This site uses cookies. To find out more, see our Cookies Policy

Manager, Contracts and Grants in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 1/19/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

USRA is an independent, nonprofit research & development corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other customers.

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is the largest airborne observatory in the world, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes. The USRA Integrated Program Team (IPT) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, manages SOFIA's science and mission operations in cooperation with NASA and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI; University of Stuttgart).

Position Summary:

The Manager, Contracts and Grants, will support the Principal Manager, Contracts and Grants, with responsibilities for the day-to-day contracting operations for National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program located on NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.  This includes supporting: proposal preparations; contract, subcontract, subgrant, and task order negotiations; and all contract-related administration efforts.  The Manager will help develop and implement corporate and organizational initiatives; handle routine contract matters and exceedingly more complex issues over time; and assist in client engagements as a spokesperson and business advisor.

Because SOFIA is a hybrid procurement contract and grants program, the ideal candidate will have some experience work with cost-plus and fixed-price type contracts and subcontracts, basic-level knowledge of the Federal Acquisitions Regulation (FAR), NASA-related procurement regulations, grants regulations; the ability to anticipate and/or recognize contractual/compliance issues and risks in order to inform the Principal Manager and notify/work with a functional Business Manager, as required; and provide subcontractor oversight.  A key aspect of this position’s role in the integrated program team is to perform timely cradle-to-grave contract administration of “Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity” task orders with subcontractors/subrecipients, and being able to discern what issues need to be prioritized, putting in place management systems/ processes, and knowing when to involve the appropriate stakeholders.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Build a positive working relationship with clients and other functional members of the team
  • Identifying problems, assessing risk, and delivering contract and subcontract solutions
  • Draft, issue, and negotiate routine and complex contractual instruments including non-disclosure agreements, requests for proposals, and special terms and conditions
  • Manage contract performance for conformance to original proposal and maintain continual reviews to ensure that all terms and conditions are met and that the contract is in accordance with legal requirements, customer specifications, and government regulations
  • Focus on continual improvement in the speed, quality, and simplicity of contract formation and management processes, without compromising compliance
  • Support audit-related activities to include rate submissions, negotiations, and approvals
  • Maintain contractual records and correspondence to meet federal audit requirements
  • Develop material and conduct training to grow institutional and individual knowledge bases
  • Advise clients on contract issues, approval processes, and company policies/procedures
  • Performs all other duties, as assigned

Required Qualifications:


  • Requires a BA/BS or equivalent


  • Zero to four (4) years of contracts management experience (preferably with the Department of Defense (DoD) or aerospace firms)
  • Grants management and FAR-experience, will rate favorably, though not required
  • Experience using contract management database systems, such as Deltek Costpoint, and having strong Excel skills is highly preferred

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Finance or accounting knowledge favored, but not required
  • Ability to communicate tactfully, yet effectively

Licenses, Certifications:

  • Membership in the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and, certifications, such as the Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM), is a plus
  • Position requires U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status
  • Must possess the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance


  • Willing to travel to office and customer locations and work sites

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity