Project Specialist

Washington D.C.
Jul 25, 2018
Aug 29, 2018
Full Time

NOTE: The location of this position will either be in Washington DC or Los Angeles, CA.

The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities with approximately 40,000 students from all 50 states and enrolls more international students than any other U.S. university. The Office of Research is implementing the University of Southern California’s strategic plan by building interdisciplinary research collaborations that address societal needs and by increasing the impact and prominence of our research. The office invests in research initiatives, promotes research among sponsors, and provides services that ensure that USC achieves the highest ethical standards in its research.

As a part of the Office of Research, the Office of Research Advancement strategically pursues funding opportunities, with a targeted focus on large, multidisciplinary research projects that promote collaboration and positive societal impact. The office maintains and strengthens ties between USC investigators and federal research sponsors, tracks current and emerging funding priorities among federal agencies, and helps faculty to initiate or expand sponsored research programs. The Office of Research Advancement provides support for proposal development, including but not limited to project conceptualization, team building, proposal organization and planning, writing and copy-editing,  budget preparation, and proposal submission assistance. 

The Project Specialist assists in the proposal development process by coordinating the logistical aspects of proposals, including the collection of biographical sketches, letters of support, and other pertinent documents. The Project Specialist is familiar with USC policies and procedures related to proposal submissions and works with faculty and department staff to ensure a timely submission. The project specialist works closely with school and departmental staff in order to develop and revise proposal budgets, per agency guidelines. The Project Specialist is also critical to the initiation and management of large, multi-disciplinary proposals, conducting analyses on previously funded projects, as well as working to identify appropriate project leaders and collaborators.

Job Accountabilities:
Reporting to the Program Manager, the Project Specialist will be tasked with the following:

  • Monitoring and tracking federal funding priorities and opportunities 
  • Utilizing online databases to conduct searches of past federally funded projects
  • Conducting analyses to identify USC team leads as well as potential collaborators from other institutions
  • Compiling information necessary to complete grant proposal packages.  This includes:
  • Biographical sketches
  • Support letters
  • Assisting faculty and departmental staff to develop and revise budgets and budget justifications, per agency guidelines
  • Maintaining familiarity with USC proposal submission processes, including the completion of application forms for electronic submission

Preferred Qualifications 


  • Master’s Degree


  • 3 years
  • Previous experience in a research-based environment
  • Previous experience in a team-based environment
  • Proven experience in budget development
  • Proven experience in project coordination and/or management

Minimum Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education


  • 2 years

Field of Expertise

  • Directly related project or administrative experience

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