A grant administrator is in charge of appropriating grants within an organization or company. The administrator processes the paperwork and applications, gives out the grants and ensures that the money is spent according to the terms laid out. He or she will often deal with five or more clients at a time, keeping track of details and distributing funds as appropriate for each one. Most budgets that grant administrators work with for each client are between two and five million US Dollars.
To work in this field, there is no specific set of courses to take, although a bachelor’s degree is required. It is recommended to study a research-related field because that is the area where most clients want grants. After receiving a bachelor’s degree, become certified in grant management. Seminars are offered by groups such as the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), and grant administrators have the option to take one of three different tracks within grant management: federal track, pass-through track or recipient track.
A grant administrator working in the federal track typically has a government job; he or she handles grants given out by the government. The pass-through track is an aspect of grant management in which the administrator works closely with the grant recipient, instructing and educating them about the process and the responsibilities involved with getting a grant. In the recipient track, grant administrator jobs focus on helping those in need of grants apply for them. Once the certification is complete, a job in grant administration may be obtained. Once he or she begins to practice, it is strongly suggested that the administrator take 16 days of training classes per year to keep up with changes in the field and new processes and procedures for administering grants.
The most basic role of grant administrators is to process and prepare the grant applications. This involves reviewing clients’ budgets, providing grant guidance to clients, obtaining necessary documents and clearances before the grant can be issued, entering data into the organization’s system to keep track of grants distributed, assembling all completed and signed documents and transmitting these documents to the appropriate personnel. A second duty is project administration. This involves explaining the terms of the grant, ensuring that follow-up procedures will be taken care of properly, recording critical dates and payments, creating and managing purchase orders and monitoring payments. During the final step, payment, the grant administrator seeks the necessary financial reports from the client, verifies payment records, studies financial reports, reviews invoices and records receipts.