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Business Administrator
The University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
Date Posted 04/01/2021
Admin-Business And Financial Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

The University of Chicago has established the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics to meet the challenges of achieving a molecular-level understanding of the structure, diversity and function of biological entities. The Institute represents new approach to scientific research at the interface between biology and the physical sciences, bringing together experimentalists, theoreticians, and computational scientists to forge a scientific culture of fluid exchange of ideas and collaboration across disciplines and among laboratories. In addition, the Institute has established training programs to involve undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students in this new cross-disciplinary approach to science. This culture of interdisciplinary research provides paths for insights developed at the laboratory bench to profoundly influence endeavors as diverse as molecular-based computing and the treatment of illness at the bedside.

Job Summary

The job manages a broad range of business operations and academic activities. Develops and implements office procedures and policies and ensures compliance. Prepares and monitors the budget for a unit. Reporting to the Director of the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics (IBD) the Business Administrator directs all administrative functions for the Institute’s programs, including:

  • managing, coordinating, and overseeing the processes associated with the finances, governance, and programmatic initiatives of The Institute for Biophysical Dynamics;
  • identifying and procuring funding for research and training;
  • preparing reports on the activities and funding status of the Institute;
  • planning and managing financial resources in furtherance of interdisciplinary research

These activities require active engagement with the staffs of the Deans of the Biological and Physical Sciences Divisions and appropriate representatives of other institutions and central administrative units. The Business Administrator currently supervises one full-time Education Program Administrator.

This position supports a core group of researchers who work at the interface between the physical sciences (specifically chemistry and physics) and the biological sciences. This position supports all manners of scientific interactions (seminars, symposia, workshops and the like), as well as training programs and initiatives for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows to advance interdisciplinary science at the University of Chicago with the goal of creating a culture of fluid exchange of ideas and collaboration across disciplines and among laboratories.


60% Administration

  • Following general guidelines from the Institute Director, manage, direct, and/or coordinate Institute programs including: interdisciplinary research involving investigators from different academic units; research and travel resource programs for investigators, students, and visitors; and seminars, lectures, and symposia. Assist Institute members in developing programmatic guidelines and processes and in disseminating the Institute’s initiatives and resources to the University community. Seek out and monitor University and external initiatives that would contribute to or coordinate with the Institute’s mission. Recommend collaborative ventures.
  • In conjunction with the Institute’s Director, develop Institute policy and procedure and ensure that they are followed. These policies and procedures include appointment/reappointment procedures for members and director; identification and selection of working committees for programmatic initiatives; governance issues such as membership privileges, shared resources, use of space, execution of programmatic initiatives.
  • Staff Institute faculty and committee meetings. Responsibilities include recommending agenda topics; preparing and assembling back up materials; advising on policies and procedures under consideration by the Institute.
  • Coordinate the process to appoint the IBD Director every three years and to appoint and reappoint members to IBD.
  • Function as hiring manager for Institute initiatives. In consultation with research project directors, drafts job descriptions, coordinates recruitment, screens candidates, and fulfills all University search and file requirements.
  • Oversee the maintenance of Institute records including financial and programmatic agreements, member documentation, operating procedures, directories, and Institute library materials.
  • Interact with BSDIS and ITS to satisfy the Institute’s computer needs, including hardware, software and networking; to regularly update the Institute’s website files and create/oversee websites for Institute initiatives.
  • Responsible for maintaining relations with the University’s technology transfer and intellectual property office in order to distribute royalties, as appropriate. Arrange for meetings between interdisciplinary researchers/entrepreneurs and Polsky Center staff.
  • Oversee the Institute’s educational initiatives, including undergraduate research opportunities.

30% Business Operations

  • Prepare the annual and long-term financial plans of the Institute. Track and project revenues and expenses.
  • Search out and distribute announcements for funding opportunities to appropriate investigators; establish and maintain liaison with funding agency contacts. Meet individually with investigators to discuss application plans; research and compile budget and prepare justification for grant applications; prepares or reviews non-programmatic aspects of grant applications for conformance to funding agency guidelines. Where proposed research involves space and information technology concerns, discuss these matters with the Institute Director and other divisional personnel as required by divisional grant policy.
  • Review terms of award notices and negotiate changes or secure acceptance; work with the Comptroller’s office to create or oversee creation of Financial Accounting System accounts and budgets. Review and approve expenditures. Monitor and report account balances and projected future spending to investigators. Oversee the maintenance of project accounting records and funding agency resource files. Coordinate internal or agency initiated audits.
  • Maintenance of project personnel files, research protocols, application procedures and documentation and grant applications.
  • Provide or encourage staff participation in appropriate training opportunities; monitor the adherence of staff members to sound business practices and handling internal and public contacts with sensitivity and professionalism.
  • Work with the Development Offices of the Medical Center and the Physical Sciences Division to engage potential donors, including co-ordination of visits, campus and building tours, recruitment of faculty speakers for Development initiatives.
  • Serve as a resource for University public relations and press office for information on interdisciplinary research activities ; contact for College Admissions and Dean of Students offices for undergraduate research opportunities.

10% Facilities and Space Administration

  • Facilitate and manage space allocation decisions. Coordinate renovations and other facility matters with Facilities, Central Procurement, and/or external vendors. Reach agreement on sources of funding for space renovations and improvements. Resolve urgent facilities issues.
  • Distribute building related notices concerning administration, maintenance, renovations, compliance with required safety regulations, standard operating and emergency procedures.
  • Uses best practices to develop and execute organization's operational and overall strategic plan. Develops and implements relevant policies and procedures and ensures compliance.
  • Plans, develops, analyzes and manages budget, including developing multi-year budget forecasts. May oversee the preparation and management of grant and contract proposals, ensuring compliance with all University, federal and private foundation guidelines and regulations. Develops financial reports and assists with seeking funding for grants.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


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

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Graduate degree.


  • Research experience.
  • Higher education administrative experience.
  • Familiarity with electronic research administration and financial management and reporting tools.
  • Experience with academic research, especially in the physical and biological sciences.
  • Research facilities management experience.

Preferred Competencies

  • Self-direction and initiative.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills; resourcefulness.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Professional public impression.
  • Ability to execute frequently changing system procedures, technologies, and regulatory requirements.
  • Demonstrated adherence to high standards of business and research ethics.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications required.

Working Conditions

  • Work is primarily sedentary involving considerable desktop computing and normal office activities. Occasional major grant and project deadlines might require considerable additional hours beyond the standard work week.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter ( preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Resume/CV of the application.

Job Family

Administration & Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

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.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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