Reporting to the Executive Director of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO), the Assistant Director of Finance and Administration will be responsible for the oversight and management of activities and administrative team in the areas of research administration, financial operations, and academic appointments. The Assistant Director will work closely with the Executive Director to continue appropriate stewardship of HCO's resources and will partner with colleagues from FAS, CfA, and outside organizations and agencies to ensure the research mission and objectives of the HCO are realized.
Primary duties and responsibilities
Research Administration: Directs HCO's research administration activities via oversight of sponsored research professionals that are responsible for pre- and post-award administration of sponsored grants and contracts and university-funded faculty research. Stay abreast of all relevant regulatory and policy changes, adjust local research and financial practices accordingly, and ensure that research administrators and relevant HCO staff receive appropriate training in the areas of sponsored research and financial operations. Ensure compliance with FAS, University, sponsors and government policies and regulations.
Budgetary and Financial Operations - Assist HCO ED in development of annual department operating and facilities budget, including capital projects. Monitor and provides financial reports, projections, and analyses for operating costs, intra-CfA expenses, indirect and occupancy cost recoveries, facilities/capital projects, faculty start-up and costs related to off-site research and consortia agreements. Provide short and long-term budget projections. Oversees HCO's financial operations including accounts payable, accounts receivable, procurement, equipment, fabrications, and complex intra-CfA finances including a recharge account, central engineering charges, and annual rental income and expense. Work closely with GMTO organization and manage GMTO's payment schedule. Track expenses at the Oak Ridge Observatory and costs related to environmental health and safety.
Work with the Executive Director to provide support to Principal Investigators, researchers, graduate students and engineers on complex facilities and fabrication projects and oversee and manage the administrative and financial aspects of instrumentation and deployment which are part of our domestic and international research. Shepherd Memos of Understanding, agreements, and contracts through Harvard's Office of the General Counsel and/or FAS for approval. Work with Harvard's Insurance Office to ensure appropriate insurance coverage, shipping, deductibles, etc. Monitor all financial aspects of MOUs, contracts, and agreements throughout the approved period.
Academic Appointments: Oversee approximately 300 academic appointments with large international component, work with Appointments and Finance Coordinator, FAS, Harvard's Office of the General Counsel, Benefits Office and other Harvard departments to manage complex issues and find solutions to challenges related to fellowship terms and conditions, visas and health insurance.
Management and Administrative Operations: Lead HCO staff through, and establish policies for, all aspects of financial systems rollouts. Support and mentor research administration, financial operations and research appointment staff, interview potential candidates, and make hiring recommendations.
Serve as HCO's liaison to FAS Finance and Research Administration and represent HCO's interests on relevant FAS and University committees, and at monthly CfA senior administrators' meetings. Attend safety meetings with HCO's Superintendent of Facilities, EH&S Safety Officer, and SAO stakeholders.
The Harvard College Observatory (HCO) is a department within Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and a partner in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) collaboration.
All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.
Salary Grade: 058
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Minimum 7 years' operations and administrative work experience
Advanced knowledge of sponsored research regulations and financial management
Successful record of mentoring and team building.
Must be well organized, flexible and able to manage multiple challenging projects simultaneously.
Applicant should also have a collaborative working style with excellent consultative, problem-solving, and customer service skills.
Must have the ability to build strong relationships with people at all levels of the organization and communicate technical financial information/policy/procedure to a broad range of audiences.
Personal maturity and ability to work with and maintain confidential information are essential.
Understanding of distinctions among types of funding including unrestricted, gift, endowment and sponsored.
Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office, with advanced Excel skills; strong knowledge of advanced financial administration principals including capital assets, and federal sponsored policies (OMB Uniform Guidance); demonstrated experience with financial systems and data query tools – particularly those used at Harvard including OBI, Oracle Financials, GMAS, etc.
Extensive experience with data management and spreadsheet software such as Excel, Access or similar required.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential.
Extensive pre- and post-award management experience preferred
Experience working with research faculty in a higher education setting
Advance working knowledge of research compliance issues, key federal grant regulations, and other related compliance issues preferred
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Internal Number: 44992BR
About Harvard University
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.