Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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Program Manager, U54 Partnership

Program Manager, U54 Partnership

Job ID 
Program/Project Management
full time
Job Posted Date 

More information about this job


The Program Manager for the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston) and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) U54 Partnership serves as the liaison between the executive, evaluative, scientific and operational and administrative teams and plans and implements program strategies, including high-level management and coordination of external funding, operational oversight and administrative objectives for the ongoing management of the day-to-day research and grant administration activities associated with the U54 Partnership at UMass Boston and DF/HCC. This position is a joint appointment at both UMass Boston and DF/HCC, and the incumbent will work with Partnership Principal Investigators (PIs), research investigators, core leaders, grant administrators, business managers and other relevant research/program staff at the university and within the seven institutions of the DF/HCC.


The incumbent will cultivate research proposals and will develop, write, compile and submit research and supplemental grants to sponsors, including but not limited to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). S/he will also ensure the timely set-up of awards at UMass Boston and DF/HCC, as well as the set-up of subcontracts between institutions; will oversee and direct the pre-and post-award process regarding the development and submission of required materials and reports to sponsors; will monitor award spending at all institutions; and will maintain grant/contract records in compliance with UMass Boston and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) sponsor policies.


To learn more about the U54 Cancer Research Partnership, go to https://www.umb.edu/u54. 




  • Assist Principal Investigators (PIs) with identifying potential extramural funding sources by responding to requests for applications and obtaining guidelines and forms, aiding the PIs with completing forms and assurance documents, assisting with preparing and negotiating subcontracts and ensuring proposals meet sponsor format and submission requirements;
  • Assist PIs with processing and monitoring project expenditures by obtaining necessary financial reports and providing budgetary forecasting; write, prepare and submit annual and final programmatic reports; and assist with reporting time and effort commitments along with managing procurement and invoice reconciliation;
  • Serve as the primary liaison between the Partnership PIs and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) Grant Administrators to oversee the submission of proposals, pre- and post-award requirements and annual carry-forward requests to sponsors;
  • Assist PIs in ensuring compliance with University policies and procedures, sponsor requirements and the relevant laws and regulations in research with human subjects and the care and protection of animals; assist PIs with the timely completion and processing of appropriate forms for the review of research protocols at the University and at DFCI, as well as compliance programmatic and financial reports;
  • Participate in specialized training activities related to sponsored programs and partake in initiatives to improve University business processes;
  • Work directly with the U54 Grant Managers at the university and DFCI to maintain awards using internal financial software and National Institute of Health (NIH) electronic proposal submission procedures, as needed;
  • Maintain procedures for pre- and post- award administration processes and contribute content to communicate to business managers at UMass Boston and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC);
  • Provide guidance and assistance to other university grant and contract administrators and departmental research administrators regarding required grant procedures and NIH/NCI proposal development; and fill in, as required; identify and interpret NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI) Requests for Applications (RFA) and RFA Supplemental Guidelines; interpret and check instructions pertaining to the involvement and protection of human subjects and animals and required form pages in order to provide clear instructions and accurate up-to-date administrative forms to business managers at the university and DF/HCC to ensure the successful preparation and submission of an application;
  • Assistant business managers with compiling, editing and cross-checking budgets and budget justifications and all other required forms for submission; communicate required materials and next steps from the funding agency to the business managers;
  • Work with the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration and DFCI and departmental/institutional business manager counterparts on the materials required by the sponsor and provide amended project budgets per the PIs’ instructions; prepare all subsequent paperwork for submission to grant offices; meet with business managers to monitor accounts and to allocate balances and close out accounts once funding has ended; assist business managers in interpreting and filling out required budget pages and other annual progress reporting forms;
  • Work seamlessly with the post-award team at ORSP, DFCI and all other DF/HCC institutions to provide excellent service to partnership PIs, research investigators and core leaders;
  • Serve as the liaison between the executive, evaluative, scientific, operational and administrative teams (comprised of faculty, staff, Principal Investigators and institutional leaders from UMass Boston and DF/HCC) to ensure operational transparency;
  • Interface regularly with NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI) officials and the partnership’s internal and external scientific committees, i.e., the Program Steering Committee (PSC) and Internal Advisory Committee (IAC); coordinate the committees’ receipt of bi-annual (these groups receive a comprehensive written report twice per year: the PSC receives a report in March and the IAC receives a report in November and March) scientific progress reports, the PSC’s visit to Boston to hear reports from the PIs and research faculty vis-a-vis the Annual PSC meeting, and their subsequent written report that is submitted to NCI following the annual meeting; provide administrative support to this group to coordinate notes and revise and edit the PSC report before submission to NCI;
  • Provide programmatic oversight for the funded research projects, programs and cores at UMass Boston and DF/HCC and keep partnership PIs regularly updated and abreast of issues at both institutions as they may arise;
  • Supervise the work performed by the university administrative support personnel; assist in the training and orientation of new university grant administrators whose departments are involved in the partnership;
  • Represent the partnership at national NCI meetings and research conferences, as well as internal partnership meetings, seminars and events;
  • Work with the U54 Administrative Assistant, and other administrators/departments at the University and DF/HCC to schedule and coordinate monthly scientific meetings, as well as annual meetings,       events and site visits; schedule guest speakers;
  • Provide accounting oversight for all funded projects and programs; compile budget reports and manage program annual spend-down process at DF/HCC and UMass Boston;
  • Manage and track partnership outcomes at UMass Boston and DF/HCC, ensure publication compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, and develop and direct effective reporting processes;
  • Provide administrative and strategic planning support for the funded projects, programs and Cores, as needed; develop agendas and manage partnership leadership, i.e., Executive Committee, meetings at UMass Boston and DF/HCC;
  • Spearhead and direct the internal and external evaluation processes for the Partnership’s research and core facilities portfolio; review, edit and disseminate evaluations to funded projects and Cores;
  • Lead the development and dissemination of the annual internal Request for Applications (RFA); identify areas of evaluative expertise needed to build Peer Review Committees and manage the evaluation process and timeline;
  • Serve on various committees and leadership teams to identify program weaknesses and inform both short-term and long-term planning of program initiatives, develop strategic plans (including timeline; and long- and short-term deliverables) to achieve program initiatives and oversee implementation, and ensure that the U54 Program addresses concerns identified by the Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), NCI and the PSC each year;
  • Work with the Partnership PIs to plan annual budgets and execute program sustainability;
  • Participate as a member of the U54 Career Development Committee and ensure proper development of new junior investigators’ career development plans; oversee plan implementation of all junior investigators involved in the Partnership;
  • Establish and maintain relationships with Partnership contractors and vendors to communicate partnership-wide announcements and events, host Partnership sponsored- and co-sponsored- meetings, conferences and symposia, and provide statistical support to research projects for the purpose of analyzing data for the pursuit of external grants and publications;
  • Direct all communication and outreach for the Partnership both internally and externally at UMass Boston and DF/HCC; design, develop and provide ongoing management for the U54 website and social media sites and monitor online search engine optimization; create and manage ongoing announcements for meetings, events, grant announcements and the like;      
  • Provide ongoing outreach to funded investigators who leave the U54 during the grant period and facilitate their continuous involvement in the mechanism;
  • Facilitate outreach and identify prospective research collaborators at DF/HCC and UMass Boston for new U54 investigators;
  • Develop ad-hoc literature for dissemination at U54 events and develop posters for research presentations; develop talking points and presentations for Partnership PIs, institutional leaders and other speakers for meetings/events, as needed; develop announcements and compose letters on behalf of Partnership PIs and institutional leaders, as needed; (I inserted this because developing talking points for U54 meetings, announcements, and drafting U54-related letters, e.g., for inclusion in a grant as an institutional letter of support or to notify NIH/NCI of partnership events/changes, on behalf of the Provost and the CEO of DFCI is a regular requirement of my position)
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 


Please submit a cover letter with your application. 


Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of seven-ten (7-10) years of professional experience in sponsored programs in an academic or equivalent setting, which also includes a minimum of five years of program management experience providing oversight for a large cooperative research program across multiple institutions, that is required. Previous supervisory experience is required.


Demonstrated pre-and post-award financial management experience, including proposal development and post-award management is required. Demonstrated experience with several types of award mechanisms, including grants, contracts and subcontracts required. Extensive knowledge of program administration guidelines of NIH and NCI, along with successful experience utilizing the NIH ASSIST system is required. Knowledge of policies and procedures pertaining to grants, contracts, sub-awards and subcontracts, and experience with NIH RePORTER and PubMed Central required. Additional expertise in human-subject compliance, sub-awards, procurement, and human resources is required. Experience with web development, online marketing and search engine optimization is preferred. This position is based at UMass Boston and requires weekly travel between UMass Boston and DF/HCC in order to effectively manage and operationalize the U54 program. Ability to represent the Partnership at national conferences is required. Domestic travel to annual NCI meetings is required.




  • Proficiency with administrative software programs such as Microsoft Office Suite, as well as Adobe and PeopleSoft;
  • Advanced knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of cancer research;
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated experience of pre-and post-award financial management leadership;
  • Demonstrated ability to simultaneously direct projects and initiatives, and manage procedures across several institutions efficiently and effectively;
  • Demonstrated ability to display high levels of accountability and be able to comfortably manage multiple projects and oversee numerous investigators, evaluation bodies, and grant accounts in an intense and fast-paced environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in initiatives to improve business processes;
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and lead a team;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with confidential material;
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to work and interact with various levels of internal and external partners, including high-level government and institutional officials;
  • Ability to and ease of comfort in engaging with the media;
  • Demonstrated high degree of initiative and independent judgment;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong analytical and creative problem solving skills, with the ability to prioritize and work under pressure in a deadline oriented environment;
  • Strong leadership, insight, planning and execution skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Strong commitment to customer service.




The Program Manager will report to the U54 Partnership Principal Investigators at UMass Boston and DF/HCC. She/He will supervise staff (1)


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.



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