Executive Assistant to the VP Research

Date: Aug 3, 2022

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Office of Research Services 

Job Type: Limited Term

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year) 

Campus: Waterloo 

Reports to: Vice President, Research 

Employee Group: CPAG 

Application Deadline: August 17, 2022

Requisition ID: 4710 


Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact. With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.

Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well locations in Kitchener and Milton. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace, a flexible work policy and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.


Position Summary


The Executive Assistant provides direct support to the Vice-President: Research (VPR) and as required to the Assistant Vice-President: Research (AVPR), Office of Research Services (ORS). They work with highly sensitive and confidential information from internal and external sources and must display high standards of diplomacy and professionalism. Success in the role requires a strong level of understanding of the VPR portfolio and an advanced ability to work in an environment where priorities can shift quickly.


Reporting to the VPR, the Executive Assistant is responsible for providing executive administration support including all correspondence, scheduling for the VPR (and as required AVPR), file and record maintenance, meeting scheduling and preparation, office management, and travel plans. The incumbent also supports all aspects of the Senate Committee for Research and Publication and Research Services Council. The incumbent assists with various internal grant processes including, but not limited to, the setup and management of internal grant accounts. They will be required to work with tight time lines.


The Executive Assistant is a key resource and continuously communicates and liaises with senior leaders across Laurier, external bodies, executive assistants, and other staff to develop agendas, and provide information and advice. They will compose and prepare high quality correspondence, reports and presentations. They must be able to work with interruptions to work flow which create changes in priorities.


This position has a university-wide mandate and is based at the Waterloo Campus. The incumbent provides subject matter expertise to all campuses, requiring regular interpersonal interactions and collaboration with departments at the Waterloo Campus, the Brantford Campus, the Kitchener and Toronto locations, and external partners. Special attention is given to ensure equitable service delivery across all locations.





Executive Administrative Support to the VPR


  • Acts as main point of contact for VPR, communicating with internal and external stakeholders (other senior administrators, faculty members, as well as outside agencies, and other universities) and responds to inquiries on the VPR’s behalf; and other senior leaders as required;

  • Engages with a large range of external stakeholders to support the VPR portfolio and initiatives;

  • Responds independently to administrative concerns and requests from faculty, staff, and visitors that require rapid assessment or assistance, and a thorough understanding of university-wide functions and procedures;

  • Advises and updates VPR on pertinent information using sound judgement and maintaining confidentiality;

  • Maintains the VPR, and as required AVPR, schedule for internal and external meetings, conference calls and other events, taking into account frequent changes in priorities and ensuring all changes are timely, seamlessly integrated and communicated;

  • Maintains positive relations and supports the VPR in working with other administrative offices on campus;

  • Receives and organizes communication for the VPR and others as required, including telephone calls, mail and email messages and provides assistance and prioritizes based on urgency;

  • Based on thorough knowledge of the VPR schedule, anticipates the information and material needs of the VPR in preparation for meetings.

  • Makes arrangements for accommodations and off-campus transportation, arranges on-campus room bookings of all committee meetings and other events as necessary;

  • Makes arrangements for all domestic and international travel including airfare, ground transportation and provide afterhours support during travel;

  • Researches, composes and prepares high quality correspondence, reports and presentations, much of which is confidential in nature;

  • Supports the administrative management of VPRs research program including scheduling lab group and 1x1 meetings, ordering of scientific supplies for research projects


Event Planning


  • Identify, researchers and reserves event location including liaising with external vendors

  • Coordinates audio-visual equipment, food

  • Coordinates invitations and attendees

  • Schedules meetings and arranges for the attendance of required resource people or guest speakers;




  • Provides scheduling, logistical, and secretarial support for senior administration committees chaired by the VPR;

  • Schedules meetings and arranges for the attendance of required resource people or guest speakers;

  • Maintains a follow-up system, distributes minutes of all meetings, and providing follow up material and information on the VPR’s behalf;

  • Attends committee meetings and takes/prepares meeting minutes, demonstrating knowledge of Meeting Rules and Procedures

  • Coordinates audio-visual equipment, food, and other logistical details for meetings and functions as required;

  • Senate Committee on Research and Publication: schedule meetings; acts as recording secretary; creates agendas; and manages the review and approval cycle for all Senate-approved research centres;

  • Coordinates the Research Services Council in preparing agenda for VPR and AVPR;

  • Supports the VPR in participating on Executive Leadership Team and collective bargaining meetings including the dissemination of sensitive, confidential material

  • Coordinates all research misconduct investigations


Grants Management


  • Oversees the setup and closure of Internal Research Grant accounts

  • Maintains up to date files; and


Office Management


  • Researches, recommends and implements new technologies for the office;

  • Provides expertise in Outlook and other office software;

  • Liaises with University departments as required for equipment maintenance, repair, and orders;

  • Maintains and requisitions office supplies;

  • Processes invoices for payment by accounts payable;

  • Reviews all expense, travel, and p-card reports, identifying issues as necessary and preparing for the VPR;

  • Develops and maintains files and records for the VPR including record retention and archiving;

  • Organizes team retreats and events

  • Supports the onboarding of new hires


Confidentiality and responsibility


  • Access to confidential information related to: labour relations, annual forecasting, budget and the Executive Leadership Team;

  • Maintains tact and diplomacy with fielding research-related policy issues for the VPR and AVPR;

  • Maintains utmost confidentiality, particularly regarding matters pertaining to allegations of research misconduct, research ethics, institutional planning, collective bargaining, resource planning and analysis, and contract research. This includes maintenance of sensitive documentation;

  • Maintains confidential files of ORS employees;

  • High degree of accuracy and accountability is required given the reputational component of Laurier research that resides with the VPR.





  • University degree coupled with at least 5 years relevant experience, including providing confidential administrative support to senior management, or an equivalent combination of education and experience;

  • Advanced skills in MS Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint; intermediate/advanced skills in Adobe, Banner, Millenium;

  • Advanced problem-solving skills; ability to analyze and streamline complex processes;

  • Ability to analyze numeric and other data and present it in appropriate form for review;

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, verbal)

  • Superior organizational skills and project management skills with proven ability to successfully juggle multiple tasks and priorities and meet deadlines;

  • Team-oriented and able to demonstrate initiative, change management skills and strong attention to detail;

  • Ability to work independently and problem solve to make sound decisions.

  • Availability to work outside normal business hours to attend committee meetings;

  • Mature judgment, diplomacy and discretion in the frequent handling of sensitive and confidential material;

  • Knowledge of Broader Public Sector regulations regarding expenses;

  • Familiarity with university processes and regulations, including staff and faculty collective agreements.


Hours of work: This is a full-time, limited term position until August 7, 2024. Regular hours of work are 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Flexibility in hours may be required due to periods of high volume. When possible the manager will adjust hours so that no more than 35 hours are worked in a week. 



Grade: EX-E

Rate of pay: $52, 040 - $65, 048



All Laurier employees and students are required to comply with the University's Covid-19 mandatory vaccination policyEffective May 1st, Wilfrid Laurier University will pause its proof of vaccination requirements. Should these recommendations change, vaccination requirements can be reinstated on short notice. Community members should remain up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier's Employee Success Factors.

Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Candidates from other equity deserving groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility. We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources. Contact information can be found at careers.wlu.ca/content/How-to-apply/

Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit www.wlu.ca/careers for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a resume and cover letter will be required in electronic form.

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