University of Waterloo

COMPASS Program Manager

Requisition ID 2023-11283
School of Public Health Sciences
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$70,099 - $87,623
Job Category
Job Location : Location


Term: 1 year


This position is responsible for accomplishing strategic objectives by overseeing multiple project activities and coordinating cross-project activities within the COMPASS program of research (Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, Sedentary behaviour). The Program Manager provides leadership and team/staff management for all aspects of the COMPASS program, assists with strategic planning and resource allocation activities, and oversees program implementation and reporting for funded activities within COMPASS.


This position is contingent on funding. 


Utilization, deployment, and development of people and capital resources:

  • Recruits, trains, and deploys staff, graduate students, and research assistants to effectively meet research goals and objectives of multiple projects
  • Trains project managers from collaborating organizations for the deployment of research activities in extra-provincial jurisdictions
  • Creates job descriptions and staffing forecasts to ensure that resources are in place and productive, for relevant milestones in accordance with UW staff policies
  • Coaches, mentors, and develops employees to assure growth and development of those individuals for the role, research group, and University
  • Conducts Annual Performance Reviews with direct reports and ensures adherence to UW’s Annual Performance Planning and Review process within the department
  • Forecasts and manages staff costs to ensure all tasks can be completed within allotted budgets

Liaises and maintains communications with projects’ stakeholders:

  • Builds and maintains a pan-Canadian network of public health professionals and scientists engaged in the program of research; ensuring an industry-current knowledge base of best practices and emerging initiatives
  • Leads development and creation of Knowledge Translation and Exchange (KTE) instruments and activities for schools, school boards, government stakeholders (provincially/territorially and nationally), and non-governmental organizations to ensure that the results of the research are being used in a practical real-world way, by those best equipped to translate knowledge into action
  • Writes and submits financial and milestone progress reports to project funders to ensure the timely and efficient completion of project goals
  • Writes and submits final reports to project funders, outlining the success of the funded research, the scope and reach achieved, and the financial prudence with which the research was carried out; these reports are used by funders to justify extension of project activities and as the basis of wider reporting and scientific presentations
  • Oversees ongoing internal project evaluations to ensure the rigor and effectiveness of all research activities, including the development of evaluation criteria and ensuring compatibility with accepted evaluation practices
  • Monitors project operations being led by researchers at universities outside of Ontario whose activities can impact or influence the larger program of research housed at UW

Develops and meets financial objectives for multiple projects within the program of research:

  • Develops budgets for grant/contract applications
  • Prepares annual project budgets and schedules expenditures for funded initiatives
  • Submits and tracks casual pay
  • Submits and tracks project expenses
  • Analyzes budget variances and initiates corrective actions
  • Initiates subcontract agreements with other universities for project activities outside of Ontario (both nationally and internationally as necessary)
  • Responsible for ensuring compliance for all project expenditures, based on spending rules and obligations as stipulated by funding organizations
  • Responsible for creating and submitting detailed financial reports to funders to ensure the timely release of additional scheduled funding

Enhances the scope, reach, and reputation of the program of research:

  • Assists PI with funding applications and liaises with funders/stakeholders to ensure successful funding of projects that provides a continuous program of research
  • Leads the writing of technical reports that document project practices and protocols to further wider academic understanding of research practices, and for reference in scientific articles
  • Leads the activities associated with data sharing and confidentiality agreements with external partners and stakeholders
  • Assists Principal Investigator and other research collaborators with the writing of peer-reviewed scientific publications, including generating text, editing text, and supplying technical information
  • Advises graduate students regarding the use of data generated by research projects for theses and publications, including best practice relating to relevant privacy legislation, Tri-Council Ethics and UW confidentiality guidelines
  • Attends national and international conferences and professional meetings as the program representative in order to promote the program of research and generate interest within the industry
  • Oversees development and improvement of research project instruments, materials, and protocols to ensure research continues to align with up-to-date best practices, current health priorities, and changing technological landscapes
  • Ensures that project websites are kept up-to-date with relevant and accurate information
  • Responsible for ensuring all research activities abide by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
  • Continuously seeking and exploring opportunities to expand and add value to the program of research

Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities

  • Reading professional publications and relevant news media
  • Maintaining networks of research professionals across Canada
  • Participating in professional training such as those offered by UW OHD
  • Participating in ongoing formal education related to health research (e.g., part-time Masters of Public Health program)


  • A relevant Master’s Degree (i.e. public health) with specific knowledge in research methods/design, production of logic models, project evaluation and public health research
  • Minimum of 3 years of progressive work experience within various research and/or evaluation projects
  • Experience with coordinating and management of data collection activities 
  • Demonstrated experience in coordination of large-scale and multi-faceted research projects
  • Experience managing staff within a research-based setting
  • Experience with managing research projects, including following proper research protocol and administrative processes
  • Experience with Financial Administration Activities
  • Experience assisting with budget planning or proposal writing/submission to federal funding agencies (e.g., CIHR) is an asset
  • Knowledge in public health, research methods, and program evaluation
  • Relevant knowledge of social/health research, ability to remain current with new developments and findings within the research community
  • Ability to act as a knowledgeable and reliable first point of contact for projects
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to work independently as well as part of team
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to prioritize and handle multiple assignments and deadlines
  • Excellent communications skills (written and oral)
  • Demonstrated prompt, effective, and ethical problem-solving skills

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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