Jeffrey Silber

Number of Years in Research Administration: 33

Institutions: Cornell University


Jeffrey Silber is currently the Senior Director for Sponsored Financial Services at Cornell University where he uses his 35 years of pre-, post- and departmental research administration experience to provide leadership and vision for the financial research administration functions of the university.  Leading a team of 19 in the Division of Financial Affairs and in coordination with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Jeffrey is responsible for all financial aspects of contract and grant administration, capital asset management, and various university costing models including the employee benefits rate, facilities and administrative cost rate, and recharge rates.   Cornell’s Ithaca-based campus has approximately 4,000 active awards and $400,000,000 in annual sponsored award and federal appropriations revenue.

Because of Cornell’s unique public/private/land-grant nature, Jeffrey has developed expertise on a broad array of accounting and sponsor regulations.  Jeffrey and his team fill the key role of serving as the university’s resource for interpreting, explaining and applying financial elements of governmental research regulations and sponsor policies. He has been responsible for organizational change (including office mergers), creation of Cornell’s Research Administration Certification Program, and development and negotiation of several long-form Facilities and Administration Cost proposals.  Jeffrey is the university lead liaison for major sponsor audits and associated resolution.   Jeffrey participated in the development and implementation of the Kuali Financial System, and numerous other systems projects.

For 18 years prior to joining the university’s central administration, Jeffrey was the lead administrator in an NSF-funded campus research center, where he was responsible for research administration, finance, human resources, facilities, and desktop computing for a 120-person, $25M/year operation.   Jeffrey worked closely with federal agency program and grants staff, helped organize and present at site reviews, and assisted in the development of grant proposals and annual work plants.

Jeffrey’s NCURA involvement began 30 years ago, and in that time he has done scores of presentations, workshops and webinars in various venues including annual, regional, FRA, PRA and ERA meetings.   He has served on as a co-chair, track lead, and member of program committees.   He is the co-author of the NCURA publication “How to Manage a Financially Focused University Research Audit Effectively.”   For six years Jeffrey traveled the country as part of NCURA’s FRA workshop faculty.

Jeffrey is currently a member the Board of Directors of COGR and serves on its costing committee.   He is a contributor to their recent publication “Excellence in Research: The Funding Model, F&A Reimbursement, and Why the System Works.”

Jeffrey’s broad experience is enhanced by over 20 years in the position of treasurer for a local municipality, and many years of service as a volunteer and/or board member of several civic, healthcare, emergency service, and religious organizations.     Jeffrey has an MBA in Accounting and Finance and a BA in Economics and Theatre Arts, both from Cornell University.

NCURA Peer Program engagements are priced as a flat fee, scaled to the sponsored programs total active award dollars in the last fiscal year, regardless of type of Peer Program engagement.