Proposal and Award Generalist

Summary

Job Category:
Grants and Contracts Administration
Job Title:
Proposal and Award Generalist
Job Category Definition:
This specialty covers the activities related to the full lifecycle of sponsored program administration including identification of funding sources, proposal submission, contract negotiation, sub-award issuance, and post-award administration (both financial and non-financial) related to funding provided in the form of gifts, grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts from external/internal funding sources (e.g., federal agencies, state agencies, private companies, or foundations) that provide support for research, curriculum development, outreach, and/or service work. Breadth of duties may span several sub-specialties and may be either unit-specific, typically handling proposal submission and award administration, or more broadly-defined encompassing the ability to bind the University in contractual negotiations.
Job Title Definition:
The Proposal and Award Generalist pursues, administers and conducts sponsored programs (the profession of research administration); identifies funding opportunities; participates in the proposal preparation process; submits proposals (may include signatory authority on behalf of Penn State); reviews awards for items specific to the faculty, department, and college/unit (both financial and non-financial); informs faculty and college personnel of special contractual requirements; ensures compliance with University guidelines; and provides training to personnel on topics that cover the breadth of research administration. Duties are performed at various levels within the defined title.

Note: Many of these job duties are similar to the job duties performed by Grants and Contracts Administrators. Proposal and Award Generalist are typically found in offices that directly support the faculty, researchers, research staff, graduate students, department heads, administrative assistants, associate deans, development officers, and deans. They typically are part of the team that facilitates the project. Grants and Contracts Administrators are typically found in central offices, where they specialize in a certain step along the breadth of research administration. In the College of Medicine some levels of this job title will be found in a department, with the exception of submitting the proposals. The word faculty used throughout this document is not limited to a strict definition; rather the word faculty can be faculty with titles such as Assistant Professor, or researchers with titles such as Research Associate, or staff with titles such as Research Technologist.
Working Conditions:
Specific physical requirements and effort are outlined in Job Responsibilities Worksheet (list of essential job duties and responsibilities specific to a particular job at the unit level) in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
Other Requirements:
 

Levels

Level 1  

Level Details
Job Code Salary Band FLSA Status
GCGC0501 G Non-Exempt

Level 1 positions typically demonstrate baseline working knowledge of routine work applications; follow standard principles and systems and use appropriate terminology associated with a particular field of specialization; participate as a team member in a collaborative environment within a diverse workforce; actively contribute to completion of team goals and assigned tasks; clearly communicate information, ideas, or instructions verbally and in writing; follow recommended approach to assigned work to facilitate achievement of desired results; ensure safe practices and environmental consciousness are exhibited in decisions; typically work under direct and frequent supervision while performing routine duties using established procedures with detailed instructions.

Typical Education & Experience

3+ years related experience

High School Diploma or higher

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Typical Work Duties
  • Distribute funding opportunities as directed
  • Assist faculty or others with proposal preparation through reviewing sponsor guidelines and university guidelines, and drafting proposal checklists
  • Draft standard proposal documents including required forms, representations and certifications, and budgets
  • Draft Internal Approval Forms (IAFs) and obtain approvals of faculty and department/unit heads if required
  • Prepare requests for advance fund numbers, fund numbers, cost centers, cost sharing cost centers, and other account set up actions
  • Assist in the receiving, logging, tracking, scanning, and distribution of awards
  • Maintain faculty expertise databases and faculty, department/email lists
  • Prepare and submit financial documents using input from faculty and others
  • Follow up on submitted expenditure documents as needed
  • Assist with monitoring funds for line item balances and overall balances
  • Coordinate with faculty on requests for financial reports
  • Monitor end dates of projects/funds
  • Assist faculty, department staff, and Finance Office staff in financially closing funds
  • Assist faculty or others in the submission of final technical and other reports

This profile is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions in this job title and should not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his/her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties should not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of a similar kind or level of difficulty.

Level 2  

Level Details
Job Code Salary Band FLSA Status
GCGC0502 H Non-Exempt

Level 2 positions typically demonstrate intermediate knowledge of the concepts, practices and procedures of a particular field of specialization; perform intermediate tasks in defined skill areas/applications by continuously building on current job knowledge; maintain effective relationships with peers, vendors, and others in a diverse environment; support team decisions and follow through with team responsibilities; interpret information, ideas and instructions and communicate clearly and accurately both verbally and in writing including materials intended for distribution; determine causes of unusual occurrences and apply standard principles and practices to determine and implement solutions; ensure safe practices and environmental consciousness are exhibited in decisions; typically work under general supervision, while performing assignments that are varied and that may be somewhat difficult in character, but usually involve limited responsibility.

Typical Education & Experience

2+ years related experience

Associate’s Degree or higher

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Typical Work Duties

Pre-Award:

  • Distribute funding opportunities utilizing expertise database
  • Collaborate with college/unit offices on funding opportunities requiring special handling such as limited submissions, RFA (Request for Application), RFP (Request for Proposal), ITQ (Intent to Qualify) and other solicitations
  • Assist faculty or others with proposal preparation through reviewing sponsor guidelines and University guidelines, and drafting required forms, representations and certifications, and budgets
  • Advise faculty on and assist in obtaining special approvals for human subjects, animal care, invention disclosures, patents, and copyrights
  • Draft cost share budgets and requests for obtaining cost share; obtain faculty and department/unit approval
  • Initiate IAF (Internal Approval Form) and obtain approvals of faculty and department/unit heads via workflow
  • Maintain knowledge of ERA (Electronic Research Administration) external sponsor sites

Post Award:

  • Initiate requests for advance or project accounts
  • Prepare and submit financial documents using input from faculty and others; review expenditures for approval
  • Initiate requests for subawards
  • Maintain faculty expertise databases, award databases for projects and faculty; monitor end dates of projects/funds
  • Obtain expenditure data for financial reports
  • Draft requests for sponsor approval of budget revisions

This profile is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions in this job title and should not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his/her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties should not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of a similar kind or level of difficulty.

Level 3  

Level Details
Job Code Salary Band FLSA Status
GCGC0503 I Exempt

Level 3 positions typically demonstrate proficient and comprehensive knowledge of defined skill areas/applications to integrate fundamental elements from other specialties into work assignments; apply knowledge of principles, practices, and procedures of a particular field of specialization to complete difficult assignments; promote a culture that is conducive to effective relationships among diverse team members; ensure safe practices and environmental consciousness are exhibited in decisions; may lead a project team involved in completion of difficult assignments, requiring proficient knowledge of field of specialization; interpret and communicate information, ideas and instructions clearly, accurately and persuasively both verbally and in writing including materials intended for distribution; incorporate new facts and ideas into group processes and apply creative thinking to develop new solutions; typically work with minimal supervision on difficult assignments, conferring with manager on unusual matters.

Typical Education & Experience

2+ years related experience

Bachelor’s Degree or higher

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Typical Work Duties

Pre-Award:

  • Search for, obtain, and distribute funding opportunities utilizing expertise database
  • Collaborate with college/unit offices on funding opportunities requiring special handling such as limited submissions, RFA (Request for Application), RFP (Request for Proposal), ITQ (Intent to Qualify) and other solicitations
  • Coordinate with central compliance units as needed to support proposal development
  • Liaison with Office of Sponsored Programs, ORP (Office of Research Protection), Office of Technology Management (OTM), Risk Management or other central units as needed to support proposal development
  • Lead and or participate in meetings with faculty or department heads on funding opportunities, team formation and responses to opportunities
  • Prioritize timelines/schedules through interpretation of potential funding opportunities and hold proposal team accountable
  • Assist faculty or others with proposal preparation through reviewing sponsor and University guidelines and submission requirements
  • Develop, finalize and/or approve proposal budget and cost share; prepare required forms, representations and certifications, and budget justification; obtain cost share approvals

Post Award:

  • Prepare requests for advance fund numbers, fund numbers, cost centers, cost sharing cost centers, and other account set up actions
  • Prepare and submit budget documents for awarded funds, budget adjustments, and account close-out transfers
  • May be responsible for tasks associated with labor distribution and effort confirmation
  • Collaborate on and facilitate award processing through discussions with the faculty, OSP (Office of Sponsored Programs), and other Penn State offices
  • Participate in meetings with Office of Sponsored Programs and unit administration concerning Export Control, publication restrictions, and other potential risks; initiate follow up on sign-offs and monitor process
  • Review expenditures for approval; review and approve personnel appointments on sponsored program funds
  • Run system-generated financial reports; manage subawards; prepare and submit monthly/quarterly financial reports
  • Maintain faculty expertise databases, award databases for projects and faculty, department/email lists;
  • Facilitate materials transfer and other agreements; assist Property Inventory with receipt, accountability, and reporting on government owned equipment
  • Coordinate and participate in seminars or workshops for faculty or staff involved in sponsored programs

This profile is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions in this job title and should not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his/her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties should not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of a similar kind or level of difficulty.

Level 4  

Level Details
Job Code Salary Band FLSA Status
GCGC0504 J Exempt

Level 4 positions typically demonstrate advanced knowledge of principles, practices, and procedures of a particular field of specialization and complete complex assignments; integrate complex elements from other specialties into work assignments; demonstrate a strong commitment to inclusionary practices which support diversity throughout the University; establish a shared vision and take responsibility for the achievement of team goals, and provide direction for appropriate implementation of plans; present ideas, concepts and instructions in a clear manner, and use persuasion and negotiation to build consensus and cooperation; ensure safe practices and environmental consciousness are exhibited in decisions; develop new techniques, concepts, theories, programs or solutions and apply them to complex strategic operating issues; typically work independently on complex work assignments, review progress and evaluate results and update management as appropriate; may direct and delegate work to lower-level staff.

Typical Education & Experience

4+ years related experience

Bachelor’s Degree or higher

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Typical Work Duties
  • In addition to previous (1 thru 3) levels:
  • Lead, direct, and manage an office, sub-office or team composed of one or more employees
  • Or perform most work activities in a large volume, fast paced, complex, detailed, and multifaceted environment, typically a large college/unit
  • Assigned complex work processes (examples:  multi-unit, interdisciplinary, significant number of subawards, multi-fellowship awards, substantial industry involvement, significant administrative oversight, significant financial tracking and reporting, multi-site clinical trials or field activities, etc.)
  • Proactively engages faculty and managers to provide recommendations and guidance to improve proposal success rate and/or increase the efficiency and effectiveness of award management
  • Resolves issues and implements solutions; initiates process improvements to address systemic roadblocks
  • Contributes to the University research administration community
  • Mentors and/or trains others in support of research administration objectives

This profile is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions in this job title and should not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his/her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties should not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of a similar kind or level of difficulty.

Level 5  

Level Details
Job Code Salary Band FLSA Status
GCGC0505 K Exempt

Level 5 positions typically extend mastery of job knowledge to the principles, theories and practices of related specialties; expand knowledge of best practices and incorporate into all work assignments and procedures; evaluate and enhance current practices and efforts to ensure optimal support of diversity; oversee leadership of teams and projects that involve extensive cooperation and coordination between multiple departments across the University or with external customers; prepare written and/or verbal presentations or proposals on highly complex issues and deliver to a broad variety of audiences; identify and implement innovative solutions to important, highly complex strategic and/or operational issues which may involve unusual circumstances and incomplete or conflicting data; ensure safe practices and environmental consciousness are exhibited in decisions; work independently on highly complex or strategic assignments; may direct and supervise lower-level staff.

Typical Education & Experience

2+ years related experience

Master’s Degree or higher

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience

Typical Work Duties
  • In addition to previous (1 thru 4) levels
  • Leads, directs, and manages an office or sub-office or team composed of more than one employee
  • Or leads, directs, or manages work activities in a large volume, fast paced, complex, detailed, and multifaceted environment, typically a large college/unit
  • Most work assignments represent the most complex, multi-faceted, and challenging within the college or unit
  • Subject matter expertise is recognized and relied upon both within the unit and across the research administration community

This profile is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions in this job title and should not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his/her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties should not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of a similar kind or level of difficulty.