Skip to the content of the web site.

Administrative/Financial Assistant

Date: January 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Assistant Director, Administration
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)


QNC, University of Waterloo


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Key Accountabilities:

1.   Financial Management

Responsible for budgetary forecasting and financial management of research accounts.  Monitors financial resources for the research group (ten individuals), provides direction to faculty regarding appropriate spending and reporting deadlines.  This includes administration and monitoring of accounts following established policies and procedures appropriate to the various granting agencies.  Accounts managed include the US Office of Naval Research grant in the amount of $1 Million as well as additional accounts totaling in excess of $500,000.  Other accounts include agencies such as NSERC, Mitacs, DARPA, US Army Research Office (ARO), European Standards Institute (ETSI), etc.  The incumbent is expected to analyze financial data and be proactive in keeping the research group apprised of situations such as fluctuating exchange rates, and how these will impact budget and spending.

Also responsible for preparation of financial forms and documents following university policies.  This includes preparation of Cover Letters, requests for Interim Research Accounts, and Salary Allocation forms.  Liaises with dean of Science Office, Office of Research and the Finance departments as required.


2.   Development of Grant Proposals and Reports

Responsible for development of grant proposals; acquires and compiles application information, liaises with Office of Research and granting agency personnel.  Develops and maintains electronic versions of research grant application forms.  Initiatives preparation of year end and other progress reports for granting agencies as applicable.  In particular, the $50 Million award from Industry Canada to IQC requires extremely detailed annual reporting, and processes to track this information must be in place.


3.   Scheduling, Travel & Meetings

The incumbent is expected to handle the head researcher’s calendar, and to book meetings, and appointments as appropriate.  In particular she/he is expected to be proactive in identifying the most cost effective travel and accommodation for the research group.  He/she prepares travel and reimbursement claims accordingly and ensures these are in compliance with granting agency regulations.


4.   Website, Wiki and Curriculum Vitae (CV) Management

The incumbent is expected to be proactive in ensuring that both the research group website and wiki are kept up to date.  These sites include current members of the research group with their biographies, publications, and as well recruiting information for prospective students and postdoctoral fellows.  These sites are also an archive of research progress since the group’s inception.  He/she is also responsible for maintaining the head researcher’s common on line CV as well as his master CV.  He/she is expected to be proactive in identifying publications, talks, and other achievements and adding them to the CV.  The incumbent assists with tracking of activities relevant to the annual Faculty Activity Report and ensures these are included.


5.   Monitoring e-mail and taking action as appropriate

The incumbent is expected to peruse the head researcher’s e-mail on a regular basis and to be proactive in taking action as appropriate – to arrange accommodation, office space, computer equipment, meeting rooms, or scheduling meetings/appointments as appropriate.  He/she is expected to be proactive in generating a weekly “To Do” list for the head researcher and maintains priorities (both short and long term) for him.  This includes being proactive in ensuring all parties are kept informed as appropriate.  The incumbent is also expected to note e-mails which impact budget or spending and revise reports accordingly.


6.   Personnel Management

Prepares payroll forms for co-op students, research assistants, and visitors.  Arranges space, computer equipment, keys/fobs, telephone, and computer accounts for these individuals.  Initiates paperwork as appropriate to switch salary accounts.


7.   Course Management

Creates and maintains course web pages for specialized Quantum Information courses.  Uploads lecture notes, slides and presentations from numerous lecturers for student use.  Manages course over-ride forms, and Teaching Assistant (TA) interaction as required, maintains records of student grades and coordinates lecture rooms and hours for lecturers.  Ensures posters and advertising are in place for special lectures to attract a wide audience.


8.   Conference Organization

Responsible for logistics associated with the annual Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) Summer School which runs for one week and attracts 65 graduate students from across the world.  Initiates advertising, handles registration, and also arranges for invited speakers as well as participant travel, housing, meals, events/outings, and end of school banquet.  Handles similar logistics for various additional workshops throughout the year.

Position Requirements


Bachelor’s degree preferred or equivalent education/experience.


Extensive financial/administrative experience, preferably in an academic environment.  Demonstrated knowledge of UW’s policies and procedures with respect to travel, moving and procurement.  Knowledge of research grant administration, extensive knowledge of the policies for various granting agencies.  Demonstrated ability to analyse financial data.  Demonstrated project management skills required with proven ability to work independently and as a team member in a busy environment with competing deadlines and changing priorities.  Must be able to provide proof of ability to be proactive and take initiative.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Advanced Intermediate

Outlook – Advanced


WordPress – Advanced


Access – Advanced


Web Page Editing – Intermediate


SharePoint – Intermediate

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Excellent communication (oral and written), able to communicate effectively, precisely, and professionally with internal and external contacts.  Proactive in anticipating the needs of the head researcher and his research team.  Must be proactive in establishing excellent working relationships with the research group as well as other members of the IQC and UW community.  

Level of Responsibility:

The Administrative/Financial Assistant must possess good judgment, initiative and flexibility to adapt to competing tasks with minimal supervision, working with a high degree of autonomy on matters relating to scheduling, conference organization and travel decisions.

Decision-Making Authority:

The incumbent is expected to make scheduling decisions, advise on funding and spending, and as well develop the weekly ‘To Do” list with short and long term priorities.  He/she organizes the annual QKD conference and make appropriates decisions on venue, catering, staffing, etc.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in moderate fatigue, as a substantial amount of time is spent at a computer with repetitive keyboard movements.

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions.  The role involves dealing with a variety of tasks; frequent interruptions and adjustment of priorities and meeting multiple, conflicting, and/or tight deadlines.