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Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards Program

Department: Graduate Studies Office Effective Date: January 2011
Grade: USG 9 Reports to: Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards

General Accountability

The Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards reports to the Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards for the administration of internal and external scholarship competitions and award programs requiring department, Faculty and/or University evaluation and adjudication. Some of these programs include the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postgraduate Award programs, Governor General’s Academic Gold Medals, Alumni Gold Medals. The Manager co-ordinates University submissions to external agencies and award outcomes to Departments, Faculties and senior administrators for planning graduate student support and recruitment activities.

The Manager is responsible for the administration of graduate bursary and loan programs including the Waterloo Millennium Bursary program, the Birth and Parental Leave program, the Day Care Program, and the Emergency Loan Program. 

The  Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards is responsible for the implementation of University and external policies related to academic qualifications, enrolment, intellectual property, assessment of financial need and funding; counselling graduate studies applicants and students on budget and on application eligibility and processes; reporting of scholarship competition outcomes and statistics to senior administration on a regular basis.

The Manager is the Graduate Studies liaison with external agencies and representative for all internal and external programs under her/his management.  In this capacity, the incumbent counsels undergraduate and graduate students on financial matters and available funding; advises award applicants on eligibility requirements and application content for external competitions to ensure acceptance by external agencies and award approval; advises department and Faculty academic officers and scholarship co-ordinators on funding regulations, procedures and eligibility issues to ensure the highest success rates for University of Waterloo students in external award program competitions and to maximize funding opportunities for internal awards; consults with agencies and the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies or Associate Dean of Graduate Studies on special cases for award and in the preparation of appeals and recommendations.

The incumbent is responsible for the production and updating of procedures which are used throughout the University of Waterloo.  These are complex requirements for the evaluation of individual candidates and for the comparative analysis of unique cohorts rated and nominated by the University for external awards.

Nature and Scope

By 2017, the University of Waterloo plans to double the graduate student population from enrolment reported in 2007. A high level of organization and management of the financial aid and award programs, application, nomination and payment processes are required for the increasing number of financial aid programs which are essential for the implementation of student support policies, integration with student tuition payment processes; nomination, reporting and payment processes for internal units, and to meet our obligations to external award agencies for payment, record and auditing requirements.  All of these factors ultimately impact on our ability to achieve our graduate enrolment and academic program growth goals.

Leadership and collaboration on special projects and in day-to-day activities with academic administrators, staff in the GSO, Information Systems and Technology, and other administrative units are also key to the successful implementation of university-wide systems which support the goals identified in the UW Sixth Decade Report.  Between five and 10 new graduate programs are implemented each year.

The Graduate Studies Office provides academic service support for a number of functions including the administration of program appraisal and approval processes, graduate student recruitment, publications, on-line applicant, student and staff services,  application and admission processing, course enrolment, graduate student financial assistance  and award programs, development and application of academic policies, academic records, theses, graduation, internal and external reporting, workshops and the Annual Graduate Student Research Conference.  The GSO services are utilized by prospective graduate students including UW undergraduate students, external academic administrators and faculty, graduate students, alumni, postdoctoral fellows, UW faculty, UW administrators, and external agencies.

The incumbent’s supervisor is the Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards who reports to the Director, Graduate Academic Services.  The following positions report to the Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards:

The Manager, Graduate Studies Financial Aid and Awards works closely with the Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards, the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies on all matters related to funding strategies, award program development, and academic decisions.  In the absence of the Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards, the Manager consults with the Director, Graduate Academic Services on all matters related to personnel, operational procedures, systems and records.

The Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards works closely with the Graduate Financial Aid and Awards Specialist on matters related to award promotion, Graduate Studies Calendar award information, and maintenance of the Scholarship Information database, scholarship and award information on the Graduate Studies website, and the production and preparation of academic transcripts to support award competitions.

The Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards participates on ad hoc committees and working groups to establish award regulations or procedures, and to identify new strategies for utilizing university administered funds.

In the absence of the Senior Manager, Financial Aid and Awards, the incumbent directs the daily award activities and represents Graduate Studies on University committees and on matters with external agencies.

The incumbent must maintain a productive working relationship with managers and staff in the Graduate Studies Office, Deans and Associate Deans, numerous Faculty and Department based personnel who deal with student financial aid and awards matters, and managers, staff and department heads in other administrative units such as the Office of Research, Co-operative Education and Career Services, Counselling Services, Housing and Residences, the Registrar’s Office, the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office, and Finance.  The incumbent must be able to communicate effectively to resolve problems and reconcile the needs and goals of students, administrators and administrative units with the University’s objectives and constraints of resource availability.

The funding and award data are utilized by the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies and Graduate Studies Office, Faculties, departments and the senior administration for planning purposes and to develop new funding strategies and to track support programs for individual students and groups. 

The incumbent must be current on all external award regulations and University policies and procedures as they affect the activities of the awards area.   The Manager must ensure the accuracy and completeness of all award applications and nominations under her/his authority so that they meet the regulations of the program and external funding agency. On a day-to-day basis, the incumbent is the primary liaison with these external funding agencies to resolve competition eligibility issues related to enrolment, immigration status, degree completion, academic standing, and agency restrictions for concurrent awards and for matching award programs.

The Manager supervises part-time staff employed for scholarship and award related activities.

The Manager participates in recruitment and student life events, providing students with scholarship information.

The Manager will undertake special projects for the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies or the Senior Manager, Graduate Financial Aid and Awards.

Significant Internal Relationships:

Significant External Relationships:

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions