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How do I Become a Grant Administrator?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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There are four steps required to become a grant administrator: post-secondary training, related work experience, applying for a job, and completing the job interview process. A grant administrator works in a post-secondary educational institution, government agency, granting agency, or research institute. A grant administrator is responsible for identifying grants, completing the application process, and ensuring that all the conditions of the grant are met. A grant is money provided by a third party to fund research.

People who are naturally organized, are excellent communicators, and are able to balance conflicting priorities find this role rewarding and energizing. This is not a suitable role for someone who prefers to work independently and is not detail-oriented. This role is filled with time sensitive processes that must be met to secure funding for ongoing research.

The first requirement to become a grant administrator is to complete a post-secondary education program. There is no specific program to become a grant administrator, but a program in office administration provides the training necessary for this role. This type of program is available from a wide range of community and career colleges.

Related work experience includes office assistant, office manager, or any other type of administrative role. Many people who work in the not-for-profit sector gain experience in applying for grants, and may find that this experience is helpful when applying to become a grant administrator.

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When applying for a job as a grant administrator, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Read the details of the job posting with care and try to tailor your cover letter to the specific needs. Accuracy is critical in the role, as all procedures must be followed correctly, or the application will be denied.

During the job interview process, take the time to prepare for the interview. Think of a list of standard interview questions and prepare your answers in advance. Think about your answers, stay calm, and be sure to answer the question that was asked.

Grant administrators can find employment opportunities with either the grant applicant institution or the grant issuing institution. These tend to be large agencies or companies. Most grants are issued by government agencies or dedicated charities. For example, public broadcasting television in the United States is funded through a combination of donations and grants from private and public groups who feel this service meets their criteria.

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irontoenail
Post 3

@pleonasm - Don't forget the paperwork. I've never worked as a grant administrator, but I have applied for grants before and the amount of paperwork that is required is horrendous. And it's bad enough that I have to go through and get it. Imagine being on the receiving end as the grant administrator.

It would be my amount of paperwork times more than one hundred, because a lot of people apply for grants.

And all of those claims have to be verified, the people who don't fill out their forms properly need to be notified, and so forth.

I imagine it can be very tedious. And you'd be reading about the exciting projects of other people, which could also be difficult. You'd have to be a certain kind of person to really enjoy this job I think.

pastanaga
Post 2

@pleonasm -

It wouldn't all be like that. For one thing, many grants exist for start ups, which isn't quite the same as giving to people in need, although I'm sure it could be just as satisfying.

For another you'd be bound by the rules of the organization you work for. You wouldn't be totally giving out money based on need, you'd have to ensure the paperwork was done properly, and that the group had some chance of success.

And finally, it's an unfortunately fact that often groups don't succeed. If the grant process was infallible there would be a lot less poverty in the world today.

I'm not saying the job would be entirely or even mostly bad, but you'd have to go into it expecting there to be negative aspect as well as positive ones, or you wouldn't last very long in the reality of it.

pleonasm
Post 1

This would be such a satifying job to be in. Imagine reading about people who are going through difficulties and need some help, and then having it in your power to grant that help with a few bits of paperwork.

Not only that, but you'd also get to hear all their success stories and find out what happened to them. Most grants require that people report on their progress, so that the people awarding the grant can see that everything went well, or what can be done differently next time.

I imagine it would be like being very wealthy and being able to give money to people in need all the time.

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