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Academic Partner - Graduate Programs

Under general direction, incumbent is responsible for fulfilling administrative support needs of the Pre & Postdoctoral Office and Chief Science Office, which include a variety of technical and confidential duties related to academic trainees. **Applicants must include a cover letter to be considered for this position**
The incumbent will be assigned a variety of tasks in support of these activities, but be expected to think through them and their reflection on the department when performing them. The position requires a skill set that includes strong organizational and time management skills, excellent oral and interpersonal skills, and the ability to assess and manage shifting priorities and adjust workload accordingly in order to meet all expected deadlines.


Academic Administration (50%)
  • Monitors time in training for postdocs, scheduling reminder notices for training periods, and coordinating changes to staff positions or terminations with HR as necessary. Semi-annually reviews training limits (approaching/at/near/over) with Sr. Academic Partner and escalates issues to Director as applicable. Consults with faculty on trainees who are at or over their time in training. Provides guidance on promotion opportunities at Salk (changes to non-faculty positions such as Sr. Research Associate, Staff Scientist).
  • Coordinates communication between PDO and labs and other support departments to ensure accurate compensation actions into the HCM for trainees.
  • Remains up to date on the HR’s new hire requisition process, ensures appropriateness by position and recommends changes as needed for consistency and data accuracy for academic personnel. Consults with other HR staff as needed. Works with other PDO staff & HR Partner(s) as needed for alerts regarding academic personnel.
  • Becomes knowledgeable and remains up to date on the UCSD graduate programs that have agreements with the Institute for students to train at Salk. Backs up Director and other PDO staff in this area.
  • Remains knowledgeable about rotation and graduate student procedures. Serves as primary contact to UCSD for graduate student placement; coordinating change from rotation to graduate student placement with UCSD, RACT and appropriate HR partner. Contacts student on status update to official graduate student placement and title.
  • Maintains current knowledge of Institute policies and procedures, databases and changes affecting trainees and explains to clientele as needed.
  • Provides report extracts, analyzing for trends as assigned.
  • Suggests design changes and department website maintenance; focusing primarily on resources for academic personnel, continually seeking ways to innovate and make sites a greater resource to the target audiences at the Institute. 
  • Promptly contacts new postdocs on behalf of PDO with welcome message and invitation to attend new postdoc orientation/welcome as well as sending all follow-up communications. Rotate with Postdoc Programs Manager in conducting PDO orientation.
  • Collaborates with other PDO staff to send regular email digests targeted to graduate students.
  • Builds rapport with and maintains effective working relationships with lab management and non-faculty academic personnel.
Funding & Data Entry (40%)
  • Maintains updates to funding opportunities and reviews postdoc funding awards to disseminate to HR & PDO staff.
  • Conducts routine monthly wage reviews for postdoctoral trainees, prepares and complete entries before submitting to appropriate staff for audits.
  • Ensures timeliness as well as accuracy of entries for postdoc wage increases, salary, funding changes, and other actions. Prepares wage change notices as applicable.
  • Communicates and problem solves with other Salk departments (RACT, Payroll, Grants) as needed to ensure proper processing.
  • Coordinates funding for graduate students with fund managers in UCSD departments and personnel managers at outside institutions/universities.
  • Prepares and enters graduate student changes for audit.
  • Continues to analyze data and understand impact of entries on others in HR, Benefits, Payroll, RACT, IS, etc. in order to ensure that the criticality of accurate entry is the top priority.
Special Projects (10%)
  • Assists with special projects as assigned by PDO/CSO leadership.


  • Minimum of three (3) years of increasingly responsible professional administrative support experience in an academic environment.
  • Intermediate or Advance knowledge of Excel
  • Experience in a research environment and/or higher education
  • Fund management experience with external funding sources (e.g. federal, state, voluntary health agencies and private foundations) in a higher education and/or non-profit research environment.
  • Experience working with broad based academic salary structures, funding sources, and academic salary administration.
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, finance, or human resources or other closely related discipline that requires persuasive writing, strong reading comprehension, and analytic thinking or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Advanced degree in a life science or related field.
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Willing to sign a confidentiality agreement
This position will require constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing, and working inside. 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)