University of Waterloo

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Grants and Contracts Manager

Grants and Contracts Manager

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
5470 - Office of Research
Job Status 
Temporary Appointment (Contract)
Hiring Range 
$57,834 - $85,952

More information about this job


TERM: 12 months


Responsible for providing expert advice, research administration and project management services to UW faculty members who are applying for, or hold, grant, contract, or award funding for research related activities.


Grants and Contracts Managers are located in one of four groups within the Office of Research: Research Partnerships, International Research and Partnerships, Institutional Research, and Funding Agencies and Non-Profit Sponsors. Grants and Contracts Managers are expected to develop their skills to at least the proficient level. Advancements to higher levels are in recognition of ability, skills that demonstrate expert level knowledge in a range of functional areas, as well as increased levels of professional development, experience, responsibility and initiative. To advance, Managers must perform above expectations of current level and meet majority of competencies in the next level. The levels are defined primarily by level of expertise and experience, the scope of influence and responsibility (portfolio/section/office of research/university-wide/external), and the complexity and impact of the portfolio. The relative proportion of the various key accountabilities will vary with the sponsor portfolio for which the Pre-Award Manager is responsible.


Provide assistance to faculty members in preparing and submitting proposals and applications for research funding programs and opportunities, and/or negotiating research contracts and other agreements with public and private-sector partners:

  • Edit research proposals and applications for completeness, grammar, formatting and spelling
  • Aid faculty members in the establishment and management of budget requirements
  • Provide program / sponsor specific review of proposals / applications to faculty members
  • Target faculty / proposals needing particular support (e.g. new faculty)
  • Manage the submission of proposals / nominations in accordance with the policies, guidelines and deadlines of the relevant funding sponsor (online and / or by paper) and UW
  • Act as central point-of-contact to coordinate and provide pro-active and on-going support for large, complex projects deemed of strategic importance to the institution

Work closely with faculty members to assist in ongoing management of their grants / contracts / awards and reporting requirements:

  • Understand university policies and procedures as they relate to research grants and contracts, financial management, procurement services and human resources. Ensure that proposals conform to UW policies and procedures pertaining to payment terms, liability, publication, licensing and intellectual property rights and overhead
  • Manage the post-award administration of projects / contracts including negotiation and finalization of agreements with the funding sponsor and with collaborating partner organizations; financial set-up, and assurances of required certifications (e.g. ethics, biohazards) and special risks (e.g. information security, controlled goods)
  • Provide administrative advice to faculty, departments, schools and other senior administrators. This includes general problem-solving, executing amendments to agreements and grants such as date extensions, overseeing budgetary reallocations, submission of deliverables and progress reports, resolution of payment problems and disputes regarding deliverables, correspondence with external sponsors to ensure effective performance monitoring of research projects. It also includes ensuring adherence to the terms and conditions of the award and ensuring that audit requirements are met
  • Clearly articulating and advising faculty members and/or students of the implications and obligations implied by contract terms, and suggesting alternatives when concerns are raised during negotiations

Negotiate and execute (per university signing procedure) inter-institutional agreements, data or material transfer agreements, and other research related contracts:

  • Ensure compliance with both sponsor and UW policies and guidelines
  • Protect the university from academic, reputational and financial risk through careful contract negotiation, balanced by the need to be flexible and responsive to research sponsors, while facilitating the research enterprise

Work closely with sponsors (government, funding agencies, industry and non-profit) regarding program guidelines, submission of applications and annual reports:

  • Ensure that annual financial and project progress reports are submitted
  • Ensure that required agreements are signed by project participants
  • Participate when sponsors request input on programs
  • Host sponsor visits when appropriate

Communicate with the university community to promote funding opportunities and report results of competitions:

  • Attend periodic meetings (on- or off- campus) with sponsors and/or other university representatives regarding program guidelines, best practices, review and reporting procedures and development of proposals
  • Assist the Communications officer with the preparation of press releases / writing of public communications

Follow internal processes and procedures related to administrative requirements:

  • Ensure accurate, consistent and efficient workflow to best support researchers
  • Ensure accurate data for institutional analyses

Manage internal funding or nomination programs in a consistent and transparent fashion:

  • Develop and communicate internal competition procedures
  • Co-ordinate review panels, participate in and document panel decisions
  • Provide analysis of internal programs to senior management to support strategic decision making

Provide strategic advice and undertake special projects as required by senior administrators:

  • Create tracking sheets for internal deadlines and submission information
  • Analyze application submissions / decision results etc., and make recommendations for process improvements
  • Prepare non-routine reports and undertake special projects from generalized requirements
  • Develop internal approval forms and sample applications or templates
  • Participate in university meetings regarding internal nomination procedures for programs within the portfolio


  • Completion of an undergraduate degree is required, with a Master’s degree preferred; or equivalent related education and experience which provides strong knowledge of an academic research environment
  • Expertise in particular academic disciplines may be desirable for certain sponsor portfolios
  • Demonstrated experience in project management and administration are essential, as well as budget development
  • Proven ability to evaluate and edit grant proposals and negotiate agreements and contracts
  • Must have exceptional communication (oral and written), negotiation, consultation, presentation, analytical, leadership and organizational skills. Must have demonstrated attention-to detail and problem solving and ability to work with confidential information
  • Strong proficiency with a variety of computer software applications including word processing, spreadsheet, database management is required
  • Intermediate to Expert level with MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint; experience with InfoEd; Sponsor application software; Adobe Pro