Financial Specialist
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This job has expired.


Provost URA: Post-Award Support

About the Department

University Research Administration has the responsibility to review and provide institutional endorsement for all proposals to federal and other external sponsors (excluding gifts), assuring compliance with University policies and sponsor terms and conditions. URA is the institutional authority for the negotiation and acceptance of financial support or other contractually-binding obligations in the form of a contract, grant, or agreement, including material transfer agreements and clinical trials.

Job Summary

The Financial Specialist is responsible for activities associated with intake, review, and establishment of sponsored awards at the University of Chicago. The individual in this position is responsible for establishing advance accounts, monitoring for incoming sponsored awards, reviewing for unilateral versus bilateral and processing accordingly. Additionally, they are responsible for insuring compliance measures are in place (COI, CITI, IRB, IACUC, IBC) and identifying potentially detrimental terms and conditions. Successful candidates will have the analytical skills necessary to review a sponsored award agreement, determine the type of award, payment terms, reporting requirements, budget limitations, and establish accordingly per departmental guidelines.

This role executes a range of activities to support the functional areas of University Research Administration. Supports research, training, and other sponsored activities at the University, building upon knowledge of the University, processes, and customers. Assists in the development of research compliance education programs.


  • Responsible for activities associated with intake, review, and establishment of sponsored awards at the University of Chicago.
  • Establishes advance accounts, monitors for incoming sponsored awards, reviews for unilateral versus bilateral and processing accordingly.
  • Ensures compliance measures are in place (COI, CITI, IRB, IACUC, IBC) and identifies potentially detrimental terms and conditions.
  • Creates all advance accounts as requested by local departments and in accordance with URA business processes.All accounts are created in ACCTS and FAS.
  • The individual is a member of a Team and must contribute to the team effort. This will involve timely service to departments, units, and sponsors as needed, and collaboration with Post Award Research Administrators.As needed, this individual will perform back-up duties during vacation or sick leaves of other Account Create Team staff.
  • Intakes and processes all unilateral awards, amendments and modifications. Intakes and collaborates with URA Post Award Research Administrators on all bilateral awards.
  • Prioritizes work in order to complete assignments on a timely basis.
  • Partners with Post Award Research Administrators, and business units/departments regarding all activities associated with account create in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.
  • Completes award summary document, ensuring that all appropriate attributes are noted and established correctly within University systems.
  • Maintains appropriate data entry into institutional database for all account creates and modifications, ensuring data quality and documentation of any institutional risk.
  • Gains and maintains thorough understanding of University and sponsor regulations.
  • Continuously seeks to improve the account create process for sponsored projects.
  • Participates in institutional training specific to sponsored project account create as requested by the Assistant Director of Post Award Support Services.
  • Through interaction with a variety of federal and non-federal funding agencies, faculty, and staff, provides professional assistance with the administration and coordination of proposals and awards in research and training.
  • Maintains correspondence between the agency and University community to obtain and process necessary pre- and post-award information. Reviews and processes various pre- and post-award activities.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in business or liberal arts field.

  • Minimum three years of experience working with sponsored research administration in an academic environment.
  • Participation interpreting sponsored research grants and contracts, and working with budgets, ledgers, invoices and fiscal reporting.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of Federal Circulars applicable to universities (OMB A-21, A-110, A-133 or the Uniform Guidance) or interpretation of similar regulations.
  • Background with the University of Chicago systems such as AURA, FAS, ACCTS/PETS, and Business Objects.
  • Analyze, interpret, and implement University policy and procedures.
  • Work with various sponsor electronic systems.
  • Rapid proficiency in the use of University of Chicago systems such as AURA, FAS, Workday, ACCTS, PETS, GEMS, e-Payments, Business Objects and a high level of proficiency in Excel.
  • Strong computer skills including word processing, database management and spreadsheet skills.
  • Interpret sponsor guidelines and regulations to ensure accurate response.

Preferred Competencies
  • Proactive, solution-oriented, with exceptional communication and analytical skills necessary to review a sponsored award agreement; determine the type of award, payment terms, reporting requirements, budget limitations, and establish accordingly per departmental guidelines.
  • Incumbents are expected to review sponsor guidelines and escalate issues accordingly within the office of University Research Administration.
  • Customer service is a high priority of the office with a demeanor of civility and professionalism at all times.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Develop and manage interpersonal relationships.
  • Good negotiation skills.
  • Make decisions independently that will have downstream impacts on the management of sponsored projects.
  • Manage detail-oriented workload, to organize and prioritize during high-pressure, high-volume periods and manage stress.
  • Exercise sound judgment and absolute discretion regarding confidential matters with tact.
  • Handle multiple, concurrent tasks.

Working Conditions
  • Interact by phone, email or in person with faculty and administrative staff at the University and occasionally with staff of federal government, non-federal sponsors, and other institutions and organizations.
  • Sit for 4 hours or more.
  • Use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.
  • Travel to various on-campus locations on a daily basis.
  • Use standard office equipment.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)
  • References Contact Information (3)(preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Financial Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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