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Research Resource Manager

Date: May, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Administrative Officer
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Research Financial Coordinators (2)
Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering

Location:

Main Campus

Grade:

USG 9
35 hr/wk


Primary Purpose

The Research Resource Manager ensures effective financial management and control is maintained in research budgets, and monitors compliance to University and Finance policies and procedures to mitigate financial risk exposures to the department.  S/he provides expert advice and is responsible for ensuring finances are being managed appropriately within the department. The incumbent maintains financial compliance standards, and facilitates collaborative and productive working relationships within the department, across the campus, and with various external stakeholders.

 

The Manager also facilitates and supports applications for funding and award nominations. Specifically s/he is responsible for assembling and coordinating nomination files for a variety of external and internal awards and applications for faculty researchers.      

Key Accountabilities:

1.

Research Finance and Compliance:

  • Facilitate transition of successful research awards to ensure suitable post- award services;
  • Provide advice regarding eligibility, management and control of research funds;
  • Liaise with Office of Research to ensure consistency of information to researchers;
  • Ensure financial practices, reporting, and reviews are effectively developed and managed in complex multi-partner funding arrangements;
  • Provide direction and guidance to faculty members in applying for matching grants and/or additional funding opportunities;
  • Works in partnership with Research Finance on audit and reporting issues related to research, contracts, and grants;
  • Represents the  department in meetings with Research Finance, or where other funding is under discussion, development or review;
  • Co-ordinate with the Office of Research, Finance, and/or the Faculty of Engineering for all activities involving expenditures and commitments for research grants and projects;
  • Track project deadlines for reporting, and in conjunction with principle investigators, ensure that reporting deadlines are met;
  • Investigate and follow up on anomalies, irregularities, non-compliance, and report to Chair;
  • Ensure that all research funds are spent appropriately and in accordance with funding agency guidelines and conform to established University and grantor eligibility and compliance standards;
  • Monitor project budgets to identify overspending and report any concerns or deficits to the grant/contract holder and Department Chair;
  • Work with researchers and the Office of Research to prepare budget amendments or transfers to resolve deficits;
  • Ensure commitments for matching funds are secured;
  • Review budgets with primary investigators and make recommendations relating to spending before project end dates;
  • Convey detailed financial information as required by government agencies and auditors;
  • Ensure proper record keeping and documentation retention practices to facilitate audits by granting agencies and internal audit and responds to on-demand audits both external and internal.

2. 

Staff Management

  • Co-ordinate staff workload to ensure all sponsor and researcher obligations and deadlines are met in a timely manner and that all ECE research expenses are reviewed and monthly account statements are reconciled;
  • Responsible for managing work flow and implementing improvements to processes and internal controls to meet established standards;
  • Provide advice, training and direction on the overall financial processes related to research finance, compliance and eligibility review of research expenditures;
  • In conjunction with the Administrative Officer, participates in the hiring of support staff;
  • Perform on-going mentoring & annual performance appraisal of staff, identifying areas for further development and training opportunities;
  • Conduct assessment of operating processes and implement service quality improvements for relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff capability and performance.

3. 

Communications and Nominations

  • Coordinates, assists in the preparation and reviews complete nomination dossiers for external and internal awards, honours, fellowships, memberships, medals and other forms of recognition;
  • Solicits reference letters from external sources, prepares drafts of nomination letters and works with the nomination team to ensure the highest quality of nominations by coordinating the requests and collection of reference letters, nomination letters, expert reviews and other necessary materials for the files;
  • Assembles, edits, formats, and completes nomination forms, letters and relevant material as required. 
  • Enhance ECE’s reputation and image by leading Communications committee;
  • Writes and edits various communications materials (e.g. newsletters) that positions the department as an innovative, dynamic environment;
  • Identify and develop communication systems and processes that support the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders and audiences, both internal and external;
  • Develop website content, including news stories and integrated connections to multimedia and social networking opportunities;
  • Coordinate the development and delivery of internal and external communication strategy within the department operational plan.

4. 

Research Proposal Facilitation

  • Communicate funding opportunities to researchers that suit their needs e.g. equipment grants, etc.
  • Maintain knowledge of ECE research, activities and resources to match them to the needs of prospective partners;
  • Provide support for the development of proposal and budgets for external and internal funding applications;
  • Provide guidance to researchers in the development of budgets for grants and other funding applications, applying detailed knowledge of the agency’s or funder’s financial requirements;
  • Work collaboratively with the grant holder/potential Chair holder/principal investigator,  Department Chair, Associate Dean, and Office of Research regarding departmental or Faculty support;
  • Review grant applications prior to submission for appropriate budget, including employment and related costs are addressed, to mitigate any associated financial risks before submitting to the Chair for approval;
  • Act as a liaison between the faculty member, the Engineering Research Office, and the Office of Research regarding contract and research grant proposals.

5. 

Other

  • Member of the senior staff operations committee giving planning, vision, and issue resolution;
  • Recommend new processes to enhance efficiency, streamline procedures, and provide better service to researchers;
  • Participate on Departmental Health & Safety Committee to ensure lab safety procedures are followed;
  • Provide backup for the Administrative Officer as required;
  • Special projects analysis, reporting, and other duties as required by the Chair and/or the Administrative Officer.

Position Requirements

Education:

University degree, preferably in Accounting or Business, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience:

Three years relevant experience, preferably in an academic environment.
Several years supervisory experience or experience managing teams.

Technical:

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

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with the Chair, Administrative Officer, faculty, staff, students, Associate Dean, Finance, Office of Research, Human Resources, Payroll, and other university departments to obtain, clarify and discuss information to resolve issues. Ensures faculty members are provided with appropriate information pertaining to their research funds e.g. updates to eligibility requirements, changes to guidelines etc. Interprets funding agency guidelines and University policies or procedures to ensure that the use of research funds are in compliance. Supports internal audits into suspected irregularities.
Externally, this position will have significant contact with auditors, and c
ommunicates with internal and external funding agencies for clarification, feedback and specific questions to resolve issues.

Communication skills must be geared to both financial and non-financial individuals.       

Level of Responsibility:

Identifies and communicates risk so that the department’s interests are well represented and maintained. Non-compliance with sponsor contractual terms and/or granting agency guidelines could result in the return of agency funds, loss of future grants, and/or ability to collect funds owed to the University. Incorrect interpretation of sponsor or University policy can result in on-compliance with terms on the use of funds. Incorrect analysis and financial reporting to the contract/agency will provide misrepresentation on use of funds, and loss of department/Faculty/University credibility in administration of research funds. This job is also responsible for staff supervision, including assessing work performance and taking corrective action.

Decision-Making Authority:

The job is not routine and entails exercise of judgement in situations in which interpretation is required. This position has significant oversight responsibility for ensuring the department’s research funds are being managed appropriately and that research financial accounts are in compliance and that all policies, procedures, guidelines and regulations are being followed.  The incumbent must be able to make quick, rational decisions to resolve issues or problems that arise, and consult with the Chair as necessary. Provide problem resolution on financial matters, some of which may be unique and/or complex.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This position deals with complex situations. It requires mental concentration and the incumbent must listen carefully to client concerns or circumstances and read into and between the lines of emails or correspondence to identify issues or problems daily.

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to disagreeable or uncomfortable situations. Deals with distressed clients and 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 responds to situations where there is a lot of pressure to find a solution quickly.