Skip to the content of the web site.

Administrative Coordinator/Advisor for Graduate Studies

Department: Chemistry Effective Date: December 1, 2010
Grade: USG 6 Reports to: Administrative Assistant

General Accountability

The Administrative Coordinator/Student Advisor is accountable to the Graduate Officer and Administrative Assistant in the Department of Chemistry for ensuring the smooth day-to-day, term-to-term and year-to-year operation of the departmental graduate degree program within established policies and procedures, and according to the established calendar of events. This position is also accountable to the Associate Chair, Department of Chemistry for matters pertaining to the administration of TA’s.

Nature and Scope

As a member of the support staff in the Graduate Office, the incumbent is expected to perform the duties of the position within established policies and procedures and according to an established calendar of events, under minimal supervision, but will receive instructions from the Graduate Officer as well as the Administrative Assistant.

 Significant internal and external relationships for this position include:

 Faculty, staff and students are highly aware of the high level of academic and personal stress inherent in graduate studies. Thus the Graduate Studies Administrative Coordinator/Advisor is concerned with the quality of life of students, and is frequently called upon to provide non-academic counselling in addition to providing academic direction to graduate students. 


Statistical Data

The Department of Chemistry has 37 faculty members, 36 staff (regular and contract), 34 Postdoctoral Fellows and 117 graduate students.  The Department of Chemistry focuses its teaching and research activities in the following area: 

Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Biochemistry as well as Atmospheric Sciences, Chemical Physics, Bioanalytical, Nanosciences, Nanotechnology and Quantum Information.  Graduate enrolment is approximately 117 students, approximately 34% of which are MSc and 66% are PhD.  International student enrolment is approximately 34% of the total.  The department has a TA budget of approximately $635,000.00 and hires approximately 120 TA’s per term. 


Specific Accountabilities

To perform administrative duties for the Waterloo campus of the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry; liaison between the Department, the Science Graduate Office, Centre Administrative Assistant, Graduate Studies Office and Graduate Students and the Guelph Campus.

Upon acceptance of UW graduate students by (GWC)2, to assume responsibility for record keeping, organize intake paperwork and provide individual orientations to incoming graduate students. Special attention is given to the International students who are new to Canada.  When a new International student arrives in the department, this first point of contact is usually the Administrative Co-ordinator/Advisor.  It is imperative that the Administrative Co-ordinator/Advisor provide correct information regarding new banking information, process of acquiring Social Insurance Numbers, community and university information, and housing information should the student still require accommodation.  Organize an orientation for all new incoming graduate students.

The Graduate Coordinator/Advisor will also advise existing students with financial matters, and difficult working relationships within the university environment.  The students will be guided into appropriate courses of action for these problem areas.

To provide information and assistance to graduate students with regard to deadlines and issues relating to requests for extensions, course changes, thesis submission, calendar changes, employment authorizations, scholarship and convocation requirements in accordance with University policies and procedures as they progress through their individual programs. Attention being paid to the unique and individual requirements of the Nanotechnology/Chemistry Program as well as the Quantum Information Program.

To set up and maintain confidential files that contain academic records, progress reports and TA evaluations, for approximately 117 current graduate students, and all past graduate students.  To maintain e-mail and contact listing for chemistry graduate students.

To maintain student records and files for student enrolled in the MSc and PhD programs, tracking students’ courses and marks, noting any milestones, extensions, exemptions, and special conditions as they progress through the program.  Generate and review grade reports, bringing problem cases to the attention of the Graduate Officer.  To process course grades and grade revisions on-line via Quest.

Generate reports (e.g. report for extension of program time limits) as well as monitor and review all reports generated by the GSO for problems, omissions, and accuracy.  Report discrepancies for action and generate the necessary paperwork.

To respond to telephone and in-person enquiries pertaining to the program and to provide effective liaison between the department and other University departments, external granting agencies (e.g. NSERC, NRC, CIHR, OGS), government agencies and industry.

To serve as departmental scholarship coordinator for various awards including NSERC, OGS, OGSST, Pearson Medal and Alumni Gold Medal award by providing grade summaries, academic rankings, student information and monitoring dates and deadlines with ability to maintain attention to detail during large data collection projects as well as review and report of each application. A solid understanding of the rules and regulations of the scholarship program is required.

To provide grade summaries, academic rankings and maintain budgetary information for the Graduate Officer for awarding of Scholarship funds.  To administer and maintain a budget for various Department of Chemistry Graduate Scholarships, determining eligibility, and assignment. 

To administer all other non-monetary scholarships; application process, ranking, awards for Dean of Science, Research etc.

To provide student/supervisor counselling concerning graduate regulations, procedures, deadlines, bursary funds, campus services. 

To monitor registration of on- and off-campus students and to provide advice and assistance concerning, for example, degree requirements, university policies, problem registrations, fee statements and contract letters.

To coordinate and maintain Chemistry Graduate Student Orientation Booklet.

To liaise with the senior demonstrators and Graduate Officer with respect to the coordination, selection, and scheduling of teaching assistants for incoming and current graduate, undergraduate and other applications.  To determine student eligibility for Teaching Assistantships. To coordinate, produce and maintain the Teaching Assistantship Orientation Manual.

To communicate preliminary Teaching Assistantship assignments to graduate students. To collect and forward any necessary changes in Teaching Assistantship assignments to the graduate officer. To maintain the budget and files for Teaching Assistants which include graduate, undergraduate and other teaching assistants for assignments, salaries and budgets. 

To coordinate, prepare and maintain contracts and payroll for graduate students on a term by term basis via the Student Accounts database.  Liaison with Human Resources to ensure that students are paid in a timely manner.  Inform students about University payroll procedures and processes. Nominate for SGEA, UW and other university scholarships.

To consult with faculty members and students on the Waterloo and Guelph Campus to arrange graduate student committee meetings, M.Sc. and Ph.D. seminar presentations (Chem 794/Chem 795), thesis proposals and M.Sc. and Ph.D. thesis defences.

To coordinate and catalogue Chemistry department thesis collection.

To maintain the graduate section of the Chemistry website.        

Point person for video link rooms for Chemistry graduate students and  professors on the Waterloo and Guelph campuses.  If problems are encountered, initial assessment/trouble shooting is carried out to see if they can be successfully resolved before Science Computing is called into action.  Liaison with Science Computing personnel.

To coordinate transportation for graduate students to and from courses held at Guelph campus and to conferences held in the region as well as to coordinate bookings and prepare billings for Guelph-Waterloo Centre van.

To provide backup in the absence of other administrative staff, and perform other duties as assigned from time to time.


Working Conditions