Senior Research Administrator

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Job ID:

450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Research Administration

Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
Full Remote: 4-5 days remote/wk


Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

The Department of Cancer Biology is seeking a highly experienced Senior Research Administrator (RA) to provide sponsored research management for our  research laboratories. We are seeking candidates who share our commitment to support our faculty and staff through all aspects of sponsored research and who wish to join a strong departmental team in the Cancer Biology Business Office. This position shares responsibility for all pre- and post-award sponsored research activities within the Department. Pre-award activities include working directly with faculty, staff, and fellows to identify potential sponsored research opportunities, planning meetings with the investigator(s), reviewing application instructions and eligibility guidelines, developing administrative materials in coordination with the appropriate financial and administrative department staff, as well as reviewing all aspects of the application for format and compliance with sponsor directives. Post-award activities include assistance with progress reporting, closeout, and compliance with sponsor agency guidelines, as well as troubleshooting issues that arise over the course of an award. Day-to-day financial management of awards is not a primary responsibility of this position but may be involved. Other responsibilities include liaising with the investigator and central Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) departments, including Grants and Contracts and other offices within Research Administration and Research Finance, and the Division of Philanthropy, to coordinate Institute approvals and compliance documentation as well as ensure Department applications and post-award practices fulfill all appropriate guidelines.

The successful candidate will thrive in a team environment while also being a strong independent worker. This position, along with the Research Administrator financial staff, will ensure compliance with sponsor and Institute guidelines. The ideal candidate will be able to foster professional and supportive working relationships within the Cancer Biology Business Office and with faculty and colleagues throughout the Institute. In addition to the grant management responsibilities described, the position will also be expected to participate in special projects within the department as they arise.  


Sponsored Research (Pre-Award and Non-financial Post-Award):

  • Works proactively with faculty and/or professional staff to identify funding opportunities and prepare applications for grants in compliance with sponsor guidelines and Department and Institute standards for excellence and timeliness.
  • Responsible for the timely and accurate completion of research proposals (excluding scientific content) ensuring accuracy, presentation, and compliance. This includes all administrative pages, narratives for non-scientific areas of the grant where applicable (e.g. data sharing plan, resource sharing plan, etc.).
  • Responsible for oversight of grant submittal process, including monitoring the application review process and submitting supplemental information. Works with faculty to review summary sheets and plan responses/revised applications, if applicable, and complete any JIT or program requests.
  • Assists with all progress reports and ensures compliance and responsiveness with sponsor guidelines and requests.
  • Coordinates with Grants & Contracts and financial teams to ensure awards are set up properly in a timely manner.
  • Reviews Notice of Award for any budgetary or other restrictions/requirements. Works with faculty and financial teams to assure understanding of reporting and other requirements.
  • Reviews budget adjustments, restrictions, required responses with faculty and ensures a timely response to the sponsor. 
  • Partners with department leadership and faculty to set strategy and provide guidance and expertise.
  • May advise the work of others providing subject matter expertise, guidance and mentorship to colleagues with less experience, in addition to leading training and educational efforts within the Institute.



  • Bachelor's degree preferred
  • 5+ years of relevant experience preferred
  • Sponsored Research (Pre-Award and non-financial Post-Award) experience is strongly preferred. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Understanding sponsor guidelines and helping investigators adhere to them when applying for grants.
    • Ensuring that all parts of the grant (excluding scientific content) are correct prior to submission.


  • Adept with budgeting principles, including integration of multiple complex awards and types with varying project periods. General accounting or grants accounting experience preferred but not required, including expense tracking and budgeting and financial projections.
  • Adept at prioritization and managing multiple priorities simultaneously in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Demonstrated expertise assessing complex situations and developing solutions.
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills. Demonstrated expertise with listening, inquiry, follow-up, and problem-solving skills.
  • Adept at cultivating relationships with faculty, research staff, department’s RA team, RAs in other departments, and central departments.
  • Promotes inclusive community where human differences are valued and celebrated and where all are welcome. Creates an inclusive work environment that engages and retains talent.
  • Maintains professional demeanor at all times.
  • Outstanding attention to detail.
  • Ability to work within a team environment.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Expert with Microsoft Suite applications including Word, Excel, and Outlook. Expertise with Adobe Acrobat. PeopleSoft, InfoEd, FileMaker preferred.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong.  As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff.  Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.


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