Senior Program Administrator

Hiring Organization: 
Simons Foundation
City and State: 
New York, NY


Reporting directly to the Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), and reporting via a dotted-line relationship to the Vice President for Administration, the Senior Program Administrator will work with SFARI staff to provide administrative and managerial support for SFARI projects and activities, including responsibility for the administrative management of Autism BrainNet and for Clinical Research Associates LLC (CRA). Additionally, the Senior Program Administrator will be responsible for preparation and oversight of the SFARI annual budget, and other activities as requested.

SFARI’s mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance. With a budget of about $90 million a year, SFARI’s large grant making programs are delivered through investigator-initiated applications and targeted requests for applications. Autism BrainNet is a collaborative network of academic sites that collects, stores and distributes brain tissue for autism research. SFARI supports the Clinical Research Associates LLC in sponsoring and conducting clinical trials in the United States and with international partners. Additionally, to facilitate and drive research in the field as a whole, SFARI has created and supports numerous resources for autism scientists including large longitudinal cohort studies, phenotypic and genetic databases, a biospecimen repository and data analysis tools. The  SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge) study is the world’s largest research study on autism. SPARK aims to accelerate autism research and discovery by building an online research community of thousands of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their family members.

The Senior Program Administrator will partner with the SFARI Director, science team and program managers in organizing and executing their plans. They will seek advice and counsel from Foundation staff, legal and other experts as needed and help ensure that SFARI complies with Foundation administrative policy and procedures. The Senior Program Administrator may supervise staff including program administrators and administrative assistants. The Senior Program Administrator will work closely with and receive support and guidance as needed from the Vice President for Administration.


  • Assist in financial management of program/project budgets for all SFARI programs and projects including CRA, Spectrum, SPARK and all grants.

  • Work with program/project directors on development of fiscal objectives and measures and creation of annual program budgets.

  • Compile detailed and summary reports of program/project activity and expenses.

  • Review and approve routine employee and non­employee expense statements and vendor invoices.

  • Serve as the primary liaison between scientific, grants and finance staff.

  • Provide administrative support for the above referenced program areas including negotiation of contracts, vendor management and assisting with the set­up of new initiatives.

  • Assist in planning and negotiation of award budgets in collaboration with the grants team as needed.

  • Serve as the Administrative Manager for Autism BrainNet.

  • Work in conjunction with the ABN Managing Director, Autism BrainNet Scientific Director, network partners and internal Simons Foundation staff to provide program management for all non­scientific aspects of Autism BrainNet.

  • Function as the point of contact for all CRA business matters and provide program support for Clinical Research Associates initiatives. This includes preparation of annual/project budgets, review and approval of routine employee and non­employee expense statements, negotiation of contracts, set­up of organizational structure, preparation of board materials and lead regular meetings with scientific, program and financial team members.

  • Prepare EU-AIMS documents and annual audit.

  • Provide ad hoc assistance/support for various Foundation projects including serving on project teams for new system implementations/revisions to current systems, provide feedback on current policies and assistance with the development of new policies and procedures, and provide training/guidance to current and new staff as needed.

  • Participate in the development of evaluation and assessment tools for programs and projects.

  • Keep current with relevant program models used by other organizations and agencies.

  • Perform any other duties or tasks as assigned or required.



  • Master’s degree is preferred; an academic bio­medical research background is desirable.


  • 5 to 10 years of experience in program and/or grant management including program development, budget and expenditure forecasting, reconciliation and reporting.

  • Experience in working in complex organizations and/or programs where judgment, planning and collaboration were required.

  • Experience in program design and assessment is desirable.

Related Skills & Other Requirements

  • Must have advanced skills in the use of the Microsoft Office Suite particularly in Excel and PowerPoint.

  • Effective and confident oral, written and presentation skills are necessary.


  • Please submit a resume and cover letter describing your interest in the position.


Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment. The Simons Foundation actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. We provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category under federal, state and local law.

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