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Contracting Officer Manager


UF DSP Classification* 

A lead member of our Contracting Team of professionals within UF’s Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) responsible for supervising and managing the Contracting Team while involved in most highly complex award negotiations and post award issues related to sponsored programs administration.  Provides mentoring to the Team and engages in facilitating a wide range of sponsored programs administration activities.  This position is responsible for executing a wide range of sponsored programs administration activities, maintaining a high level of professional knowledge through self-study, research, and participation in professional development, and a high level of professional conduct becoming of a University employee.


Examples of Work

Job functions are specific duties that would be included in the essential functions of the job description.  These functions are not all-inclusive nor do they cover the full extent of the duties performed.

Award Negotiation and Acceptance:

  • Review and negotiation of complex federal, industry and foreign contracts and agreements, non-disclosure agreements, data use agreements, and other agreements relating to research, training and other sponsored programs, including any modifications or amendments thereto;
  • Represents the Division in relationships with sponsors;
  • Reviews, evaluates and interprets complex contracts and agreements for compliance with UF Policies and Procedures, and applicable governmental regulations;
  • Evaluates, interprets, negotiates and applies federal and sponsor policy and regulations to determine acceptable conditions of awards including such areas as: Conflict of Interest, Export Control, Intellectual Property, Indemnity, Governing law, Cost Principles, data and information security requirements, Human use, Animal use and lab safety;
  • Coordinates with appropriate University experts and offices (i.e., the Office of Technology Licensing, Contracts and Grants Accounting, General Counsel, Division of Research Compliance, IRB, IACUC, EHS, Privacy Office) as needed throughout negotiations for review and feedback;
  • Reviews official proposal budget and scope of work to ensure the award reflects the proper indirect cost rate, budget expectations and timelines;
  • Ensures that proposals are in UFIRST as the basis for negotiating the award;
  • Ensures that agreements and modifications are entered in UFIRST accurately and completely;
  • Assists the Directors of Sponsored Programs as needed in performing other duties as assigned related to the Division’s agreement negotiation and sponsor relations;
  • Supports the development of specialized agreements with sponsors, and liaison functions between the University, Faculty and Sponsoring Agencies;

Award Management

  • Maintains knowledge with university and sponsor electronic research administration systems in order to ensure timely and compliant post award activities;
  • Maintains accurate and complete files and records for each award or agreement in UFIRST;
  • Assists when needed with the preparation of subawards and subcontracts that are issued to subrecipients under prime federal or non-federal grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts;
  • Assists in the development and implementation of office procedures to support DSP and campus policy;
  • Examines existing systems, practices and procedures using methods which result in improved organizational performance;
  • Provides policy and procedure interpretation to academic departments;
  • Acts as a liaison between faculty, campus administrators, agency officials, as well as federal, state, and local offices to troubleshoot problems or issues that develop during the course of a project;
  • Maintains positive and productive business relationships within the University and with its Sponsors;
  • Participates in the shared responsibility for ensuring responsible stewardship for funds provided by external sponsors through responsible payment structures in agreements;

Senior Level:

  • Maintains expert knowledge of federal, state and non-profit sponsor regulations, policies, requirements, procedures and areas of interest and mentors less experienced members of the Contracting team;
  • Provides guidance and advice on complex terms and conditions to Sponsored Programs Administrators;
  • Detects areas where new regulations need to be understood, implemented and communicated and provides training and assistance to PIs and Departments across the campus to ensure compliance with institutional and sponsor policies;
  • Negotiates the terms and conditions of complex awards and agreements from a variety of domestic and international sponsors in accordance with UF policy and federal compliance requirements;
  • Provides peer leadership and feedback in the ongoing improvement of office services and works as a member of a highly qualified team of professionals dedicated to quality service and work product excellence;
  • Supports and guides the Contracting Team in complex negotiations, development of specialized agreements with sponsors, and liaison functions between the University, Faculty and Sponsoring Agencies;
  • Investigates, updates and maintains training and reference materials/resources for Contracting Team.

Manager Level:

  • Sets goals for the workgroup or team and manages the process and staff to meet those goals;
  • Establishes appropriate targets; analyze, appraise and interpret performance;
  • Facilitates strong team building, independence and critical-thinking skills within the Team;
  • Ensures quality data is being input into University systems related to agreements and awards;
  • Practice limited signature authority in relation to these duties;
  • Leverages institutional tracking systems.  Requests, interprets and utilizes management reports to ensure timely follow up on PI, Sponsor and other requests for information, to monitor and ensure a balanced workload, and to monitor the quality of data in institutional tracking systems;
  • Identifies future and existing trends in the industry – changes to federal regulation, sponsor guidelines, and opportunities for technology enhancement;
  • Provides guidance to the Contracting Team, Sponsored Programs Administrators, department staff, investigators, and research deans on federal regulations, sponsor guidelines, state statutes, contracting terms and terminology and university policy and procedures;
  • Recommends changes to policies, procedures, tools and reports to facilitate efficient and effective operations within the Division.  Assists in the interpretation and implementation of federal regulations (including the Code of Federal Regulations), sponsor requirements (such as the National Institutes of Health grants Policy Statement), Florida State Statute, and University policies and procedures in sponsored projects administration and recommend changes on policy and/or procedures as necessary;
  • Coordinates the needs and leave requests of the Contacting Team members;
  • Develops development opportunities for the Contracting Team and other audiences;
  • Executes agreements and contracts that legally bind the University.

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree and four years of experience in sponsored program administration; or an equivalent combination of education and experience in research administration.

Licensure and Certification



This position may include supervisory responsibility.

*Reserved Classification – Use of this classification outside of UF Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) requires prior approval by Classification and Compensation


To see common career pathways for each position at the University of Florida please visit the Career Paths section of the UFHR website.