University of Waterloo

Graduate and Research Studies Coordinator and Student Advisor

Requisition ID 2021-6857
Job Category
Student Services
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$48,376 - $60,471


The Graduate and Research Studies Coordinator/Student Advisor (GRCSA) reports to the Admissions and Program Manager and provides administrative support to the Graduate and Research Officers and the Associate Director – Research in managing the administration of the graduate program and supports the research activities of students and faculty in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Significant aspects of the position include academic and administrative management of the MSc, PhD and the accelerated OD/MSc degree program and processes, oversight of academic counselling and advising, and being the primary point of contact for prospective and current students in the graduate program.


There is a qualified internal within the role.


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.  This position is responsible for tracking all activities for the program; informing the Graduate Officers of upcoming tasks and deadlines, booking meetings to make sure all tasks are completed and making sure all deadlines are met

  • 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 student.  Informs student’s, supervisors and Graduate Officers when milestones or committee meetings have not been met

  • 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 and include incoming student information so they will be included in the Teaching Assignment 

  • 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


Graduate Student Support and Advising

  • The GRCSA serves as the first point of contact for all prospective and current graduate students

  • Provide confidential advising to students of their individual course and program/ goals during the academic cycle (guidelines, course requirements, milestones, etc.) in accordance with university policies and procedures. Responses can be by telephone, in-person, and in writing; sensitive to the needs of a wide client base including internal/external transfer students, international students, and students registered with AccessAbility

  • Provide information on transition, academic discipline, academic progress, petitions and escalations for registered students

  • Primary contact for students in crisis. Provides immediate direction to students in a sensitive and confidential manner (academic concerns or personal matters). Connects students with appropriate campus resources and support (Ex. Counselling Services, UW Campus Police, Here 24/7, Good2Talk, etc.)

  • Advises students on scholarship opportunities, provides updates and disseminates information to students with respect to their eligibility, advises students on procedures and deadlines for applying to scholarship competitions

  • Manages enrolment permissions, graduate course scheduling, course overrides, and coordinates the receipt, review and submission of graduate course grades in accordance with university deadlines

  • Provides guidance and oversees administrative process for scheduling of thesis defenses and ensures follow up with students through to submission of application to graduate

  • Assists in the resolution of highly sensitive matters brought forth to the Graduate Officers as needed


Research Support

  • 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

  • Administer the yearly NSERC U/G Scholarships competition NSERC URSA; process, keep Graduate Officers apprised and book necessary meetings, ranking, payroll

  • 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, keep Graduate Officers apprised and book necessary meetings to rank applicants, 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 

  • Process nominations 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.

  • 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


Event planning

  • The GRCSA is responsible for the organization of the School of Optometry and Vision Science's two awards ceremonies. This requires 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 be responsible for the organization and administration of the Graduate Studies conference, held in April each year

  • 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.  This includes travel, accommodation, catering and advertising


  • University degree or equivalent post-secondary education and/or equivalent education and experience in an academic environment
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in an academic environment demonstrating solid knowledge of UW policies and procedures as they apply to recruitment, admissions and graduate studies
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills

  • Demonstrated problem solving and effective time management skills

  • Independent judgement in time management, task prioritization and decision-making

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

  • Excellent human relations skills; proven ability to guide students, foster constructive team relationships, and to work effectively with faculty, staff and students

  • Intermediate experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Quest, Learn

  • Experience with OnBase is an asset

  • Occasional travel off campus to participate in recruitment activities may be required

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit/Inuk, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
Share on your newsfeed