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Senior Manager, Funding Agencies & Non-profit Sponsors

Date: December, 2016
Reports to (Job Title):

Associate Director, Funding & Non-profit Sponsors (FANS)

Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Occasional co-op student
Department: Office of Research


Main Campus


USG 12
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

This position is responsible for the review, assessment and submission of applications for research funding and the administration of grants and agreements. The incumbent also has administrative responsibility for personnel awards at the faculty / postdoctoral level for social sciences and humanities funding agencies. Execution of responsibilities associated with the position requires regular interaction with faculty members preparing applications for research funding, and with funding agency personnel. It requires an in-depth understanding of funding agency policies and guidelines, reviewing and editing of grant and contract applications for clarity and impact, assurance of compliance with federal regulations and funding agency policies and guidelines, and administrative monitoring of awards. Activity portfolio for this position includes Non-profit sponsors and training programs.

Key Accountabilities:


The incumbent is responsible for pre- and post-award activities for grants and contracts from Arts-related research sponsors, including:

  • all SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) programs;
  • Canada Council for the Arts;
  • NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities (USA);
  • Not-For-Profit/Private Research Foundations for the social sciences and humanities within and outside of Canada.
  • personnel awards at the faculty/ postdoctoral level from Arts-related funding agencies.


Pre-award responsibilities include:

  • providing outreach activities, both one-on-one and via workshops, on grant writing and sponsor-specific programs;
  • coordinating and organizing sponsor visits/workshops;
  • providing guidance to faculty on possible suitable funding sources, both face-to-face and through regular email updates;
  • review of proposals for impact, clarity, adherence to guidelines and policies (both sponsor and institution), grammar and typographical errors, and budget accuracy;
  • providing institutional letters of support when required;
  • determining institutional and investigator eligibility;
  • providing institutional information/registration where required;
  • providing or coordinating institutional approval of applications per signing procedures;
  • providing backup signing authority for the rest of FANS.


Post-award responsibilities include:

  • negotiating the terms of sponsor agreements, contracts, and amendments;
  • providing or coordinating proper institutional signature for execution of agreements and amendments per signing procedures;
  • managing the terms and conditions of the agreements by monitoring the activity, and providing reminders, information and reports as required to faculty, research finance and sponsors;
  • preparing, negotiating and managing sub-award agreements and amendments with other universities and research institutions, both Canadian and international;
  • preparing, negotiating and executing service contracts;
  • negotiating and executing non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, master agreements, and other research-related agreements when required.
  • These agreements can reach multi-millions of dollars in value and be multi-institutional and multi-national in scope.  


Duties of the incumbent outside the pre- and post-award activities include managing (which includes planning and executing internal review committee meetings, recording minutes, assigning competition budgets, communicating results to applicants):

  • the 4A Research Incentive Fund program (SSHRC);
  • preparing the SSHRC Institutional Grant application
  • the UW/SSHRC Program (Seed and Travel Grants);
  • the Robert Harding Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund;
  • the SSHRC General Research Fund;
  • minor supervision of the FANS Research Coordinator; and
  • preparing Waterloo research status reports for internal and external use.

Position Requirements


Master’s degree or equivalent experience, preferably in field related to the Humanities or Social Sciences.


Strong project- and time-management, attention-to-detail, and problem-solving skills;  Ability and confidence to communicate effectively with researchers from a variety of disciplines within all six faculties, as well as with staff, students, administrators from other institutions, and sponsors;  Have or be able to obtain knowledge of the academic environment and research-related policies, procedures and general practices;  Ability to work with confidential information;  Ability to work independently and as part of a team; and the capacity to work effectively and efficiently in a complex, fast-paced and changing environment with numerous deadlines and priorities is essential.    Strong analytical skills, accurate data interpretation and the ability to integrate report data from various sources.  


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Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The Senior Manager needs to build and maintain professional working relationships within the Office of Research and the broader University community, and with stakeholders and sponsors.  The incumbent must possess excellent communication, management, organizational and negotiating skills in order to effectively liaise with many different groups including students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, administrators, peers, Associate Deans, Research, Chairs/Directors, Deans, Vice-Presidents and Associate Vice-Presidents within the University of Waterloo and at other Universities within Canada and the U.S. Also, the incumbent must deal with sponsors in many sectors outside of the University Community (Federal & provincial governments, Not-for-profit organizations, Industry in Canada and US, as examples). The incumbent must work collaboratively with these groups, sharing information and negotiating with them.  The incumbent must be responsive to change, be able to recommend forward actions and be creative in striving to achieve strategic goals

Level of Responsibility:

Ensure applications and awards comply with university and sponsor policies and procedures, as well as legal requirements; Negotiation of research agreements with sponsors and other institutions.  Statistics: in 2015-16 $52.8 M out of $182.6 M UW research dollars fell within FANS area (29%).  $6.3M were within the social sciences and humanities portfolio. Activity by applications indicate FANS team handled over 50% of all applications.  

Decision-Making Authority:

Per signing procedures: Signing authority on tri-agency proposals with a value up to $1,000,000;  Signing authority on other FANS proposals with a value up to $200,000;  Signing authority on research agreements with a value up to $200,000;  Signing authority on material transfer, data transfer, non-disclosure agreements’  Activation of research accounts, Interim Research Accounts;  SOPs related to FANS activities. 

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role entails physical effort which may result in moderate fatigue, strain or injury, as a substantial amount of time is spent sitting at a keyboard doing repetitive keyboard/mouse movement. Sensory demands are high as concentration and attentiveness to detail are imperative. The environment yields many distractions with phone, e-mail and constant interruptions. Peak times escalate both sensory and physical demands

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal risk resulting from contact with hazardous chemicals or environmental elements.  Psychological risk factors are possible from stress and/or interactions with faculty for whom research is a personal and life-time commitment, and who may be demanding or emotional at times.  This role involves irregular and, at times, high volumes of applications/grants/agreements with multiple tight deadlines. Work outside of regular hours is required during major grant competitions and year end.