Boston College Director, Sponsored Programs in Boston, Massachusetts
Boston College Introduction
Founded in 1863, Boston College is a Jesuit, Catholic university located six miles from downtown Boston with an enrollment of 9,377 full-time undergraduates and 4,420 graduate and professional students. Ranked 37 among national universities, Boston College has 878 full-time and 1,201 FTE faculty, 2,750 non-faculty employees, an operating budget of $1 billion, and an endowment in excess of $2.2 billion.
“Education with a heart and soul, and the power to transform”: these phrases capture the essence of Boston College, the first institution of higher education to operate in the city of Boston. Today, Boston College is among the nation’s foremost universities, a leader in the liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and student formation. Grounded in the ideals that inspired our Jesuit founders, Boston College urges students to look inward but always to reach out—to develop their minds and talents to the fullest and use them in service to others. Boston College is ranked 35th nationally in the US News and World Report, with an endowment of $2.6 billion and enrollment of more than 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Boston College is an R1 university with over 800 full time faculty, and brings in annual research funding of approximately $60 million/year.
Central to Boston College’s (BC) mission is the discovery of new knowledge and applying this knowledge for the benefit of society. Boston College recently embarked on a new ten-year strategic plan, “Ever to Excel” that includes the goal of significantly growing the faculty and research enterprise. To this end, the research enterprise at BC is a core foundational element of the academic enterprise.
With more than 35 research centers and institutes, BC supports a research enterprise that is active across disciplines and schools that includes the following academic units: Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College Law School, Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing, School of Social Work, School of Theology and Ministry, and the Woods College of Advancing Studies. The recently established Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society embodies the drive for transdisciplinary research with an emphasis on collaborative teams of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty examining the complex problems of our con-temporary world, proposing new solutions and new ways of thinking about science and technology, art and education, business and ethics. In addition, in the fall of 2021, BC will launch its highly anticipated Human Centered Engineering program, which will create new avenues for faculty and student research in the applied sciences.
Office of Sponsored Programs
The Office for Sponsored Programs (OSP) is established within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Director of OSP reports to the Executive Director for Research Administration. Also reporting to the Executive Director are the heads of Research Protections, Research Integrity and Compliance, Research Security and Export Compliance, and Technology Transfer and Licensing.
Reporting to the OSP Director are the Associate Directors for Pre & Post Award and Financial Management and Compliance as well as an Information Systems Analyst, and an Administrative Assistant. There are a total of 15 staff in the OSP office. In FY 2020, the OSP staff handled 346 proposals for submission totaling $145.6 million in FY20.
OSP’s responsibilities include a broad range of activities:
• Review proposals for completeness and compliance with agency and university requirements (nontechnical).
• Approve and endorse proposals on behalf of the University.
• Ensure proposals are in compliance with the guidelines and regulations.
• Submit proposals to agencies.
• Manage electronic systems for proposal preparation, institutional approval, and submission to agencies.
• Negotiate favorable terms on behalf of the principal investigator (PI) and the University (e.g., publication rights, intellectual property rights, rights in data, indemnification, payment terms, etc.).
• Accept awards on behalf of the University.
• Establish, maintain and administer project accounts in the University’s financial system (Peoplesoft).
• Create and distribute internal “Notice of Grant Award” synopsizing award terms and conditions.
• Resolve post-award issues (updating budgeting requests, change of PI, disputes with subrecipients, questions about allowability of costs, etc.).
• Serve as institutional point of contact for questions raised by agencies (e.g., adherence to terms and conditions, compliance with reporting requirements, etc.).
• Issue financial reports and invoices to sponsors.
• Apply payments to appropriate award.
• Follow-up on past due amounts.
• Close out awards when grants have ended and assure all payments are received.
• Work with internal and external auditors on sponsored projects procedures.
• Assess potential subrecipients for risk.
• Negotiate and execute subawards after ensuring compliance with sponsor requirements.
• Monitor subrecipients .
• Approve subaward invoices for payment (after PI review and approval).
Unfunded Research Agreements (UFRA)
• Assist faculty in obtaining research materials.
• Work with faculty and Deans for Research to develop new funding sources.
• Facilitate international proposals and awards.
• Analyze federal and state emerging regulatory requirements and audit plans related to sponsored programs and to ensure timely compliance.
• Provide campus training related to sponsored programs regulations and requirements.
• Serve as Business Process Owners and Business Process Users related to sponsored programs for campus electronic systems efforts related to research systems.
The new Director, Office for Sponsored Programs will join BC at an exciting juncture in its evolution. Research expenditures are increasing, the engineering program is being introduced, and transdisciplinary research is becoming an increasing feature within BC. In the near-term, BC expects research funding to continue increasing, faculty will bolster their efforts for translational and applied search, international research will increase, and industry collaboration will continue to expand.
For this important position, BC seeks to recruit a high energy, innovative, and forward-thinking leader who is enthusiastic about leading change, intellectually interested in promoting a “can-do attitude” for service and excellence, and dedicated to building a strong team that can achieve the desired changes.
Within the overall responsibilities identified below, the new Director has the overarching mandate to build a culture that is exemplified by enhanced service to faculty, staff, and students, proactive problem solving and commitment to customer service, continuous improvement through use of metrics for process and outcomes, and assisting researchers (faculty, staff, and students) in securing funding.
More specifically, the new Director will achieve success when he/she demonstrates that OSP is:
• Enhancing customer service to position the office as a “partner” with Deans, faculty, staff, and students.
• Embracing problem solving with faculty and staff as a key responsibility on grant preparation and submission, and upon award with ongoing grant management and administration.
• Expanding communication with faculty and department staff around changes in federal regulations, budgets, allowable expenses, proposal submission timelines, and agency reporting requirements.
• Improving processes for grant preparation, submission, and ongoing management that serve researchers and allows the customers to spend more time on direct research (and less time on grant administration) and therefore improve the likelihood of research success and continued/expanded funding.
• Helping faculty and staff to secure additional funding for grants and identifying new research funding sources.
• Further developing effective communication and working connections with various units throughout the University related to Research Administration.
Additionally, the Director will uphold and continue to improve on the below core competencies and themes throughout the Office for Sponsored Programs and the BC research infrastructure:
• Working to make the research enterprise a more foundational component of how the University operates and increasing the growth of faculty input into the research operations.
• Continuing to enhance communication across and within components of the research enterprise as well as expand resources and deepen knowledge to match the expanding research enterprise.
• Leading OSP, the Director will distinguish responsibility within the unit and will continue to enhance the tracking of metrics for the OSP staff.
All applicants are asked to submit a cover letter and CV/resume to be considered for this position.
Carin Starcevic, Principal at Odgers Berndtson, has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials to www.odgersberndtson.com.
The strongest candidates will hold an advanced degree, with an enthusiasm for operations management and working in a culture of organizational change.
The most successful candidates will be enthusiastic about promoting innovation and change within an organization, and navigating effectively across multiple disciplines and cultures within the University, including working with research faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and administrators from within academic departments as well as from a variety of administrative areas. Ten or more years of experience in grants management is required at a research-intensive institution.
The effective management of OSP is critical to the success of individual faculty members, and their research teams, as well as to the success of Boston College’s evolving research profile and agenda.
Enthusiasm for Boston College’s mission will be critical to success for this individual.
Boston College offers a broad and competitive range of benefits depending on your job classification eligibility:
Tuition remission for Employees
Tuition remission for Spouses and Children who meet eligibility requirements
Generous Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
Low-Cost Life Insurance
Eligibility for both University-Funded 401k and Employer-Sponsored 403b Retirement Plans
Paid Holidays Annually
Generous Sick and Vacation Pay
Additional benefits can be found on https://www.bc.edu/employeehandbook
Boston College conducts background checks as part of the hiring process.
Boston College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any legally protected category including disability and protected veteran status. To learn more about how BC supports diversity and inclusion throughout the university please visit the Office for Institutional Diversity at https://www.bc.edu/offices/diversity .
Boston College's Notice of Nondiscrimination can be viewed at https://www.bc.edu/nondiscrimination.