University of Waterloo

  • Research Finance Coordinator

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    8610 - Inst. for Quantum Computing
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $49,965 - $62,456
  • Overview

    The Research Finance Coordinator is responsible for all research and administrative activities for an assigned group of faculty members and their research groups, within the Institute for Quantum Computing. They manage the operating and research accounting of assigned faculty members and ensure compliance with university and granting agency policies and procedures, provide guidance and reporting to reduce the liability to the department and the university by proactive financial management of research funding. The grants and contracts include federal and provincial government agencies as well as national and international industry partners. The Research Finance Coordinator understands the constraints of specific granting programs and forecasts and provides recommendations to maximize the use and leverage of the research funding.


    This role is contingent on funding. 


    Financial Administration

    • Responsible for the financial administration of all operating and research grants for assigned faculty members in accordance with relevant university policies, granting agency guidelines and negotiated industry agreements

    • Responsible for data analysis and custom financial reporting as required by the funding agency or research partners

    • Verify research project revenues are received and ensure that anticipated expenses will align with project budget

    • Ensure all expenses are eligible and compliant with university and granting agency policies

    • Assist research groups with understanding various financial reports, financial policies/procedures, terminology and standard accounting practices

    • Process all invoices to accounts payable to be rerouted through university payment system

    • Provide guidance to research groups on use of university financial and procurement systems

    • Update, maintain and verify information in a variety of spreadsheets and databases

    Support to Principal Investigators

    • Provide support to Principal Investigators concerning university and/or granting agency policies and procedures around eligibility of expenses

    • Monitor, review and reconcile accounts monthly and advise PIs of discrepancies and anticipate any potential concerns

    • Initiate and review procurement of research goods and services and ensure compliance with procurement policies and procedures including determination of independent contractor status

    • Monitor spending on research projects and provide PIs with budget and financial information to enable them to manage their accounts

    • Identity overspending and work with PI to resolve deficit by reallocating expenses

    • Make recommendations to respective faculty member regarding deficit resolution strategies

    • Assist the Principal Investigator in the preparation of research budgets for major contracts and research grants

    • Work with assigned faculty and research personnel on the preparation of research proposals including budget review

    • Review and process out-of-pocket and travel expenses for research groups using university online system

    • Review purchase of equipment and supplies for research groups, including the sourcing and procurement of capitalized equipment and is compliant with Policy 17

    Human Resources Administration

    • Act as a liaison between assigned faculty members, the Institute, the Department and Human Resources on issues relating to research staff personnel

    • Review research staff contracts, payments and salaries to ensure eligibility of expenses according to granting agency guidelines and requirements

    • Review Graduate Research Studentship and Graduate Research Assistants payment for available funds and timeliness

    • Initiate salary changes for ongoing salary for research group members, as needed

    Other Duties

    • Proactively track activities and achievements for faculty members which are required for a wide range of reports

    • Update faculty member group website, if required

    • Update faculty member CV and Common CV for reporting and grant applications

    • Stay up to date on changes in granting agency regulations, University policies and procedures

    • Keep informed and attend training regarding new systems, tools and software

    • Provide backup administrative support in peak times or during  team member absences, as needed

    • Work with Assistant Director, Administration on other internal projects, as needed


    • University degree, preferably in business and/or accounting, or equivalent education and/or experience

    • Working toward CPA designation is an asset

    • 3+ years of related accounting experience including financial monitoring and analysis, preferably in a university environment

    • Research finance experience working with grants/contract administration

    • Experience in financial reporting and analysis, budgeting, forecasting and accounting

    • An understanding of the academic environment, in particular research environment

    • Advanced skills with Microsoft Excel and FileMaker

    • High attention to detail with extreme accuracy is required

    • Strong analytical, judgement and problem-solving skills

    • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, tact and diplomacy are required to provide professional advice on accounting and process issues

    • Proven ability to manage a large volume of work, conflicting priorities and deadlines

    • Demonstrated ability to work independently in a team environment and handle confidential information

    • Sound knowledge of accounting principles and financial knowledge

    • Experienced user of Apple computers and operating system

    • Strong decision making and critical thinking skills and maturity of judgement

    • Demonstrated ability to interpret policies, financial statements and apply guidelines and procedures

    • Strong client-service orientation with a focus on providing exceptional customer service in a team environment

    • Strong verbal and written communication skills

    • Excellent organizational and time-management skills

    • Demonstrated ability to handle confidential information with discretion and tact

    • Ability to adapt to changing administrative and financial systems and software


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