Washington DC, District of Columbia

Date Posted

September 24, 2021

Job Category

The Senior Procurement Specialist (“Contract Specialist”) is a position in the Procurement Department under the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. The employee reports to the Senior Procurement Manager and will work with PCORI’s programmatic departments and teams to develop and execute contract documents. The Senior Procurement Specialist will provide oversight over the development of pre/post-award functions which include, but are not limited to, conducting market research, drafting statements of work and deliverables, preparing RFX (RFP, RFQ, RFI), devising evaluation methodology and weighting, conducting sourcing events, organizing and leading technical evaluation panels, planning procurement strategy, developing payment schedules, and performing other cradle-to-grave procurement activities.

In addition to the current duties of a Procurement Specialist, the position requires challenging demands on time, performance, attention to detail, problem solving capacity and the personal management of internal customers. The employee uses superior analytical skills and demonstrates thorough operational knowledge and experience, including working with demanding business owners while accomplishing assignments with minimal oversight or guidance. A successful candidate is results oriented, has good business judgment, is decisive, has strong negotiation skills, and can effectively plan and execute associated contracting activities while providing advice independently to their departmental customers.

Duties and Responsibilities

Procurement Operations & Contract Management: 

  • Acts as a strategic business partner that provides expertise and works with business owners on their requirements, resulting in agreements (“contracts”) in support of healthcare/life sciences, research, evaluation and policy-related support.
  • Proactively conducts procurement planning to determine the need for a contract, contract modification/amendment, or termination; recommends procurement strategies for consideration; assists leads in the development of robust statements of work and deliverables; and supports takes a leading role in contractor identification and selection.
  • Executes the full procurement life cycle process to include: pre- and post-award activities; deployment of appropriate strategies, considering the size, risk, and complexity of the procurement; and recommendations to internal customers on procurement best practices.
  • Follows established procurement policies, programs, and procedures that enhance operational efficiency from initial request through invoice payment and contract close-out.
  • Reviews procurement requests to determine that proper specifications or descriptions are included in RFI/RFQ/RFP documentation.
  • Evaluates offerors’ cost/price proposals, conducts price/cost analysis to determine price reasonableness, and prepares recommendations for award.
  • Negotiates contracts, including coordinating with technical experts and interested PCORI business units (e.g., Office of General Counsel, Information Technology), to develop the contract price and terms.
  • Performs and completes contract closeouts involving simple and complex contracts (supporting firm fixed price, cost reimbursable, time and material payment mechanisms).  Works independently to analyze, collect, and prepare all documentation; reconcile data; and perform all other required activities. Works with the Project Leader and Contractor to resolve and settle all matters including, but not limited to, costs, deliverables, payments.

Customer Service:

  • Advises and supports internal customers on any new contract requirements, conducting market research on prospective/qualified vendors/suppliers, current procurements, and/or issues/problems with existing contracts.  Recommends alternative methods of procuring complex procurements based on the internal customer’s needs.
  • Works with internal customers to conduct market research on qualified contractors, particularly involving service providers in support of healthcare/life sciences-related research.
  • Works with internal customers to develop evaluation criteria to use in determining proposal evaluation and best value criteria. Recommends alternative methods of procuring complex procurements based on the internal customer’s needs.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with internal business customers, including participating in regular meetings / consultation, providing updates as needed and on request, and anticipating customer needs, where possible.

Incumbent(s) in this position may be required to perform other duties and special assignments not specifically stated above. 

Statements outlined in this section are designated as essential job functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Required Skills

The work typically involves duties requiring many different and unrelated processes and methods, with full operating competence in the well-established aspects of a contracting assignment. Assignments typically involve planning and carrying out pre-award, post-award, price/cost analysis, or staff functions containing a variety of complexities such as the following:

  • Knowledge and use of a variety of contract types.
  • Performance of cost analysis, e.g., evaluation of contractor’s cost breakdown based on prevailing labor rates and material costs.
  • Review of the market to determine the availability of specialized items or services.
  • Presence of unfavorable market conditions, such as frequent price changes, changing labor markets, or lack of suppliers.

Required Experience

  • A minimum of 5-6 years of demonstrated experience related to contracting and procurement, particularly with nonprofits and/or universities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Life sciences and/or health care-related research sourcing/procurement experience, a plus.
  • 2+ years of experience performing contract closeout-related services and activities.
  • Must be proficient and comfortable working with Microsoft Office products. Experience using contracts management software and databases.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including demonstrated ability to articulate and propose alternative methods for procuring complex requirements based on the internal customer’s needs.
  • Robust interpersonal skills and comfort communicating at all levels of an organization; brings the ability to work collaboratively with different business groups and departments.
  • Strong problem-solving, attention to detail, organizational, and analytical skills.
  • Self-directed with a strong sense of situational awareness and ability to complete assignments on-time and within established procurement action lead times (PALTs); proactive and able to take initiative and follow up with customers as-needed to complete assignments.
  • Intellectual curiosity and a professional commitment to excellence.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and/or university. Master’s degree, relevant certifications or professional designations, and general knowledge of contracting law preferred.

Application Process

Click here to apply

PCORI conducts background on all applicants.

PCORI is an equal opportunity employer committed to cultural diversity in our workforce.

Date Posted


Closing Date


About the Organization

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is authorized by Congress to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions. PCORI’s research is intended to give patients a better understanding of the prevention, treatment and care options available, and the science that supports those options.