This position is responsible for overseeing the post-award administration financial activities, cost studies, and effort reporting compliance at Vanderbilt University.
As the leader of the Research Finance Team, the Senior Director maintains a close partnership with university research functions across campus as well as finance and accounting and leads efforts related to post-award administration policymaking, developing and administering relevant training, and ensuring all financial and compliance functions for post-award activities are completed accurately and timely.
The Research Finance Team strives for excellence in providing support and oversight in administratively managing sponsored projects, monitoring associated financial compliance requirements in accordance with sponsor regulations and university policies, and providing analytical and cost accounting expertise to the management of Vanderbilt's research enterprise. Research Finance includes the Research Financial Specialists that provide central oversight for project expenditures, financial reconciliation, financial reporting, and award closeout, the Research Accountants that perform invoicing, cash management and accounts receivable management, and the Data and Cost Analysts that perform cost accounting activities and institutional research reporting as well as award setup and effort certification compliance oversight.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Provides oversight for the development of policies, procedures, and training for the financial administration of sponsored programs, cost analysis, and effort reporting compliance.
Structures the Research Finance organization, establishes goals and monitors performance objectives for optimal service delivery and efficient operations. Leads identification and development of high-performing staff.
Oversees the day-to-day operations of the financial administration activities including monitoring financial activities during the life of the award, transaction review, sponsor receivable and cash management, financial reporting, subcontract administration and audit management.
Oversees the day-to-day operations of the cost studies activities including processes and policies related to all contractual and negotiated reimbursement rates for Vanderbilt including the Facilities and Administration (F&A) rate and rates for internal charges (recharge rates).
Oversees the effort reporting compliance activities for Vanderbilt. Responsible for assisting research units with timely and compliant reporting of effort on sponsored projects per federal regulations.
Serves as the key uniform guidance resource for Vanderbilt. Responsible for interpretation and coordination of implementation of all uniform guidance requirements, including presentation to senior management and coordination with the external auditors. Responsible for determination and documentation of impact analysis of implementation of newly issued guidance.
Serves as the primary point of contact for the external auditors during the annual uniform guidance audit. Ensures accurate information is provided in a timely manner and any issues are resolved timely.
Maintains a close relationship with all university research functions and participates in developing shared policies and procedures, strategic planning, and consultative forums with the Office of Research. Closely collaborates with Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) pre-award services under the Office of the Vice Provost of Research (OVPR) to ensure a seamless grants life cycle process at Vanderbilt.
Identifies, envisions, and champions process improvements including system-based opportunities to best support Vanderbilt's research enterprise. Works collaboratively with the Process and Systems Optimization Group, VUIT, and Accounting on fully utilizing system functionality and designing new functionality.
Works collaboratively with top leadership in schools and departments on research administration compliance activities. Represents Vanderbilt during audits performed by granting agencies.
Oversees budget of Research Finance Team.
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary.
A Bachelor's degree with an emphasis in accounting or finance is preferred .
CPA or MACC/MBA is preferred .
10+ years of supervisory experience is necessary .
Time management skills and the ability to work well in a team environment is necessary .
Skill in advanced Excel, Word, and PowerPoint applications is necessary .
Experience in higher education with a focus in research compliance and/or financial administration in a research university, academic medical center, or other organization subject to an externally regulated environment is preferred .
Experience leading an organization and providing effective management to a diverse staff, ensuring that they are developing professionally and sustaining a high level of performance is preferred .
Demonstrated performance in establishing and maintaining productive and collaborative relationships with a full range of internal and external constituencies is necessary .
Advanced understanding of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and General Ledgers is preferred .
Proven detail-oriented work style in collaboration with effective written and verbal communication skills is necessary .
Ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people, understanding their needs and goals is necessary .
Ability to work co-operatively with others as part of a team, as opposed to working separately or competitively, is necessary .
Openness to change, adaptability, and the ability to work effectively in a variety of situations, with individuals or groups is necessary .
Ability to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue is necessary .
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders is necessary .
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Internal Number: 10000239
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.