Vacancy for Senior Awards and Contracts Specialist in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia



Position Summary

Within the OSR Research Services, the Senior Awards and Contracts Specialist is representing KAUST in all contract negotiations with funding agencies, industrial sponsors and academic institutions worldwide. The Senior Awards and Contracts Specialist is responsible for drafting and negotiating terms and conditions for all research awards research-related agreements with industrial as well as public funders or institutions ensuring the highest ethical standards.

Major Responsibilities

  • Drafts and negotiates all research-related agreements (including complex and non-standard agreements) and represents KAUST on all contract related matters with public funders, industry sponsors, academic institutions worldwide;
  • Oversees the budgetary element of all research related agreements;
  • Leads the development of procedures for research contracts and their implementations;
  • Works closely with the Principal Investigators to reflect and protect their research activities in any agreement;
  • Ensures the involvement of all stakeholders at KAUST, including the Office of Technology Transfer & Innovation and the General Counsel’s Office as appropriate in the drafting of agreements;
  • Develops and maintains a library of template agreements with KAUST’s preferred terms and conditions;
  • Establishes contract request procedures and leads their implementation;
  • Negotiates terms and conditions with the sponsor and establishes implementation procedures;
  • Guides the KAUST Principal Investigators in the review and interpretation of sponsors’ terms and conditions;
  • Review offers of funding received in response to proposal;
  • Leads the approval process for the acceptance of awards or research agreements from funders;
  • Negotiates contract extensions or amendments on behalf of the institution;
  • Establishes and maintains a database of executed research agreements;
  • Organizes and runs training programs and workshops for faculty on all aspects of contracts management and compliance with funder terms;
  • Transfers awarded project files to the post award team;
  • Coordinates the establishment of integrated, synergistic and cooperative workflows and processes between the Pre and Post Award units of Research Services;
  • Undertakes other tasks as may be required by supervisor.


  • Excellent understanding of academic research and of research processes;
  • Excellent knowledge of all contractual issues and intellectual property issues that need to be addressed in research contracts;
  • Sound knowledge of the potential ethics and governance issues in research;
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, communications and presenting skills;
  • Ability to work with staff at all levels;
  • An effective team player;
  • Ability to prioritize work in order to manage competing demands and be able to work under pressure to meet deadlines;
  • A well-developed approach to decision making coupled to strong influencing skills;
  • English proficiency in legal, business and scientific vocabularies;
  • Cross cultural sensitivity and awareness.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A Master’s degree (law, science, engineering or business) or a professional qualification of equivalent standing;
  • 8-12 years relevant experience working in contracts and awards preferably in a research or higher education environment;
  • Sound and proven experience in drafting, reviewing and negotiating research contracts is a must;
  • Excellent understanding of the complex nature of interdisciplinary research and intellectual property issues on research agreements is a requirement;
  • Experience of working in an international environment is highly desired;
  • Excellent knowledge of contractual legal principles and experience to interpret contracts and sponsors’ terms and conditions in an international context;

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