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Senior Program Manager, Research Administration

School of International and Public Affairs

Senior Program Manager, Research Administration

  • 531609
  • Morningside
  • School of International and Public Affairs
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Dec 8 2022
  • Grade 13
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $92,500 - $105,000
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

The Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) seeks a Senior Program Manager reporting to the Director of Research Administration. The Sr. Program Manager will support program operations for over 50 researchers in over 12 research areas. Responsibilities include: proposal development, funder report writing and submission, project management of budgets and timelines, project scoping, and resource allocation. They will also provide guidance and support to program/project managers across the CGEP research team.

They are responsible for daily operations of complex and strategic research programs, including scoping projects, setting meeting cadences and agendas, establishing work plans, managing collaborators, and mitigating risk. They establish processes to improve scholar research experiences, onboard new scholars, and coordinate research assistants and student workers.

The candidate should be a great communicator with an aptitude for situational awareness of program statuses, risks, and opportunities. They should be able to fill operations gaps as needed without specializing in a specific program or research area.

The Sr. Program Manager will support the organization in driving a deeper understanding of the impacts of racism, environmental justice, gender equality, and inclusion on the energy ecosystem by reflecting this commitment in communications, scholarship, the work environment, and partnerships.


As the Senior Program Manager for strategic and complex projects, they will ensure that CGEP’s most vital projects are on track for success. They will:

  • Acts as the key project manager for complex programs and projects spanning multiple research units, or involving collaboration with partners outside of CGEP and be responsible for project management functions including:
    • Identifying timelines and milestones for projects, ensuring deadlines are met
    • Coordinating meetings, setting agendas and objectives
    • Establishing short- and long-term work plans, delegating or supporting delegation of work among research teams
    • Managing funder check points and funder communications in coordination with principal project investigators
    • Coordinating with operations units in Finance, HR, SPA, etc.
  • Develops slide decks in support of program pitches and/or progress report meetings
  • Manages funder portals for deliverables and progress report submissions
  • Manages new project onboarding, set up new programs in Columbia HR and IT systems, and establish essential functions for new program success
  • Maintains awareness of University policies and resources in support of research
  • Assists scholars in differentiating outputs/outcomes/impact and have familiarity with methodologies for communicating these in proposals (e.g. Logic modeling; theory of change)
  • Assists in developing and implementing systems for research operations including new systems and processes for:
    • Tracking deliverables and deadlines across the entire center
    • Tracking grant portfolios across the entire center
    • Developing resources for costing common outputs (e.g. research reports, events)
    • Improving scholar knowledge of operations support functions
    • Setting and measuring KPIs for progress and growth
  • Supports program managers embedded within research units in establishing processes for portfolio management
  • Supports hiring and onboarding of new program and project managers in collaboration with Director of Research Administration
  • Supports program vendor and subcontractor procurement and onboarding in collaboration with the Finance department

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 4-6 years of directly related experience in research program or project support
  • A track record of exceptional project management skills, including experience managing complex research projects of varying sizes, with competing timelines and diverse internal and external contributors
  • Experience with project management software such as, Trello, Asana, etc.
  • Exceptionally organized, brings structure to unstructured processes
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong understanding of all operations support functions such as HR, Finance, Legal, etc.
  • Some travel to meetings and conferences both domestically and internationally will be required.
  • A track record of fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s, business degree, or PhD in field related to 1 or more energy policy topics researched at the Center
  • Additional years of experience
  • Project or program management certification (PMP or similar)
  • Project or program management experience specific to academia, research, publications, and/or events
  • Firsthand research experience
  • Familiarity with different types of research funders, NOFOs and RFPs
  • Research experience on complex projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Subject matter and ecosystem familiarity with subjects in the CGEP portfolio
  • Demonstrated success managing funder relationships
  • Strong analytical skills and strategic thinking to solve complex problems with excellent judgment based on analysis of multiple sources of information
  • Strong prioritization skills demonstrating selective use of time and resources to choose the most direct path to achieve results
  • Demonstrated ability to work under minimal supervision on complex assignments, with a high degree of initiative and independent judgment

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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