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Communications Coordinator

Department: Centre for Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry Effective Date: November 16, 2005


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Research Manager and Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research

General Accountability

This position is accountable to the Research Manager and the Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR).  The incumbent will be responsible for writing and editing scientific, educational, promotional and administrative material, based on CCLR research studies and related activities.


The Communications Coordinator will work in a consultative capacity with all areas of the organization. The position is broadly considered part of the administrative support team of the CCLR, which includes clerical staff, ophthalmic assistants and data management staff. However, as described above, the position will have a different reporting structure, as the position is considered a more “technical” position, with a role that transcends both administration and research. The reporting structure will be identical to that of the CCLR’s Software Engineer, who also works in a consultative role.

Nature and Scope

The Centre for Contact Lens Research, located at the School of Optometry, works in partnership with the contact lens industry, providing research support in the development of contact lenses and related products.  This research involves both clinical studies and basic research relating to the eye’s response to contact lens wear. 


The incumbent will be responsible for developing educational, technical, promotional and administrative material in addition to providing editorial support for research documents. 


The incumbent will be responsible for taking the lead in developing, writing and editing administrative reports (including the annual report, five year report, and others as required) and promotional material (including press releases, brochures, and web development and maintenance).  The incumbent will also be responsible for developing informational material related to educational projects that the CCLR is involved with, including informational newsletters for local practitioners and technical material designed to explain health information to the general public.  As well, the CCLR collaborates with other organizations and industry partners on a number of educational projects with an international focus, including “The Official Site for Silicone Hydrogels” and “Reference Sight”, two educational websites for eye care professionals, researchers, educators and students.  The incumbent will also be responsible for developing promotional and educational material for these projects.


The incumbent will be required to coordinate grant submissions to Federal Granting Agencies from the CCLR, which will require an ability to comprehend the science involved in the grant application, in addition to assisting with putting together a realistic budget for the application.


Research documents, draft publications, and presentations produced by CCLR researchers will be reviewed for clarity as needed by the Communications Coordinator. This will include proof-reading and, where necessary, copy and/or substantive editing.  The incumbent will also assist with the development of written materials, as needed, providing guidance in terms of document structure and flow.  This editorial guidance will focus only on clarity of expression and not the accuracy of scientific details and/or design.  This aspect of the position will also encompass research documents required by the Office of Research Ethics (ORE), including Informed Consent Letters, among other documents.  The incumbent will be responsible for coordinating the submission of these documents, tracking ORE requirements from study to study, editing documents and providing researchers with guidance to ensure that the requirements are met as efficiently as possible.


The CCLR takes on a number of new research projects each year; the incumbent will need to take the initiative to obtain a working understanding of research questions, methods and instruments, and results.  This will involve soliciting input and feedback from CCLR researchers, regularly reading research and professional articles in the field, attending research-related meetings, and attending lectures where possible.  A second challenge will entail translating this information into lay and/or professional language for the purpose of education and promotion.  Responsibility for editing research documents and coordinating submissions for ethics clearance for research studies will entail a thorough knowledge and tracking of feedback from the Office of Research ethics.

Statistical Data

The position of Communications Coordinator is established to work in a consultative capacity with all levels of the CCLR, providing editorial guidance where needed, gathering information from administrative and research staff, and working independently to meet the needs of the Centre.  This support currently extends to a staff of 1 director, 1 research manager, 2 associate directors, 10 research personnel, 11 administrative personnel, 6 graduate students and numerous undergraduate students.  In addition to internal University of Waterloo associates, the CCLR is currently associated with 10 of the leading contact lens companies as well as other academic institutions involved in contact lens research. It has a turnover in excess of $2.5 million.

Specific Accountabilities

1. Writing:

(i) Educational, technical and informational documents and articles, including articles and information packages.

(ii) Promotional and public relations material relating directly to the CCLR as well as other international projects on which the centre collaborates.  This includes news releases, articles, brochures, and newsletters.

(iii) Administrative documents, including annual and five-year reports and other documents as required.

(iii) Grant applications seeking research funding from government and non-government agencies.


2. Web design, content and maintenance.


3. Proofreading, copy editing and/or substantive editing:

(i) Research documents, including protocols, reports and correspondence with the Office of Research Ethics.

(ii) Publications, presentations (posters and PowerPoint presentations) as requested.

(iii) Other documents as required or requested.

Working Conditions