Procurement (Contracts) Specialist


Department: Procurement

Reports to: Director, Procurement

Position Summary

The Procurement Specialist is a position in the Procurement Department under the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. The employee reports to the Director of Procurement and provides fundamental advice to the Office of Procurement and other business owners. The Procurement Specialist will work with the Procurement Manager to perform cradle to grave procurement activities. The Procurement Manager will manage the work of the Procurement Specialist.

The position requires challenging demands on time and performance and the personal management of internal customers and leadership expectations. The employee uses strong analytical skills and has broad operational knowledge and experience, including working with demanding business owners while accomplishing assignments without minimal oversight or guidance.

Duties and Responsibilities

Procurement Operations & Contract Management

  • Acts as a strategic business partner that provides expertise and works with the business owners on their requirements to requirements to lead and negotiate complex professional services contracts/agreements in support of healthcare research
  • Conducts procurement planning, recommends procurement strategies for consideration and creates robust statements of work including the use of appropriate contract types.
  • Executes the full procurement lifecycle process to include the pre-award and post-award acquisition activities, strategies, dependent upon the size, risk and complexity of the procurement; performs pre-award and post-award administration activities
  • Follows the established procurement policies, programs, and procedures that enhance operational efficiencies and promote cost effectiveness with standardization, where possible, to assure and maintain a smooth and efficient procurement process from initial request through invoice payment and contract close-out
  • Executes a planned negotiation strategy, including coordinating said strategy with other technical experts involved and participating in negotiations conducted with vendors to develop the contract price and terms
  • Uses internal templates in support of the procurement life cycle that assists with the internal operations and coordinates with the Business owners to provide guidance and oversight to procurement lifecycle process
  • Reviews procurement requests to determine that proper specifications or descriptions are included in RFI/RFQ/RFP documentation
  • Evaluates offeror's cost/price proposals, conducts price/cost analysis to determine price reasonableness and prepares recommendations for award
  • Conducts offeror and contractor responsibility/risk compliance analysis which includes, but is not limited to reviewing indirect cost rate support documentation, D&B or other industry reports, analyzing business integrity/ethics, performing suspension/debarment checks
  • Performs and completes contract closeouts


Working with the Procurement Manager
  • Supports the Procurement Manager in the negotiations of high-risk, complex, and potentially long-term contracts and amendments to the mutual satisfaction of all parties Reviews requirements and determines appropriate methods of procurement, i.e., formal advertising or negotiation, based on the application of commonly used contracting methods and recommends the approach to the Procurement
  • Supports the Procurement Manager and performs detailed analysis of the quote or proposals received to determine responsiveness to the RFP/RFQ and responsibility of the offeror. Ensures strict compliance with specifications on advertised procurements and recommends best value awards to the offeror(s).
  • On competitive procurements, identifies cost/prices which appear either excessive or underestimated, and alone or in conjunction with the Procurement Manager, negotiates prices with the offeror; also reviews and/or clarifies other unclear terms of the offers received including changing delivery dates or otherwise obtaining close conformance to specifications or similar matters
  • Supports the Procurement Manager in working with internal customers to develop evaluation criteria to use in determining proposal evaluation and best value criterion for competitive procurements
Customer Service
  • Advises and supports internal customers on issues/developments relative to new requirements, current procurements and/or issues/problems with current contracts
  • Work with internal customers to conduct market research on qualified vendors, particularly involving service providers in support of healthcare research
  • Works with internal customers to develop evaluation criteria to use in determining proposal evaluation and best value criterion
  • Recommends alternative methods of procuring complex procurements based on the internal customer's needs
  • Responds to internal/external inquiries regarding PCORI's procurements and contracts


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.

*PCORI Staff Conflict of Interest Statement - No PCORI employee can receive a direct financial benefit from a healthcare related organization during the course of his/her employment with PCORI.

PCORI conducts background checks on all applicants.

PCORI is an equal opportunity employer committed to cultural diversity in the workplace.

Required Skills
  • Strong interpersonal, consultative, influencing, presentation and communication skills, works well in a team environment, able to work in diverse environments and adhere to highest ethical standards
  • Possesses strong business acumen, analytical, logical, organizational and decision-making skills
  • Solid understanding of conducting acquisition planning, market research, strategy development, negotiations, contract administration, pricing analysis, and related functional assignments in the execution of procurement related requirements
  • Demonstrated ability to understand, draft and negotiate contracts while working in close coordination with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and the business owner(s) to review, negotiate and resolve all legal matters
  • Excellent creative thinking skills with emphasis on developing innovative solutions to solve complex problems that may not have one clear answer
  • Possesses high energy and enthusiasm for continuous process improvements
  • Demonstrated ability to present and propose options and identify solutions to complex contracting issues and problems
  • Ability to present facts, findings, logical conclusions and persuasive arguments to make decisions based on objective analysis of the situation
  • Strong technical writing skills
  • Experienced in using e-procurement systems and financial applications

Required Experience
  • 4+ years of directly related experience
  • 2+ years of strategic sourcing experience with a focus in the sourcing of professional services
  • Health care research sourcing/procurement experience, a plus
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college and/or university in Business, Procurement, Contracting or Finance. Master's degree or relevant certifications (CPCM, CPSM, CPM, IACCM, NPI, ISM CIPS, NIGP NCMA, FAC-C, NAPM) are preferred
  • Demonstrated experience in negotiating complex professional services and supply-related contracts/agreements and contract types - fixed price, time & materials/labor hour, and cost reimbursable type contracts
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office products and can competently use them (especially Excel and Word)
  • Knowledgeable in conducting indirect procurements complex services and/or
  • Experienced in articulating and proposing alternative methods for procuring complex procurements based on the internal customer's needs
  • Intellectual curiosity and a professional commitment to excellence

Job Location Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular


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