Research Manager – RPRC Director of Finance and Operations

Research Manager – RPRC Director of Finance and Operations
George Mason University
 Fairfax, Virginia
Job Description

Research Manager – RPRC Director of Finance and Operations
Rapid Prototyping Research Center (RPRC)

The George Mason University Rapid Prototyping Research Center (RPRC), within the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC), invites applications for a Director of Finance and Operations. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

About the Position:

The Research Manager – RPRC Director of Finance and Operatoins has the responsibility to lead RPRC’s program efforts in several areas including business plan development and implementation, monthly financial reporting, cost management/avoidance, schedule estimation and tracking, contract performance management, risk management, requirements analysis, and quality assurance activities. They will also ensure proper finance performance of RPRC’s programs consistent with both Mason’s financial management practices and government sponsors’ accounting as well as and work in conjunction with the Mason College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) Chief Business Officer to ensure proper allocation of RPRC resources to include staffing, facilities, and budgets.

About the Department:

The Rapid Prototyping Research Center (RPRC) focuses on providing its Department of Defense (DOD) sponsors a unique perspective on rapid prototyping that aligns with Section 804 in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act. Specifically, rather than developing a new system to satisfy intractable problems on the battlefield, the RPRC integrates new technology into existing infrastructure. This unique approach reduces acquisition costs since the sustainment tail is in place. It also reduces the time to field intractable solutions to the battlefield from 10-14 years down to 1-3 years and provides assurance that the prototype involved is integrated with the latest technology, not dated technology due to lengthy acquisition delivery timelines.


  • Management of RPRC Financial Performance
  • Develop RPRC business plan and forecasts of financial outlooks;
  • Ensure proper finance performance of RPRC’s programs consistent with Mason’s financial management practices as well as government sponsors’ requirements;
  • Take direction from the CEC Chief Business Officer as it relates to compliance with State and University laws, regulations, rules and best practices;
  • Work with the CEC Chief Business Officer to ensure proper allocation of RPRC resources to include staffing, facilities, financial transactions, and budgets;
  • Prepare Monthly Financial Report for RPRC that includes both sponsored research activity as well as center operation costs funded through indirect funding sources;
  • Provide analysis of RPRC financial performance to RPRC and CEC leadership teams on a quarterly basis;
  • Directly contribute to RPRC’s program efforts in several areas, including cost management/avoidance, schedule estimation and tracking, contract performance management, risk management, requirements analysis, and quality assurance activities;
  • Assist RPRC Program Managers and Portfolio Managers to ensure proper allocation of resources on the various programs and subcontracts;
  • Prepare program status reviews and other formal reviews to be presented to senior Government leadership and conduct ad-hoc cost and performance analysis;
  • Assist the Government PM by providing input to statutory acquisition reports and responses to Congressional Questions for the Record (QFRs);
  • Rapidly assemble and execute focused cross-disciplinary Government/Contractor teams to address urgent or unexpected cost, schedule, or technical program/contract issue;
  • Support Financial Management Reviews, Execution Reviews, Comptroller data requests and initiatives, Audit Readiness and Compliance, and other similar data calls, to oversee compliance with financial policies and statutory requirement;
  • Apply principles of finance and accounting to analyze program financial statements for monthly/quarterly/annual financial Outlooks, Annual Operating Plan (AOP), Estimates at Complete (EAC) and contractual deliverables and/or tracking of Work Breakdown Structures (WBSs); and
  • Provide Independent Cost Estimates (ICE) to determine Life-Cycle Cost Estimates (LCCE) and Total Ownership Costs (TOC) for Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP); Acquisition Category (ACAT) I & II programs.

Support Financial Requirements of Business Development

  • Coordinate the preparation of Rough Order of Magnitude (ROMs) and/or cost analysis and estimates for new research proposals to the US Government;
  • Support government planning, execution and compliance of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution System (PPBES) cycles;
  • Provide support to approximately 10-15 high priority Directorate Taskers per year that may require short turnaround responses/reports;
  • Work with PI ensure budgets and budget justifications that accurately reflect the effort and resource commitments of each proposal;
  • Verify subcontractor cost proposals are complete, accurate, and in accordance with costing guidance; and
  • Review budgets with PI to ensure adequate funding request is made for the project and that appropriate F&A rate are applied, fiscal and operational aspects of projects are clarified; potential administrative concerns (F&A distribution, cost-sharing, allowable or unallowable cost considerations) are brought to the attention of the CEC Director of Research Administration for resolution.

Management of RPRC Operations

  • Lead and manage RPRC projects and staff. Develop operational policies and procedures for the RPRC in compliance with university and sponsored research requirements to ensure the efficient and effective operations of the RPRC; and
  • Define, implement and revise operational plans, policies and guidelines.

Required Qualifications:

  • US Citizen with TS/SCI clearance;
  • MBA with professional experience in financial roles of increasing complexity (typically 15+ years);
  • Knowledgeable of the guidelines provided by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), DoD 5000 series, and ICD 801 policies;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of performing requirements analysis, resource allocation, project costing, deliverable tracking, schedule and financial data monitoring, and reporting;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of managing multi-task contracts and subcontracts of various types and complexity, as well as experience in leading a multi-vendor environment is required;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of MS Excel or other similar desktop tools that provide capabilities to collect and analyze information; experience analyzing enterprise-level volumes of data preferred;
  • Proven thought leadership, strategic thinking and decision making;
  • Ability to analyze problems for root cause and identify corrective actions along with having excellent written and verbal communication skills to carry out and understand assignments, and/or convey or exchange routine information; and
  • Sense of urgency and commitment, as well as sound business sense with a strategic, conceptual, and operational orientation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proven ability to manage complex research and development projects developed under contract to the US government;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Project management or project control with Estimate at Complete (EAC), Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS), Control Accounts, Basis of Estimates (BOEs), cost accounting and financial management systems, work authorizations, process management systems, and/or reporting; and
  • Advanced presentation and customer facing skills regarding analyzing technologies and processes within organizations.

Mason Engineering: The Future of Engineering is Here

The College of Engineering and Computing at George Mason University is comprised of the Volgenau School of Engineering and (effective June 1, 2021) a new School of Computing. The College is a fast-growing force for innovation in research and education. It boasts more than 10.000 students in 39 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, including several first-in-the-nation offerings. Of the 280 full-time faculty who comprise the School, 91 are tenured, 75 are tenure-track, 80 are instructional faculty, and 35 are research faculty. As part of a nationally ranked research university, its research teams expended more than $70 million in sponsored research awards last year and has projects with over $400 million in current and anticipated awards. Located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor, Mason Engineering stands out for its research in many leading areas including artificial intelligence, data analytics engineering, cybersecurity engineering, biomedical imaging and devices, community-based healthcare, autonomous systems, 5G communications, systems architectures, computational biomedicine, advanced materials and manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, and more. The School highly encourages multidisciplinary research and provides faculty with opportunities to work with other disciplines.

George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia, with an enrollment of over 39,000 students studying in over 200 degree programs. Mason is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. It was classified as an R1 research institution in 2016 by the Carnegie Classifications of Institutes of Higher Education. Mason is located in the city of Fairfax in Northern Virginia at the doorstep of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, with unmatched geographical access to a number of federal agencies and national laboratories. Northern Virginia is also home to one of the largest concentrations of high-tech firms in the nation, providing excellent opportunities for interaction with industry. Fairfax is consistently rated as being among the best places to live in the country and has an outstanding local public school system.

In conjunction with Amazon’s decision to establish a second headquarters in Northern Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced a multi-year plan to invest in the growth of degree programs in computing, and George Mason University has committed to accelerate its plans to grow its capacity in computing and high-tech fields. Among the exciting initiatives being undertaken by the university are the launch of the Institute for Digital InnovAtion, a university think tank and incubator to serve the digital economy, and the expansion of its Arlington Campus with a planned 400,000 square foot Digital InnovAtion Building. These initiatives reflect hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment by Mason that will rapidly elevate Mason’s already leading national position in computing and related areas.

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, applicants must complete the online application at for position number F864AZ; and attach a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information. Full consideration will apply to applicants who submit their completed application by March 8, 2023; however, review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.