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Research Appointment Coordinator

Date: May, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Administrative Officer
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) has a significant amount of research activity and its faculty collaborate with international researchers which generates a large number of diverse research related appointments. The core responsibility of this position is the coordination of appointments and payroll in adherence with University policies and employment criteria. The Research Appointment Coordinator (Coordinator) works closely with ECE faculty members to provide specialized human resources support to coordinate research sponsored or visiting appointments, and contract research staff, and payroll functions for these appointments.   ECE processes more than 400 research sponsored appointments yearly, including postdoctoral fellows, research associates, visiting scholars or scientists, research assistants, temporary employment contracts, co-op work placements, and visiting appointments.  Visiting appointments include professors on sabbatical leave and research personnel from business and industry who come to the University for a year or two. Due to the high volume of international researchers the Coordinator facilitates the hosting of academic visitors to the department. This position works closely with UW’s Immigration Specialist for upholding compliance with all immigration requirements.

Key Accountabilities:


Research Sponsored Appointments:

  • Reviews requests for research funded appointments and ensures compliance with relevant policies and guidelines concerning academic appointments and processes;
  • Identifies inconsistencies or potential problems and collaborates with faculty to resolves issues around non-faculty and research sponsored appointments;
  • Facilitates the invitation process for short-term visitors e.g. guest speakers, business visitors;
  • Ensures proposed salaries meet Faculty and/or University guidelines;
  • Manages verifications of academic credentials, immigration documents, medical insurance, etc.
  • Works with UW’s Immigration Specialist to ensure compliance with CIC immigration regulations as they relate to study permits, work permits, visas to reduce potential liability and risk to the department, Faculty and University;
  • Informs principal investigators and staff of immigration documents required for appointments of non-Canadians/Permanent Residents in consultation with UW’s Immigration Specialist;
  • Verifies validity of issued immigration documents, e.g. work permits and Social Insurance Numbers, to ensure that appointees are legally entitled to start work at UW;
  • Advises foreign workers of university requirements for UHIP or health insurance coverage;
  • Liaise with the Research Financial Coordinators to ensure availability and eligibility of funding sources for each appointment;
  • Processes frequent changes to appointments and renewals upon request;
  • Compiles monthly report on upcoming terminations and completes Termination Notices to prevent salary overpayments;
  • Maintains ECE database on all non-faculty and visiting appointments, including a tracking system to ensure that non-Canadian/Permanent Resident employees are legally authorized to work in ECE;
  • Liaises with Payroll and the Dean’s Office to ensure records are current regarding foreign workers and immigration status related data;
  • Notifies contractual employees and visiting academics of requirement to provide up-to-date work authorizations to continue employment or renew appointments;
  • Confirms temporary foreign worker status and/or applicable LMIA exemptions under Canadian immigration laws or international agreements that expire during the appointment period;
  • Keeps up to date with current employment legislation.


Payroll Transactions:

  • Reviews proposed salaries and ensures that compensation meets minimum wage standards or recommended salary rates for students paid from research grants;
  • Corroborates casual payroll requests, authorization and confirms funding to support payments;
  • Investigates and facilitates resolution of payroll issues and discrepancies;
  • Collaborates with principal investigators to ensure resolution of procedure-related problems;
  • Serves as a liaison between Payroll and Human Resources and principal researchers;
  • Compares CECA data against processed student contracts and follows up on outstanding documentation.


Provide back-up support in the Facilities Coordinator’s absence:

  • Issues key permits, accept returned keys, and authorize the refund of key deposits;
  • Works with Senior Associate Chair on key and room changes:
  • Maintains database of key holders.


Other Duties:

  • Provide backup support to Assistant to Chair as required;
  • Attends all training on new systems and procedures, and meetings as required;
  • Develops and maintains the procedure manual for this position;
  • Assists with compliance audits as required;
  • Assist with special projects and other duties as assigned by the Administrative Officer.

Position Requirements


Community College Diploma or equivalent education and experience


Minimum of three years of experience in an academic office environment


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate Intermediate FileMaker-Pro: Intermediate
Outlook: Intermediate
Sharepoint: Intermediate

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with administrative staff, graduate students, and faculty members within the department and Dean’s office, as well as university support departments e.g. Payroll, Human Resources and Secretariat.  S/he serves as a resource with respect to the appointment/hiring process and explains established policies and procedures.

Externally, this position is the first-point-of-contact for any new research funded hires, visiting academics, and prospective research employees.

Level of Responsibility:

The incumbent works independently under minimal supervision to support the goal of advancing the department’s research agenda.  If documents are not prepared in a timely manner it may delay or negatively impact research collaboration or cause employee hardship.

Ensures contracts (research assistants, co-op placements, etc.) are processed in a timely manner since delays or errors could result in students or staff receiving incorrect or late payments;

Decision-Making Authority:

The impact and scope of these duties, along with regulatory compliance issues, requires the use of discretion and judgement.  The job requires the regular exercise of independent action within defined policy parameters.  Provides informed advice and instruction to clients. Frequently consults with the Administrative Officer and the UW Immigration Specialist on complex issues.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Must possess mental fortitude and patience in cross-cultural and inter-personal relations with an international clientele. Must listen carefully to client concerns or circumstances and read into and between the lines of emails or correspondence to identify the issue/problem daily.

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to disagreeable or uncomfortable situations including dealing with distressed clients.  Occasionally provides information/ explanation that may not be well received by the recipient.  There may be ambiguity of situations and shortcomings in data, and some internal clients may be demanding, may request breaking policy, and some situations may require escalation.  This role involves irregular and/or high volumes and multiple, tight time pressures, and frequent interruptions.  Responds to situations where there is a lot of pressure to find a solution quickly. The incumbent works in an environment where there is frequent process/procedural change and inconsistencies.