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Grants and Contracts Manager (Funding Agencies and Non-profit Sponsors)

University of Waterloo

This is a Contract position in Waterloo, ON posted July 31, 2022.


Term: 13 Months


Responsible for providing expert advice, research administration and project management services to UW faculty members who are applying for, or hold, grant, contract, or award funding for research related activities.

Grants and Contracts Managers are located in one of four groups within the Office of Research: Research Partnerships, International Research and Partnerships, Institutional Research, and Funding Agencies and Non-Profit Sponsors. Grants and Contracts Managers are expected to develop their skills to at least the proficient level. Advancements to higher levels are in recognition of ability, skills that demonstrate expert level knowledge in a range of functional areas, as well as increased levels of professional development, experience, responsibility and initiative. To advance, Managers must perform above expectations of current level and meet majority of competencies in the next level. The levels are defined primarily by level of expertise and experience, the scope of influence and responsibility (portfolio/section/office of research/university-wide/external), and the complexity and impact of the portfolio. The relative proportion of the various key accountabilities will vary with the sponsor portfolio for which the Pre-Award Manager is responsible


This position is within the Funding Agencies and Non-profit Sponsors group within the Office of Research and will work on the international funding and partnership portfolio.


Support faculty with submission and awarding of grants and contracts

  • Provide program / sponsor specific review of proposals / applications to faculty members
  • Edit research proposals and applications for completeness, grammar, formatting and spelling
  • Aid faculty members in the establishment and management of budget requirements
  • Target faculty / proposals needing particular support (e.g. new faculty)
  • Ensure that proposals conform to UW policies and procedures pertaining to payment terms, liability, publication, licensing and intellectual property rights and overhead
  • Manage the submission of proposals / nominations in accordance with the policies, guidelines and deadlines of the relevant funding sponsor (online and / or by paper) and UW
  • Act as central point of contact to coordinate and provide proactive and ongoing support for large, complex projects deemed of strategic importance to the institution

Manage post-award research administration responsibilities for grants / contracts / awards

  • Understand university policies and procedures as they relate to research grants and contracts, financial management, procurement services and human resources
  • Negotiate and execute (per procedure 1A) all research-related agreements, including those with the sponsor, collaborating institutions, and partner organizations, and also data and material transfer agreements, etc.
  • Protect the university from academic, reputational and financial risk through careful agreement and contract negotiation, balanced by the need to be flexible and responsive to research sponsors, while facilitating the research enterprise
  • Clearly articulate and advise faculty members and/or students of the implications and obligations implied by contract terms, and suggesting alternatives when concerns are raised during negotiations
  • Manage financial set-up, and assurances of required certifications (e.g. ethics, biohazards) and special risks (e.g. information security, controlled goods)
  • Ensure that annual financial and project progress reports are submitted
  • Ensure that required agreements are signed by project participants
  • Provide administrative advice to faculty, departments, schools and other senior administrators regarding general problem-solving, executing amendments to agreements and grants such as date extensions, overseeing budgetary reallocations, submission of deliverables and progress reports, resolution of payment problems and disputes regarding deliverables, correspondence with external sponsors to ensure effective performance monitoring of research projects
  • Ensure adherence to the terms and conditions of the award and ensuring audit requirements are met
  • Ensure accurate, consistent and efficient workflow to best support researchers
  • Ensure accurate data for institutional analyses

Work with funding sponsors

  • Participate when sponsors request input on programs
  • Host sponsor visits when appropriate
  • Develop relationships with sponsors to enable effective communication when questions or concerns arise

Manage internal funding or nomination programs

  • Develop and communicate internal competition procedures
  • Coordinate review panels, participate in, and document panel decisions
  • Ensure programs are run in a consistent and transparent fashion
  • Provide analysis of internal programs to senior management to support strategic decision making


  • Promote funding opportunities and report results of competitions to university community
  • Attend periodic meetings (on- or off- campus) with sponsors and/or other university representatives regarding program guidelines, best practices, review and reporting procedures and development of proposals
  • Assist the Communications Officer with the preparation of press releases / writing of public communications
  • Analyze application submissions / decision results etc., and make recommendations for process improvements
  • Prepare non-routine reports and undertake special projects from generalized requirements
  • Develop internal approval forms and sample applications or templates
  • Participate in university meetings regarding internal nomination procedures for programs within the portfolio
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Completion of an undergraduate degree is required, with a Master’s degree preferred; or equivalent related education and experience that provides strong knowledge of an academic research environment
  • Expertise in particular academic disciplines may be desirable for certain sponsor portfolios
  • Minimum 4+ years demonstrated experience in project management and administration are essential, as well as budget development
  • Proven ability to evaluate and edit grant proposals and negotiate agreements and contracts
  • Must have exceptional communication (oral and written), negotiation, consultation, and presentation skills
  • Must have strong analytical, leadership and organizational skills
  • Must have demonstrated attention-to-detail and problem solving and ability to work with confidential information
  • Ability to exercise judgment to understand queries and develop appropriate solutions
  • Strong proficiency with a variety of computer software applications including word processing, spreadsheet, database management is required

Vaccination Requirement Statement

Effective May 1, 2022, the University suspended its Vaccination Requirement. Prior to May 1, pursuant to this Requirement, all University employees were required to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (subject to the University’s obligations under the Human Rights Code to accommodate employees who were unable to receive a vaccination). The University’s Vaccination Requirement website can be found here:


The pandemic is ongoing and public health advice continues to evolve. Accordingly, the University reserves the absolute right to reinstate the Vaccination Requirement on short notice, and upon such reinstatement you will be required to comply. You shall also be required to comply with any new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University from time to time, including new policies/requirements related to mandatory employee vaccination. As the University may need to reinstate the Requirement on short notice, it will continue to collect and maintain up-to-date information on employee vaccination status. Please submit your Covid-19 vaccine status (QR code) to:


Failure to comply with the Vaccination Requirement if it is reinstated, including failure to comply with any future amendments to the Vaccination Requirement, or failure to comply with new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University, including those related to new mandatory employee vaccination, shall result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.


The requirement to be vaccinated, if reinstated, will be subject to the duty to accommodate pursuant to the Human Rights Code. If you are unable to be vaccinated for reasons related to a ground protected under the Human Rights Code, you may submit a written request for accommodation with an explanation of the reasons and/or any supporting documentation. If you request accommodation, the University may follow up with you for further information if necessary.

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit/Inuk, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.