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Research Finance Manager, Central Services

Date: March, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Director, Research Finance
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): 2 Research Financial Analysts
Department: Office of Research


Main Campus


USG 12
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Research Finance Manager, Central Services (RFM-CS) is one of five RFMs in the Research Finance team. The incumbent reports to the Director of Research Finance, directly supervises two Research Financial Analysts (RFAs) and indirectly supervises an additional two RFAs (USG grades 7-10). The RFM-CS has management responsibility for all external and internal financial reporting on research grants directly overseen by the VP Research including those within University Research Centres and Institutes and the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC). The incumbent is also responsible for the financial and administrative oversight of operating, trust and endowment funds for University Research Centres / Institutes and other research groups which report directly to the VP Research. The incumbent has responsibility for the preparation of a range of institutional financial reports pertaining to research funds, including the Research Support Fund report, the Royalties report and the US Facility and Administrative Cost Estimate report, and has management responsibility for the financial administration of a range of business processes supporting the Research Finance team including research invoicing and budgeting.

Key Accountabilities:


Key management responsibility for external and internal financial reporting on research grants overseen by the Office of Research, e.g. those of the University Research Centres/Institutes and SOWC.

  • Works with faculty members and pre-awards colleagues on new grants/contracts to ensure that effective reporting mechanisms are initiated & financial reporting requirements of awards are understood.
  • Works with faculty members, research administrators and administrative officers of University Research Centres/Institutes during the life cycle of research projects to ensure the research funds are effectively managed.
  • Manages and co-ordinates audit reviews for their portfolio of external sponsor agencies. \
  • Responsible for ensuring that audit recommendations are implemented.
  • Acts as a university signing authority on sub grants (S$100,000) and financial reporting for research funds under their portfolio.
  • Main liaison between the University and external sponsors as well as research offices at other institutions.
  • Key liaison for her/his portfolio of sponsors with the relevant Office of Research pre-awards sections  to ensure  accounts are set up appropriately, reporting and invoicing requirements are manageable and that financial clauses in agreements are appropriate and can be adhered to.
  • The RFM-CS also provides advice on possible amendments to financial clauses in agreements where compliance is not possible or a risk assessment of the impact of non-compliance, if amendments are not possible.


Responsible for the financial and administrative oversight of operating, trust and endowment funds for Research Centres and Institutes that report to the VP Research

  • Proactively monitors the non-research accounts of Research Centres/Institutes
  • Provides general administrative support and oversight to Research Centres/Institutes with respcet to non-fiscal matters (e.g. HR, space).
  • Provides guidance and advice to Research Centres/Institutes with respect to budgetary and financial matters.
  • Provides financial expertise and operational support for the Vice-President, University Research, with respect to oversight of the University Research Centres/Institutes including annual budgetary processes and related reports. Builds close working relationships with the University Research Centres/Institutes to ensure that reportina needs are met.


Responsible for the preparation of a range of institutional financial reports pertaining to research funds and has management responsibility for the financial administration of a range of business processes supporting the Research  Finance team

  • Responsible for accurate calculation of overhead funds generated from research projects and for their formulaic distribution in accordance with University policy. With assistance from OR Operations, Finance and the Provost's office, prepares applications, calculates Faculty allocations and prepares the annual report for the Federal Research Support Fund (RSF) Program
  • Prepares and submits the Facility and Administrative Cost proposal to the US government to establish the indirect cost rate to be applied to all University research contract activity with US agencies.
  • Responsible for the management and distribution of royalties and licensing income and preparation of the annual report for senior management on intellectual property income.
  • Closely liaises with the University's commercialization office (WatCo) to ensure accurate distribution of licensing and royalty income.
  • Designs, develops, prepares and produces research financial reports for the University research community using third party decision support tools.
  • Responsible for managerial oversight of a range of business processes supporting the Research Finance team including  research invoicing, budgeting, overhead and account requests, and for ensurina that these are ooerating efficientlv and effectivelv.


Leads, manages and coaches a team of Research Financial Analysts

  • Manages and co-ordinates the workload of a group of RFAs to ensure that all sponsor and researcher obligations and deadlines are met in a timely manner.
  • Provides leadership, management, training & direction to staff.
  • Performs on-going review & annual performance appraisal of staff, identifying areas for improvement and further development.
  • Promotes continual oersonnel trainina and develocment of staff.

' 5.

As a key member of the Research Finance management team

  • Monitors business practices to ensure that Research Finance has the appropriate practices and processes to work effectively internally and represent UW externally
  • Helps identify the projected staffing requirements for the Research Finance team
  • Develops, implements and communicates Research Finance procedures and standard operating practices.
  • Identifies, designs and implements effective reporting tools for the increasingly complex range of research sponsors.
  • Develops productive, collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Identifies, develaps and implements projects to improve service quality, relationships, stakeholder satisfaction, timeliness, staff caoabilitv and performance.

Position Requirements




MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Expert Intermeidate Intermediate Intermediate

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

The RFM-CS must build effective and professional working relationships with external and internal stakeholders. She/he must have superior interpersonal, communication, management and organizational skills, exhibit good judgment, and be tactful and diplomatic in order to liaise effectively with client groups. As a member of the management team in Research Finance, the RFM-CS must have the ability to share information in a collaborative manner, interact effectively with co-workers, respond to change, be creative, and recommend and help drive improvements to assist the department and University achieve strategic goals.

The RFM-CS must have a thorough understanding of the business needs of the University Research Centres/Institutes and central research groups (e.g. Sharcnet, SOWC) in order to provide appropriate advice and exercise sound judgment with respect to research finance issues.

Level of Responsibility:

The RFM-CS directly supervises 2 RFAs and has indirect supervisory responsibility for a further 2 RFAs, all of whom are responsible for the financial reporting of research grants held by University Research Centres/Institutes and central research groups. The RFM-CS must provide leadership for her/his staff as well as professional support and training to those pursuing an accounting accreditation.


The· RFM-CS provides financial and administrative oversight and support to the University Research Centres/Institutes and central research groups that report directly to the VP Research. This includes the provision of relevant financial advice and information to faculty members, research administrative staff and faculty financial officers.



Financial  Accountability:

The RFM-CS signs off on external research financial reports for the research programs that she/he oversees, as well as on sub grants (:S $100,000) from these accounts. The RFM-CS is also authorized to approve consulting payments on research accounts on behalf of Research Finance.


Internal and External Contacts:


The RFM-CS interacts with other RFMs, pre-award officers in the Office of Research, Faculty Financial Officers, Finance, Procurement, Graduate Studies and HR to leverage skills and ensure support for, and assistance with, implementing change required to improve the effective administration and management of research funds.

The RFM-CS also works with the Directors and faculty members of University Centres/Institutes as well as Associate Deans, Research and Deans when complex issues relating to research accounts such as major deficits or unforeseen circumstances impacting completion ofresearch projects (e.g. long term disability of Pis, bankruptcy of industry sponsors) require resolution at a strategic level. The RFM-CS provides advice and support to University Research Centre/Institute researchers and administrative personnel with respect to the effective management of their funds, promoting an awareness of best practices and research sponsor guidelines. There will be occasion to interact with senior university administrators on policy and planning committees and councils



The RFM-CS is the key university financial contact for external research sponsors (e.g. federal and provincial government agencies, US government agencies, industry sponsors, international sponsors) in his/her portfolio for purposes of obtaining, clarifying and discussing information about sponsor programs, and also serves as the main point of contact for auditing teams from these sponsors. The RFM-CS also interacts with the University external and internal auditors on issues pertaining to research sponsors or research finance procedures. The RFM-CS interacts with professional associations such as CARA (Canadian Association of Research Administrators) for exchange of information and training and development opportnnities. The RFM-CS also interacts with colleagues in research and finance offices in. other institutions across Canada for exchange of information, co-ordination of collaborative financial reporting and sharing of best practices.

Decision-Making Authority:

The RFM-CS is a key decision - maker on the implementation of sponsor guidelines and eligibility of expenses for  sponsors within her/his portfolio. As a member of the Research Finance management team, the RFM-CS makes decisions on processes and practices both within Research Finance and across campus relating to the effective administration and management of research funds. In addition, the RFM-CS is involved in decision making related to the financial and administration oversight of the University Research Centres and Institutes.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This role requires exertion of physical or sensory effort resulting in moderate fatigue, strain or risk of injury as a substantial amount of time (especially during year end reporting) is spent sitting at a computer with repetitive keyboard movements.

Working Environment:

There is minimal psychological risk resulting from unavoidable exposure to hazardous, disagreeable or uncomfortable environmental conditions. On occasion, stakeholders may be unduly demanding, even to the point where escalation is required. The role entails coping with irregular high volumes and multiple, often tight, deadlines as well as frequent interruptions (e.g. phone, e-mail, staff support).