Columbia University in the City of New York (CU)

Grants and Team-Science Projects Specialist

Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

New York, New York, NY, United States

At Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, we believe that understanding how the brain works — and gives rise to mind and behavior — is the most urgent and exciting challenge of our time. Led by Rui Costa, DVM, PhD, and Nobel laureates Eric Kandel, MD, and Richard Axel, MD, we study critical aspects of the mind and brain, gaining insights that promise to benefit people and societies everywhere. The Zuckerman Institute supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scholars across the university and promises to be the most comprehensive institute for brain science. 

The Zuckerman Institute is seeking a uniquely qualified individual to join the Pre-Award and Research Development team. This is a unique opportunity for a candidate with a deep interest in neuroscience research and enthusiasm for working closely with investigators and research teams. This position may be especially attractive to recent Ph.D. recipients and postdoctoral scientists interested in transitioning to a research administration career.

Reporting to the Director of Pre-award and Research Development, the Grants and Team-Science Projects Specialist will be responsible for assisting the principal investigators and trainees in the development and submission of grant applications, and with project management for large team-science research program grants administered at the Zuckerman Institute. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Partners with the Director to acquire and maintain knowledge of the research priorities of individual faculty members as well as ongoing collaborations at the Institute;
  • Utilizes neuroscience background and research experience to conduct customized funding opportunity searches in relevant databases;
  • Identifies funding opportunities for individual labs as well as potential collaborations within and beyond the Institute;
  • Provides support and strategic guidance for targeting and pursuing relevant funding opportunities;
  • Utilizes project management skills to take the administrative lead on developing, preparing, and submitting large team-science grant applications for Institute investigative teams; Responsible for planning, deliverables and timetable to manage proposal development;

  • Functions as Project Manager for awarded large team research program grants by managing team communications, coordinating shared decision making, tracking milestones, and coordinating progress reporting;
  • Researches and informs investigators of specific application requirements for varying funding sources and corresponding Columbia University polices;
  • Prepares and compiles all components of grant submissions ensuring proposals are formatted, assembled, validated and submitted in accordance with granting agency requirements;
  • Prepares grant budgets and drafts budget justifications based upon investigator input and Funding Opportunity Announcement requirements in compliance with sponsor/donor and Columbia University policies;
  • Utilizes checklists to manage timelines and the overall progression of submissions to ensure the completion of high quality, compliant proposal applications responsive to specified Funding Opportunity Announcements; escalates issues requiring attention to the Director.
  • Monitors status of submitted applications; prepares summary reports of submissions and outcomes for the Director;
  • Supports investigators in responding to Just-In-Time requests from sponsors;
  • Works closely with the Post-Award Team to ensure proper setup of award budgets
  • Aids principal investigators in the updating of Biosketches, Other Support, Resources, and other grant template documents; updates records accordingly.
  • Coordinates accurate preparation and timely submission of progress reports as required by sponsoring program;
  • Performs other related duties as assigned, including support on special projects, as required.


Bachelor’s degree required. A minimum of four years of experience in an academic grant funded research environment required. Must be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.

Ph.D. preferred; background in biological sciences highly desired. Recent Ph.D. recipients and postdoctoral researchers in neuroscience (and related fields) that are interested in transitioning to a career in Research Administration are especially welcome to apply for this position. Prior experience with managing team-science projects, NIH systems (eRA Commons, ASSIST, RePORTER) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification preferred.

Ability to establish clear priorities and multi-task in a high-volume setting responsive to externally generated deadlines. This position often involves work outside of regular business hours, including nights and weekends. The successful candidate must be flexible in nature, have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. The ideal candidate will possess excellent verbal, analytical, writing, and project management skills. . An knowledge of neuroscience research and enthusiasm for working closely with teams of investigators strongly preferred.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.