Columbia University in the City of New York

Senior Grants Manager

Columbia's Zuckerman Institute is seeking a Senior Grants Manager to manage the strategic development of financial operational functions of the Institute.

Position Summary

Columbia's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scholars across the university and promises to be the most comprehensive institute for brain science.

The Zuckerman Institute is seeking a Senior Grants Manager to join the finance team. This position will report to the Director of Post Award Finance, this is an exciting opportunity for a talented individual with a breadth of expertise in research financial activities.

Reporting to the Director, Post Award Finance, the Senior Grants Manager is responsible for managing the strategic development of financial operational functions of the Institute. 

The Senior Grants Manager will proactively and autonomously lead discussions with faculty around the management of grants and unrestricted sources, acting as a subject matter expert on grant financial matters.  Responsible for independently managing the financial activities for thirty percent of the labs affiliated with the Zuckerman Institute and over $20M in research and unrestricted funding. 



Management of all financial activities of sponsored projects and unrestricted accounts for Principal Investigators (PIs) and Lab portfolios as assigned; providing in-depth financial guidance and monitoring of all sponsored and non-sponsored financial activities.
Conducts and presents data analysis and financial reports to their PIs for use in long-term planning and decision-making.
Initiates and prepares complex ad hoc financial reports for senior management decision making.
Advise PIs on Columbia University policies and procedures, as well as providing expertise and guidance regarding NIH and other sponsors' rules and regulations.
Serves as the business partner for their portfolio of Principal Investigators (PIs) and labs as well as interfaces with other ZI teams.
Build and develop strategic working relationships with Columbia University central offices such as (Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA), Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF), and payroll to execute the directives provided by the PIs and labs.
Provides primary management of the lab’s portfolio and financial health.  Develops monthly Portfolio Summary Tool (PST) which provides a summary of the lab’s finances. 
As necessary, provide guidance on the review of burn rate and determination on whether a no-cost extension is needed, performs projections, and implement spending plans for the proper stewardship of sponsored research funds.
Monitor post-award budgetary expenses for his/her portfolio to ensure compliance in accordance with granting agencies and University guidelines. Utilizes the university financial reporting (FDS) and HR systems Peoplesoft (PAC) in conjunction with the PST to perform monthly reconciliations of expenses charged, monitor spending rates on projects, accuracy of personnel allocations and compliance of expenses charged to projects, and perform projections.
Reviews and ensures terms and conditions of awards to ensure projects will be properly managed and that effort commitments and personnel allocations during a project’s life cycle are compliant with university and sponsor guidelines.
Oversee the compliance and regulatory requirements for the grants to ensure the milestone deadlines are met. Participates in regulatory audits and revise deficiencies, as necessary. Establishes and maintains appropriate communication with sponsoring and regulatory agencies.
Collaborates with Pre-Award Team to ensure proper set up of new awards, make recommendations on portfolio diversification, amend and extend projects, submit progress reports, initiate subaward setups, re-budget requests, and other modifications needed on awards.
Manages the annual effort reporting certification process to completion; year-end close for projects and ensures all necessary financial expenditures and budgets are prepared for the following year.
Develops a thorough working knowledge of the University’s financial and reporting systems (ARC & FDS) and work closely with Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) throughout the project lifecycle of the grant from award set-up to closeout.
Works with the central university Sponsored Project Finance office (SPF) to submit financial reports to sponsors on behalf of the PI and labs, obtains quarterly attestations from PIs on sponsored project spending and works with PIs and researchers to ensure effort certifications are completed on an annual basis.
Manage all financial functions required in the University accounting system Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC) to execute financial decisions such as suspense clearance, overruns, liquidation of open commitments, and processing of Labor Accounting transactions.
Participates in post-award finance projects to improve internal policies and procedures while staying abreast of regulations, policies, and guidelines related to the conduct of sponsored research.
Attend relevant conferences and trainings, as required.
Manages special projects and performs other job-related duties, as required.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree and four (4) to six (6) years of related experience required.

Must have strong computer proficiency with expertise in Excel with strong knowledge of Pivot tables is essential.

The role requires a background in financial compliance and sponsored project management and a thorough understanding of Uniform Guidance. The incumbent must successfully balance multiple priorities and be a strong and effective communicator capable of managing relationships at all levels of the Institute and University.

A demonstrated ability to prepare reports, summaries, and analyses, along with the ability to collect and analyze data and evaluate information, required. Experience with relational database software a plus. Knowledge of uniform guidance and grant financial management is required.


Preferred Qualifications

Must be detail-oriented with excellent organizational, interpersonal, written, and oral skills, and have the ability to communicate effectively with all levels of staff and management. Knowledge of University financial policies and financial systems is preferred.  Must have experience working in a university setting directly interfacing with faculty and administrators.

Excellent interpersonal and communications skills necessary. Ability to work as a member of a collaborative team while exercising independent judgment essential.

The successful candidate must be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service and commitment to exceptional quality.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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