Contract Management Specialist, Office of Research and Innovation
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas

This job has expired.


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.

SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Cox School of Business, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Dedman School of Law, Perkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem - paired with entrepreneurial drive - creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU's relationship with Dallas - the dynamic center of one of the nation's fastest-growing regions - offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.

SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

About the Department:

The Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) advances the goals of SMU's 2nd Century Strategic Plan enhancing the academic quality and stature of the University by supporting and safeguarding the growth of research. The ORI aims to provide leadership, quality communication, responsiveness, and transparency to the research community. The ORI provides leadership in the development of new research initiatives, guidance and assistance through intellectual property development, grant management, and adherence to regulations and policies, and facilitates graduate recruitment, retention and graduation.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Contract Management Specialist (CMS) provides support for the administration and processing of contracts and agreements for sponsored projects across the University.

The CMS is responsible for drafting, negotiating, and executing numerous types of agreements pertaining to research or scientific/technical services, including, but not limited to, master agreements, cooperative agreements, incoming/outgoing subawards, grant awards, research contracts, material transfer agreements, data use agreements, teaming agreements, confidential/nondisclosure agreements and amendments to all the above.

The CMS will negotiate with a broad range of research sponsors, including working with private, industry and federal entities.

Essential Functions:

  • Draft, review, negotiate and execute various agreements for sponsored projects. These include but are not limited to: federal agreements, cooperative agreements, incoming and outgoing sub-awards, grant awards, research contracts, material transfer agreements, data use agreements, teaming agreements, confidential/non-disclosure agreements, master agreements, and amendments.

  • Conduct non-financial post-award activities such as processing modifications, amendments, and extensions for contracts and grants. Prepare applicable close-out documents related to contracts, grants; Prepare applicable close-out documents related to IP, publication and liability.

  • Articulate complex university principles, regulations, and policies (such as indemnification and other liability/risk, intellectual property and publication rights, regulatory and financial compliance); seeks counsel/guidance from supervisor, as well as other appropriate university officials (legal counsel and others), with regard to complicated unusual proposal, award, or financial requirements.

  • Utilize and maintain systems and procedures related to processing of contracts and agreements. Advise and consult upon potential workflow, process, and system improvements, toward the goal of decreasing turnaround times and increasing efficiency. Ensure consist adherence to guidelines, and participate in the ongoing efforts to streamline and enhance internal processes and practices.

  • Attend and participate in various professional development opportunities; presents and/or participates in seminars and workshops developed for faculty, staff, and researchers; attends and participates in national and regional workshops and conferences sponsored by funding agencies and/or professional organizations and serve as a resource to other units, faculty, and staff.

  • Provide guidance to less experienced research administration staff. Contributes to special projects as needed.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required.

A minimum of three years of work experience in research administration is required, preferably in a higher education institution. Work experience in contract negotiations is required.

Certified Research Administrator (CRA) desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate effectively with colleagues through multiple modalities. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills. The ability to collaborate and work as part of a team is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills. Demonstrated ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines, and process large amounts of information is essential.

Candidate must have a strong knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) clauses, export controls, contract language, and intellectual property/copyright terms. Must also have the ability to comprehend federal, state, and local grant contract regulations, restrictions, and sponsored research guidelines. Skills and/or experience in contract negotiation desired.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of Microsoft (Word, Excel, Outlook) and Adobe products. Experience with and/or a knowledge of Wellspring (Sophia) preferred.

Physical and Environmental Demands:
  • Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

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