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Research Finance Manager

Date: July, 2012
Reports to (Job Title): Research Financial Analyst
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Location: Main Campu

USG 12

35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Research Finance Manager (RFM) is one of three RFMs in the Research Finance reporting team who leads, manages and coaches a team of Research Financial Analysts (RFAs).  Each RFM has management responsibility for all external and internal financial research reporting across a number of faculties.   Each RFM is the designated financial expert on a range of external research sponsor programs and as such is the primary liaison between those sponsors and the university.  Each RFM also has a working knowledge of all other external research sponsor programs and other financial related research activities (e.g. indirect costs program, intellectual property distributions etc.).

Key Accountabilities:

1.Designated financial expert for a range of external research sponsor programs


2.Leads, manages and coaches a team of Research Financial Analysts


3.Key management responsibility for external and internal financial research reporting across a number of faculties.


4.As a key member of the Research Finance team management


5.Responsible for providing financial management expertise to a range of Office of Research activities

Position Requirements




MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Expert Average Average Average

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Interpersonal Skills:

The RFM must build effective and professional working relationships with external and internal stakeholders. She/he must possess maturity and excellent communication, management and organizational skills in order to liaise effectively with client groups. As part of the management team in Research Finance, the RFM must have the ability to share information in a collaborative manner, effectively interact with coworkers, respond to change, be creative and recommend and help drive improvements to help the department and University achieve strategic goals.

The RFM must have a thorough understanding of the business needs of the various academic units in order to provide appropriate advice and exercise sound judgment on research finance issues.

Level of Responsibility:


The RFM provides expert advice on their portfolio of external research sponsors to the university research community including faculty members, research administrative staff and faculty financial officers


Problem solving:

The RFM is responsible for the financial administration and management of research projects for many different sponsors, all with varying reporting requirements, This requires advanced accounting and problem solving skills to deal with complex financial reporting, analyze the financial impact of contract clauses and recommend innovative solutions for managing research accounts which are both acceptable to researchers and within sponsor guidelines.  The RFM must have a detailed knowledge of financial management, control and audit and familiarity with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules in regard to research matters.  The RFM must be familiar with intellectual property guidelines as they relate to the payment of royalties and author shares.


The RFM is responsible for identifying and implementing reporting improvement possibilities for research funds to ensure that timely and accurate reporting is provided to stakeholders.


Financial Accountability:

The RFM signs off on the external research reports that they are the designated expert for (e.g. tri-agency, CFI, OCE etc.) as well as on sub grants (≤ $100,000) from these accounts.   The RFM is also authorized to approve consulting payments on research accounts on behalf of Research Finance.


Internal and External Contacts:


The RFM exchanges information with colleagues including other RFMs, pre-award officers in the Office of Research, Faculty Financial Officers, Finance, Procurement, Graduate Studies, HR to leverage skills and ensure support for and assistance with implementing change required to improve the effective administration and management of research funds.

The RFM discusses information with faculty chairs and associate deans and deans, when complex issues relating to research accounts such as major deficit resolutions or issues impacting on completion of research projects (e.g. long term disability of PIs, bankruptcy of industry sponsors etc.) require resolution at a strategic level.  The RFM exchanges information with researchers and departmental administrative personnel to provide advice and support on the effective management of research accounts and to promote awareness of best practices and research sponsor guidelines.  There will be occasion to interact with senior university administrators on policy and planning committees and councils



The RFM is the key university financial contact for external research sponsors (e.g. federal and provincial government agencies, US government agencies, industry sponsors, international sponsors etc.) in their portfolio to obtain, clarify and discuss information as well as the main point of contact for auditing teams from these sponsors.  The RFM also interacts with the university external and internal auditors on issues pertaining to their research sponsors or research finance procedures. The RFM interacts with professional associations such as CAURA (Canadian Association of University Research Administrators University) for exchange of information and training and development opportunities.  The RFM also interacts with colleagues in research and finance offices in other institutions across Canada for exchange of information, co-ordination of collaborative financial reporting and sharing of best practices.


Decision-Making Authority:

The RFM is a key decision - maker on the implementation of sponsor guidelines for their portfolio of sponsors and eligibility of expenses related to these sponsors.   As part of the Research Finance management team, the RFM makes decisions on the processes and practices both within Research Finance and across campus relating to the effective administration and management of research funds.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in moderate fatigue, strain or risk of injury as a substantial amount of time (especially during year end reporting) is spent sitting at a computer with repetitive keyboard movements.

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions.  There may be ambiguity of situations and shortcomings in data, andsome internal clients may be demanding, may request breaking policy, and some situations may require escalation.  This role involves irregular and/or high volumes and multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one’s control (e.g. multiple stakeholder demands), and constant interruptions (e.g. phone, e-mail).