University of Waterloo

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Research Coordinator

Research Coordinator

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
2425 - Mechanical & Mechatronics Eng.
Job Status 
Temporary Appointment (Contract)
Hiring Range 
$48,620 - $60,775

More information about this job


Term: 1 year


The Research Coordinator is directly responsible for all research and administrative activities of an assigned group of faculty members within the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. The scope of the position encompasses four main functions: the incumbent manages the research and operating operations of an assigned group of faculty members; provides direction with respect to the financial activities of research staff (including technical staff, visitors, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students) involved with the various projects; ensures compliance with UW financial policies and procedures and those set forth by granting agencies; and acts as a liaison with granting agencies, industry, Office of Research, Finance, Human Resources and the other UW departments. In addition, the incumbent provides support and financial expertise on the preparation of proposals for collaborative and institutional awards. The Coordinator reports directly to the Administrative Officer of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.


Financial Administration:

  • Works closely with assigned investigators, research personnel and the Department Chair, on the preparation of proposals for individual, collaborative and institutional awards within the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. The incumbent provides expertise in preparing budgets, and works closely with the Office of Research to ensure that budget information, letters of support, approval, etc. is in place to meet the deadlines for submission
  • Is responsible for the financial administration of all research grants and contracts for a group of faculty members in the Department in accordance with relevant university policies and negotiated sponsor agreements. Specific responsibilities include financial forecasting, monitoring of accounts, authorization of expenditures, reconciliation, and establishment of payroll, etc
  • Is responsible for financial reporting as required by funding agencies and the Office of Research. The incumbent works with the investigators and the Office of Research to ensure that industry and in-kind contributions are in place. Reporting will require identification of the necessary data, procurement of such data, analysis of the data, and production of the detailed and summary reports as are appropriate to the funding agency, industry contact or auditors
  • Creates and reviews journal entry transactions, including Interdepartmental Billings, ensuring that the transaction is in compliance with the University's journal entry policy, fund transfer rules, fund definition rules, applicable HST input tax rules and accounting entries, and that the appropriate expense transfer approvals are in place
  • Ensures that researchers and respective research personnel are compliant with UW research finances policies and procedures and those set forth by external granting agencies. Maintains project files and supports the efforts of audits as required.
  • Coordinates the purchase of equipment and supplies for the group, including the sourcing and procurement of major equipment and is knowledgeable of Policy 17 outlining UW's standards of ethics for procurement. The incumbent is responsible for maintaining records of all purchases and for ensuring eligibility and budget allocations are adequate and appropriate. The Coordinator is responsible for fixed asset inventory and control of research equipment and furnishings associated with all research activities of the research group. This includes liaising with the University Investment and Risk Manager concerning inventory and insurance claims
  • Works closely with the Administrative Officer on financial matters relating to faculty research accounts and ensures that procedures are in place in order that monthly research account statements are reviewed and reconciled. Makes recommendations to respective faculty members, the Chair and Administrative Officer with respect to deficit resolution strategies
  • Has signing authority on all accounts at the discretion of the researcher


Support to Principal Investigators and for Outreach Programs:

  • Provides guidance to Principal Investigators (PIs) and other research staff on financial rules and policies relevant to their grants and contracts
  • Advises and informs research faculty and staff on financial matters
  • Monitors spending levels in research project grants and provides PIs with budget and financial information enabling them to manage their accounts
  • Notifies Principal Investigators and/or designates of discrepancies and follows-up to resolve on a timely basis
  • Provides advice to Principal Investigator and/or designate concerning University and/or granting agencies policies and procedures (e.g. eligibility of expenses, preparation of forms) and comprehension of financial reports
  • Contacts individuals, granting agencies, on sensitive matters in order to obtain, provide, and/or clarify information
  • Runs queries, reviews, and interprets financial data to answer queries from Principal Investigators and/or designates
  • Answers non routine enquiries concerning research and follow-up on granting agencies additional questions/requirements
  • Acts as liaison with industry sponsors, for the planning and marketing of research workshops, seminars, and short courses, and for the coordination of activities related to the delivery of these events
  • Organizes meetings for the various research groups. The incumbent attends all meetings as a resource for financial queries. The Coordinator takes notes from meetings and distributes as necessary
  • Is responsible for organizing site visits, grand openings, and all other special events related to the research activities of the group


Human Resources

  • Acts as a liaison between the investigators, the Department and Human Resources on issues relating to research staff personnel. Specific duties include preparation of job descriptions and advertising of research technical staff positions, recruitment, performance evaluations and termination
  • Coordinates payroll for research staff (including technical staff, visitors, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students). The incumbent acts as a liaison in this capacity with Human Resources, Finance, the Office of Research, and the Graduate Studies Office
  • Under the general direction of the researcher, the incumbent provides direction to research personnel including technical staff, administrative staff, visitors, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students in planning and undertaking research programs, internal reviews, and external visits


  • Provides training assistance to the department research community
  • Acts as backup to other Research Coordinator(s) during absences or as required
  • Assists internal and external auditors as required
  • Stays up to date on changes in granting agency regulations, University policies and procedures, research and trust administration practices, and new technology or programs
  • Maintain procedures and documentation pertaining to the responsibilities of the position
  • Attend all training on new systems and procedures, and meetings as required
  • It may be necessary from time to time to adjust and rework the groupings of researchers to reflect activity to better manage our research initiatives and ensure all positions are fully utilized
  • All other duties as assigned by the Chair and / or Administrative Officer as required to meet with goals and objectives of the Department


  • University degree or post-secondary accounting related diploma or equivalent combination of education and experience. Accounting designation an asset
  • 3 years related experience
  • Requires a strong financial background and excellent computer skills including proficiency with the latest word-processing and spreadsheet software
  • Must be knowledgeable of federal and provincial funding sources and related guidelines for institutional awards
  • Experience with large collaborative projects is desired
  • Must possess excellent organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information with discretion, and manage multiple and competing priorities is essential
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal skills in order that he or she can effectively liaise with the campus community and external partners
  • A high attention to detail with extreme accuracy in work is required
  • MS Word – Intermediate, Excel – Advanced, PowerPoint - Intermediate, Other – Experience with Sharepoint, PeopleSoft Financial System or Equivalent (advanced), Databases – Intermediate
  • Potential evening/weekend work