Administrative Assistant

University of British Columbia

Job Category
CUPE 2950

Job Title
Administrative Assistant

Zandstra Laboratory School of Biomedical Engineering Faculty of Medicine

Posting End Date
December 9, 2022

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.

Job End Date
Dec 15, 2023

This position has the option of a hybrid work arrangement.

Job Summary

The School of Biomedical Engineering is a partnership between the Faculties of Medicine and Applied Science. The School is a nucleus for education and training, research, and innovation in biomedical engineering; creating new knowledge, new academic and training programs, and fostering translation and innovation. The School is currently responsible for 350+ undergraduate students, 140+ graduate students and 30+ faculty. Over time, the School will be responsible for as many as 400+ undergraduate students, 200+ graduate students and 40+ faculty.

The Administrative Assistant is responsible for providing administrative activities associated with the Zandstra laboratory and Kaigala laboratory. This position is expected to act independently at times on administrative and operational matters, data management and communications, and to take initiative to ensure effective administrative functioning of both labs.


The position will support two labs at two separate locations – the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Life Sciences Centre (LSC).

Organizational Status
The position reports to the Principal Investigators (PI’s), Dr. Peter Zandstra in the Zandstra lab and Dr. Govind Kaigala in the Kaigala lab. The Administrative Assistant will work collaboratively with the staff, faculty, students and other members in both labs.
Work Performed

Admin Support for the PI’s

  • Arranges meetings involving the PI’s on request and maintains calendars/schedules for the PI’s.

  • Maintains the PI’s curriculum vitae (CV) including publications, trainees/HQP, speaking engagements, awards, and committees, and formats and updates these on the relevant websites for funding applications and grant reporting.

  • Adds e-signature of PIs (upon email approval by PI’s) to UBC forms (e.g. RPIFs and UBC Contact Request Forms, other forms for funding applications) and circulates them to the correct parties for signature/approval by deadline.

  • Assists with grant applications and reports (e.g. compiling lists of publications, funding, details on trainees/HQP, and submitting this information on grant application websites).

  • Tracks information about PI’s HQP (their conference presentations, diversity statistics, their following positions) for grants and reporting.

  • Tracks grant and reporting deadlines and sends reminders to PI’s and relevant lab members.

  • Renews and manages PI’s professional memberships.

  • Arranges travel arrangements for PI’s for scientific conferences and meetings.

  • Submits PI’s expenses in Workday for lab-related purchases and travel expenses for reimbursements.

  • Prepares and finalizes letters of reference for PI’s contacts including lab members, alumni, other contacts or colleagues applying for jobs and/or awards, and tracks due dates to ensure submission by deadline.

  • Submits online references for lab members by deadline on behalf of PI’s.

  • Helps coordinate lab tours for VIP visitors.

Admin Support for the Labs

  • Arranges agenda for weekly lab meetings, schedules lab member’s presentations and subsequent 1:1 debrief meetings.

  • Communicates meeting information to attendees and sends weekly reminders to lab members about the upcoming lab meeting.

  • Arranges meetings between the PI’s and their lab members.

  • Arranges internal and external meetings with collaborators related to the Wellcome Leap HOPE grant (Zandstra lab) or other lab research projects (Zandstra and Kaigala labs), and coordinates with the HOPE Program Director on scheduling HOPE related activities (Zandstra lab).

  • Books meeting rooms for meetings and sets Zoom links for hybrid/remote meetings.

  • Arranges annual Individual Development Plan (IDP) meetings between PI’s and lab members; helps to maintain IDP timelines and documentation.

  • Coordinates and organizes lab retreats (usually annually, off-campus) including venue identification, booking and payment, liaising with other lab members, and preparing the agenda.

  • Arranges virtual/in-person interviews with prospective new lab members.

  • Assists lab members with travel arrangements for scientific conferences.

  • Maintains an up-to-date list of contact information for all lab members and communicates the list to departmental administrators/staff on request.

  • Uses UBC Visa card for lab-related purchases and reconciles in Workday.

  • Liaises between Zandstra/Kaigala labs and departments (SBME, MSL) on building-related matters (onboarding new lab members, obtaining building access permissions, and coordinating lab members attending departmental events).

  • Orders catering for lab-related meetings on UBC Visa card.

  • Arranges social events for the labs and orders catering. Social events include but not limited to annual lab BBQs, working lunches and annual holiday event.

  • Manages the lab’s alumni LinkedIn groups as an admin (admitting new members), and arranges lab alumnae events.

  • Updates the lab’s social media accounts (e.g. Twitter) and provides content for lab website updates to the Lab Communications Coordinator.

Consequence of Error/Judgement
This position requires judgment, tact, discretion and initiative. This position handles sensitive and highly confidential matters. Errors could have a negative impact on the operations and reputation of the School and the University resulting in negative public relations, inefficient use of resources, and loss of credibility. Inappropriate management of confidential documents and information could have an adverse effect on faculty, staff or students, or on UBC.
Supervision Received
The position reports to the Principal Investigators (PI’s), Dr. Peter Zandstra in the Zandstra lab and Dr. Govind Kaigala in the Kaigala lab. Performs familiar duties independently and in accordance with established procedures.
Supervision Given
Minimum Qualifications
High School graduation, plus one year of post-secondary education, plus four years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Preferred Qualifications

  • Relevant UBC experience preferred.

  • Prior work experience in a University, research, education, and/or health care organizational structure an asset.

  • Ability to work effectively under pressure, handle heavy volumes and meet constant deadlines.

  • Training in secretarial practices, office procedures, and/or basic accounting.

  • Intermediate skills in Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook preferred.

  • Highly effective interpersonal and organizational skills.

  • Strong ability to manage Outlook and electronic communications platforms (e.g. doodle polls, Slack, MS Teams, Twitter).

  • Ability to use internet applications and tools at an intermediate level.

  • Ability to type 60 wpm and operate a normal range of office equipment.

  • Strong ability to accurately maintain electronic calendars, reconcile scheduling conflicts, coordinate meetings and schedule the day’s activities appropriately.

  • Ability to plan, schedule and organize a variety of projects and/or events, often concurrently.

  • Ability to compose correspondence, reports, presentations and other written materials using clear, concise business English.

  • Ability to be thorough and maintain accuracy and high level of attention to detail.

  • Ability to exercise judgment, discretion and diplomacy.

  • Ability to work independently, with minimum supervision, and cooperatively both within the UBC community and with external stakeholders.

  • Ability to work both independently and participate as an effective member in a team environment.

  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships.

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