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Financial Assistant
Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania
Date Posted 03/29/2021
Admin-Business And Financial Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

The Materials Research Institute is seeking a Financial Assistant to join our team of highly motivated and dedicated professionals. MRI is a large interdisciplinary institute under the office of the Senior Vice President for Research, with more than 70 staff dedicated to supporting the materials research mission at Penn State. We run large fee for service facilities that support all aspects of research across Penn State. Penn State has the largest and most highly recognized materials research effort in the country.


The position is responsible for support ing all financial functions of the unit related to funds management including administrative duties and customer service to 75 staff and three large core facilities, salar y distributions and ongoing purchases. This position will become the primary purchasing coordinator for MRI and its subunits, and related faculty with MRI funds, taking the burden off of current non-financial administrative positions . Tasks and project level responsibilities include:

  • Process Purchase Orders and Shop on Lion purchases for 75 staff and numerous faculty research groups in MRI on more than 600 cost collectors. This includes advising faculty, staff, students and researchers on financial policies, ensuring the budgets that are being charged comply with the research grant contract and following up with report owners to ensure all reports are submitted in a timely manner.
  • Take over role of departmental super purchasers and review, monitor and process department Purchasing Card purchases and all related topics, review and reconcile charges (~150/month), initiate and process updates for current super purchaser cardholders card information, complete dispute process with department cardholders, process fraudulent charges with cardholders on department cards, assist Financial Office with any auto-posted PCARD transactions from the department.
  • Responsible for management and reconciliation of monthly charges to include mail / shipping charges, copy charges, phone charges, IT account charges, gas cylinders, fleet reservations and any other direct billings – includes review and audit of accounts and obtaining detailed explanations of each charge to verify the expense as it relates to the project budget charged as well as approval from the PI of the budget charged.
  • General support of departmental financial activities and provide financial support to the m anaging director , budget administrator and financial manager.


The successful candidate must have the ability to effectively multi-task, prioritize, and bring a professional presence to the office. It is essential that the person in this position demonstrate a high level of teamwork, professionalism, self-motivation, excellent organizational skills, and a strong attention to detail. Proficiency in SIMBA, Microsoft Office 365 (Excel, Word, Outlook), Workday, Converge, and Shop-On-Lion, and purchasing are strongly desired.


The position typically requires a high school diploma and 3+ years related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.



Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here .


Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


EEO is the Law

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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