University of Waterloo

  • Graduate & Research Studies Coordinator & Student Advisor

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    Student Services
    3600 - School of Optometry
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $45,56 - $56,951
  • Overview

    Term: 1 year


    The Graduate and Research Studies Coordinator/Student Advisor reports to the Administrative Assistant and provides administrative support to the Graduate and Research Officers to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of academic and administrative services to graduate students in the MSc and PhD programs in Vision Science and the accelerated OD/Msc program.


    Administrative Support

    • Provides senior administrative support to the Graduate Officers in all matters relating to the graduate program. This includes providing background research and support to assist in the academic decision-making process for admission to the graduate program, planning, research and data collection; preparing statistical reports and analysis of short and long-term goals
    • Each program has different criteria for admissions, course requirements, thesis requirements, etc. It is imperative that the GRCSA keep all programs in an orderly fashion and keep up-to-date on all program changes
    • Administer admission procedures for each of these individual programs using the OnBase system to ensure compliance to requirements, acceptance, the generation of conditions if necessary, and details of admission
    • Responsible for ensuring that MSc and PhD critical milestone deadlines are met which includes compliance follow-up with faculty and students
    • Assist in coordinating MSc and PhD thesis proposals, PhD comprehensives, PhD Oral Defences, MSc research seminars and submission of MSc Thesis. This includes working closely with the Faculty of Science Graduate Office to ensure policies and procedures are followed
    • Maintains and manages all graduate student records and monitor student progress
    • Provides administrative support relating to all Graduate and Research Studies Committees including; preparing meeting agendas, recording minutes, and monitoring the implementation of all decisions
    • Provide graduate program statistical data for academic accreditation reporting for the MSc and PhD programs as required
    • Extract information from Teaching Assistant applications to generate a detailed list for the Teaching Assignment committee to award future term’s teaching assignments
    • Responsible for yearly calendar updates for the University Graduate Office
    • Create and maintain the graduate section of the Vision Science website
    • Attend graduate marketing opportunities
    • Other administrative duties as assigned by the Administrative Officer

    Support to graduate students’ academic matters (admissions, program advisement and curriculum information)

    • The GRCSA serves as the first contact for all prospective and current Vision Science students. They provide advising services to all new and existing graduate students. This includes advising undergraduate students interested in graduate studies, and all domestic and foreign applicants. Special attention is given to the International students who are new to Canada
    • It is imperative that the GRCSA provide correct information regarding new banking information, process of acquiring Social Insurance Number’s, community and university information, and housing information should the student still require accommodations
    • Organize an orientation event for all new incoming graduate students to welcome them to the School
    • Monitor and review of all current and proposed new graduate courses. Generate graduate course listings and timetable, including downloading of rosters, and uploading of marks
    • Coordinates the receipt, review and submission of graduate course grades in accordance with University deadlines

    Administrative Support for financial opportunities within the graduate program

    • Manage the application process for NSERC, OGS and CIHR scholarships National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). This is a yearly process in which current graduate and undergraduate students apply for PGS M, PGS D, and Post Doctoral awards to further their research program
    • The GRCSA provides all information needed, collecting, organizing and presenting the information in a relevant manner to the Ranking Committee, Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS), as well as monitors progress on the collection and tracking of information for the OGS application process. The GRCSA provides information needed to the Ranking committee
    • To administer the yearly NSERC U/G Scholarships competition NSERC URSA; process, ranking, payroll
    • To administer the Undergraduate Summer Research Assistants with respect to the Departmental summer Research Awards application and the CIHR Professional Student Awards. This includes processing applications, ranking then payment of the awards
    • Co-ordinate the collection of information on a term by term basis from faculty members to assign Research Studentships to current and incoming graduate students
    • Monitor studentship award levels and sources to ensure compliance with OGS and NSERC regulations
    • Enter all payroll information into Graduate Student Earnings payment system
    • Troubleshoot any payroll problems for student with Human Resources contact
    • Enter all Graduate Research Studentships into the GRS payment system
    • Nominate for corresponding SGEA award, produce assignment memos for the term for Graduate TA’s
    • Collect signatures and banking/tax information to submit to Payroll, if required
    • To administer and maintain a budget for various School of Optometry Graduate Scholarships, determining eligibility and assignment
    • To administer all other non-monetary scholarships; application process, ranking, awards for the Dean of Science, Research etc.

    Event planning

    • The GRCSA will be responsible for the organization of the School of Optometry and Vision Science's two awards ceremonies
    • Correspondence with donors regarding scholarships, including notification of the recipients, organizing the events, production of the program, ordering food as well as making sure the events run smoothly
    • The incumbent is also responsible for the tracking of the awards to ensure that all the awards are received and distributed
    • The GRCSA will have contact with donors and/or their representatives as well as the Student Awards department in the organization of these events
    • The incumbent is responsible for maintaining a current list of all donors and scholarships to ensure the timely communication between the School of Optometry and Vision Science and the donors
    • The GRCSA will co-ordinate the Vision Science Research Seminar Series (VSRSS) The incumbent will work with the VSRSS Committee to organize all aspects of the yearly series including travel, accommodation, catering and advertising

    Research Administration

    • The GRCSA will organize the Graduate & Research Committee term meetings, including agenda preparation, taking and distributing minutes, in conjunction with the Associate Director of Research

    Coordination of the Residency program

    • The GRCSA will work with the Head of Residencies and is responsible for contacting applicants regarding documentation for their application, setting up Skype interviews and processing all paperwork in conjunction with the offer of a residency
    • The GRCSA offers continued administrative support to the Head of Residencies for the duration of each residency


    • University degree or equivalent education and/or experience
    • Demonstrated ability to engage professionally with diverse groups, including faculty, staff, students, and prospective students
    • Proficient in MS Word, Excel PowerPoint at the intermediate level
    • Prior use in OnBase, Infosilem, SharePoint, Outlook, WCMS, QUEST, Adobe
    • Sound judgement, tact and diplomacy
    • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
    • Ability to take initiative where minimal direction is provided
    • Excellent interpersonal skills. The position requires the capacity and demeanor to deal professionally with faculty, students, staff and optometrists
    • Excellent communication skills, both in an oral and written format, including the use of electronic media are a key component of the position
    • Occasional travel off campus to participate in recruitment activities may be required


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