Grants & Contracts Associate, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

  • United States of America
  • Bachelor's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Three years or more

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit

Job Summary

The job provides professional support for pre-award and/or post-award activities relating to grant and contract proposals and funding within a department or unit. Pre-award activities include research, preparing applications, and editing proposals. Post-award activities include compliance monitoring, payment processing, and salary allocations. Performs work with moderate guidance and utilizes knowledge of University and business drivers.


  • Monitors spending on all federal, non-federal, and internal grant accounts. Analyzes monthly financial reports and ledgers for accuracy, recommends and initiates action to correct discrepancies and follow-up until resolved. 
  • Prepares drafts of financial sections for components of grant and supplement applications, including draft budgets and budget justifications. Coordinates with sub-award administrators to assist with preparation of financial materials for all major grant-related activities.
  • Manages the execution of Subawards, Sponsored Consulting Agreements, and Subaward Amendments.
  • Processes cost and payroll transfers.
  • Pre award activities includes reading proposal guidelines; collecting, composing, and/or preparing administrative components of proposal submissions; preparing applications, developing and preparing budgets, and monitoring regulatory compliance requirements.
  • Post award activities includes account creations, regulatory and compliance monitoring, salary allocations, effort reporting, grant projections, cost allocations, cost center charges, equipment inventory, invoice preparation, grant closing process, and account closing.
  • Partners with University Research Administration (URA) to monitor pre- and post-award activities, such as timely submission of applications and progress reports (RPPRs); requests for no-cost extensions; obtaining sponsor approvals for major changes to project work scope or major changes to anticipated expenditures, etc.
  • Works closely with the Senior Grants Manager to collect grant data for the annual budget.
  • Processes BFI internal (unrestricted) grants such as the BFI Data and Research Awards. 
  • Works directly with the faculty and research staff to seek new avenues for funding and new grant opportunities.
  • Ensures that notices of relevant new funding opportunities for research programs are brought to the attention of the faculty.
  • Gathers needed documentation, manages and coordinates with University Research Administration (URA), the execution of Subawards, Sponsored Consulting Agreements, and Subaward Amendments.
  • Works with a broad array of sponsors, interpreting regulations and guidelines of multiple program funding with broad and complex guidelines for spending.
  • Ensures all applications meet agency and University guidelines.
  • Works directly with the PI to develop proposal budgets, in accordance with the needs of the research plan and Agency and Institutional Requirements.
  • Responsible for timely submission of applications, renewal/continual amendments, ensuring timely submission of technical reports, just-in-time submissions, no-cost extensions, and Agency required re-budgeting.
  • Coordinates with other departments/units/division regarding multi-investigator grant submissions.
  • Responsible for all data entry and preparation of grant reports and trend analysis.
  • Interacts with University Research Administration, faculty, postdocs, and pre/post-award colleagues from other departments and sections, and Financial Services Office personnel.
  • Handles post award activity including providing details for account creation, regulatory and compliance monitoring, salary allocations and effort reporting, grant projections, cost allocations, cost center charges, equipment inventory, prepare and submit interim closing memos for interim financial reports, and prepare and submit final closing memos for final financial reports and close out of accounts.
  • Prepares detail expense budgets based on awarded funds from the agency.
  • Allocates, authorizes, monitors, and controls expenses.
  • Maintains accounts including oversight, reconciliation, and error correction.
  • Performs financial forecasting.
  • Coordinates submission of closing memos to ensure timely submission of FSR.
  • Understands regulations and guidelines related to various awarding agencies.
  • Prepares summaries of grants and effort allocations for Principal Investigators.
  • Meets regularly with Principal Investigators regarding grant portfolio and expense allocation.
  • Responds to Principal Investigators questions.
  • Coordinates with other departments/units/division regarding multi-investigator grants.
  • Communicates status of faculty accounts to supervisor and other appropriate parties on a regular basis.
  • Interacts with University Research Administration, faculty, postdocs, grad students, departmental HR and post-award colleagues, and pre/post-award colleagues from other departments and sections, and Financial Services Office personnel.
  • Reviews all applications against University guidelines, in addition to drafting progress reports, non-competing applications, amendments, and budgeting. Responsible for all data entry and preparation of grant reports and trend analysis.
  • Prepares summaries of grants and effort allocations for Principal Investigators, meets with them and responds to their questions. Coordinates with other departments/units/divisions regarding multi investigator grants. Serves as department contact for annual audits and agency site visits.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Education: Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience: Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Progressively responsible grant/contract and financial administration in an academic setting.
  • Experience with budgets, ledgers, invoices, and fiscal reporting.
  • Experience in one or more aspects of sponsored program administration in a research environment.
  • Experience with accounting systems.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Work experience with grant preparation, including pre- and post- award in a research environment.
  • Computer skills including word processing, database management, and spreadsheet skills.
  • Knowledge of federal and non-federal grant and contract policies.
  • Working knowledge in administration, accounting or grant and contract.
  • Experience with University research, financial and HR/payroll systems including FAS, AURA, Business Objects.
  • Knowledge of procurement and finance systems.
  • Knowledge of general accounting standards and auditing.
  • Demonstrated initiative in improving processes and enhancing systems.

Preferred Competencies

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Flexible and adaptable work style.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Strong financial and analytic skills.
  • Exercise sound judgment, discretion, and tact.
  • Excellent independent time management skills along with the ability to handle multiple and concurrent tasks within deadlines.
  • Knowledge of research methods and funding sources.

Working Conditions

  • Standard office environment.
  • Sit for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Walk to various on-campus locations.

How to Apply

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • Three Professional References Contact Information (required)

Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.