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Research Financial Analyst

Date: February, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Research Finance Manager
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Dean of Math (READI Indonesion UW project) Office of Research


Main Campus


USG 9-10
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Research Financial Analyst (RFA) is responsible for the financial administration and management of a portfolio of research accounts for a specific group of researchers. These responsibilities include problem-solving with respect to the management and analysis of a portfolio of research accounts, preparation of financial statements, management of the relationship between and requirements of internal and external stakeholders and ensuring adherence to financial requirements/guidelines specified by sponsors and to University policies.

Key Accountabilities:

1.  Manage and Foster Relationships with Internal and External Stakeholders


a)Set up of new research accounts.



b)Financial administration and management of research accounts




c)Closing Research Accounts




3.  Facilitation of audits on research accounts

Position Requirements




MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Intermediate Intermediate to Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

FORE, Oracle, MS ccess, Adobe,


Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The RFA must be able to build and maintain effective and professional working relationships with external and internal stakeholders,  in particular with the researchers and researcher administrators within his/her portfolio of research accounts. The RFA must have excellent


 written and oral communication skills and the ability to effectively communicate financial information to stakeholders with varying levels of financial knowledge.


Level of Responsibility:

This role has responsibility for the financial administration and management for a portfolio of around 300 research accounts with an approximate annual value of $15m.  This includes projects across all external research sponsors requiring the RFA to keep current on the full range of sponsor reporting requirements and guidelines.                                                          Failure to appropriately manage research funds can have adverse financial implications for the University and can result in a significant risk to the reputation of both the researcher and the University.  The RFA must handle confidential information with discretion.   This role has specialized work with minimal supervision and provides leadership to others in their area of expertise.



Problem solving:

The RFA must be able to independently apply financial knowledge and concepts to increasingly complex research projects and analyze financial information to recommend the efficient and appropriate use of research funds.                                Strong initiative with a proven ability to grasp new concepts quickly is required along with the ability to respond to multiple and competing priorities.  RFAs utilize a variety of financial analysis tools including variance analysis, forecasting, trending etc. to resolve problems.


Financial Accountability

The RFA has responsibility for the financial administration and management of a portfolio of research accounts averaging $15m annually in external research funding.



Internal and External Contacts

The RFA works most closely with researchers and research administration staff, in the departments for which they have responsibility, providing advice and support on the financial administration and management of their research portfolios.  They also liaise closely with

pre-award colleagues in the Office of Research for clarification of clauses and other information related to research agreements.  The RFA also works regularly with the Faculty Financial Officers as well as individuals in Finance, HR/Payroll, Graduate Studies and Procurement.



The RFA liaises with external research sponsors (e.g. federal and provincial government agencies, US government agencies, industry sponsors, international sponsors  etc.)  to obtain, clarify and discuss information. The RFA interacts with the university external and internal auditors on issues pertaining to their research sponsors or research finance procedures. In addition, the RFA interacts with colleagues in research and finance offices, in institutions across Canada and internationally, for exchange of information, co-ordination of collaborative financial reporting and sharing of best practices.

Decision-Making Authority:

The RFA makes regular decisions related to their area of expertise (e.g., providing options

to researchers on effectively managing funds across a research portfolio, identifying efficient methods for collecting and reporting research financial data, recommending changes to business processes and/or reporting tools etc.).  The RFA must demonstrate sound professional judgment and the ability to manage multiple and competing priorities.


Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

This role involves minimal physical or psychological risk resulting from unavoidable

exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. There may be unusual hours or schedules and irregular and/or high volumes and multiple and/or tight deadlines beyond one's control (e.g., external sponsor dictated year end reporting or analysis).  As well, the RFA may experience last minute requests with short delivery deadlines (e.g., to gather and analyze data needed for a short-deadline report). Many reporting requirements are contractual in nature and therefore time sensitive.