Skip to the content of the web site.

Strategic Research Initiatives Officer

Date: June, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Dean, Research and External Partnerships
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): (Occasional) Conract writers, coop students
Department: Dean of Engineering Office


Main Campus


USG 12
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

To advance the Faculty's strategic research interests in a competitive funding environment.The Faculty of Engineering consistently earns over $50 million in research funding per year.The incumbent will work with the Engineeringleadershi p and with individual faculty members to maintain and increase this amount and to identify and secure new sources of research funding.The incumbent will also help to cement the Faculty's shared commitment to research excellence, eliminate barriers to research success, and strategically identify and assess the Faculty's research strengths.


Specifically, the incumbent will:identify strategic research funding opportunities; develop effective research proposals for government, private sector and not-for-profit funding agents; provide project management and writing support to teams of faculty members pursuing major grants; provide review and oversight of research proposals;liaising with units across campus insupport ofthe Faculty and University's strategic research goals collect; and analyze data with respect to competitive research funding at Waterloo, nationally and internationally, to help identify and support the Faculty's strategic priorities

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Strategic initiatives

The Faculty of Engineering regularly prepares large-scale research proposals for a variety of funding agents,insupport of the Faculty's strategic priorities.The incumbent will be responsible for ensuringthese proposals are of the highest quality, through:



2.  Grant competition coordination and management

The majority of individual research fundingis received via regular funding competitions orchestrated by major government agents,in particular the Tri Council,the Canada Fund of Innovation,and the Ontario Research Fund.




3. Grant proposal review

On a case-by-case basis, review and edit research proposals for individual faculty members to maximize their chances of success.

 4.  Data collection and analytics, background research,strategy development

Research and write faculty-based research reports and documents that profile engineering research, including but not limited to:


5.  Improve work processes

Position Requirements




MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Advanced Basic


Adobe Acrobat Pro.


Advantageous: Sharepoint, LaTeX,

Google Docs/Dropbox/Overleaf

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

An independent administrator with exceptional communication skills, the incumbent will:


Important relationships include:

Level of Responsibility:

The incumbent will act as a primary source of advice and assistance for all Engineering faculty members seeking external funding to pursue their research programs and support their researh team members. Nearly 300 faculty members support over 1,800 graduate students pursuingresearch degrees.The Faculty of Engineering consistently receives well over $50 million in research funding per fiscal year.


The incumbent will be responsible for ensuring that grant applications:


The incumbent will also be responsible for identifying additional research funding opportunities, and for identifying,encouraging and assisting faculty members in applying for those research funds.


The incumbent must have personal initiative,the ability to be flexible and strong problem-solving skills. The incumbent will have strong analytical skills, be able to interpret accurately and apply agency and institutional regulations, policies and guidelines and to integrate report data from various sources. The ability to work with confidential information, 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.

Decision-Making Authority:

Provides expert decision support to the Dean and the ADR to:

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Working Conditions

A comfortable office environment typical of an administrative role. There is a frequent need to give close attention to various stimuli such  as written material and verbal information. The work is varied and conflicting priorities must be juggl ed to ensure all projects are completed successfully under considerable time  pressure. Concentration and  attentiveness  to detail are  imperative in an often distracting environment.


Working Environment:


Working hours are regular,but with some evening/weekend work  required.Major research competitions, of which there are typically several per year, are associated with abnormally high work volumes and temporarily increased working demands.



Physical and Psychological Risks


No physical risks. Minor psychological risks are typical of a supervisory position, and associated with (occasional) stressful interactions with faculty, for whom preparing research proposals can be both onerous and professionally vital (e.g.,with regard to deadline pressure, budgeting requirements).