Grant Administrator

Job Summary

A Grant Administrator is responsible to provide financial and administrative advice and support services to designated program staff, awardees, proponents, recipients, contractors and travel participants in areas such as project development, implementation and monitoring as applied to a wide-variety of projects/Externally Funded Programs (EFPs) and throughout the life-cycle of projects/EFPs.

The incumbent is also responsible for the preparation of project approval documents as well as all project related legal documents and to review financial reports and invoices to determine appropriate amounts of payments. In addition, the Grant Administrator plays a coordination role for projects/EFP travel-related activities.

In the conduct of his/her responsibilities, the Grant Administrator must ensure that the work is carried in accordance with IDRC standards, policies and procedures and ensure the effective and efficient stewardship of resources.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Project design, implementation and approval

Participates in the project design and implementation phase and provides advice to program staff on the administrative and financial structure of projects as well as country clearance and institutional risk requirements. Prepares project approval documents for review by the Grant Administration Officer and approval by senior managers. Ensures that all administrative and financial aspects of the project, as well as, country and institutional risks are properly addressed and in alignment with IDRC’s policies and procedures to allow for appropriate stewardship of project resources.  Activities include:

  • Advises responsible officers on new or updated policies and procedures and ensures they are taken into consideration when designing and implementing projects;
  • Guides responsible officers and project proponents on budget preparation and formatting;
  • Reviews proposed budgets to ensure conformity with IDRC policies and procedures;
  • Coordinates the process for country clearance and obtains all necessary documents for the creation and validation of new institutions;
  • Prepares project approval documents and performs the initial review of project elements provided by responsible officers and project proponents;
  • Facilitates project approval documents through the acceptance and signature process;
  • Initiates and carries-out extension and/or supplement processes and ensures that IDRC policies and procedures are followed;
  • Maintains and updates accurate administrative and financial project data in the grants and project management system of IDRC.

Project administration and monitoring

Prepares all legal documents (and subsequent amendments, if applicable) related to projects and also monitors and conducts administrative follow-up of projects to identify issues and recommend solutions in order to ensure on-going project compliance and risk management.  This includes:

  • Performs the initial legal review of project agreements to assess if standard terms and conditions are satisfactory or if additional clauses are required, and liaises with a representative from IDRC’s legal services as needed.
  • Prepares project legal documents (Memorandum of Grant Conditions, Research Support Grant Agreements, Research-Related Grant Agreements, Research Awards contracts, awardees employment contracts, service contracts and travel grant notifications) for review and signature by the Grant Administration Officer. Ensures that the project management principles and financial accountability regime applicable to the recipients, awardees, contractors or travel participants are clearly integrated in all legal documents;
  • Coordinates the procurement process for all project-related purchasing activities;
  • Collaborates with the Grant Administration Officer on project closures and reviews completed activities to confirm that all deliverables have been received and all financial transactions have been recorded.

Project financial administration, monitoring and review

Reviews financial reports or invoices for completeness and analyses them to determine the appropriate payment amounts. Ensures that all project payments are duly authorized as per IDRC policies and that financial risks are considered and mitigated prior to payment. Also resolves or escalates any issues or anomalies in order to ensure on-going stewardship of resources in keeping with the policies and procedures of IDRC. Tasks include:

  • Reviews of financial reports for completeness and to establish appropriate payments based on expected deliverables, and ensures that payments are in-line with institutional risk ratings;
  • Reviews incoming invoices related to project activities, ensures satisfactory delivery of goods or services and obtains proper approvals of payments;
  • Manages and monitors purchase orders and deliverables emanating from signed legal documents, including follow-up with program staff to review outstanding deliverables, follow-up with recipients or contractors to receive financial and/or technical reports;
  • Processes payment requests in a timely manner to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays and that project expenditure targets are met;
  • Maintains accurate payment milestones information in IDRC’s grants and project management system to allow for adequate financial forecasting of expenditures;
  • Creates new suppliers, verifies and enters the banking information to ensure payments are processed adequately and in a timely manner;
  • Provides support in the management and monitoring of EFPs and programs and monitors the EFP overall program budget including recommending innovative approaches to appropriately track and manage these budgets.

Travel and Workshop Coordination

Coordinates travel arrangements for awardees, contractors, participants, interviewees and other individuals. Organizes the administrative and financial aspects of national and/or international workshops. While coordinating travel or workshop activities, ensures that IDRC policies and procedures are followed. This includes:

  • Prepares administrative contracts, travel grant notifications, budgetary plans and other documents related to travel and workshops;
  • Authorizes the travel agency to make arrangements and issue tickets against own corporate credit card;
  • Calculates, reviews and authorizes payment of expense claims;
  • Serves as main administrative contact and liaison with the travel agency for all project-related travel activities.

Divisional support, continuous improvement and training

Supports colleagues and the team in the discharge of the Division mandate. This includes:

  • Provides ad-hoc training on the project life cycle, policies and procedures and system processes to newly hired program staff;
  • Provides, on an as needed basis, peer to peer training;
  • Reviews and recommends options for the continuous improvement of policies, procedures, system enhancements in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and administration and monitoring of projects.

Job Scope

The responsibilities of this position are corporate-wide in scope.  The Grant Administrator has the responsibility for the on-going monitoring of project activities that constitute the largest portion of IDRC’s expenditures. In fact, more than 65% of IDRC’s expenses (more than 100 millions of dollars) are channelled through project or program spending for which the Grant Administrator plays an active role in the overall project development, implementation and monitoring and provides advice in many areas, i.e., administration, procurement, legal, financial, travel and staffing.

The Grant Administrator has the responsibility to ensure that project approval documents and legal agreements are prepared following IDRC policies and procedures. The Grant Administrator is also responsible to review financial reports and invoices in order to establish the appropriate level of payment that should be disbursed.

The Grant Administrator is accountable for maintaining timely and accurate information within IDRC’s corporate systems. The Grant Administrator also coordinates travel related activities for all travel conducted under a project or program (which represents more than 5 million dollars or 5% of the total program spending of IDRC).

The Grant Administrator is in continual contact with responsible officers and individual and institutional recipients so as to ensure smooth implementation of IDRC-funded projects. The Grant Administrator sees that IDRC policies and procedures are followed, demonstrating flexibility, creativity, resourcefulness and judgment in interpreting policies and applying procedures to suit new or different circumstances.​