University of Waterloo

  • Graduate Awards Officer

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    Academic Services
    5300 - Grad Stud&Postdoc Affai (GSPA)
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $54,589 - $68,236
  • Overview

    Term: 1 year


    The Graduate Awards Officer works closely with the Graduate Financial Officer and Graduate Financial Aid Records Specialist and provides support to the graduate awards team by preparing award nominations for payment processing, agency reporting and award expenditures from endowments, trusts and operating accounts. The incumbent will manage internal award programs that require generating Quest queries for automatic confirmation of student eligibility in order to apply the award to the financial aid record. The officer will be responsible for ensuring compliance with University policy and procedures as well as agency and Ministry reporting regulations. S/he will be required to interpret complex rules and regulations/policies for both internal and external award programs and payments for graduate students. S/he is responsible for ensuring accurate and timely application of award payments to student accounts in Quest in order to assist students with tuition fee arrangements.


    The officer will be responsible for the management of manuals and procedures that support all FA student record-keeping functions in Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. As a back-up to the Financial Officer, s/he will be expected to become familiar with the preparation of office budget projections and financial analysis in order to ensure that short and long-term financial goals are established and realistic, taking into account implications of commitments related to special projects, staff appointments, temporary reassignments, parental leaves, etc.; identifies concerns and potential solutions to facilitate effective strategic decision-making. Other tasks may be assigned as required throughout the year. 


    Management of Internal Awards

    • Responsible for ensuring accuracy of automatic selection of recipients (e.g., International Master’s/Doctoral Student Awards (IMSA/IDSA) and President’s Graduate Scholarship (PGS) programs) through the generation of query reports; must understand and be able to manipulate queries through Quest
    • Responsible for the administration of graduate awards funded through endowments, trusts and operating accounts and the review and processing/coding of award nominations and documents
    • Responsible for working with the Assistant Director, Graduate Financial Aid & Awards on revisions to existing award agreements and assisting as appropriate with submissions to Senate Graduate & Research Council (SG&RC)
    • Responsible for working with GSPA Systems team on the creation of new item types as a result of the establishment of new awards or the revision of existing ones due to award name changes, account changes, etc
    • Responsible for notifying award recipients in a timely fashion so they can complete recipient profiles for Advancement Stewardship purposes
    • Responsible for production of recipient reports for Advancement as needed

    Management of Award, Bursary and Scholarship Budget and Expenditures

    • Responsible for supporting the Graduate Financial Officer by reconciling accounts of awards paid from endowments, trusts and operating funds, as well as providing back-up support to the Financial Officer for office budget activity
    • Responsible for regular follow-up with departments and Faculties on available budgets for scholarships in order to ensure minimal carry forward of unused funds
    • Responsible for updating the Financial Officer on significant over-expenditures or underspending by departments and Faculties.
    • Responsible for backing up the Graduate Financial Aid Records Specialist on processing award nominations, GRS payments, running processes for disbursements, running disbursements
    • Responsible for auditing awards coding; e.g., awards maintenance prior to disbursements including exception testing for enrolment status changes.
    • Responsible for providing statistics and activity levels on scholarships (e.g., IMSA/IDSA, PGS) in preparation for meetings or as needed
    • Participate in internal and external audits as required

    Management of Tri-Agency and Ministry Reconciliation

    • Enters and maintains OGS and QEII-GSST awards into the MAESD Bursary Reporting System and generates reports to confirm accuracy of the entries
    • Maintains Tri-Agency system for awardee updates and to ensure payments have been received
    • Reviews and updates Confirmation of Eligibility reports and year-end reports from the agencies or Ministry and reporting any issues or discrepancies to the Graduate Financial Officer
    • Responsible for monitoring external agency policies with regards to payments, reporting and auditing requirements to ensure GSPA practices are in compliance

    Training and Supervision

    • Responsible for updating procedures and providing training to department co-ordinators and Faculty Administrative Assistants on award nominations and GRS payments.
    • Provide coaching and support to departments and Faculties on financial planning to ensure expenditure goals are met.
    • Provide backup support for the Graduate Financial Officer, the incumbent will oversee the work and activities of the Graduate Financial Aid Records Specialist


    • University bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance or equivalent education and experience
    • 5+ years working in university or similar environment with a strong background in finance
    • Comprehensive knowledge of the university and graduate studies environment is preferred
    • Previous experience managing graduate scholarships is preferred
    • Previous experience with budget and account reconciliation is required
    • Experience with Finance account and posting attributes, previous experience with (Unit4), Concur, Raiser’s Edge are preferred
    • Experience with financial aid records and Query Manager in PeopleSoft Campus Solutions (Quest) is strongly recommended
    • Experience with document retrieval in Hyland OnBase Document Management is preferred
    • Knowledge of university policies and graduate studies regulations and practices related to graduate financial aid, admissions, award programs and academic/enrolment records is strongly preferred
    • Intermediate to advanced skills with Microsoft Office is required – Outlook, Excel, Word, SharePoint
    • Accuracy, attention to detail and strong problem-solving abilities are essential, as is the aptitude for and experience with conducting research and analyzing data
    • Strong work ethic and ability to accomplish tasks independently in a timely manner is required; adherence to timelines and deadlines is imperative
    • Ability to multi-task with competing and changing priorities and manage significant workload and responsibilities is required
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential; participation in training staff is required
    • Proven interpersonal skills and willingness to participate in and collaborate with others in academic and administrative units is required
    • Successful experience working independently and within a team environment is required
    • The incumbent must demonstrate a professional demeanour when interacting with students, staff and faculty on confidential and sensitive matters
    • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative, team-based environment
    • Regular working hours; overtime during peak periods may be required


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