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Research Coordinator: Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics

Department: Office of Research Effective Date: May, 2013


35 hr/wk

Reports to:

Senior Manager,(NSERC, and other Science, Engineering and Math Sponsors)

General Accountability

This position is accountable to the Senior Manager (NSERC, and other Science Engineering and Math Sponsors), Funding Agencies and Non-Profit Sponsors.  The incumbent is responsible for assisting with the coordination and development of research proposals for the following NSEM research sponsors: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Networks of Centres of Excellence (NSEM focussed NCEs) and all other NSEM or NSEM-related, non-industry, sponsors.  This involves development of proposals currently ranging up to $6.0 million. In addition, the position is accountable for special research awards at the faculty/postdoctoral level for all disciplines covered by these agencies.  The RC-NSEM interacts and negotiates regularly with funding agency personnel and must have an in-depth understanding of, and be able to review and interpret, agency guidelines in order to effectively advise faculty researchers on these and any unusual expectations or conflicts. In addition, the RC-NSEM reviews and edits grant applications and monitors awards.  Further, the RC-NSEM interacts with researchers from all six Faculties and develops reports on the status of NSEM research for internal and external use.

The RC-NSEM has extensive interaction with the Managers in Funding Agencies and Non-Profit Sponors; the Associate Director, Funding Agencies and Non-Profit Sponsors; the Director, Research Ethics; the Associate Vice-President, University Research; the Vice-President, University Research; Co-ordinating Committees; Faculty Deans; Associate Deans, Graduate Studies and Research; the Graduate Studies Office; the UW Development Office; other Office of Research staff, including the Manager, Research Finance, the Manager, Research Ethics and the Research Financial Analysts; and researchers and administrators from all six Faculties and the Federated Universities and Affiliated Colleges.


Nature and Scope

The University of Waterloo (UW) is recognized as one of Canada’s most research intensive institutions with significant involvement in both grant and contract research. The scope of research can vary from small scale or pilot projects conducted by one researcher or a small group of researchers to large-scale studies involving multiple researchers, multiple institutions and multiple sponsors.  UW actively encourages participation in sponsored research in all sectors of the global economy. External sponsors range from small, local companies to large multinational companies, government agencies at the federal, provincial and local levels, foreign governments and foreign companies (not resident in Canada),  and  non-profit organizations and foundations.

Funding agencies, particularly government agencies, regularly implement new programs requiring interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral partnerships that include researchers from other universities, community agencies, industrial partners and government departments in and outside Canada.  This results in an increasingly complex research environment during both the application process and award negotiation stages, with increased requirements for accountability and reporting at the institutional level.

At UW, researchers from all six faculties are involved in research funded by a broad range of sponsors.  It is imperative that the research administrative structure is responsive, adaptive and understanding of the needs of researchers for whom the research enterprise is often personal and a life-time commitment.  At the same time, expectations and requirements of the university and of the sponsor(s) must be met.

The University’s Strategic Plan for Research, released in October, 2000, identifies five major areas for research and research training. Two of these, “Information Technology” and “Materials and Systems”, are within the NSEM portfolio, and the other three intersect it through interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.  Thus there is a significant University commitment to continued expansion of research in general, and to NSEM research in particular, in all six faculties. The RC-NSEM position is critical to meeting this commitment.

The RC-NSEM must be a professional and competent resource to external granting agencies, other sponsors, government officials, faculty and other researchers, university administrators, staff and students. The incumbent must be a pro-active problem-solver, and must work effectively as a member of research teams under frequently tight time lines and in high stress situations, particularly in the period prior to submission deadlines.  The RC-NSEM must have in-depth knowledge of a wide range of grant agency programs and be able to balance and meet concurrent deadlines.  UW’s reputation, ensuring research accountability, application of research - related policies and guidelines, potential liability situations, intellectual property protection and conflict of interest are all matters with which the RC-NSEM is involved.  Because NSEM research is conducted in all six Faculties at Waterloo, the RC-NSEM must be knowledgeable about the administrative structure and nature of research in every Faculty


Statistical Data

UW’s total research funding in 2009-2010 was approximately $169 million.  Of this, ~ 35% was managed by the FANS group, with nearly 1400 active awards. The Research Co-ordinator will assist in administering many of these activities.

A major component of the RC-NSEM’s responsibilities involves regular in-depth interaction with researchers in all Faculties and with external clients, including government agencies and supporting organizations, in order to develop and  submit high quality applications to relevant funding agencies  and to maintain auditable records

Specific Accountabilities

The RC-NSEM will:





















Working Conditions