Senior Research Grants Officer, Office of Research Services, VP Research

The University of Calgary - Calgary, AB (10 months ago)

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Position Overview

The Department of Research Services within VP Research invites applications for a Senior Research Grants Officer. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The Research Services Office (RSO) works with the University of Calgary’s research community to advance the research enterprise. RSO aims to increase sponsored research revenue, reduce financial, reputational and market risk and manage compliance for the University. With a mandate to provide timely, effective pre- and post-award services, RSO is accountable to the Vice-President (Research) and operates in a complex and competitive environment serving researchers, faculties, trainees, University leadership, and funders.

The Senior Research Grants Officer is a member of the Internal Grants and Training Programs team in RSO’s Grants and Awards Division, and reports to the Specialist, Internal Grants and Training Programs. This team administers a variety of intramural research grant and trainee programs, as well as trainee applications to external funding agencies. The Senior Research Grants Officer is responsible for several trainee and internal grant programs with a high volume of work, and works with the Specialist, Internal Grants and Training Programs to provide leadership to the Internal Grants team. The position is driven by constant, multiple and simultaneous deadlines, continuous change and shifting priorities. The work environment is fast-paced, service-oriented and highly computerized.

This position requires knowledge of common research administration processes as well as knowledge of issues related to the delivery of granting programs. This position also requires the ability to work independently, very strong time management skills, and superior organizational and communication skills. The position may consult with and seek advice from the Specialist, Internal Grants and Training Programs on complex issues, but carries out day-to-day operational responsibilities with independence and latitude.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Pre-Award Administration (60%)

Promotes all research training programs, with particular emphasis on the AI SRS, AI HYRS, and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship programs
Manages all aspects of RSO-administered research training programs, such as the AI SRS and HYRS programs, including
Design and development of application processes, in conjunction with collaborating offices
Responding to queries from stakeholders, such as applicants, supervisors, administrators, and referees, in a timely manner
Intake and administrative review of applications
Managing selection committee membership
Serving as secretary to the selection committee: scheduling the selection committee meetings; distributing applications and relevant documentation; collating committee members scoring of applications; recording deliberations; working closely with committee Chair to ensure adherence to committee terms of reference and program guidelines advising on program guidelines
Communication of the results of the competitions, including issuing award letters
Management of the program funding envelope
Administers the internal selection process for applicants to the Banting Postdoctoral Scholar program, in support of the Director of the Postdoctoral Office. In addition to the responsibilities associated with administration of other research training programs:
Facilitates mentorship of selected applicants by the selection committee, with guidance from the Director
Liaises with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Protected Disclosure, Office of the Vice-President (Research), and Office of the President, to complete final submission requirements
Manages program support for Mitacs Accelerate and Mitacs Elevate applications
Educates researchers and trainees with regard to timelines, submission procedures, and guidelines related to the grant, trainee and fellowship applications
Leads other initiatives as required to meet the training objectives of AI SRS and HYRS programs, including the coordination of a conference or other events
Provides an administrative review of trainee applications to external funding programs, including undergraduate and postdoctoral programs, to ensure compliance with granting agency and University requirements
Interprets and implements University and sponsor policies, procedures and guidelines
Recommends applications for approval/signature of Director, Grants, Awards and Ethics, Associate Vice President (Research), Vice President (Research), or President
Delivers presentations and coordinates the outreach activities of the Internal Grants team

Leadership and Communication (20%)

Keeps up to date on funding opportunities in what continues to be a rapidly expanding and complex array of programs
Keeps up to date on changes to the legal and policy environment that may impact the design and administration of research training programs at the University of Calgary
Ensures our research community is kept informed, in a timely manner, of emerging opportunities and program changes
Advises trainees on the development of competitive research proposals by coordinating information sessions or workshops about competitive proposal writing, university and sponsor guidelines, and specific trainee opportunities
Provides ongoing support to trainees during the term of their awards so they may fulfil all requirements
Develops web content related to trainee awards for the Grants and Awards section of the website, and other communication materials, as appropriate
Evaluates the performance of the AI SRS and HYRS programs, recommending changes as required to better accomplish objectives, improve awardee experience, and meet obligations to the sponsor
Evaluates RSO and Internal Grants procedures as required, recommending changes or improvements in order to better facilitate the administration of research trainee funding programs
In collaboration with the Specialist, Internal Grants and Training Programs, initiates and leads future planning related to the Internal Grants portfolio and to the strategic planning exercises of the RSO Grants and Awards Division as a whole
Acts as a senior resource to colleagues in the Internal Grants team, and provides ongoing coaching and mentorship
Provides oversight of the Internal Grants team in the absence of the Specialist, Internal Grants and Training Programs

Post-Award Administration (20%)

Prepares information for Research Accounting to initiate project set-up
Ensures that the RSO database contains current application and award data for programs of responsibility, and that paper and other electronic records are kept up to date
Completes additional post-award duties for RSO-administered trainee programs, including but not limited to:
Informing hiring departments and administrators of financial information required to issue payments to students
Monitoring expenditures in program accounts against budgets and approved awards, and liaising with financial administrators in Research Accounting and other offices
Ensuring that final reports are submitted by the awardees and supervisors
Preparing institutional reports to external sponsors
Advises summer student researchers on any required registration processes at the University of Calgary
Working with the Specialist, Internal Grants and Training Programs, prepares reports on programs administered by the internal grants team, as required

Qualifications / Requirements:
An undergraduate degree is required, a research-based graduate degree would be considered a strong asset.
Several years of demonstrated experience in a research environment, preferably at a major university or a research funding agency. Experience with administrative procedures related to research would be considered a strong asset
Experience in the design, management, and evaluation of competitive student programs including application and selection processes would be considered a strong asset.
Knowledge of University policies relating to research and training is required, along with understanding of federal and provincial policies governing the administration of grants and trainee awards at post-secondary institutions. Knowledge of the University of Calgary's governance model and the distribution of responsibilities is an asset in the coordination of university-wide programs with senior leadership and staff in other offices
Demonstrable experience or interest in supporting research, training-related activities, and students
High level of flexibility and ability to adapt to changing workloads and priorities
Ability to provide accurate information in a professional, courteous, and timely manner, respecting appropriate confidentialities
Excellent oral and written communication skills. Must be able to communicate in different modes as necessitated by the situation and audience, including external stakeholders and senior leadership
Ability to organize and lead effective workshops and information sessions would be considered a strong asset
Must be a fast learner, able to work independently and with minimal supervision, given appropriate instruction
Must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate with offices operating under different leadership and priorities
Sound decision-making capabilities are required
Strong time management and organizational skills are required
Good working knowledge of University business systems, including PeopleSoft, as well as Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and SharePoint)

Application Deadline: January 29, 2020

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.