Contract and Grants Specialist

Apply now Job no: 500442
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 011100 - Plant and Soil Sciences
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

Provides administrative and technical guidance and support to faculty and staff seeking outside funding for research, public service, and special sponsored institutional projects. Researches and interprets relevant regulations, guidelines, and standards. Prepares and reviews proposal budgets and oversees the processing of contracts and grants.

Salary Grade:  13

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

Mississippi State University is Mississippi's senior comprehensive land-grant institution and has the largest on-campus enrollment (>22,000) of the eight state institutions of higher learning. All components of the university have a strong commitment to teaching, research, and service. The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences has 31 on- and 26 off-campus faculty members engaged in teaching, research, and extension and/or service programs, most of who carry joint appointments. The programs are supported by state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment, and trained support and professional staff. The department offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Agronomy, Horticulture, or Environmental Sciences in Agricultural Systems, with Master's or Doctoral graduate students concentrating in Agronomy, Horticulture, or Weed Science.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Guides and facilitates faculty and staff in the development and preparation of research proposals, contracts, sub-contracts, and agreements, to include budgets, documentation, and interpretation of funding requirements.
2. Analyzes and evaluates contract and grant budgets for correct calculation of expenditure categories such as salaries, percent of effort, salary adjustment increases, fringe benefits, indirect costs, materials, and equipment.
3. Monitors and reviews the compilation of proposal submissions by each faculty, ensuring that the granting agency requirements are followed (i.e. budgeting, formatting, packaging electronic
submissions and proper authorizing signatures secured).
4. Serves as a liaison between faculty, administration and MSU Sponsored Programs administration ensuring all proposals meet required guidelines and intended deadlines for submission and addresses issues that may arise during pre and post negotiations.
5. Maintains current knowledge of grant funding policies, regulations, and procedures.
6. Assists business Manager in monitoring, assessing and evaluating administration of post-award grants to ensure that budgeting and administrative policies, procedures, and agency requirements are being met; identifies and addresses administrative problems and/or budget changes occurring during the award granting period.
7. Maintains and coordinates receipt of award of contract documentation and funding records for all faculty such as paper and electronic files.
8. Participates and/or assists in special projects, and performs associated administrative duties, as assigned.
9. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Accounting, Finance or other appropriate discipline.
One year experience of directly related duties and responsibilities specified.
- or -
Any equivalent combination of education and related experience approved by Human Resources Management.
Highly skilled with computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, and Adobe Acrobat.
Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents in diverse communities.

Preferred Qualifications:

Three years’ experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.

Knowledge of the Uniform Guidance (OMB Circulars) and standard cost accounting.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Ability to analyze budgetary line items for compliance with budget guidelines.
• Ability to perform complex tasks and to prioritize multiple projects.
• Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
• Information research skills.
• Database management skills.
• Organizing and coordinating skills.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
• Spreadsheet, database, and word processing skills mandatory.
• Knowledge of mathematics.
• Ability to provide technical advice and information to faculty and staff in area of expertise.
• Knowledge of federal, state and/or community funding sources and mechanisms.
• Records maintenance skills.
• Knowledge of grant funding policies and procedures and applicable local, state, federal and university regulations.
• Knowledge of the Uniform Guidance (OMB Circulars) and standard cost accounting.
• Ability to make administrative/procedural decisions and judgments.
• Attention to detail.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

1. No unusual physical requirements.
2. Requires no heavy lifting, and nearly all work is performed in a comfortable indoor facility.
3. Frequent - Externally imposed deadlines; set and revised beyond one’s control; interruptions influence priorities; difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; irregular hours may be anticipated; meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position.
4. Job frequently requires walking, sitting, reaching, talking, hearing, handling objects with hands
5. Job requires standing, stooping/kneeling/crouching/crawling, and lifting up to 10 pounds
6. Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically
7. Hearing requirements: Heavy telephone contact requires ability to hear and respond to telephone conversations

Instructions for Applying:

All applicants must apply online at and attach a cover letter, resume and submit official transcripts. Please remove any social security numbers included on requested transcripts prior to online submission.

For additional questions, please contact Katie Sisk at

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

Advertised: Central Daylight Time
Applications close:

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