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Research Finance Coordinator

Date: February 9, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): Manager Research Resources
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering


Main Campus


3 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

 The Research Finance Coordinator oversees post-award administration of sponsored research funds. The Coordinator provides financial administrative support and monitors the use of research funds (internal and/or external), which include but are not limited to any federal, provincial, municipal, Institutional, corporation/business, association/society, foundation, or any other agency/organization. The grants/contracts can include but are not limited to internal awards, standard grants (e.g. Tri-council e.g. SSHRC/NSERC/CIHR), and non-standard sponsored research funds whose guidelines/requirements are unique to each research project (e.g. CFI, CIDA, NCEs, OCEs, etc.) and are often complex.

The Coordinator is responsible for the financial review of research transactions to ensure compliance with granting agency guidelines or sponsor regulations, research governance and University policies.  Review of these research transactions requires extensive knowledge of the various funding agency guidelines combined with understanding of applicable University policies and processes.  The incumbent ensures that granting agency eligibility, compliance rules and the applicable University policies are followed for the individual research transactions before they are approved and processed.

Key Accountabilities:









Position Requirements


Post-secondary accounting related diploma or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Accounting designation an asset.


3 years related experience.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Advanced Basic

PeopleSoft Financial System or equivalent (advanced)

Databases – Intermediate

FileMaker Pro, Sharepoint

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Type: Principal Investigators (and/or designates).
Purpose: Obtain/provide and/or clarify information with Principal Investigators. This can involve instructing, enlisting the cooperation and advising Principal Investigators on University and/or granting agency policies and procedures. Communicate detailed financial information.
Type: Granting Agencies, Auditors.
Purpose: Obtain and/or clarify additional information with granting agencies on guidelines and/or requirements. Convey detailed financial information.
Type: Office of Research, Centre Coordinators, Other Universities.
Purpose: Obtain/provide and/or clarify additional information on University and/or granting agency policies and procedures, guidelines and/or requirements. Obtain/provide and/or clarify information on grants/contracts for/from Faculties or Centres when needed. Interact with Principal Investigators and/or departments of other universities (e.g. Office of Research Services, Research Accounting) to administer sub-agreement requirements.

Type: Faculty Financial Officer/Analyst, Finance or Payroll Department.
Purpose: Obtain/provide and/or clarify financial information or assistance.
Type: Research/administrative personnel, students
Purpose: Act as a resource to University staff in research compliance and eligibility matters by providing effective advice, information and assistance to a wide range of customers (University departments, research administrators, research personnel and project holders) regarding Granting Agency rules and regulations, University policies, procedures and financial systems and Research Accounting processes for charging expenses to research projects.

Level of Responsibility:

Non-compliance with contractual terms and /or Agency guidelines could result in the return of agency funds, loss of future funds, and /or inability to collect funds owed to the University.  Incorrect interpretation of Agency and University policy provided to Faculty can result in non-compliance with agency terms on the use of funds.  Incorrect analysis, and financial reporting or invoicing to the contract/granting agencies will provide misrepresentation on use of funds, and loss of University credibility in administration of research funds.  A high degree of accuracy, a thorough understanding of policies and practices, the ability to anticipate, investigate and resolve problems, and the ability to meet conflicting demands are expected. Failure to do so may result in overpayments, duplicate payments, payroll delays, deficits or inappropriate charges which must be covered using department funds.

Decision-Making Authority:

Establishes own priorities in accomplishing job duties, and receives instructions only on unusual problems. As part of the administration of grants/contracts, she/he will identify issues, seek to resolve if possible and/or escalate to Manager for resolution.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

The job is not routine and entails exercise of judgment and knowledge of University, granting agency, and accounting policies and procedures. This position handles sensitive materials and 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. The incumbent works in an environment where there is frequent procedural change.