University of Waterloo

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Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
2480 - WISE-General
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$44,335 - $55,419

More information about this job


This position reports to the Executive Director and assists the Executive Director and two Managers with the administration, accounts management and budgeting of the Institute. The position provides support to implement research programs with industry, non-governmental organizations, government and post-secondary institutions, is responsible for human resource and facilities administration, and liaises with Institute members, internal and external agencies and partners to carry out a clear network of communication with utmost professionalism to on/off campus origins on behalf of WISE.


Due to the heavy workload of the Executive Director and management team, this position plays a key role within the WISE structure and is generally the first point of contact when approaching the Executive Director. Therefore, it is very important that the individual is able to participate actively and effectively and represent the Institute in a professional manner. The position requires a high level of maturity of judgement in order to respond appropriately in potentially complex situations.


Administrative Support

  • The position is responsible for the daily management of the operating budget of the Institute
  • Provide support and continuity for WISE initiatives
  • Prepare payroll forms for research assistants, post-doctoral fellows, students, casual and contract employees
  • Advise casual and part-time employees with respect to payroll procedures
  • Maintain confidential files related to personnel
  • Ensure maintenance of office computers, equipment, furniture and other equipment purchases used for research or administrative purposes
  • Schedule, book rooms and applicable equipment for research related meetings, workshops and public events
  • Manage and coordinate all travel preparations for faculty, researchers, visitors and students including arranging for accommodation, transportation, conference registrations, meeting schedules, etc. and preparing complete itinerary for the travel
  • Prepare shipping documents and packages

  • Respond to diverse inquiries from visitors, students, staff and faculty


Human Resources Administration

  • The position actively contributes to the day-to-day work of students, interns and support staff, including contract positions. The position fosters constructive working relationships, monitors workload and provides direction and problem-solving support
  • Review, with the Executive Director, the administrative staff structure to ensure that human resources are efficiently and effectively managed
  • Oversee the recruitment, evaluation and retention of students (co-op, Work Study, Work Program, International)
  • Foster constructive working relationships and serve as a resource for the day-to-day work of office staff, monitoring workload and providing direction and problem-solving support
  • Serve as a resource within the institute for the interpretation of and ensuring adherence to UW and departmental policies, procedures, guidelines and practices

Budget and Accounts Management

  • Working with the Manager of Program Development and Partnerships, ensure that all operating, trust and research funds are soundly managed and reconciled monthly; track expenses and income against budgeted amounts
  • Provide cumulative statistics for WISE for funding and research. The position is furthermore responsible for drawing from this data to create funding reports, tables and graphs
  • Report and review the institute’s financial position with the Executive Director
  • Liaise with Office of Research, Finance and departments on activities involving expenditures and commitments for research grants and projects
  • Prepare and process travel and expense claims and allowances in compliance with University Policy, procedures and granting agency requirements; remain current on knowledge of all policy requirements; attend annual training sessions
  • Assist with event budgets

Operational Management

  • Responsible for a multitude of tasks and deadlines, while continually maintaining tact, diplomacy and confidentiality
  • Actively contribute support for event planning and coordination for conferences, committee meetings, workshops, seminars, public events
  • Actively support promotional activities, including visits to campus from industry and government sponsors, workshops and seminars
  • Assist with announcements, publicity and public relations
  • Oversee the timely preparation of all annual reports (WISE, ECC, Cisco)
  • Assist the Managers with grant application support (NSERC, OCE, IRC, etc.) and related research reports
  • Assist with the maintenance of the Institute web site as needed
  • Manage WISE databases and other information resources
  • Prepare and distribute memos, correspondence and meeting notes


  • Assist the Executive Director with academic activities from an administrative perspective such as student interaction, Learn course resources and course material migration, teaching room booking as needed during teaching terms


  • Post-secondary diploma or equivalent experience in office administration
  • Experience in an educational environment preferred
  • Experience with financial record keeping and reconciliation is required
  • Experience with event co-ordination is an asset
  • Solid knowledge of University of Waterloo financial policies, procedures and regulations
  • Knowledge of research granting and contracting agency application and report processing is an asset
  • Previous experience with University of Waterloo online financial and communication processes is preferred (H/R, Concur, Unit4, Purchasing Card, SharePoint, Sendit)
  • Web site maintenance and coding experience required
  • Experience using social media preferred
  • Experience using graphic/ design software is an asset
  • Demonstrated interest in sustainability energy is a bonus
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to handle faculty, staff and students from around the world with tact and diplomacy
  • Must have the proven ability to exercise sound independent judgement and handle confidential information
  • Demonstrated problem-solving and analytical skills are required to deal with inquiries
  • Attention to detail, confidentiality, and the ability to manage multiple demands
  • Strong time management and organizational skills with a commitment to continuous process improvement
  • Demonstrated initiative to work independently and as a team member in a fast-paced and varied environment, with tight deadlines and changing priorities
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft office skills required
  • Regular working hours; occasional evening/weekend work required for events