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Graduate Office Assistant

Department: Department of Biology Effective Date: December, 2009


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Administrative Officer

General Accountability

This position reports to the Administrative Officer, the Administrative Co-ordinator for Graduate Studies and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.

Nature and Scope

As a member of the support staff in the Department of Biology, the incumbent is expected to perform the duties of the position within established polices and procedures pertaining to graduate studies and according to an established calendar of events, under minimal supervision, but will receive instructions and guidance from the Administrative Officer and/or the Co-ordinator for Graduate Studies. This position is full time (35 hrs/week) and is contingent upon funding.


Significant internal and external relationships for this position include:


Statistical Data

The Department of Biology has 40 faculty members, 4 instructors, 12 undergraduate officers, 2 Associate Chairs, 3 CRC Chairs and 27 postdoctoral fellows/research associates. The Department offers programs in Honours Biology, Honours Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, and Biomedical Sciences. There are 14 technical support staff and 7 administrative support staff.  The Department teaches courses to approximately 6500 undergraduate students each term and graduate enrolment is approximately 150 students.  The departmental operating budget is approximately six million dollars and total research income exceeds five million dollars.

Specific Accountabilities

Responsible for answering graduate application inquiries via email. Re-directs non-standard questions to the Graduate Co-ordinator.

Responsible for monitoring onBase applications (GAP) and ensuring applicant materials are complete before processing by Co-ordinator.

Responsible for set up of new student files and updating graduate student information in the database.

Responsible for setting up all Biology graduate meetings for MSc and PhD students. This involves room and equipment bookings, paperwork and announcements as well as securing Chairs and/or delegates as required.


Responsible for maintaining Chairs/Delegates database.

Responsible for processing the receipt of all graduate theses, distribution and filing in the Gleave Library. Maintain up to date records of theses collection and track borrowing and returning of copies.


Responsible for ensuring that students have provided Graphics with a hard copy of their thesis for copying and binding. Distribute bound copies.

Responsible for tracking paperwork sent for signing to ensure return, processing and integrity of records.

Assist in the preparation of casual pay requests.

Aid in the organization or graduate student orientation and the TA workshop. Prepare packages for new students and workshop attendees.

Assist with photocopying, filing and responsible for graduate student mail distribution.


Assist in preparing and copying final NSERC and OGS submissions.

Assist the Graduate Co-ordinator in the daily operations of the graduate office.


Special events co-ordinator for graduate events etc ; catering, room bookings etc.


Secondary Responsibilities


  1. Assist the Undergraduate Co-ordinator with administering course evaluations to all Biology Undergraduate courses.
  2.  Assist the Undergraduate Co-ordinator with preparing, sorting and summarizing TA evaluations.

Working Conditions