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University of Washington
Professional Staff Payroll Title Series Descriptor
Human Resources Compensation Office

Payroll Title Research Manager
Typical Responsibilities

Generally responsible for overseeing research conducted in a large lab or for an entire research program where multiple research projects and programs are conducted. Apply scientific knowledge gained through formal education at least at the Bachelor's level or equivalent/related experience to manage a research team and research program, grant, or center. Participate in determination of strategic direction of research programs. Duties include administering and overseeing the research, financial, operational, and personnel functions for a research program, grant, or center. May represent the principal investigator to the federal funding partners and others as necessary.Typically supervises a mix of Research Scientist/Engineers, Research Coordinators and classified research and office support staff; however, supervisory responsibilities alone do not qualify a position to use the Research Manager payroll title.

Supervisory Responsibility

Positions must supervise at least 2.0 FTE. Supervisors have the authority to hire staff, evaluate job performance, and take corrective action if performance is not acceptable.

Overtime Eligibility

FLSA overtime status is based on the position's duties and responsibilities, and whether or not the position's gross salary is less than the federal FLSA salary basis test or the Washington state salary basis test, whichever is higher. Please visit the Compensation website for current information on FLSA overtime eligibility.

Professional Staff Exemption

Research: Individuals having formal academic preparation at least at the Bachelor's level or demonstrated professional competence in a specific field of research, and having responsibility for or assisting in one or more of the following tasks: Identifying and defining research problems, Designing approaches or hypotheses to be tested and the methodology to be used, Designing specific phases of research projects, Analyzing results, Developing conclusions and hypotheses, Presenting research results in publishable form, and/or Obtaining research grants.

Sample Working Titles

Research Manager, Research Laboratory Manger

Alternative Payroll Titles

Because of the general nature of this title, it is generally recommended that one of the other research payroll titles be used to better align duties with positions doing similar work. Other research titles can supervise staff even without "manager" in the payroll title.If the primary focus of the position is conducting research, then a Research Scientist/Engineer payroll title would be more appropriate.If the primary focus is overall coordination for a significant research project or multiple smaller research projects, then a Research Coordinator payroll title would be more appropriate.If the primary focus is designing, developing, analyzing, and maintaining research database structures and systems, then the Research Consultant payroll title would be more appropriate.


At least 50% of the position's time must be spent in research activities to meet the Research exemption. Budget work associated with obtaining and tracking a research grant should not be a majority of the job duties.

Payroll title descriptors provide a general idea of the type of work performed by jobs assigned to payroll titles in a series. Descriptors do not and are not intended to represent all possible positions in the payroll title series. Payroll title and grade assignments for a professional staff position are based on its position-specific job description (see Professional Staff Position Description form).

Descriptor version date: 3/30/2011 5:15:51 PM