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Research Portfolio Manager
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date Posted 12/15/2021
Admin-Laboratory and Research
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

The Research Portfolio Manager (RPM) is responsible for providing comprehensive pre-and post-award support to a portfolio of Principal Investigators (PIs), postdoctoral fellows, and students of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).  

Job-Specific Responsibilities

The Research Portfolio Manager (RPM) is responsible for providing comprehensive pre-and post-award support to a portfolio of Principal Investigators (PIs), postdoctoral fellows, and students of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).  This position will report to the Assistant Director for Research Administration.  This position requires independent judgment and problem-solving skills to ensure compliance with sponsor and donor regulations, school and University policies, and department procedures.  The RPM provides superior customer service to PIs and their lab members in support of research activities in a high volume, fast paced, and dynamic environment.

Pre-award responsibilities:

  • Provide direct support to PIs and their lab members with proposal preparation, including budget development and assembly of supporting documentation and required institutional information.
  • Advise and assist Principal Investigators (PIs) with sponsor policies and programmatic reporting requirements of the various funding organizations, including progress reports.
  • Shepherd supported proposals through the school and University proposal review and submission process.
  • Facilitate award setup with the Office for Sponsored Programs.
  • Schedule non-financial reports in the Grants Management Application Suite (GMAS).
  • Ensure compliance with federal regulations and University, school and sponsor policies.
  • Notify PIs of funding opportunities, providing information and application forms as necessary.
  • Analyze and report sponsored funding trends.

Post-award responsibilities:

  • Proactively establish relationships with PIs, their Lab Administrators and other lab members; maintain effective communication; and protect confidential information.
  • Manage designated funding (sponsored and non-sponsored) for the PIs and their lab members.  This includes complex financial management and analysis, compliance with University policy and sponsor’s terms and conditions, and reporting.
  • Conduct monthly detailed financial analysis of portfolios and provide individual consulting to PIs.
  • Strategize with PIs on resource and personnel allocations.  Monitor balances, reconcile accounts, perform spending projections, and address ad hoc queries.
  • Work closely with the PI and Office for Sponsored Programs to review new awards, set up budgets, and provide guidance on policy.
  • Review and approve financial transactions, such as reimbursements for travel and corporate card payments, PCards, and Buy to Pay.
  •  Facilitate the effort certification process and advise the PI on related policies.
  • Provide guidance to lab administrators on finance and sponsored research matters including systems, policies, and procedures.
  • Implement local procedures, recommend process improvements, and resolve issues related to research funding.

Basic Qualifications

A minimum of three years’ experience in pre- or post-award management experience required; a combination of education and experience may be considered.  

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Working knowledge of federal and non-federal regulations for sponsored research.
  • Self-directed, team-oriented and customer focused.
  • Must be able to handle multiple competing priorities.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Superior skills in Excel and other applications in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Strong analytical ability
  • Must be trusted with confidential information.

Working Conditions

This position offers hybrid remote/in person work flexibility. There is an expectation that employees be able to work in person in Cambridge, MA. Employees with the capability to work from home may do so in any of the states that Harvard University supports for payroll purposes (MA, CT, RI, ME, NH, VT, NY, MD, CA).

All Harvard community members must comply with the University’s health and safety guidelines and protocols, including but not limited those related to COVID-19, such as testing, masking, distancing, etc. Additionally, Harvard requires COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members. You may claim exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Note that unvaccinated individuals are subject to additional public health measures (e.g., more frequent testing, more stringent masking, etc.) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exemptions is available on the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/ . 

Additional Information

MCB recognizes that the work of equity is always ongoing, and that there will always be room for improvement. We are looking for people to join our community who want to be part of that effort. We value the fundamental importance of a diverse community where everyone, regardless of background, ability, or identity, is appreciated for being themselves.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS HR.


USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

405007 Financial Professional (N)


Molecular & Cellular Biology


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening



35 hours per week

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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