RESEARCH GROUP OVERVIEW
The Electromagnetic Interactions Group (EMI) of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science (LNS) at MIT is leading a major particle physics experiment on the International Space Station, known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The EMI group is led by MIT Professor Samuel Ting, Nobel Laureate in Physics. AMS is an international collaboration involving 15 countries. The AMS Detector was launched by NASA to the International Space Station in 2011 and since then has continuously collected data from the far reaches of space in order to search for an understanding of Dark Matter, the existence of Antimatter, the origin and properties of primordial cosmic rays, and new and unpredicted physics and astrophysics phenomena. The MIT group is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science.
AMS has collected over 200 billion cosmic rays in space and published many scientific papers on the results of AMS which are changing our understanding of the cosmos. It is the first magnetic spectrometer in space. The AMS Detector (containing 5 different precision instruments and two critical systems: thermal and avionics) was installed on an outer truss of the ISS. AMS is being continuously monitored from the AMS Payload Operations and Control Center (POCC) located at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland. At the POCC, manned shifts continue around the clock 7 days a week to ensure the detector is functioning properly in the hazardous environment of space. The Science Operations Center (SOC) is the site of the data analysis and is located near the POCC. Teams of AMS researchers from 15 countries work together on this effort.
The MIT-AMS team consists of close to 40 staff Ph.D. physicists, engineers, technicians and graduate students. To support the varied administrative and financial requirements of the MIT team, the Administration and Communication (A&C) group works both on campus at MIT and off campus at CERN.
*This position is 100% on-campus with no possibility for a regular hybrid schedule*
This position falls under the EMI Administration and Communications Group in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science. Currently, the A&C group consists of two positions; this position and the group’s Senior Administrator (Dr. Susan Ting).
Under the overall guidance of the Senior Administrator, the EMI Project Administrator oversees and manages the day-to-day administrative operations of the EMI group and different aspects of grant pre- and post-award activities; has full responsibility for third party team accounts, monthly invoice review and payments, requesting wire transfers, managing purchase orders, procuring equipment and services from US vendors that may require export control, monitoring discretionary funds, organizing detailed local and international travel, and event planning; attends via zoom daily (Monday through Friday) AMS Operations meetings held at CERN (11 AM local time); maintains all office equipment including supplies; and plays an active and integral role in preparing the three-year budget proposals as well as annual progress reports.
PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Collaborate on preparation and assembly of grant proposals/contracts in compliance with sponsor, University, and federal guidelines, formats and strict deadlines. (50%)
- Using sophisticated computation methods, develop financial forecasts and overviews designed to document, monitor and plan expenditures for the EMI group.
- Interpret & process sophisticated scientific discussions in order generate progress reports, proposals and financial forecasts.
- Summarize detailed scientific text in order to fit sponsor requirements.
- Estimate budgets based on historical spending trends and existing forecasting models from various shared databases.
- Present, edit, and finalize recommended budget for next grant application year with P.I. and central offices.
- Review budgeted direct cost items for federal and other agency compliance, industry, or foreign government guidelines for accuracy, accountability, reasonableness, and consistency.
- Review, process, and administer subcontracts with colleague institutions and industrial partners, working with RAS as required.
- Review a copy of the relevant DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) as needed.
- Provide additional details when requested by DOE on budget breakdowns, etc.
- Prepare detailed annual progress reports for the EMI group’s proposals to DOE, including:
- Solicit travel and publications from personnel for reporting in the progress report.
- Maintain a list of all personnel supported by the EMI group’s DOE funding.
- Work with LNS Fiscal on relevant financial data (foreign spending, anticipated carryforward, etc.).
- Financial and Administrative Operations (50%).
- Plan detailed travel, both nationally and internationally, for various EMI members and visitors.
- Provide guidance to personnel regarding travel processes and submission of travel expense reports, including per diems.
- Assist with planning and coordinating special events, such as Blue Ribbon Panel Review, AMS Days and open houses for graduate students.
- Schedule meetings with VPF contacts as needed.
- Attend Monday through Friday 11 AM EST AMS operations meeting via Zoom.
- Attend weekly in-person meetings with EMI grad students and Prof. Peter Fisher.
- Act as liaison between Prof. Ting and these meetings, supplying information when asked.
- Manage office supplies (coffee machine, water cooler, computers, printers,etc.).
- Ensure office video equipment is operational.
- Manage international collaboration contact lists.
- Manage all invoice payments via PO’s and wire transfers in various currencies as needed.
- Manage all online EMI purchase orders.
- Procure equipment and services from US Vendors that may require export control.
- In collaboration with Susan Ting, determine distribution of funding among various “child” accounts.
- Prepare balance summaries for MIT purchase orders linked to CERN team accounts.
- Monitor balances on CERN team accounts & discretionary accounts and submit online change orders. Maintain monthly records.
- Review procurement and accounting transactions for compliance with Sponsor, Institute and Laboratory policies and procedures, as well as compliance with financial planning models/budget.
- Facilitate access and maintenance to the server rack in Prof. Ting’s office.
- Participate in AMS Finance Review Committee (FRC) meetings typically in May and November (agendas, minutes, reports, etc) Meetings are at CERN and in-person attendance may be required.
- Ensure MIT author list is up-to-date.
- Work with FRC members in advance of the fall meeting to ensure that the MIT contribution is correct.
- Verify Common Fund personnel payments match amounts agreed by the FRC.
- Attend AMS collaboration meetings (around 6 per year) either in-person or zoom.
- Update EMI group members about changes to export control regulations
- Utilize the Descartes Visual Compliance portal as needed to ensure US government rules are followed.
- Graduate Students
- Track key dates regarding Physics Department and NUPAX division admissions processes.
- Coordinate the application review effort within AMS among key personnel.
- After student admission, suggest meetings with research and operational personnel.
- Attend Physics Open House events.
- (in time) Meet with prospective NUPAX students.
- Provide support to on-campus EMI students.
Rhis position reports to the A&C group’s Senior Administrator, Dr. Susan Ting
MINIMUM REQUIRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Bachelor’s degree in Particle Physics; three years of experience in a professional setting; fluent in English.
PREFERRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Advanced degree in Particle Physics; three years of experience in a professional setting; experience working in a university or research setting; working knowledge of French; valid drivers license.
- Must be highly motivated and interested in the subject of the research. Must become capable of understanding the work of the physicists in the EMI group both in data analysis and space operations.
- Must have excellent written communication skills, especially in summarizing physics results for technical reports and also in conveying the scientific concepts to the general public.
- Demonstrated experience managing multiple stakeholder projects independently, from start to finish.
- Strong organizational skills, including ability to adapt quickly to change and to prioritize multiple projects simultaneously.
- Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a contributing team member.
- Strong interpersonal skills over phone, email and in-person for relating effectively with faculty, students, program staff and the campus community, in order to build rapport with diverse stakeholder groups to accomplish goals.
- Demonstrated initiative, flexibility, and ability to listen carefully and communicate tactfully.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Capable of following technical discussions and understanding the physics goals of the experiment which are the foundation of the A&C Group’s work.
- Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours as required to support duties and responsibilities. We will make an effort to accommodate religious practices
- Capability for travel for various durations of time within one week’s notice. Travel mostly to AMS at CERN in Geneva, or to support periodic meetings at AMS collaborating institutions internationally and domestically, as necessary.
- This position will be primary on campus with travel to Geneva as required (estimated at 10% annually).
- Ability to handle confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgment.
Salary range of $71,175-$95,188, depending on the candidate’s experience.
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