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#101144 Research Administrator

Extended Deadline: Tue 9/24/2019

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 09/09/2019 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 09/18/2019. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

Positions will be filled either as a Research Administrator 3 or a Research Administrator 2, based on the experience and skills of the candidate selected.

The title/pay level of this position will be based on the qualifications and experience of the candidate identified for hire:

Research Administrator 2 ($48,900 - $62,250) Non-Exempt

Research Administrator 3 ($53,600 - $68,100) Exempt


The Marine Physical Laboratory Division (MPL) has offices on both the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) La Jolla campus and at the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) on Naval Base Point Loma. It is part of SIO's Oceans and Atmosphere (OA) Section with multi-disciplinary programs of scientific research including: ocean acoustics, signal processing, underwater imaging, acoustics of marine mammals, air-sea interaction and surface waves, upper ocean physics, ocean optics, atmospheric optics, seismology/geophysics, marine geology and geomorphology, and ocean chemistry. MPL has contracts & grants with federal agencies, industry, other Universities and non-profits, and various state agencies. MPL's research programs are both theoretical and applied, The MPL machine shop supports MPL and SIO research programs fabricating unique and complex instrumentation in support of exploratory technological development appropriate to applied research programs. MPL expenditures exceed $28 million per year. MPL has over 130 permanent academic and staff employees and about 100 annual students, visiting appointments, and volunteers.

Advise PIs and staff on applicable overhead rates, UC and agency rules, regulations, required language for budget justifications, cost-sharing rules, fees, and funding trends. Responsible for a high degree of accuracy in compiling budget data, spending projections, and faculty compensation plans for the proposal submittals. Requires compiling information from multi-faceted research groups and from other UCSD/SIO departments and external organizations including other universities, government laboratories, and industry. Follow through on proposal applications, agency reporting requirements, no-cost extensions, re-budgets, continuations, and renewals. Must be able to interact professionally and confidently with a variety of faculty and research professionals and to incorporate assertive methods of connecting with agency and university resource offices on behalf of the researcher and/or management. The position will also be responsible for the oversight of complex awards; the processing and billing of outside purchase orders for services; and the billing of complex awards. Responsibilities include preparing monthly financial statements; review appropriateness of expenditures, availability of funds and applicable funding restrictions; prepare allocations and budget adjustment transfers as required; prepare cost transfer and other financial adjustments for fiscal closing and award close-out.

  • Occasional evenings & weekends may be required.

  • Work location is in Point Loma.



  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state, and University rules and regulations and agency guidelines in the area of pre- and post-award contract administration, including travel regulations, to ensure strict compliance with auditing and reporting requirements and translate them into daily departmental practices. Examples (not inclusive): Federal Uniform Guidance; federal registers (FDP and Expanded Authority); Cost Accounting Standards; federal and state agency guidelines (NSF, NOAA, DOE, NASA, DWR, CEC, etc.).

  • Ability to work independently, take ownership of work performance, follow through on assignments, identify problems and recommend course of action for resolution, and acknowledge those tasks/items/problems that need to be handled by self and those that need the Finance Manager’s or MSO's attention.

  • Strong ability to perform moderately complex financial analysis and customized reporting. Ability to collect and analyze cost data, equipment pricing, and foreign and domestic travel pricing for detailed complex multi-year budgets. Ability to review accounts in relation to shifting income/expenditure, audit spending trends, analyze statements for balance of funds, provide projections, audit for appropriateness of expenses against agency regulations and make sound recommendations for budget adjustments.

  • Strong math skills including the ability to work with percentages; ability to analyze budgets in relation to shifting expenses for adjustments and ability to project costs. Experience with advanced Excel spreadsheets and pivot tables, preferably in an Apple environment.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding financial, payroll, and personnel information. Ability to interact constructively with faculty, staff, and students in person and over the phone, exercising tact and diplomacy with emphasis on flexibility and professionalism. Ability to work within a team framework participating in group discussion regarding systems, procedures, and goals of the unit.

  • Maintains current knowledge of compliance regulations in all areas of research administration. Ability to interpret government regulations and contractual arrangements, such as Expanded Authority, cooperative agreements, and flow-through subcontract and purchase orders. Ability to review, decipher, and examine governmental and contractual language in detail and assess carefully terms and conditions that govern the award. Ability to apply programmatic knowledge regarding research objectives of projects/programs in order to analyze data, evaluate next-step procedures, weigh consequences in financial modeling, and advise PIs of the best solutions to the problems or issues at hand.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of generally accepted accounting, fiscal and reporting principles. Knowledge of financial accounting/bookkeeping principles, generally accepted accounting principles, budget planning and analysis, forecasting and projections, purchasing, inventory, and all related functions for pre- and post-award and consortia administration from inception through close-out. Demonstrated ability to read, understand and interpret the general ledger and other accounting documents.

  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills for effective written and oral communication to correspond with all levels of administration using correct rules of grammar, punctuation, and proper formats, and demonstrating the ability to proofread own work.


  • Experience using UC/UCSD business systems.

  • Knowledge of UC policies and procedures for award close-outs and fiscal closing activities.


  • Thorough understanding of research administration guidelines of Federal and non-Federal sponsors supporting research and educational activities, preferably in a university environment. Knowledge of financial accounting/bookkeeping principles, purchasing, inventory, travel, and all related functions. Demonstrated experience in interpreting and applying complex rules, regulations, systems, and design/develop enhancements to routine operations.

  • Demonstrated experience and skill in analyzing spending patterns of PIs, identifying their needs and incorporating information in budget requests, reports, and projections. Demonstrated skill in preparation and analysis of contractual proposal documents, including budget data, support details, and other data as required by the granting/contracting agencies. Knowledge of proposal formats and requirements of federal, state and private agencies including submission deadlines. Ability to interpret government regulations.

  • Ability to interact effectively and constructively with a wide range of changing personalities in person, over the phone, and via email exercising tact, diplomacy, and confidentiality.

  • Maintains current knowledge of compliance regulations in all areas of research administration. Demonstrated knowledge of federal rules, regulations, and guidelines (OMB A-21, 133, 110) to ensure strict compliance with auditing and reporting requirements and ability to translate them into daily departmental practices and procedures.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of generally accepted accounting, fiscal and reporting principles. Demonstrated analytical ability working with extensive and detailed information in an accurate manner within established deadlines and procedures. Ability to review and apply cost accounting standards (CAS) to all contract/grant expenditures.

  • Demonstrated ability utilizing related software such as Filemaker, Word, Intermediate to advanced level skills in Microsoft Excel.

  • Ability to analyze and prepare budgets, to identify spending patterns and to project future expenditures to include projecting salary, benefits, fees, and indirect costs with knowledge of payroll and personnel regulations impacting such costs.

  • Demonstrated ability to read, understand, and interpret the general ledger and other accounting documents. Knowledge of general accounting practices, procedures, and theory of accounts.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of SIO ships and cruise regulation including UNLOS ships, Carnets & Port Fees.

  • Knowledge of UCSD Export Controls and ITAR, FAR, DFAR regulations.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of UC rules and regulations; state sales/use tax regulations; federal, state, and UC travel policies and procedures; and campus/departmental/local interpretations and policies.

  • Ability to manage significant volume of transactions.

  • Ability to maintain independent judgment; strong organization and communication skills; and a customer service focus across broad and diverse subject areas. Ability to prioritize work with conflicting and changing priorities and deadlines.

  • Knowledge of applicable compliance requirements related to use of human or animal subjects in research, financial conflict of interest, biosafety, etc.

  • Demonstrated competence in the use of spreadsheet and database software in financial analysis, fiscal management and financial reports.


  • Must be able to obtain and maintain NIWIC/federal clearance to access the Naval Base Point Loma.

  • Per University of California policy PPSM 21-Appointment, this position has a background check requirement and offer of employment is contingent upon candidate clearing the background check process.

  • Confidentiality is a condition of employment due to access to sensitive materials found in proposals and budget.

  • Must maintain a California driver’s license.

  • Must be US Citizen or have permanent residency status in US.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://www-hr.ucsd.edu/saa/nondiscr.html

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit smokefree.ucsd.edu for more information.

Payroll Title:
Hiring Salary Range
$48,900 - $68,100 / Year
Rosecrans Street
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon - Fri