• Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • Full Time

Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is growing its Contracts & Grants team and we are seeking a highly motivated and effective leader to join us as an Associate Director of Research Administration.

About This Role

This leadership position is ideal for an experienced manager looking to make an impact on PAVIR's research administration activities, manage pre-award and post-award administration, and oversee staff members who comprise the team.

Reporting to the Director of Sponsored Research, the Associate Director will perform the duties of pre-award and post-award team members to best understand how to guide the Contracts & Grants team and will be responsible for an independent portfolio of proposal submissions and accounts management. The Associate Director is a collaborative leader who takes initiative for staff supervision, customer satisfaction, and process improvement.


PAVIR, located on the premises of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), is a mid-size nonprofit foundation, closely connected with the VA and Stanford University. We are a nimble organization, offering ongoing training, generous benefits, great work-life balance, as well as a friendly and supportive environment.

PAVIR fulfills its mission by engaging in $30M+ of sponsored medical research funded by the NIH, DoD, other federal agencies, state agencies, foundations, and industry. We are proud of our 31-year history of service to Principal Investigators, VAPAHCS and the staff we employ.

This is a full-time, Exempt (salary-paid) position. Location: Palo Alto, CA. Benefits:

  • Medical, dental and vision insurance, HSA, FSA, commuter benefits
  • Vacation and sick pay
  • 13 paid Holidays
  • Short-term, long-term disability and life insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Wellness Program

Primary Responsibilities

  • Manage, train, motivate, and supervise Contracts & Grants staff, assuring strong productivity and quality of work in both pre-award and post-award activities:
    • Recruit, retain and reward talent team members;
    • Provide daily oversight to staff, including workload assessment and assignment;
    • Ensure team members provide excellent customer service; Manage and resolve issues and complaints related to customer service.
  • Oversee and ensure compliance, including timely, compliant, and accurate submission of proposals, Just-in-Time information, responses to sponsor queries, submission of annual and close-out reports.
  • Identify opportunities related to PAVIR's C&G infrastructure to maintain PAVIR's culture of process improvement:
    • Develop and maintain reports on C&G operations to measure departmental KPIs, such as proposal submission, success/probability rates, account setup/closeout, account deficit/surplus;
    • Motivate and hold C&G staff responsible for contributing and maintaining SOPs for all C&G activities;
    • Maintain up-to-date information on disposition of proposals and awards.
  • Supervise and facilitate the following types of communication:
    • Between Pre- and Post-award C&G staff at all stages of research projects from inception to closeout;
    • With Human Resources and Finance/Accounting staff;
    • With VA Research Administration and Stanford University colleagues (e.g. PI eligibility, grantee organization status, etc.);
    • Between PIs and respective sponsors.

Desired Qualifications

  • Eight to ten years of sponsored research administration experience, encompassing a diverse portfolio of grants/sponsored programs with proven results as a manager;
  • Current knowledge of all functional areas of sponsored research administration, including federal and sponsor regulations and requirements, with specific knowledge of NIH and DoD grants management processes and policies;
  • Demonstrated experience motivating and supervising staff, including mentoring, professional enrichment and performance evaluations;
  • Bachelor's degree is required; Master's is preferred;
  • Certified Research Administrator certification is a plus;
  • Thorough knowledge of policies and procedures in the administration of sponsored research, e.g. Uniform Guidance, CFRs, VA Handbook, DODGAR, Federal Acquisition Regulation, Cost Accounting Standards, academic environment. Demonstrated hands-on experience using NIH ASSIST, NIH eRA Commons,, Fastlane, eBRAP;
  • Demonstrated track record of setting and meeting goals as well as self-prioritizing in a deadline-driven environment;
  • Strong project leadership, process improvement, decision making, organization, planning, and implementation skills;
  • Ability to balance attention to detail with big picture thinking; work in partnership with scientists in a customer-oriented environment; effectively balance customer service with regulatory compliance;
  • Demonstrated track record of acting as an effective and constructive communicator at all levels of the organization, with strong oral and written skills and a willingness to share information;
  • Ability to present complex financial/budgetary information to non-financial audiences while maintaining discretion when handling confidential information. Ability to establish credibility throughout the organization as an effective listener and problem solver.
  • Highly proficient with computer applications including MS Outlook, Word, Excel, Adobe, and online submission portals.

Physical Demands: Sitting for extended periods of time, repetitive movement/typing, etc.

Environmental Conditions: Office environment.

As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to complete a background check.

Please refer to our website for additional information: www.pavir.orgĀ 

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a position, please contact - Human Resources department.


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