The Grant and Contract Officer (“GA” or “GCO”) serves as a research agreement, contract and grant expert in the central sponsored projects office. Incumbents work on behalf of the Regents to solicit, negotiate, and administer extramural support for research, training, and public services projects sponsored by government and non-government sponsors (“sponsored projects”). The GCO may handle 450-650 transactions of varying types (agreements, proposals, awards, subawards) per year using federal regulations and University policies as the basis for execution of the work. Primary duties pursuant to this role will include the review, negotiation, and execution of non-funded research agreements such as confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements, data use agreements, and non-funded research agreements. Incumbents also serve as institutional experts in the area of business and industry sponsored projects and other sponsor regulations and requirements. Actions are guided by schedules, due dates, and clear deliverables. The GCO evaluates language for alternative fallback positions and negotiates these positions in a face-to-face negotiation or other negotiation environment, consulting with the Office of General Counsel for assistance to verify adequacy of language or position as needed. Some crafting of alternative language for agreements is expected, as is explanations of University positions in correspondence with sponsors and investigators. The GCO also performs compliance obligation reviews and to assess risks. The GCO engages in personal, departmental, institutional, or regional/national training opportunities. The GCO may assist in developing SPECTRUM or SPA courses taught to departmental research administrators and other SPA colleagues and serves on search committees and departmental business process improvement committees.
Subjective judgment is required based on the risks imposed by the type of contracting entity, the type of project, the degree of sophistication of the academic unit running the project and any third parties involved in carrying out, the experience of the PI, and current national audit and review climate related to research.
NOTE: The percentage of time expressed below are an average:
60% Agreement Negotiation & Processing
• Negotiate terms and conditions of agreements with a variety of other contracting parties (i.e. industry sponsors, government entities, nonprofit agencies, other academic institutions) to determine the adequacy and acceptability of terms and conditions for the University. Work with the other contracting party and the Office of General Counsel, principal investigators , research associate deans, departmental staff, Export Control, Technology Commercialization and other University business offices to devise or alter terms as needed to minimize administrative burden, ensure proper costing and adherence to University policies while ensuring positive relationships with sponsoring agencies. • Understand and apply wide-range of University policy and procedures related to research/sponsored projects including, but not limited to, adherence to conflict of interest policy and procedures, human and animal subject policies, foreign influence disclosure obligations, openness in research policy and other additional training requirements. • Provide guidance and assistance to faculty and departmental staff interpreting regulatory and sponsor requirements, as well as compliance with University policy • Finalize terms and recommend execution on behalf of the Regents of the University of Minnesota at the conclusion of successful negotiations. • Use various electronic systems to establish the agreement in the University's databases for tracking agreement, contract and grant activity. Summarize terms and conditions to accurately reflect the parameters of the award and to provide proper notifications to principal investigators and various university business offices. • Interpret federal, state and other sponsor terms and conditions and reconcile with applicable University policy and procedure to provide proper internal guidance to investigators, senior research officials and staff. • Review mid-life cycle requests for prior approvals or other needed changes on behalf of the University. • Assist faculty and staff in resolution of issues or problems that arise during project performance. • Resolve issues or concerns identified by the sponsor and/or the investigator.
20% Customer Service & Assistance
• The GCO is responsible for advising and assisting University department administrators, principal investigators, and staff members; interpreting and explaining contract terms and conditions and assisting in the resolution of problems that develop in the course of projects by consulting with the investigator(s), staff, and sponsors.
10% Team Assistance
• The GCO is expected to provide back-up support for their colleagues and develop ideas for increasingly effective service.
10% Special Initiatives and Training
• Engage in personal, departmental, institutional, or regional/national training opportunities, regulatory reviews, conferences, and other learning opportunities (webinars, staff meetings, classes, etc.) to expand skills and to stay current on the regulatory environment. • Engage in one or more institutional or departmental committees or work duties as assigned, such as helping to develop and/or teach courses in the SPECTRUM course series on contract and grant administration; lead planning and/or teach for the Sponsored Projects Symposia or specialized SPA training course series; serve as institutional single point of contact and/or lead for highly complex sponsored projects, help with departmental goals or other projects, assist coordinate campus staff. • Work effectively with faculty, staff, academic leaders, and sponsors through clear, concise and compelling oral and written communication, including producing and editing a variety of complex written correspondence. Meeting regularly with constituents (including PIs). • May serve on hiring committees
Expected Salary Range: $65,728 - $68,000
Remote Work Options:
Sponsored Projects Administration endorses a “Work with Flexibility” approach that encourages employees to select a work location where they can do their best work. This means that the incumbent has an option to work remotely, partially remotely, or entirely in the office; at this time, many SPA staff have opted to work remotely. The GCO will be asked to attend certain in-person work events during the year regardless of remote status. Out-of-state candidates will be considered if their skills are extremely strong. Regardless of work location, work processes will be digital and paperless. Incumbents are provided University-configured equipment and supportive technology tools, but the employee will be required to provide reliable internet access and home office furnishings if they opt for part or all of their duties to be undertaken remotely.
• BA/BS and four years of experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience to total eight years.
• Experience using standard computer tools (e.g., MS Office suite, email, calendaring). • Excellent communication skills; ability to seamlessly adapt communication style and content to varying audiences (e.g., external entities, University attorneys, senior management, technology transfer professionals, faculty and other researchers, deans, department heads, research administration staff, and internal colleagues). • Ability and commitment to get to “yes” in negotiations while simultaneously ensuring protection of key University assets and conformance with regental and University policy. • Experience negotiating contracts strongly preferred. • Training and experience negotiating agreements that include protection of existing and anticipated intellectual property. • Demonstrated ability to balance the interests of for-profit entities against the interests and policies of an academic institution in the negotiation of agreements. • Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills; proven good judgment; demonstrated ability to conclude negotiations in a timely manner; demonstrated analytical problem-solving ability; proven ability to work effectively in a fast-moving, customer-focused environment subject to external pressure and frequent interruptions; proven ability to provide high quality service under tight deadlines. • Proven ability to take initiative, prioritize workload, and work independently. • Experience with drafting, reviewing, or negotiating confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements, and data use agreements preferred. • Experience with and knowledge of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). • Sufficient background to understand the University and the academic research environment. • Demonstrated comfort and willingness to learn new automated tools and processes.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.