Best Practices in Grants Management and Hiring

Procedure Date: March 2022
Revision: 0
Last Review: March 2022

Below are procedures and guidance to assist faculty and staff with the planning and hiring of grant-funded personnel.

General Guidance

  • Budget a percentage of mid to large grants for a grants specialist/coordinator position.
  • Create job descriptions that are general enough to support multiple grants and long-term career progression. Lines of progression are also highly recommended for Administrative Faculty.
  • Consider how you might hire employees who have the capacity and skills to work across multiple grants or for multiple principal investigators so that it is possible to share staff across different projects with funding distributed by time and effort on each grant.
  • Professional positions can be hired as a letter of appointment (LOA) while working through the recruitment process to allow them to start sooner when grant end-dates or deliverables necessitate.
  • The timelines for grants often require fast turn-around, fast hiring and nimble flexibility. Use the steps below for planning.
  • If you know who you want to hire, name the individual in the grant (referred to as “grant-named”) and budget them at 50% full-time equivalency (FTE) or more, allowing the recruitment to be waived.


Steps in the Hiring Process for Full-Time Positions

  1. Create position for classified, academic or administrative position (1-3 business days).
  2. Create job requisition to begin recruitment (1-3 business days). If hiring a grant-named individual, attach the Notice of Award (NOA) grant document (for verification of grant-named individual) and budget form reflecting 50% FTE or greater grant-funded. For classified positions in which there is no grant-named option, follow the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC).
  3. Advertise position (2-4 weeks). If not grant-named, advertise a minimum two weeks (soft funded) unless longer time is needed for the candidate pool.
  4. Review and interview candidates (2-6 weeks).
  5. Check references (1-2 days).
  6. Propose compensation and offer (1-3 days). Note: Allow for two to three weeks’ notice if new hire is currently employed.
  7. Part-time positions can skip steps one through six above and hire. Part-time positions include graduate assistants, student employees, temporary hourly and LOA.


Hiring of Traditional/Bench Science Positions Versus Professional Research Staff

Below is a comparison of the hiring process and general considerations for the hiring of traditional/bench science positions and professional research staff positions. Traditional/bench science positions can fill short-term needs while professional research staff positions can meet long-term needs. Identification and budgeting of necessary staffing types typically occurs during the budget or pre-award stage of proposal development.

Traditional/Bench Science Job Family Groups

  • Graduate Student
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Student
  • Temporary Hourly

Hiring is a fast turnaround once individuals are identified, but there are limits on FTE and duration. Before beginning work, new employees must see the department administrative assistant to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification form (form I-9) to be authorized to work. Allow at least one week for completion of necessary documents and forms prior to the employee’s start date.

Specifications and Guidance for Traditional/Bench Science Positions

Graduate Research Assistant

  • Work schedule options are 50% FTE (20 hours per week), 37.5% FTE (15 hours per week) or 25% FTE (10 hours per week).
  • Minimum pay is $1600 per month for 5 or 10 months; research positions may pay up to $2500 per month.
  • Graduate assistants are paid for the full semester (August 1-December 31 and January 1-May 31).
  • A portion of tuition is paid as part of the assistantship and charged to the grant.


  • Employee may not have previously served as an assistant professor or other ranked position.
  • Employee must have completed doctoral degree or have a letter stating all degree requirements are complete.
  • Do not establish employee start date before hiring has been completed.
  • Find out if the employee needs a visa as this may delay the hire date.

Student Employee

  • Employee must clock in and out.
  • Employee must be paid for all hours worked.
  • Employee must be enrolled in courses.
  • Work schedule should not exceed 25 hours per week during the semester or 40 hours per week during semester breaks.

Temporary Hourly

  • Position is intended for short-term projects or low hours longer term.
  • Employee must clock in and out.
  • Employee must be paid for all hours worked.
  • Work schedule should not exceed 30 hours per week.
  • Human resources will notify the supervisor when an employee exceeds 750 hours (should not happen within six months or less).
  • If employee is working 20 hours per week or more, the FTE should be set at 50% to be medical insurance benefit (PEBP) eligible.

Professional Research Staff (Long Term) Job Family Groups

  • Classified Staff (e.g., staff research associate)
  • Letter of Appointment (LOA)
  • Academic (research professor)
  • Administrative (professional/analyst/behavioral and social science grants)

Hiring takes 8-12 weeks through a search or search waiver. LOAs are restricted to part-time but do not require recruitment. Begin the hiring process and notify administrative assistant/support staff. Once the recruitment and hiring process are completed, allow at least one week for completion of necessary documents and forms prior to start date. For an earlier start date, it may be possible to temporarily hire the employee as an LOA and then convert them to professional research staff. The I-9 form can be completed remotely for those who have received an offer letter.

Specifications and Guidance for Professional Research Staff Positions

Classified Staff

  • Position can be salaried or hourly.
  • A job description/position is needed.
  • A job requisition/recruitment is needed.
  • Employee is overtime eligible after 40 hours in the work week.
  • Employee may work long term, and there is no need to monitor hours each fiscal year.
  • Salary is strictly defined.


  • Position is limited to 80% FTE (32 hours per week) and may not exceed two years in duration.
  • Position must be professional level work, and the employee must hold an undergraduate degree at minimum.
  • Salary is flexible.

Faculty (academic and administrative)

  • Salary should be consistent with existing staff and positions across campus.