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Contracts Administrator (Office of Grants and Contracts)

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2023

About Urban Institute:

At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.

Our Mission

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values

Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity

For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit https://www.urban.org.

The Opportunity:

The Urban Institute’s Grants and Contracts Office (GCO) is seeking a Contracts Administrator to join our team. As a member of our GCO team, you will play an essential role in providing compliance support over the entire award life cycle, from proposal review to negotiating contracts and contracts to award closeout in support of research primarily funded by federal, state, and local government and private foundations.

You will provide contractual management and guidance on Urban’s award portfolio to mitigate risk; ensure compliance with Urban policies and procedures and funder requirements; and support best practices in award management. Your impact will be across multiple policy research centers on a wide variety of innovative proposals and projects focused on generating data and evidence to advance solutions.

This is an ideal position for someone who is looking to apply existing knowledge in grants and contracts compliance, award management/ administration and/or proposal development to grow their skills and responsibilities.

The Contracts Administrator applies their expertise in grants and contracts to provide compliance support across the funder award lifecycle, engaging and collaborating with research center operations, researchers, policy analysts, technical assistance providers, and other key business offices at Urban such as Accounting, Communications, Development, Technology & Data. You will also contribute to efforts to enhance our processes to better support the contractual needs of the organization.

If you are someone looking to make an immediate impact, we'd like to hear from you.

We welcome applicants seeking in-person, remote or a hybrid work environment.

What You’ll Do:

  • Provide compliance support over the entire award lifecycle from pre-proposal to closeout on contracts, grants, MOUs, NDAs, etc.
  • Review solicitations (RFPs/RFAs), funder guidance, and business proposal packages to identify and collaborate with various teams on contractual, budgetary, organizational, and compliance risk issues that may affect the opportunity; recommend option(s) for internal budget templates for proposals
  • Review awards for potential risks, propose and develop alternative language, and negotiate award terms and conditions of medium complexity to advocate for Urban’s best interests, working with manager and/or team members as needed
  • Assess and analyze funder rules and regulations, consider industry standard practices, and adhere to internal policies such as ensuring compliance review against Urban’s funding principles and protection of intellectual property and publication rights
  • Interpret award terms and conditions and effectively distill and explain guidance to staff and external stakeholders with varying levels of knowledge on the issue area
  • Identify options and work with senior GCO staff to provide solutions for medium complexity compliance issues, collaborating with colleagues and various internal stakeholders to successfully mitigate risk and resolve issues such as project-specific procurement and subaward requirements, flow-down provisions, and other requirements
  • Serve as Urban’s contractual point of contact on assigned awards, maintaining effective and collegial relationships with internal stakeholders and funders
  • Work independently on tasks/activities and collaborate effectively with team members and across other groups such as research center operations and business offices to contribute to broader objectives
  • Effectively communicate updates and additional risks identified with manager to solicit feedback and discussion; share insights and helpful tips with team members to improve team processes and increase knowledge around funder requirements and issues

Who You Are:

The successful candidate will:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of progressive experience in grants and contract compliance, award management/ administration, subcontracting/procurement, and/or proposal development May substitute Bachelor’s degree with equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrate hands-on experience with and knowledge of US Federal requirements required (FAR, CFR/Uniform Guidance); experience with foundation funding preferred
  • Demonstrate knowledge of common contract instruments including Cost Reimbursement and Fixed Price; experience with Time and Materials and Indefinite Delivery contract types preferred
  • Display familiarity with proposal and award budgets, and review of supporting documentation
  • Demonstrate ability to review contractual documents and identify issues and risks
  • Exhibit proven analytical and negotiation skills, including the ability to make sound decisions and aptitude for creative problem-solving
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and ability to work independently and as a member within various groups and teams; collaborate effectively and manage relationships with tact across varied internal and external stakeholders; and maintain adaptability against changing conditions
  • Thrive working in a fast-paced environment maintaining details and managing multiple priorities by showing exemplary organizational, analytical, and communications skills
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills such as expressing information clearly with respect, maintaining openness to feedback, and actively listening to others to address routine and complex challenges
  • Exhibit solid command of MS Office applications (particularly Excel and Word) and collaborative technology platforms such as MS Teams and Zoom; experience with Salesforce, JAMIS, and funder databases a plus
  • Exercise and maintain professional interactions with others with utmost discretion and judgment, ensuring that organizational confidentiality is preserved

What You’ll Experience:

No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

The salary range for this position is Min $57,972 – Mid $73,204 – Max $87,242. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package. Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits.

Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

With the conclusion of the government-issued COVID-19 national public health emergency, Urban has updated our COVID-19 safety guidelines. All Urban Institute employees working from our onsite location must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and comply with any masking requirements. Fully vaccinated is defined as receiving the primary series of US approved COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) with the addition of at least 1 COVID-19 booster.

Employees who are working onsite may request exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement based on a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated. Where such an exemption is approved, Urban will discuss potential accommodation with the employee. These guidelines do not apply to employees who are teleworking or other offsite staff.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

The Urban Institute is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law. The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

The Urban Institute has formally recognized the Urban Institute Employees’ Union, which is part of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). Urban management and the Union work together in good faith and are motivated by a shared commitment to this institution. This position is included in the Union-represented collective bargaining unit, and specific employment terms and conditions are subject to collective bargaining negotiations.