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Contracts Research & Industrial Grants Manager

Department: Office of Research, Contracts Research and Industrial Grants (CRAIG) Effective Date:
Grade: USG 11 Reports to: Dir Res Cont/Indust Grants Fin

General Accountability

The Contracts Research and Industrial Grants Manager position reports to the Director, Contracts Research and Industrial Grants/Director, Research Finance.  The position is responsible for the management of contracts and industrial research grants. (legal, administrative and contractual) for assigned faculties..  In addition, the position is responsible for consultation on major granting councils such as, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) programs for University and Industry interaction.  Consultation with Industrial Research Chairs (IRC), Collaborative Research and Development Programs (CRD), the matching Industry funds for the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF), also the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Premiers Research Excellence Awards Program fall within the incumbent’s duties.  (Current faculty assignments are Engineering and Mathematics).

The incumbent requires detailed and extensive knowledge of contract requirements, the academic and research environment between University, Industry and/or Government, sponsor needs and guidelines (government and industry) and university financial, legal and administrative regulations.  In addition, the incumbent must have excellent negotiation and customer relations skills, excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to adapt to the complex and changing University, Industry and Government environments.

Supervisory skill and experience is required as the incumbent supervises and directs Contracts & Industrial Grants Administrator(s).

The incumbent has responsibility and authority to negotiate terms for contracts and grants. The incumbent also has the responsibility of and authority to  commit the University to such contracts and grants.

Nature and Scope

Research administration in general and contract and industrial grant administration in particular is an individual and personal activity for faculty members.  The university encourages extensive participation in research contracts from the smaller, testing-only type to the large, multi-year, multi-sponsor, multi-participant type.  Examples of this can be provided as required.

In addition, there has been substantial growth in the area of industrial grants which normally include other funding partners (NSERC, Ontario Centres of Excellence).

UW is recognized as one of Canada's most research intensive institutions and its involvement in industrial contract research is the largest.  The external parties that provide funding range from small, local companies to large multinationals, to government departments at the federal, provincial and local levels, to foreign governments and foreign companies (not resident in Canada).  Agreements cover a broad spectrum of complexity and require strong knowledge of contractual, legal and administrative matters and the ability to negotiate same.

The incumbents position acts as liaison for internal faculty members from all faculties that are involved in contract and industrial grant research.  Research is often very personal and is a life-long dedication of the faculty member and as a result it is imperative that the Contracts Research & Industrial Grants Manager ensures the research administration structure in place is responsive, adaptive and understanding of the needs of the Principal Investigator while at the same time aware of the needs and requirements of the university and of the sponsor(s).

The incumbent is required to have the skills necessary for successful contract negotiation.  These negotiations involve transactions with presidents and vice-presidents of smaller companies to research directors of larger ones to senior administrative staff of government agencies.  Further, many contacts with company or other sponsor lawyers are required. In addition, involvement with client technology transfer managers are frequent.

Through industrial grant activity, the incumbent is required to interact with several partners, each with a specific agreement for performance.  In particular, the partner will usually be one of the major granting councils, e.g. NSERC through support of a research chair or CRD, etc.

As a result, the incumbent must portray a professional, competent presence to clients, faculty members and all other participants.  UW reputation, performance obligations, liability situations, intellectual property protection, etc. are all matters with which the incumbent is involved and which the incumbent can impact directly.

A summary of the research activity including major sponsors such as; Nortel,

COM DEV, Alcatel, etc.  for the five year period 1997-2001 is attached.


Proper negotiation of the terms and conditions of a contract or industrial grant is essential to the equitable acceptance by both the sponsor and university.  The Contracts Research & Industrial Grants Manager ensures:

Statistical Data

UW’s total funding in 2003-2004 from research grants and contracts was approximately $103 million versus funding of $61.1 million for 1998-1999.  In 2003-2004, the research contracts and industrial grants total (approximate) was $43.1 million.  The Assistant Manager’s  portfolio includes more than

716 awards.  Time consumed by some individual awards can total 100 hours.  Each program within the CRAIG’s portfolio has its own unique application and award agreement requirements. 

A major component of the Assistant Manager’s  responsibilities involves regular in-depth interactions and consultations with researchers in all faculties and with external clients including industries, government agencies, supporting organizations, in order to effectively promote, coordinate, assess, develop, submit, and maintain auditable records of applications to agency programs that fall within the Assistant Manager’s portfolio.  On-going administrative management support is provided throughout the term of the award.

Specific Accountabilities

Review, Advise and Authorize Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality agreements prior to the faculty members discussing new proposals/ideas with potential sponsors.

Consult and assist faculty members in the development and preparation of proposals to potential research sponsors (Industry and/or Government) either in response to specific requests for proposals (RFPs) from the sponsor, unsolicited proposals that may be of interest to a sponsor, and grant programs (NSERC Research Partnership Programs).  This includes but is not limited to budget development and adherence to any submission requirements (format, timing, etc.) of the sponsor.  An in-depth and detailed working knowledge of sponsor guidelines and university research policies is required.

Prepares letters of submission which, when authorized and signed by the incumbent, represents formal university approval for the submission of the proposal(s).

Negotiate, in conjunction with the faculty member and the sponsor, on terms and conditions of a contract or industrial grant if the sponsor wishes to accept the proposal.  This includes: financial and legal obligations (payment terms, University liability); milestones and deliverable dates; publication, licensing and patent rights (this area is Intellectual Property, a very important consideration for the university, the faculty member and any student assistants); student participation requirements (in conjunction with the Dean of Graduate Studies).

 Authorize Proposals and approvals for Contracts/Industrial Grants: The incumbent is a delegated signing authority of the University for both proposal and final agreement of applicable research contracts and industrial grants as set by the signing policy of the University and the Office of Research.

Performance management and problem resolution is carried out during the life of the contract and/or industrial grant. This involves on-going liaison with the faculty member, sponsor, financial administration section and grants section to ensure  the terms, conditions and requirements of the contract or industrial grant are  legally fulfilled to the satisfaction of all parties.

Manage and Delegate the work performed by the Contracts and Industrial Grants Administrator(s).

Special project (financial, forecasting, analysis, etc.) completion as assigned by the Director, Contract Research and Industrial Grants.

Working Conditions