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Vanderbilt University Grants Manager, Mechanical Engineering in Nashville, Tennessee

The position is a Grants Manager position within Mechanical Engineering. The position is primarily pre- and post-award grants management as well as other tasks assigned. The position requires exercise of independent judgment, initiative, and the ability to make decisions relative to the department’s operations as well as other tasks assigned. The position will function with a high degree of understanding of University life, policies, and procedures.

The Mechanical Engineering department provides a broad-based engineering education with opportunities for students to elect courses in areas of study related to any industry and, with careful planning achieve some specialization. The mechanical engineering program prepares an individual to become a practicing engineer who can participate fully in the engineering activities of design, building, operation, production, maintenance, safety, marketing, sales, research, and administration. Numerous research projects allow faculty and students to collaborate in areas of combustion and propulsion, robotic surgery, powered prosthetics, nanotechnology, thermal fluids, and medical devices.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist faculty in preparing and assembling grants proposals/contracts in compliance with sponsor, University, and federal guidelines and deadlines.

  • Assist PI in determining requirements, deadlines, and time management for responses to funding opportunities or general application submissions in a proactive manner. Coordinate multiple applications under absolute deadlines

  • Work in a collaborative manner with the Principal Investigator, other department and institutions, and Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA), throughout the application process to achieve a professional document for submission

  • Assemble original application prior to submission

  • Interact with other departments and agencies to facilitate the development, submission, and administration of grant proposals.

  • Responsible for tracking and receiving back confirmation of submitted application from Grants & Contracts

  • Provide outside departments with bio sketches, other support, and ancillary data as requested

  • Independently manage budget responsibilities for grants.

  • Works in conjunction with VUSE Senior Lead Grants Manager on new, competing, or revised grant applications in preparing initial and extended budgets, including Indirect cost calculation

  • Reviews budget details with Principal Investigator (PI), including personnel, effort allocated and overall expenses, ensuring consistency and compliance

  • Prepares meaningful unobligated balance and effort matrix reports to PI’s on at least every other month cadence

  • Ensures that the assigned contract/grants are not in deficit

  • Ensures that Project Portfolio Management (PPM) unprocessed salaries (aka suspense) is kept at $0 or a minimal level

  • Ensures that retroactive changes do not exceed 90 days from original charge

  • Prepares and submit budgets to VUSE Senior Lead Grants Manager and the Office of Contract and Grant Accounting (OCGA)

  • Prepares progress reports to the PI detailing personnel, effort allocation and overall expenses ensuring consistent communication as to the status of all projects on at least every other month cadence

  • Monitor terms and agreements of grant awards for compliance.

  • Assist PI with all periodic reporting requirements as detailed in awards

  • Monthly review of all active protocols ensuring all are current with institutional offices

  • Serve as a resource for the assigned PI portfolio.

  • Forwards potential funding opportunities to PIs/staff whether specific to a PI’s research or general for all PIs

  • Keeps abreast of new/updated agency policies, procedures, deadlines and timeframes of new initiatives by working closely with Dean’s Office, SPA, and OCGA

  • Attends all trainings offered by SPA and OCGA as well as reading online/published materials (i.e.: SPA/OCGA Users group meeting, NCURA newsletter, NIH and NSF hosted training webinars and online updates)

  • Attends monthly VUSE Grant Managers meetings and professional development opportunities.

  • Actively participates in at least one VUSE Grant Managers working group

  • Attends all School level meetings

  • Keeps VUSE Senior Lead Grants Manager and PIs informed of any material changes

  • Works closely with the assigned Financial Unit Manager (FUM) for the work unit.

  • Meets with the FUM regularly to ensure there is proper financial stewardship of the assigned PI portfolio ensuring that all transactions are recorded accurately and in compliance with applicable university and departmental policies

  • Provides contract/grant specific guidance to the FUM

  • Maintains an extensive understanding of the institution’s chart of accounts and departmental use of optional segments and PPM POET structure

  • Works closely with the Human Capital Manager (HCM) assigned to the department and Deans Office for HR-related matters.

  • Will be asked to distribute effort to appropriate projects in the ORACLE system prospectively and retrospectively

  • Will be asked to enter retrospective costing changes into the ORACLE system

  • Annual Space Survey

  • Assist respective unit Grant Managers by answering questions regarding MuMs and ISDE assigned space and functionalization. This can include interviews with the PI or other research team members in the space.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required with a major in finance, accounting, or business preferred. Master’s degree is preferred.

  • Experience with Oracle is preferred.

  • Three years’ experience working in a higher education/academic setting is preferred.

  • Three – five years of relevant experience is preferred.

  • Strong organizational skills are preferred.

  • Strong knowledge and/or experience with grant and contract processes is preferred.

  • Strong working knowledge of chart of accounts for expense items, allowable and unallowable costs, is preferred.

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel, is preferred.

  • Financial background, including the review of budgets, is preferred.

  • Comfort with new technological systems is preferred. Ability to adapt easily to changes in technology and processes.

  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously is preferred.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.