Director, Research Financial Compliance

Brown University

Job Description:

About Brown University
Brown University is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Our students, faculty and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world. Brown University offers a flexible work/life balance; summer hours, winter break and a comprehensive Benefits package including time off, annual paid holidays; benefits offerings including health, dental, vision, tuition assistance, retirement, wellness, employee discounts and more.  To learn about Brown University’s benefits, visit the University Human Resources web page here for further information.

About the Opportunity
This position reports to the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) with a dotted line report to the VP Finance and CFO.

As a key member of the Office of Sponsored Projects senior leadership team and trusted partner to the university’s finance teams, Director, Financial Research Compliance is responsible for supporting sponsored project related audits and specialized financial reporting, cash management and financial quality assurance/quality improvement (QA/QI). The incumbent serves as liaison to partner offices at the University, including Workday Program, Controller, Advancement and Internal Audit. The incumbent also maintains ongoing relationships with the University’s federal, non-federal, corporate and foundation sponsors as needed and in concert with other university representatives and their roles.

Further responsibilities extend to talent development through participation in advanced training and mentoring of OSP post-award staff and supporting education in research administration for the campus community in partnership with the Research Training Office. The Director participates in the implementation of grants related systems and decisions regarding post award components and advises on integration with Brown’s financial system (Workday). The Director acts to ensure compliance with federal, sponsor and university financial guidelines; and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction for both faculty and department administrators.

The incumbent is responsible for staying up-to-date on legal, regulatory, and policy issues that affect financial research administration and audit (such as 2 CFR 200, agency requirements, and GAAP), and through active participation in professional societies such as the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

Sponsored Project Financial Quality Assurance /Quality Improvement Program

Performs routine internal reviews of sponsored project financial transactions to ensure compliance and appropriate risk levels related to sponsored project financial policies and requirements. Serves as a subject matter expert liaison between the OSP and the Controller’s office to ensure ongoing review of accounting compliance for sponsored projects. Develops appropriate policies and standard operating procedures to build a strong control environment in collaboration with key stakeholders.

Collaborates with the electronic systems and technology partners to ensure systems meet stakeholder business requirements, including developing, adopting and utilizing the necessary audit / review reports. In working with the systems teams, partners on optimum configurations of the financial aspects of the proposal and award modules, integrations, and reporting in order to support business requirements.

Leads the subject matter expert project tasks associated with implementation, upgrade, or development of new application functionality or solutions; providing system level perspective in campus initiatives. Participates and directs staff subject matter expert testing and documentation in the transition and implementation of systems.

Complex reporting and audit

Related to sponsored project financial information, reconciles, reviews, combines, and validates financial data sets and accounts, utilizing financial reports, financial databases, and key financial information. Prepares complex internal and external reports on sponsored award activity such as the NSF HERD Survey and schedule of expenditures for the single audit.

Oversees and supports the university’s compliance policies, processes, and reporting related to charging salary to sponsored projects. This includes managing the university’s effort reporting.

Cash management

Working with the office of the Controller and Director of Treasury, establish a cadence for regular review of internal reports and treasury management reports to ensure regular and appropriate management of cash flow. Develops, implements, maintains, and improves policies and processes related to accurate sponsored project invoicing, letter-of-credit draws, dunning, and write-offs.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or Accounting and seven plus years related experience in sponsored projects administration and management in an institution of higher education, hospital, or non-profit organization. M.B.A. or C.P.A. strongly preferred.
  • Supervisory experience required.
  • Ability to manage and safeguard confidential financial and business data and to ensure confidentiality is maintained by staff.
  • Must have in-depth knowledge of Federal regulations for sponsored project funding; superlative working knowledge of sponsored project accounting and reporting functions; working knowledge of the award life cycle, including pre-award activities; experience with external audits.
  • Strong knowledge of how financial systems work and function.
  • Initiative and judgment to independently problem solve and prioritize. Ability to work independently, but also as a strong team player when needed.
  • Must have flexible and adaptive work style to manage multiple priorities to achieve goals for operational efficiency and fiscal stability.
  • Strong customer service orientation is required.
  • Must be able to take initiative to keep pace with changes in research administration policies and procedures, as well as Brown’s expanding research enterprise.
  • Possess a willingness and ability to support and promote a diverse and inclusive campus community.

All candidates must submit a resume and cover letter.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown University.

Recruiting Start Date:


Job Posting Title:

Director, Research Financial Compliance


Office of Sponsored Projects


Grade 12

Worker Type:


Worker Sub-Type:


Time Type:

Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:


Position Work Location:

Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Still Have Questions?

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EEO Statement:

Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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