University of Waterloo

  • Executive Assistant to VP Research and International

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    5470 - Office of Research
    Job Status
    Regular Full-Time
    Hiring Range
    $56,181 - $70,226
  • Overview

    The Executive Assistant reports to the Vice-President, University Research (VPUR). The VPUR has particular responsibility for maintaining the autonomy and intellectual independence of the University in
    matters related to research, and for fostering an environment that promotes a high standard of scholarly activity. The VPUR also has extensive Committee/Board responsibilities both within and external to the University. The Executive Assistant to the VPUR is responsible for maintaining the VPUR’s daily schedule and itinerary and also for providing overall administrative and executive assistance in respect of all activities in the VPUR’s area of responsibility. This includes the provision of organizational, secretarial and administrative support as needed as well as liaison on behalf of the VPUR with senior administrators across the University and in Corporations and Government departments across Canada. The Executive Assistant must perform at a high level, ensuring that the Office of Research functions in an efficient and professional manner. This includes providing direction and support to Associate Vice-Presidents (AVP), Directors and Senior Managers in the Office of Research as appropriate.


    Administrative Leadership - The incumbent must have a broad knowledge of the various activities and responsibilities of the VPUR in order to prepare materials required for effective participation in, or
    chairing of, both internal and external meetings. In doing so, the incumbent interacts extensively with senior university administrators, faculty members, Deans and their executive administrative staff, and
    others across the University as appropriate. This includes:

    • Obtaining profiles and backup materials
    • Effective management of confidential and sensitive information
    • Provides relationship management and administrative coordination; including preparation of presentations and reports, organizing meetings and developing agendas
    • Ensuring that all participants in meetings with the VPUR are fully briefed and prepared with appropriate backgrounders and materials
    • Researching websites for relevant information prior to meetings of the VPUR with external visitors
    • Working with the Office of Research Directors and AVPs to prepare the VPUR’s presentations to Executive Council, Dean’s Council, Board of Governors and Senate
    • Coordinating arrangements for receptions and functions hosted by the VPUR
    • Frequent interaction with the Offices of the President, Provost, and other administrators to relay information, seek advice, and engage parties in visits/events/meetings
    • Contacting senior corporate, university and government officials on behalf of the VPUR regarding meetings requiring the coordination of several individual calendars, often in several geographic locations
    • Coordinates all documentation during VPUR led searches for Executive Directors of University Centres/Institutes, working with Chair/Dean offices in facilitating faculty hiring processes involving Department/Schools Advisory Committee on Appointments (DACA) and University Appointments Review Committee (UARC)

    Responsible for daily functioning of VPUR position:

    • Reviews and filters incoming mail, and handles or redirects correspondence as appropriate
    • Brings matters of priority to the attention of the VPUR
    • Takes initiative to draft correspondence letters and memos for the VPUR
    • Acts as a point of contact between the VPUR and Faculty Deans, ensuring the effective flow of information and follow-up
    • Handles word processing of documents, letters, memoranda, reports and presentations
    • Responds to telephone calls and e-mails, and handles faxes and photocopying
    • Coordinates travel arrangements, completes travel claims, and manages the VPUR itinerary including the provision of appropriate documentation
    • Maintains files, correspondence (paper and e-mail), and retrieval system for the VPUR’s office
    • Manages the Office of Research when the VPUR is at meetings off-campus, including keeping the VPUR informed of priorities and urgent matters as they arise and responding as appropriate

    Serves as Secretary as follows:

    • Monthly Directors meetings (includes preparation of the agenda and minute-taking)
    • Monthly Research Leaders Council meetings (includes preparation of the agenda and minutetaking)
    • Other meetings chaired by the VPUR as they arise

    Confidentiality and responsibility:

    • Maintains tact and diplomacy when fielding research - related policy issues for the VPUR
    • Maintains utmost confidentiality, particularly regarding matters pertaining to allegations of research misconduct. This includes maintenance of sensitive documentation
    • Maintains confidential files of Office of Research employees and coordinates annual performance reviews and their submission
    • Liaises with HR in respect of Office of Research personnel matters; acts as delegate for VPUR in discussions with HR
    • Has signing authority on all VPUR accounts as backup to the Director, Operations and Communications
    • High degree of accuracy and accountability is required given the reputational component of Waterloo research that resides with the office of the VPUR


    • University degree, business administration preferred, or equivalent education and experience within a senior executive office
    • 3-5 years of C-level administrative experience
    • Experience in agenda planning and minute recording
    • Experience in drafting senior level reports and correspondence
    • Familiarity with University policies and procedures preferred
    • Knowledge of the faculty hiring process, including international procedures is preferred
    • Proven ability to deal with confidential issues and interact effectively with a wide range of individuals
    • Familiarity with best practices for assessing, developing and implementing new business processes and procedures
    • Ability to encourage cooperation and build rapport among fellow team members
    • Ability to work independently and effectively as a member of the team to achieve department goals
    • Strong writing and proof-reading skills
    • Client service skills with an ability to apply tact and diplomacy when dealing with sensitive issues and a range of personalities, motives and interests
    • Ability to remain highly motivated, resilient, innovative, and collaborative when faced with challenges
    • Organizational skills to manage multiple assignments that are accurate and thorough, sometimes of a complex nature or involving competing priorities


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