Director, Office of Research and Agreement Administration

Posting Number: #300-20

Position Title: Director, Office of Research and Agreement Administration

Closing Date: Until Filled

Location: Oakland, CA or Sacramento, CA (Remote until further notice)

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The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation, and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally, and internationally.

Position Summary

The Director of the Office of Research and Agreement Administration provides leadership, guidance, and oversight for the substantial portfolio of non-clinical sponsored research at PHI and the thousands of agreements with outside parties related to funding, non-monetary transactions, goods, and/or services. The Director supervises and supports research and agreement administration processes at PHI and the dedicated team members who implement these processes. With advice and counsel of the Deputy Chief Legal Counsel, the Director is regularly called upon to make independent management decisions necessary to negotiate, develop protocols, or administer research terms and agreements outside parties. The Director is the lead drafter and negotiator on complex transactions and works with the Office of Chief Legal Counsel to establish and maintain effective template clauses and processes. This position also interacts with Principal Investigators/Project Directors, staff, as well as representatives of federal, state, and private funding agencies. Under the direction of the Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for Research Administration, the Director also supports the work of the PHI Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) and will serve as a liaison to the IRB.

*This position is based in Northern California in either the Oakland or Sacramento office and is temporarily a remote working position.*

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead overarching Office of Research and Agreement Administration functions to ensure compliance, conduct risk analysis, support conformance with regulations, terms and conditions of prime awards, and the advice and counsel of PHI’s Office of Chief Legal Counsel.
  • Act as the subject matter expert in the areas of regulations, terms and conditions, non-monetary agreements, sub-award, subcontract administration, and monitoring.
  • Draft, negotiate and administer agreements flowing down from a wide range of funding sources including federal, state, local government agencies, and industry sponsors.
  • Serve as the leader for all department staff; represent the department in internal meetings
  • Acts as a subject matter expert for Principal Investigators on questions related to non-clinical sponsored research administration and agreement administration.
  • Interpret, recommend actions, and/or resolve complex issues that span the considerations of research administration in the policy areas of PI eligibility and criteria for an exception, IRB oversight, responsible conduct of research, various types of research agreements (including non-monetary agreements), and indirect cost waivers.
  • Coach and mentor staff for professional development and on best practices related to the field.
  • Communicate and execute key policies and procedures sponsored research and agreement administration and monitoring.
  • Work directly with Principal Investigators/Project Directors to keep them apprised of status, strategies, and solutions to challenges that arise during the negotiation of terms and conditions in any non-monetary or monetary agreements.
  • Work with the Deputy Chief Legal Counsel for Research Administration to continue to improve on PHI research administration procedures for non-clinical sponsored research, workflows, informal trainings, communication, quality of services, and customer satisfaction.
  • Coach and develop a robust and growing research administration and agreement administration team.
  • Serve as the lead negotiator and surface issues to OCLC that arise during the research administration and agreement administration processes and require advice and counsel.
  • Use and maintain ORAA data management systems.
  • Ensure coordination and smooth transactions and transitions with other departments; field requests for information and clarification of policies and procedures.
  • Work with Bid & Proposal, Development, Finance, Grants & Contracts, Human Resources, Office of Chief Legal Counsel, and Operations to coordinate efforts when issues arise during the research and agreement administration process.
  • Create and generate reports/dashboards to reflect the work of the Department.
  • Participate in interdepartmental management team meetings.
  • Command ability to create efficiency and manage complex data systems for the research and agreement administration data.
  • Serve on the PHI Central Credentialing Committee.
  • Knowledge of contracts management database such as Salesforce and/or Conga.

Minimum Qualifications

  • 10 years of relevant experience that demonstrate competency in the essential duties and responsibilities. Notwithstanding the above 10-year preferred minimum qualification, PHI will conduct a holistic review of the demonstrated expertise and competency throughout an applicant’s career.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field required.
  • CITI IRB Certification (current or obtained within 1 year of service).
  • Knowing of federal, state, or local government grant and contract regulations of funding for nonprofit research.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills required. Must effectively manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Must have a strong commitment to providing professional, timely, and courteous service to the PI/PD community.
  • Proven staff management and project administration skills.
  • Experience on or working with an Institutional Review Board in a large nonprofit research organization or educational environment.
  • Substantial experience managing or supervising a large portfolio of research administration and agreement administration responsibilities in a university or large nonprofit setting with demonstrated expertise with federal and state contract and grant regulations as they apply to nonprofit organizations.
  • Advanced written, verbal and interpersonal communications.
  • Advanced ability to manage relationships and communicate with broad and diverse constituencies with advanced customer service skills. Demonstrated ability to communicate and interact effectively with others in all types of situations.
  • Excellent ability to use independent judgment and strategic thinking skills in identifying and resolving complex problems and operational conflicts or concerns.
  • Strong leadership skills and experience with managing, mentoring and developing staff.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills using Microsoft Office Suite platforms.
  • Working knowledge of CRM systems, including but not limited to Salesforce and Conga.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task and meet tight deadlines.
  • Advanced listening, political acumen skills, problem recognition, and resolution skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as a part of a team.
  • Excellent computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s in Public Administration, Business Administration, or related field (or the equivalent experience) is ideal.

Important Information

  • This is a full-time position.
  • This position is based in Northern California in either the Oakland or Sacramento office and is temporarily a remote working position.

The Public Health Institute is committed to a policy that provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and to make all employment decisions so as to further this principle of equal employment opportunity. To this end, the PHI will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are offered employment and employees are treated during employment without regard to these characteristics.

To apply for any position, you must create an account on the Public Health Institute’s job application site. After creating your account, you may search the open positions and apply for the specific position that interests you. Please note, mailed and emailed applications will not be accepted.

We’re so pleased the Public Health Institute is an organization you would like to work with. Do you have questions about this opportunity? If so, email our recruitment team at

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