Postdoctoral Program Specialist, Fellowships, Postdoc Office, VP Research

WorkplaceCalgary, Alberta, Canada
University of Calgary

Postdoctoral Program Specialist, Fellowships, Postdoc Office, VP Research

Job ID: 26176

Updated: Today

Location: Main Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Overview

The Postdoc Office within the VP Research invites applications for a Postdoctoral Program Specialist, Fellowships. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 12 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Reporting to the Manager, Postdoctoral Office and Internal Grants, and working closely with the Team Lead, Postdoctoral Office and the Postdoctoral Program Director, the Postdoctoral Program Specialist plays a lead role in the effective management and administration of fellowships including expert program support for external competitions, institutional competitions and selection processes, and handling complex appointments and job changes when funding is awarded. The Postdoctoral Program Specialist works closely with a wide range of stakeholders and with many responsibilities directly contributing to the success of the postdoctoral program and Eyes High initiative at the University of Calgary.

The Postdoctoral Program Specialist position will play a leadership role in the implementation of the Postdoctoral Initiative, an important component of the Strategic Research Plan. The Postdoctoral Program Specialist develops and leads processes and activities to ensure successful delivery of the initiative and maintain the goal of 600 postdoctoral scholars at a steady state. This includes providing outstanding pre-award, post-award, and appointment administration services through the Postdoctoral Office, overseeing processes with Human Resources and Finance, organizing and coordinating professional development workshops and programs with various internal and external partner organizations (industry, community partners, funding bodies), implementing communication plans and the delivery of communication materials, preparing annual reports and maintaining excellent relationships with internal and external stakeholders. There are also significant responsibilities associated with the recruitment of postdoctoral fellows and reporting to granting agencies and sponsors. The position has frequent interactions with the University’s administrative units, faculty members, as well as students, postdoctoral fellows and technical/professional staff.

Position Description

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

Fellowship program support

  • Develop and facilitate support mechanisms for externally funded fellowship opportunities with a focus on applicants from main campus faculties, especially but not exclusively in disciplines outside health research areas.
  • Directly manages the Eyes High, Banting, Killam, and T. Chen Fong fellowship administration processes and development activities. Monitors progress of award holders including accountability for funding obligations and works to meet institutional reporting requirements.
  • Works with selection committees on adjudication of institutionally administered fellowship competitions.
  • Identifies, prepares and issues calls for fellowship funding opportunities with priority given to programs in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and engineering, creative and performing arts, and other non-health disciplines and areas.
  • Develops and delivers informative and interactive workshops, knowledge sessions, and outreach activities to engage prospective fellowship applicants, and raise awareness of opportunities.
  • Develops and delivers professional development events and offerings concerning application writing and research development for postdoctoral scholars.
  • Liaises with a wide range of external sponsors of fellowship and postdoctoral programs to confirm information around eligibility and other key award parameters, submissions processes and requirements, reporting obligations, and financial matters.
  • Investigates sponsor requirements for new funding opportunities and confirms.
  • Advises academic leadership on fellowship funding strategies for particular research areas and initiatives.
  • Manages communication coordination related to fellowship programs, funding calls, and related processes of the Postdoctoral Office.

Post-award facilitation

  • Prepares award file information for Finance to initiate project creation.
  • Ensures that Research Services record contains current application and award data for fellowship files, and that all records are kept current.
  • Coordinate award amendments with appointment amendments.
  • Completes additional post-award duties for fellowships, including but not limited to:
    • informing hiring departments and administrators of financial information required to issue payments
    • monitoring expenditures in program accounts against budgets and approved awards, and liaising with financial administrators in Research Accounting and other offices to obtain and validate information on project standing
    • ensuring that final reports are submitted by awardees and supervisors
    • preparing institutional reports to external sponsors.

Appointment implementation

  • Advises awardees, supervisors, team members, colleagues in Research Services and Finance, and department and faculty administrators on options for smooth implementation of concurrent appointments or other appointments funded by fellowships and other sponsored research training program funding.
  • Provides expert advice to the Postdoctoral Program Director and the Manager, Postdoctoral Office and Internal Grants on novel situations and how to avoid disruptions of concurrent appointments. Analyzes, resolves and/or escalates difficult issues in a timely fashion.
  • Provides support across multiple departments to many teams involved in managing postdoctoral appointments and affairs.
  • Facilitates collaboration with Human Resources, financial operations, and research services teams involved in managing postdoctoral appointments.
  • Develops and implements reliable methods for tracking and reporting on appointment activity.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree is required; a graduate degree with a research component is strongly preferred.
  • 5-7 years research administration, funding or fellowship experience
  • In-depth knowledge of extramural fellowship funding as well as the postdoctoral landscape and associated challenges.
  • Superior organizational and time management skills including the expertise to develop innovative solutions that meet the needs of diverse partners.
  • Proven ability to evaluate circumstances, make decisions under pressure and work with minimal or no supervision.
  • Experience with University of Calgary processes including human resources, research services and research accounting is an asset.
  • Extensive, successful track record of experience in the development and delivery of effective program management processes.
  • Experience in successfully negotiating solutions to complex problems.
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, be reliable, have strong judgment, be tactful and diplomatic.
  • Acquired competencies in strategic thinking, leadership, creativity and innovation, focusing on client needs, teamwork, decision-making, planning, organizing and problem solving.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills and the ability to develop innovative solutions that meet the needs of diverse partners.
  • Proficiency with computers and software: word processing, web-based marketing and promotions, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, financial management, project management, communications including e-mail, social media, shared servers, videoconferencing, web based professional learning environments, and University core business systems (PeopleSoft, eFIN, enterprise reporting, etc.)
  • Superior organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to multi-task, set priorities and meet commitments and deadlines.
  • Proven ability to work in an open-space environment that is complex, changing and, at times, stressful.

Application Deadline: July 7, 2022

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/Advisor Job Family, Phase 3.

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 .

The University strongly recommends all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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 has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High , committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, 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 academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ( [email protected] ) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ( [email protected] ).

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Need help?

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In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 32235.