief personnel of operational control for the Center

  • Manage payroll for Center, including distribution changes, separations, new appointments and bi-monthly payroll approval

  • Regularly review staffing needs with Director and Exec Director and revise staffing plan as needed

  • Post open recruitments

  • Organize and schedule interview teams for open positions

  • Work closely with Human Resources and compensation offices to get positions approved

  • Post job advertisements to external vendors as needed

University/Sponsors/Partners Liaison

The AD serves a key role as liaison between the director, center personnel and partner institutions to assure the goals of the research and educational projects are met and meet expectations of NSF and advisory committees. This person is responsible for coordination of issues between the Center, sponsor agencies, and University offices.

  • Guardianship of university and agency system requirements

  • Networking with University administration and sponsor to keep abreast of latest changes

  • Field questions from partner institutions regarding budget issues, personnel, upcoming events

  • Advise sponsor regularly of progress, news and any issues with the operation of the ERC

  • Train partner institution representatives on best practices for reporting and documentation


Handles Center-related scheduling needs for the Director

NSF-related Duties

The AD must navigate the sometimes competing demands of both the ERC and University policies and procedures. The AD participates in training, evaluating the operations of other ERCs, and moderating panels and the participation in the annual ERC meeting in Washington, DC.

  • Attend annual conference and other NSF required meetings

  • Represent Center at annual ERC Administrative Director Retreat and annual ERC meeting

  • Consult regularly with other ERC ADs across the nation and present at all ERC faculty/staff meetings on best practices

  • Keep up-to-date on all policies and procedures (Annual report, PAPP. .)

  • Maintain thought knowledge and uphold Cooperative Support Agreement

  • Go-to person for NSF-related questions regarding the Center

  • Interface regularly with funding agencies, responding to requests for information or updates.

  • Collaborate with Center Director, Administrative Director, Deputy Directors, Thrust Leaders, Lab Directors and students to ensure a successful annual site visit (e.g., collection of information/data; posters; presentations)


The AD will administratively manage the operations of three major research thrusts involving over 100 faculty and graduate students, a growing industrial member program with 30+ members participating at varying levels.

  • Create innovative solutions for all ERC problems that arise with respect to communication, information, efficiency and compliance

  • Plan meetings, including those involving teleconference and videoconference needs

  • Work with campus facilities to ensure proper safety measures are taken and areas are regularly serviced

  • Manage outside vendors to ensure safety and security of building and that work is performed satisfactorily

  • Work with a wide range of faculty and staff to find meeting times and locations

  • Plan site visits, annual meetings, workshops and other events related to the Center

  • Work with vendors to make decisions on venues, hotel room arrangements, catering, A/V and other details while staying within budget

  • Work with Center Executive Director and Fiscal Specialist to develop and enforce Center policies and procedures

  • Work with Center Director, Executive Director and Fiscal Specialist to maximize use and efficiency of Center facilities (e.g., videoconferencing system, computers, space, and equipment)

Example #3

Administrative Director for Engineering Research Center Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN)

To be considered for this position, please mail three letters of recommendation to:

Dr. Robert Norwood
c/o Rick Franco
University of Arizona
College of Optical Sciences
1630 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85721


Position Summary

Recognized internationally for its strong research programs, the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences is considered a national asset for technical leadership in all the sciences related to optics and the technologies and industries enabled by optics and photonics.

The mission of Optical Sciences is to provide the State of Arizona and the nation with the internationally preeminent program in education, research, and outreach in all aspects of the science and application of light.

The College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona invites applications for the position of Administrative Director of the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN). The Center encompasses research, education, technology transfer and outreach and is comprised of 9 participating universities of which the University of Arizona is the lead. The chief responsibility of the incumbent will be to serve as central administrator and manager for the Center, acting within the policies and procedures of the University and the National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement, to achieve Center goals. The Administrative Director is the primary interface between Center research, educational and diversity personnel and the Director. Specific responsibilities include Center-wide coordination of activities, financial management, budget preparation, facilities support, proposal preparation, grant administration, human resources, general administration and resource allocation.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and retirement plans, life insurance, disability programs and investment plans, paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; tuition reduction for employee and qualified family members, Qualified tuition reduction U of A/ASU/NAU and access to UA recreation and cultural activities, plus more.

Duties and Responsibilities

Assists the Center Director in the overall management of the ERC

Develop and recommend, and once approved, administer program policies and budgets.

Establish policies, methods, procedures and work rules for Center administrative staff.

Interview and recommend selection of applicants, conduct training, assign and schedule work, act upon leave requests, conduct annual performance evaluations and recommend disciplinary actions.

Assure that Center programs conform to institutional and departmental policies and regulations.

Oversee the administrative and management functions of the Center, including day-to-day management of Center grant totaling $18.5M plus university cost share and industrial sponsorships.

Supervise professional staff while coordinating the efforts of numerous other professionals and staff employed by partner and participating universities.

In coordination with the CIAN Management Team, update the Center’s Strategic Plan as needed and ensure this plan is carried out effectively

Serve as liaison with University departments, NSF and a broad spectrum of Center partners.

Oversee and coordinate Center website development, internal database and communications.

Coordinate annual NSF Site Visit and other Advisory Board and Oversight Committee meetings.

Work with Center’s Education and Diversity Directors to ensure planned goals and programs are carried out according to established timelines.

Work with Center’s Industrial Collaboration and Innovation Director and Associate Director for Industry Collaboration to ensure efficacy of IP Management Agreement and servicing of tech transfer needs within the Center.

Prepare annual report and contribute to proposal writing for external funding.

Lead overall compliance with NSF Cooperative Agreement.

Assume other duties as requested by the Director.


Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. in a scientific field and 5 years of experience in a scientific research or academic setting

Proven leadership, communication and team building skills

Experience with a research institute or academic institution, working within a scientific research setting, dealing with research-related administrative matters will be given priority.

Demonstrated ability to effectively address complex administrative issues

Highly developed ability to prepare written communications

Proven administrative, organizational and problem-solving skills

Demonstrated competence in budget management, large event planning and coordination and facilitation of substantive research through administrative means

Demonstrated experience coordinating projects involving many individual and institutional participants

Experience with initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity is desirable

What kind of criminal background check is required for this position?This position is security sensitive based on the job duties and requires a finger-print criminal background check

To apply for this position use the link below

Example #4

Administrative Director, Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power


Fiscal Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for overall center budget, including $3 million in National Science Foundation (NSF) funds, $700,000 in industry member funds, and $180,000 U of M cost-share funds.

  • Work closely with center director in development of overall center budget.

  • Manage long-range fiscal planning.

  • Responsible for managing budgets of all center sub-awards.

  • Ensure that invoicing/reporting from all sub-awards complies with federal regulations.

  • Responsible for reporting to NSF regarding all financial aspects of the multi-institutional center, including expenses incurred for all sub-awards, tracking of funds, functional budget costs, and costs incurred by project.

  • Work closely with sponsored projects grants administrator on all accounts associated with the center and administering sub-award contracts.

  • Authorize payments for all sub-awards.

  • Manage membership agreements with industry partners, including all financial aspects.

  • Track and process industry dues.

  • Authorize and implement University of Minnesota expenditures.

  • Track all University of Minnesota expenditures using shadow system. Familiarity with EFS and ability to run various financial reports required.

Administration Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement processes by which partner institutions can comply with reporting.

  • Serve as point-of-contact with NSF regarding changes in reporting regulations, proposal processing, and other issues as needed.

  • Serve as point-of-contact with all partner institutions regarding reporting regulations and financial matters of Center.

  • Advise faculty on reporting requirements.

  • Hire personnel for Center and oversee human resource/payroll issues, including write and post job descriptions, ensure accuracy of faculty and student appointments, and supervise student workers.

  • Oversee compilation of Center annual report, including collection of all data required by NSF. The annual report is a 450 + page document. Compilation includes analyzing and assessing data from over 30 faculty at seven institutions, working with the NSF-aligned contractor on system output, collecting bio sketches, program summaries and financial information, obtaining all certified documents needed, formatting entire report, and working closely with printer to ensure job is completed on time.

  • Represent the unit to other administrators and outside agencies with regard to business and administrative policies and procedures.

  • Handle all facilities, procurement and office service operations for the center.

  • Manage yearly NSF “Site Visit” which includes hotel contract, catering, agenda and tracking of all attendees.

  • Coordinate travel arrangements for center staff for several trips through out the year.

  • Order office supplies for the Center.

  • Reconcile purchasing cards for center-related purchases.

Example #5

Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)

Executive Office and Administrative Specialist

(Working title: Administrative Specialist)

Required Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of University fiscal and administrative policies (e.g., effort certification, purchasing, travel, professional services, payroll).

  • Experience with University of Minnesota’s business procedures including functional use of UM Reports.

  • Knowledge of the U’s policies and procedures relating to grant administration.

  • Finance and accounting experience both inside and outside of an academic setting.

  • Computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe, and University applications (EGMS, E-Cert, PeopleSoft, EFS).  

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Knowledge and/or demonstrated ability needed to perform administrative, event planning, education program support in a fast-paced environment.  


Summary of Tasks:

Budget/Financial (33%):

Assist Administrative Director in overall Center budget operations
Complete timely and accurate account reconciliations
Compose and distribute non-sponsored and sponsored reports to PIs on a regular basis
Review budget justifications for consistency, accuracy, and completeness Prepare Center financial reports for management review
Create PeopleSoft (PS) friendly budgets and re-budgets
Review purchase orders and employee reimbursements
Prepare budgets for grant proposals
Reconcile P-Cards
Submit PRFs
Handle facilities, procurement, and office service operations for the Center


Administrative (33%):
Assist Administrative Director in HR/Personnel tasks
Track NSF and Industry Invoices
Forward invoices to SPA
Handle offer letters
Handle Industrial Membership letters and payments
Handle Annual Membership Fees/Invoices/Thank you letters
Track In-kind Donations
Take minutes on Executive Committee Conference Calls
Assist in annual report coordination
Update procedure manual

Event Planning/Project Coordination (33%):
Plan travel arrangements
Organize events such as the faculty retreat and NSF site-visit
Coordinate the SLC Travel and Project Grant program
Update Facebook and Twitter regarding upcoming events

Example #6

Center for Subsurface Sensing & Imaging Systems (CenSSIS)



For Administrative/Professional Jobs



Job Title


Finance and Operations


Date Prepared



 Department / College

Center for Subsurface Sensing & Imaging Systems (CenSSIS) / College of Engineering




Employee’s Name

Jacquelyn L. Wheeler


Number of Employees in Job



Manager’s Name & Title

Michael B. Silevitch






  • Focus on the important end-results for the job rather than on tasks.

  • Ensure that the completed description provides a clear picture of why this job exists.

  • Indicate the minimum level of job qualifications for successful performance of the job.


1. Job Summary (This section will be used to post this job.)

Provide a brief statement indicating the basic mission of the job as well as any special problems and unique challenges of the job.

Northeastern University will be the fiscal agent and lead partner of a new National Science Foundation (NSF) -supported Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS). The initial five (5) year NSF grant will be $16.2 million which does not include other sources of funding anticipated to exceed $3 million per year, totaling $30+ million over the next 5 years. Winning an Engineering Research Center award from the NSF is a cornerstone of Northeastern's Strategic Plan for positioning the University to move from a Tier 3 level to a Tier 2 level institution and for the College of Engineering to become ranked as one of the top 50 in the nation.

CenSSIS is a multi-constituent, distributed “enterprise,” composed of: four (4) Academic Partners – Northeastern University, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez; four (4) Strategic Affiliates - Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This partnership incorporates eight (8) academic disciplines, and over fifty (50) faculty and research staff. In addition, affiliated students are anticipated to number seventy (70) undergraduate and forty (40) graduate students in the first year of the ERC. Industrial and government supporting organizations are expected to number over twenty-five (25) by the end of the first year.

The Director of Finance and Operations is responsible for all non-scientific aspects of this multi-University Center. This includes financial oversight, operations, and administration management. The Director is a major contributor to the marketing and strategic planning of CenSSIS, and is a member of the multi-university Senior Management Team and various ad hoc groups, e.g. Computer Infrastructure, Space Planning, and Financial Planning and Control. The Director attends the NSF Annual Meeting of ERC’s, ERC Administrative Directors’ Meetings, and other NSF-related meetings, such as NSF Administrative Consultancy and NSF ERC Start-up Meeting. The Director oversees and attends the annual NSF Site Visit to the ERC, the CenSSIS Semi-Annual Research Review / Industrial Meetings of approx. 150 attendees. The Director of Finance and Operations plays a critical role in planning, control, and communication, thus providing the essential “glue” to enable a complex Center to achieve its goals and effectiveness. This position is equivalent to at least that of a Vice President of a small business with 50-100 employees, requiring autonomy of action and decision-making responsibility at a senior level.


2. Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities

Please identify each key responsibility, in 3-4 sentences, required to complete the important end-results of the job and the typical amount of time required for each responsibility (please limit your response to the four most important responsibilities of the job in addition to Customer Service).

  • Customer Service

 Interfaces with multi-constituencies: university senior management, faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate students at Northeastern University, partner institutions / affiliates, industry /government organizations, etc.


% of

Total Time

  • Financial Planning, Monitoring & Control

In concert with the Division of Sponsored Project Administration (DSPA), develops systematic methods for reporting, tracking, and monitoring fiscal elements of the Center. This includes multiple funding “sources,” multiple funding “uses” (subcontracts, numerous projects within Northeastern and with partner and other institutions).


% of

Total Time

  • Marketing, Marketing Communications, and Strategic Planning

Makes recommendations on Marketing, Marketing Communications and Strategic Planning to the CenSSIS Director and Senior Management Group; e.g. coordinating with Public Relations Department, speech writing. Oversees the planning and execution of major Meetings & Special Events.


% of

Total Time

  • Office Management & Hiring

Oversees the Office Management of CenSSIS Headquarters including: coordination of hiring for CenSSIS staff appointments and graduate students; space planning; day-to-day operations; supervision of support staff.


% of

Total Time


3. Financial Measures

This section helps to provide perspective on the financial responsibility of this job. Please provide relevant data to the extent it is available.

  • Annual Operating Budget that the job manages (excluding payroll, one-time supplements or temporary expenditures such as capital equipment). Explanation:

While the Center technically does not have an Operating Budget, sources of funding for the Center approximate $8-10 million / year. Funding sources include: the National Science Foundation, Industrial / Government organizations, both as members of the Center and through proprietary Center research projects. There also is internal cost sharing of $ $500,000 per year committed to the Center by the University. In addition, subcontracts to partner institutions must be monitored in conjunction w/ the Division of Sponsored Project Administration to be in accordance with NSF requirements.

  • Other Relevant Quantitative Information (e.g., monetary programs such as fundraising, financial aid, tuition revenues, project size or costs). Explanation:

Managing NU CenSSIS Renovation Budget of $500,000.


4. The Organization (Please attach an organization chart for this area)

  • Title of the immediate manager:

Director, Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS) and

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • Other jobs reporting to the same manager:

10 person Multi-University Senior Management Team including: Deputy Director, Co-Principal Investigators, Research Co-Leaders, and Industrial Liaison. Other non-CenSSIS personnel include 1 principal Research Scientist, Director Project SEED.

  • Number of employees reporting directly to this job:


Professional and Administrative (Exempt)


Office / Support and Technical Staff (Non-exempt)


Co-op Students


Other Students

(Graduate Assistants)


















From College of Business & College of Engineering

5. Knowledge, Skill Sets, and Experience

Provide the minimum level of qualifications required for an employee to succeed in this specific job.

  • Masters degree in Business (MBA) or comparable degree

  • Substantial business management experience and acumen in:

  • Operations and planning for complex corporate and academic environments

  • Accounting, preparation and analysis of financial statements / budgets;

Financial planning and control monitoring

  • Client account management and customer service for interfacing with diverse constituencies at all levels externally and internally, such as: various levels of the NU community, University Administrators, faculty/researchers and students at partner universities, industrial partners, prospects & friends

  • Management and Supervision of a multi-task office environment

  • Strategic marketing, marketing communications experience for external and internal promotion of Center activities and to enhance effectiveness of Center’s strategy; strong communication skills, both oral and written, with the ability to articulate Center’s mission, policies, and write varied types of communications.

  1. Signatures:




  1. Employee

  1. Date

  1. Manager

  1. Date



Please take a moment to review this checklist:

  • Have you responded fully to each item?

  • Do your responses focus on the important end-results for the job rather than on tasks?

  • Does the completed Job Scope Description provide a clear picture of why the job exists?

  • Do the job qualifications reported reflect the minimum level for successful performance rather than the Employee’s personal background and profile?

  • Have you limited your responses to the space provided?

  • Have you attached a copy of an organization chart for your area?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this Job Scope Description in a thoughtful manner.




Example #7









Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC)

Academic Program Mgt Officer 4

Job Description



1. The “track changes” feature has been activated in this job description template.

2. Edit all pre-filled information belowto specifically reflect the employee’scurrent responsibilities, with the exception of the following sections whichdo notchange: Job Title, Job Field, Job Family, Job Category, Job Level, Generic Scope.

3. Provide a copy of the most current department organization chart.

4. Keep the “trackchanges” functionality activated in the final submitted copy

Name: Employee ID:


Department: QB3 /SynBERC Division: Current

Payroll Title: Sr. Admin. Analyst

Job Title: Academic Program Mgt Officer 4


Working Title: Administrative Director


JobField: Research Administration JobFamily: Academic ProgramManagement


JobCategory: Professional JobLevel: Advanced




SubmissionDate: 11/18/2008


1. Job Summary (Purpose of the Position – please give a brief descriptionof the overall purpose of the position. “Why does this position exist?” The Job Family Summary has been provided as a starting point.)

The Administrative Director (AD) servesthe entire,multi-institutionERC community as the guardian of resources, policies, and process. Working closely with the Directorand researchleaders, s/he serves as the primary point of contact in the day-to-dayoperation ofthe center, assists the in the overall management and development of the ERC, and servesasmanager for finance, HR, IT, contracts/grants, and student services. General management includes long and short rangestrategic planning in determining the mission and directing all activities of multi-disciplinary departments throughsubordinatemanagement staff. The AD is the primary liaison between the centerand external agencies (includingNSF), promotes andparticipates in strategic proposal andprogram development, and is primarily responsible for executing the center’s internal and external communications.

2. Scope

Generic Scope (Uniform across all jobs atthis level - do notmodify):Technical leaderwith a high degree of knowledge inthe overall field and recognized expertise in specific areas; problem-solving frequently requires analysis of unique issues/problemswithout precedent and/orstructure. May manage programs that include formulating strategies and administeringpolicies, processes, and resources; functions with a high degree of autonomy.

Custom Scope: Independently oversees a moderately sized academic orresearch program and represents the program to outside organizations. Oversees all administrative operations, finance, human resources and facilities for program. Designs and develops major program components, and administers the full range of the program's operational requirements. Works with faculty on formulating short-term planning andprocedures. Develops and organizes conferences and other public forums. Works under direction of Principle Investigator to establish center agenda, funding, objectives.3. Key Responsibilities (Indicate key functions and the estimated percentage of time spent performing each function. If there are more than 10 key responsibilities, some of the similar functions may be grouped together and an estimated % applied.Please indicate which responsibilities are considered "essential" to the successful performance of the job as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Visit the Career Compass Glossary for an explanation of essential functions:

If applicable, describe theposition’s rolein planning theprograms,functions, activities, and processes of the organizational unit to achieve unit goalsand objectives.


of time

Essential Function (Yes/No)


Key Responsibilities

(To be completedby Supervisor)

25 Directs and administers an independent program with complete administrative, financial and programmatic responsibility.

25 Participates in the program budgeting and accounting processes to support financial infrastructureof program.Manages, plans, and administers a full range of reporting functions where the operations are significantly complex in terms ofbudgetary funding, number of faculty, staff and students, and/or are broad in scope due to focus of operations orfunderrequirements.

10 Identifies andpursues funding opportunities and revenue streams.

10 Assists in developing research byserving on committees representing the program, participating in short termand long termplanning. Assesses program's effectiveness, and recommends changes to program'scontent, policies and procedures accordingly. Provides post-award financial administration and management for research funds in accordancewith campus policy and agency requirements.

10 Develops andimplements programs, events and/or communication strategies designed to inform external constituencies of institutional programs, activities, and practices; constituencies may includethe general public, prospective students, parents, donors, campus visitors, government and/orcommunityrepresentatives. Mayprovide presentation of course or program.

20 Researches, develops, and implements electronic and traditionalmedia (including content and design) designed to inform external constituencies of institutional programs, activities, policies, and practices; constituencies may include the general public, prospective students, funding agencies, campus visitors, and/or community representatives.

0% (To update total%, enter the amount of time in whole numbers (without the %symbol- e.g., 15, 20) then highlight the total sum (e.g., 1%) at the bottom of the column and press F9. The total sum should add up to 100%.)

4. Knowledge and Skills (typically requiredof the position)

  • Academic background and experience in selected area of research.
  • Advanced knowledge of administrative, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills.
  • Advanced ability to think creatively and independentlyon concepts requiring advanced analytical skills.
  • Advanced interpersonal skills and ability to work withdiverse groups to achieve results.
  • Advanced ability to work collaboratively with internal and external peers and managers.
  • Highly skilled fundraising experience.

5. Education and Training

If needed, edit the pre-filledinformation below.



Advanced degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training


Licenses or certifications, if any:


6. Problem Solving

Please provide 2-3 examples of problemsolving for this position as described below (please be brief: 1-3 sentences).


Common problems solved by the employee:

  • Change of subcontract scope of work and budget
  • Reconciling cost accounting for multi-university center


Unusual or complex problems solved bythe employee:

  • Developing small (less than $100k), non-technical project proposals
  • Developing web-based project data collection and reporting


Problems/situations that are referred to this employee's supervisor:

  • Funding agency criticism ofcenter’s strategic plan
  • Significant changes in budgeted versus actual costs for center


7. Supervision (NOTE: Complete this section ONLY if the incumbent in this position,in addition to the personally performed duties, performs at least 3 ofthe following):

  • Independently selects subordinates OR participates in the interviews and recommends who should be hired;
  • Independently determines subordinates' performance ratings OR recommends performance ratings;
  • Independently decides within budgetary limitations the amount of subordinate merit increases, whom will be selected for promotional opportunities, and whether to request the reclassification of a position, OR recommends these actions;
  • Has independent authority to issue written warnings and suspensions and determines what discipline should be imposed upon a subordinate OR recommends such actions;
  • Has independent authority to resolve grievances or complaints OR formulates and recommends a resolution to grievances or complaints.




"Recommendations" are customarily given substantial weight by higher-level supervisors/managers and are typically accepted. Positions that give work assignments to other employees and review their work products, but do not perform at least 3 of these functions are typically LEAD positions,not supervisory positions.

Indicate employeessupervised, job title and FTE.

Employee Supervised Job Title FTE

Please follow your department's or division's procedures for management review and then subm it to your Department HR Manager.


Document Retention

Review the job descriptionwith the employee before submitting it and annually thereafter at the time of the employee's performance evaluation. Sign and date below and placea copy in thepersonnel file.

(Signature below is only required for hard-copy retention within thedepartment. Electronicsubmission does not requiresignatures.)


Supervisor Name:

Employee Signature:



Supervisor Title:

Supervisor Signature: