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Senior Contracts Administrator (Grants and Contracts Office)

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2024

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

You will apply your extensive expertise in federal funder rules, regulations, and other requirements to 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 candidates who have comprehensive and practical knowledge of federal and other funder rules & regulations, seasoned experience in leading complex award negotiations across multiple award types, and proposal budget review experience. If you are looking to apply and grow your strong background in grants & contracts negotiations and compliance, award management/ administration, proposal development, we encourage you to apply for this opportunity.

The Senior Contracts Administrator applies their deep 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 broader efforts and lead activities to enhance our processes in support of 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:

  • Lead compliance support as subject matter expert 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, providing nuanced feedback and facilitating discussion on complex contractual issues as needed
  • Analyze potential opportunities to 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 up to the highest complexity to advocate for Urban’s best interests, alerting manager and/or team members on higher risk and complex issues for organizational consideration
  • Provide subject matter expertise to assess and analyze funder rules & regulations, related requirements, and industry standard practices; adhere to internal policies such as ensuring compliance review against Urban’s funding principles and protection of intellectual property and publication rights
  • Provide subject matter expertise to 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. Provide nuanced guidance and extensive research as needed to investigate and disseminate information on higher risk, complex, new, and non-standard requirements
  • Mentor and coach Contracts Administrators and other staff to build overall team capacity and 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
  • Identify options and propose potential solutions, working with senior GCO staff on high complexity compliance issues as needed; collaborate with colleagues and various internal stakeholders to successfully mitigate risk and resolve issues
  • Serve as Urban’s contractual point of contact on assigned awards assuming leadership responsibility for a portfolio of awards, fostering effective and collegial relationships with internal stakeholders and funders
  • Work independently on tasks, activities, & projects, and collaborate effectively with team members and across other groups such as research center operations and business offices to contribute to broader objectives
  • Contribute to broader organizational objectives such as developing OGC tools and resources by participating in and/or leading tasks, activities, and/or projects

Who You Are:

The successful candidate will:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in grants & contracts negotiations and compliance or award management/ administration. Proposal review experience is strongly preferred. May substitute Bachelor’s degree with equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrate subject matter expertise with deep technical knowledge and practical application of US Federal requirements (FAR, CFR/Uniform Guidance) across a variety of funders; experience with state, local government and foundation funding strongly preferred
  • Demonstrate extensive knowledge of common contract instruments including Cost Reimbursement, Fixed Price; Time and Materials, and Indefinite Delivery contracts; Preferred experience with GSA Schedules
  • Display strong knowledge of proposal and award budgets, and review of supporting documentation
  • Possess subject matter expertise and practical application in detailed contract review and negotiations, identifying risks, developing alternative language, and proposing strategic options and solutions
  • Exhibit proven skills in analysis and judgment, including the ability to make sound decisions apply creative problem-solving strategies
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal and leadership skills to work both independently and as a contributing member within various groups and teams; collaborate effectively and manage relationships with tact across varied internal and external stakeholders; maintain adaptability against changing conditions
  • Thrive working in a fast-paced environment maintaining details and managing multiple priorities by showing exemplary results orientation, organizational, analytical, and communications skills
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills such as expressing information clearly with respect, maintaining openness to feedback, actively listening to others to address routine and complex challenges, and ability to make effective presentations to disparate audiences
  • Exhibit strong 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 preferred
  • 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 target salary range for this position is Min $90,750 – Max $113,400. 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.

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.