• Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • DOE
  • Full Time

In an ongoing effort to optimize productivity and service to our customers, Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) has created a new leadership position in the Contracts & Grants (C&G) department the Pre-Award Manager.

PAVIR is seeking a Pre-Award Manager who will be responsible for the management and oversight of pre-award administration of submissions for extramural funding.  Reporting to the Director, the Manager will ensure adherence to sponsor's requirements and applicable regulations and supervise Pre-Award contracts and grants staff. The Pre-Award Manager will develop and implement solutions for improved pre-award operating procedures.

Functions of this position shall be performed in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and in fulfillment of PAVIR's standards of excellence, utilizing continuous improvements in processes, policies, and procedures.

The hiring manager strongly encourages job applicants to submit a cover letter when they apply for this position.

Why Join Our Team? PAVIR, located on the premises of the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, is a mid-size nonprofit foundation, closely connected with the VA and Stanford University. We are a nimble organization, offering ongoing training, opportunities for growth, generous benefits, great work-life balance, as well as friendly, close-knit, and supportive environment. At PAVIR we work with more than 160 uniquely talented medical scientists across a broad spectrum of research areas. We recruit talented employees who believe in making a difference in the lives of others through innovative research.

This is a regular, full time (40 hrs/wk), exempt position.

PAVIR is affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check.


  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vacation
  • Sick Pay
  • Holidays
  • Life Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Long-term Disability Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Short-term Disability Insurance - paid by PAVIR
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Commuter Benefit


Manage, train, motivate, and supervise Pre-Award C&G staff, including C&G workload and priorities, assuring strong productivity and quality of work:

  • Recruit, retain and reward Pre-Award staff;
  • Monitor workloads and staffing requirements;
  • Manage Pre-Award tasks / processes to ensure that Pre-Award services meet customer needs while fully utilizing and maximizing resources;
  • Motivate employees to achieve department objectives; provide development opportunities to employees to enhance skills or accomplish tasks;
  • Evaluate the work of employees, delegating responsibility and holding accountable as appropriate or intervening to correct performance problems on an on-going basis; conduct annual staff performance evaluations.

Oversee and ensure compliance on all Pre-Award C&G activities, including:

  • Ensure timely, compliant, and accurate submission of proposals, Just-in-Time information, and any responses to sponsor queries;
  • Manage independent portfolio of grant and contract submissions;
  • Ensure adherence to applicable federal, state, and local regulations and policies.

Identify opportunities, problems and capabilities related to PAVIR's C&G infrastructure and systems to contribute to and maintain PAVIR's culture of process improvement:

  • Initiate, manage and contribute to teams and workgroups to develop and implement solutions for improved pre-award operating procedures, improved processing methods, communication, information and work flow, operational efficiency, and goal deployment;
  • Develop and maintain reports on pre-award C&G operations to measure proposal submission activities, success/probability rates performing quality assurance on database entries so that reports contain reliable data;
  • Motivate and hold pre-award C&G staff responsible for contributing and maintaining SOPs for pre-award activities;
  • Perform quality assurance on database entries so that standard reports contain reliable data;
  • Maintain up-to-date information on proposal / award disposition.

The Pre-Award Manager will work together with the Post-Award Manager and Director to facilitate the following types of communication:

  • Between Pre- and Post-Award C&G staff at all stages of research project 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.



Required:  High school diploma or GED;

Desired:  Bachelor's degree.


Desired: CRA certification;


Required: At least 5 years in Pre-Award administration of a complex and diverse portfolio of grants/sponsored programs, including at least 2 years of experience supervising direct reports, preferably in a nonprofit;

Desired:  At least ten years of progressive pre-award administration with specific knowledge of NIH and DoD grants management processes and policies. 

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

Personal Talents: Leadership; cooperation; and initiative.

Technical Skills: Thorough knowledge of federal, state, and local agency policies and procedures in the submission of extramural funding proposals; e.g. Uniform Guidance, NIH, DoD, VA, academic environment.  Demonstrated hands-on experience using NIH ASSIST, NIH eRA Commons,, Fastlane, eBRAP.

Planning and Organization: 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.  Strong process orientation with an ability to set priorities, analyze and resolve problems, and make decisions in a timely fashion. 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.

Organization / People Management: Demonstrated experience managing, motivating, developing, evaluating, and retaining staff.  Ability to lead, influence and motivate in teams, including cross-functional workgroups and teams.  Ability to attract, manage, develop, evaluate and retain staff; ability to lead influence, and motivate individuals and teams; skilled in holding staff accountable and developing their abilities to perform their jobs.

Analytical Skills: Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills plus organization skills with experiencing interpreting goals and objectives into an operational model as well as being well versed in using accounting software tools to maximize institution's effectiveness.  Excellent decision-making skills including ability to analyze complex and/or ambiguous situations, identify workable solutions and their potential outcomes, and make appropriate determinations based on regulations and policies; must possess high ethical standards, good judgment, and ability to review detailed work for critical incongruencies.

Interpersonal Skills/Communications: An effective and constructive communicator at all levels in the organization, with strong oral and written skills and a willingness to share information.  A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality.  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.

Computer / Information Technology Skills: Highly proficient with computer applications including MS Outlook, Word, Excel, Adobe, and online submission portals. 

Other: Ability to stay current in job knowledge and technology.

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

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

Environmental: Exposure to an office environment.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information: 

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 posted position, please contact - Human Resources department.

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