Chapin Hall is an independent policy research center at the University of Chicago that provides public and private decision-makers with rigorous research and achievable solutions to support them in improving the lives of children, families, and communities. Chapin Hall partners with policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropists at the forefront of research and policy development by applying a unique blend of scientific research, real-world experience, and policy expertise to construct actionable information, practical tools, and, ultimately, positive change for children, youth, and families. Established in 1985, Chapin Hall's areas of research include child welfare systems, community capacity to support children and families, and youth homelessness. For more information about Chapin Hall, visit or @Chapin_Hall.

Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago is seeking a Grants and Contracts Administrator to work closely with a group of Principal Investigators (PIs) in planning and managing a portfolio of research and policy accounts.  Management of accounts involves the full scope of pre- and post-award activities. This position has contact with all levels of research/policy and administrative staff at Chapin Hall and significant interaction with sponsors. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the mission of a growing non-profit organization.

This position reports directly to the Director of Financial Operations.


The primary responsibilities of the position are as follows:

  • Develops partnerships with both principal investigators and external partners. Provides proactive guidance and counsel to ensure projects are performed on time and on budget. Anticipates opportunities and challenges, and provides leadership in ensuring the best outcome for Chapin Hall.
  • Manages all post-award management activities such as award processing, fund monitoring, financial reporting and payroll reconciliation. Prepares invoices, sets up and closes out accounts, assists with accounts receivable activities, monitors project spending, completes sub award requests, submits narrative and finance reports to Principal Investigators, and prepares communications as needed. 
  • Interacts with funding agencies to clarify proposal guidelines and requirements, provides guidance to new PIs regarding submission policies and procedures and provides coaching related to budget development.
  • Consults regularly with PIs to develop, review, and revise plans for managing account expenditures, portfolios and project spending plans. Prepares reports including budget to actual, projected spending and staff utilization analysis.
  • Monitors compliance of all project agreement requirements and organizational activities such as vendor set-up and monitoring, creation and monitoring of small business subcontracting plans, Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) compliance, and completion and monitoring of ORCA and other federal assurances. 
  • Assists with Conflict of Interest (COI) annual certifications as well as any program/project or organizational audits and other additional activities that may result. 
  • Manages account expenditures including staff allocations, transaction approval, account reconciliation, and spending projections as well as monitors spending and allow ability of charges in accordance with agreements.
  • Manages accounts receivable and works with sponsors when needed to ensure receivables are current.  Prepares invoices and financial reports for complex projects, ensures timely submission of narrative and financial reports to the sponsor, handles collections and troubleshoots issues with sponsors.
  • Closes out account activities including analyzing final project expenses and prepares appropriate project documentation with the PI and Accounting.
  • Establishes and manages consulting and subcontract agreements and all award modifications.
  • Manages the administrative components of pre-award grant and contract application submissions including reviewing proposal guidelines, preparing administrative components of proposal submissions, developing proposal budgets, managing timelines and maintaining pre-award information in administrative databases. 
  • Assists in developing Chapin Hall post-award policies and procedures, writes correspondence and meeting summaries.
  • Serves as an expert resource to PIs regarding all accounting policies.
  • Performs additional duties as assigned


Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in accounting, finance, business administration or a related field. Minimum of five years’ experience in project management, accounting, or another financially-oriented role required. Minimum of three years’ experience in grants and contracts management experience preferred.

Other Qualifications

Strong accounting and analytical skills required.

Diplomatic skills to navigate and negotiate complex project problems with internal project staff and sponsors to insure the best outcome for Chapin Hall required.

Strong organizational skills and attention to detail required.

Ability to successfully prioritize and complete multiple, concurrent projects required.

Ability to anticipate and resolve problems effectively required.

Capacity for understanding the relationship of specific tasks to the broader operation of the administrative functions required.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills required.

Demonstrated judgment and discretion in the sharing of sensitive information required.

Ability to work in a fast pace environment required.

Strong customer service orientation and the ability to work effectively with a wide variety of constituents required.

Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently with a high degree of initiative required. 

Strong proficiency with Excel and Word required.

Knowledge of Costpoint-Deltek, Filemaker Pro or similar database software preferred.

Knowledge and familiarity of other compliance issues related to performing research, especially IRB-related compliance issues, preferred.

Working knowledge with federal grants (NIH, NSF) and federal contracts (ACF Task Orders) as well as major non-federal grant and contract policies, including states, preferred.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to operate a computer extensively for four (4) or more hours per day.

Pre-employment background checks are required for all Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago positions.

To express interest in this opening, please visit

Formal expressions of interest are accepted online only. A cover letter, resume, and reference contact information are required to be considered for this position.

Individuals in need of reasonable accommodations to complete the application process should contact Human Resources by calling (773) 256-5157, or by sending an email to

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer that values and actively seeks diversity in its workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, status as an individual with disability, age, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by law.


Share this job listingShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page