University of Waterloo

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Research Finance Manager

Research Finance Manager

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
5470 - Office of Research
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$74,976 - $93,720

More information about this job


The Research Finance Manager (RFM) is one of three RFMs in the Research Finance reporting team who leads, manages and coaches a team of Research Financial Analysts (RFAs). Each RFM has management responsibility for all external and internal financial research reporting across a number of faculties. Each RFM is the designated financial expert on a range of external research sponsor programs and as such is the primary liaison between those sponsors and the university. Each RFM also has a working knowledge of all other external research sponsor programs and other financial related research activities (e.g. indirect costs program, intellectual property distributions etc.).


This position is one of three Research Finance Managers within the Reporting Team of Research Finance and will have responsibility for the financial reporting for research contracts with industry, international, provincial and federal government sponsors


Designated financial expert for a range of external research sponsor programs

  • Manages, co-ordinates and controls the overall financial administration and reporting for a portfolio of research sponsors
  • Acts as a university signing authority on sub grants (≤$100,000) and financial reporting for research funds under their portfolio
  • Provides advice, training and direction to RFAs on the overall financial processes related to a portfolio of sponsor programs
  • Main liaison between the university and external sponsors and research offices at other institutions
  • Key liaison with the Office of Research pre-awards sections responsible for their portfolio of sponsors;  Ensuring accounts are set up appropriately, reporting and invoicing requirements are manageable and that financial clauses in agreements are appropriate and can be adhered to. The RFM also provides advice on possible amendments to financial clauses in agreements where compliance is not possible or a risk assessment of the impact of non-compliance, if amendments are not possible
  • Maintains current knowledge of sponsor guidelines and responsible for informing university research community of guideline changes or updates
  • Acts as an advisor/consultant to the university research community on interpretation of sponsor guidelines as well as university policy as it pertains to research accounts
  • Manages and co-ordinates audit reviews for their portfolio of external sponsor agencies
  • Responsible for ensuring that audit recommendations pertaining to their sponsor agencies are implemented


Leads, manages and coaches a team of Research Financial Analysts

  • Manages and co-ordinates the workload of a group of RFAs to ensure that all sponsor and researcher obligations and deadlines are met in a timely manner
  • Provides leadership, management, training & direction to staff
  • Performs on-going review & annual performance appraisal of staff, identifying areas for improvement and further development
  • Promotes continual personnel training and development of staff


Key management responsibility for external and internal financial research reporting across a number of faculties

  • Builds close working relationships in faculties to ensure that reporting needs are being met
  • Works with faculty members on new grants/contracts to ensure that effective reporting mechanisms are initiated & financial reporting requirements of awards are understood
  • Works with faculty members, departmental research administrators and faculty financial officers during the life cycle of research projects to ensure that each researcher’s portfolio of research projects is effectively managed


As a key member of the Research Finance team management

  • Monitor business practices to ensure that Research Finance has the appropriate practices and processes to work effectively internally and represent UW externally
  • Help identify the projected staffing requirements for the Research Finance team
  • Develop, implement and communicate Research Finance procedures and standard operating practices
  • Identify, design and implement effective reporting tools for the ever increasingly complex range of research sponsors
  • Develop productive, collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Identify, develop and implement projects to improve service quality, relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff capability and performance

Responsible for providing financial management expertise to a range of Office of Research activities

  • Responsible for accurate calculation and distribution of university indirect costs (overhead) to senior management for distribution to Faculties
  • Prepares applications and associated reports for Federal Indirect Costs Program and the Provincial Research Performance Fund
  • Prepares and submits the Facility and Administrative Cost proposal to the US government to establish the indirect cost rate to be applied to all university research contract activity with US agencies
  • Responsible for the management and distribution of royalties, licensing and other intellectual property activities including preparation of an annual report to senior management
  • Closely liaises with university’s commercialization office (WatCo) to ensure adherence of appropriate license/royalty distribution
  • Manages and co-ordinates the preparation of university fiscal year end worksheets, schedules or changes and continuity reports
  • Responsible for the preparation of various university fiscal year end income and expenditure analyses, trend and comparison analyses for senior management and the university external auditor
  • Monitors aged debt profile for research accounts and in conjunction with the Director, Research Finance liaises with Accounts Receivable, the researcher and the RFA to determine an appropriate debt collection strategy
  • Designs, develops, prepares and produces financial reports for the university client and core areas using third party decision support tools


  • University Degree (preferably in Accounting, Business or Finance) or equivalent education and experience
  • Recognized accounting designation (e.g. CPA ) is required
  • 5+ years of experience in financial reporting and complex financial analysis
  • Excellent knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and of Canada Revenue Agency guidelines as they pertain to research funds
  • 3+ years or more of experience in a people management and leadership role, including a track record of performance management with direct reports
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated strength in relationship building, customer service, and collaboration.
  • Excellent problem solving skills with experience in risk assessment and management. 
  • Proven experience with identifying and implementing reporting improvements 
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with excellent presentation abilities and the ability to deliver technical information to non-technical users.
  • Proactive and results orientated with a proven aptitude for accurate and detailed work as well as sound judgment, tact and diplomacy 
  • Working knowledge of research granting and contracting agencies is a very strong preference
  • Highly proficient with Microsoft Office business suite (e.g. Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Access)