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Program Assistant

Job Summary

Under the direction of the Program Director or Leader, the Program Assistant provides operational and administrative assistance to them and the Program team, performs a variety of administrative, coordination and logistical services in support of the operations of the Program, and assists with information management the team.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Operational and Administrative Support

  • Maintains confidential records for the Program Director or Leader;
  • Acts as the main contact person during the absence of team members, following-up on any emergencies with appropriate in-house employees, and sharing workload with Program Assistants from other teams;
  • Acknowledges receipt of correspondence and documentation in the absence of Program Director or Leader or team members, and drafts preliminary versions of correspondence to be signed by the Program Director or Leader or relevant team members;
  • Assists other team members in preparing and formatting documents, including PowerPoint presentations;
  • Develops and maintains an efficient filing system for the team, including assistance in processing calls for proposals as required;
  • Maintains a tracking system of responses to proposals;
  • Maintains and updates team’s databases and mailing lists using the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook;
  • Works with the Centre’s information system and databases to monitor various aspects related to team functioning;
  • Contributes to electronic filing of team documents;
  • Coordinates the translation, proofreading and editing of documents as required;
  • Enters pipeline information and Project Information Memorandum (PIMs) and generates reports as required;
  • Organizes regular team meetings and conference calls/videoconferences, often over different time zones, including the preparation and distribution of documents and providing the necessary technical devices;
  • Takes minutes of regular team meetings and other meetings with the assistance of and coordination with the Executive Assistant and Program Management Officer as required;
  • Assists the Program Management Officer to maintain and update the Program’s web site, and on a required basis, carries out specific web searches and downloads workshop documents/registration from host web sites;
  • Assists team members for inputting and editing rolling project completion reports (rPCRs);
  • Assists in the coordination of the rPCR process by tracking their completion for the programs, scheduling interviews as necessary and e-filing the final document;
  • Liaises with Regional Office employees as required, and assists Regional Office employees when visiting headquarters;
  • Assists in the orientation of new employees, Research Award Recipients, research fellows and consultants by providing them with the necessary documents and materials for orientation; and
  • Works with other Program Assistants to coordinate work activities, meet deadlines, and provide support where needed; and
  • Performs other related duties in accordance with instructions from team members.

Travel Management

  • Maintains and regularly updates travel plans and budget amounts to provide an accurate overview of the Program’s travel budget, which includes liaising with Regional Office employees for their input;
  • Provides updated reports to the team Executive Assistant;
  • Advises the Program Director or Leader of projected overruns;
  • Requests the issuance of visas by contacting the appropriate Embassy and prepares supporting travel documents;
  • Responsible for formatting, distribution and filing of trip reports;

Workshops and Events

  • Liaises with members of other host organizations to coordinate logistical arrangements for workshops that take place in different provinces or countries;
  • Liaises with Grant Officers and other outside agencies regarding venue, travel and hotels for provision, room organization and logistics;
  • Liaises with and assists project recipients and consultants as required to ensure smooth functioning of activities;
  • Coordinates and disseminates all internal and external material, including publicity and background documents for local and international IDRC events; coordinates appropriate mailings or distribution;
  • Prepares training kits or information packages and sends material to participants in a timely manner; and
  • Coordinates registration process and acts as contact person for the participants.


  • Direct supervision : the position does not require the direct supervision of any employee.
  • Indirect supervision: acts as a resource person for students, Research Award Recipients, consultants and casual help as required.