Employee Spotlight: Jaqueline Nicol

Written by Anju Kakkar

Jaqueline Nicol, B. Com. (Hons)

Operations & Research Ethics Board Coordinator, Humber Research & Innovation

For this week’s employee spotlight, it gives us pride to shed light on one of Humber Research & Innovation’s seasoned team member Jaqueline Nicol, better known as Jackie to us all. To have amidst us motivated employees who are willing to get on board with the organization’s grander vision and who embrace the mindset of ‘how can I make it better?’ is truly an asset. Jackie is unquestionably an asset we are thrilled to work with and to celebrate.


Jackie is the Operations & Research Ethics Board Coordinator overseeing administrative processes of the research department and the Humber Research Ethics Board (REB). In addition to ensuring that all research aligns with the standards set by the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS), Jackie is responsible for coordinating the review of 120 applications per year among several other tasks. We were extremely curious about her journey, and we implored Jackie to share with us. Jackie completed the Hospitality Management Program from Humber in 2008 and acquired a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in 2010 from the University of Guelph. Jackie reflects on the connections she made at Humber College, sharing deep appreciation for the guidance she continuously received from faculty members during those pivotal years of her life. After gaining experience with Hilton Worldwide Corporate Sales where she worked for four years, she began her career with Humber in 2013 as a Program Support Officer in the (then) School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism, spending a great deal of time ensuring that students were supported throughout their Humber journey. Jackie gleefully shares that she got to work with the very same instructors that had taught her, supporting the program that she had graduated from.


Jackie’s desire to grow both in her career and life paved the path to research; she humbly implies that she ‘stumbled upon research’ and transferred to (then) Applied Research & Innovation as the Administrative Coordinator. Jackie’s exceptional ability to apply her skills in areas of operations, finance and HR allowed her to get involved in all areas of research, along with the opportunity to work closely with project coordinators and leads. As a member of both: the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Board and the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA), Jackie is very diligent about conducting her work with care and with a systematic mindset. She has participated in the Leadership Development for Women: Early Career Program in 2016 from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Jackie has also recently completed the Basadur Simplexity Thinking program – a framework for problem-solving and a pathway to innovation.


Jackie embraces a thirst for change and innovation. Even though she may, on the one hand, describe specific areas of her job as process-oriented, she continues to think outside the box. She pushes herself to figure out, “how can I make it better and contribute further to the department?’ and “how can I work with people one-on-one to empower them to understand and smoothen the complexities of processes involved?” Jackie is very mindful of her collaboration with the team and internal and external stakeholders and continues to appreciate the encouragement and freedom given at Humber Research to explore and innovate, stating ‘there are no bad ideas’ and extending thanks for working with a great team.


Read what Jackie has to say about her experience with Humber’s Research & Innovation:


“In 2017 began working with the Research & Innovation department and so began my journey into what is truly becoming a powerhouse at Humber. I am a graduate of Humber College, and I am so grateful to be establishing such a rewarding career here. I have many friendships that were established on day 1 (literally on my first of work) that I still carry close to me today. In my current role, I am a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to research grant administration, as well as a point of contact for research policies, funding guidelines, human resources processes, and finance.”


Jackie works in close coordination with the operations team in the research department, ensuring financial accountability of grant expenditures. She is tasked with coordinating, tracking and monitoring all of Research & Innovation’s human resources and financial tracking processes. She oversees salary expenditure across the department. Jackie embraces a “let’s figure it out” attitude with grace, willing to assist in any form, and we can rest assured that she will help us figure it out when approached. Jackie has worked closely with the Operations Manager and our Dean to develop internal process and funding guidelines. She has managed budgets for two Ontario Centers of Excellence programs with ten projects each.


We thank Jackie for her tremendous support and continuous engagement, and reliability. Humber Research & Innovation’s vision of growth and expansion is a definite success thanks to a work culture that supports and encourages the input and participation of team members like Jackie.


Want to get to know Jackie just a little bit more? We thought you might:


– She began her journey with Humber in 2008 as a Hospitality Management Program student

– She is currently pursuing 2 certifications: Project Management Certificate from Humber; as well as Research Administration Certification from Mohawk Continuing Education endorsed by CARA

– A certification she has in mind, Jackie says, “something related to finance to enhance my skills.”

– When she is not at work, she takes care of her family and spends time with her children; “I am a minimalist and like the simple pleasures of life.”

– Secret talent: Jackie shares, “playing soccer in my spare-time.”

– A favourite movie that she shares with us: ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’; “I enjoy feel-good movies, also sports documentaries and shows like ‘Last Chance U’ on Netflix.”

– Favourite drink, Jackie, the minimalist, shares “Water”, of course.


Research to me is, Jackie states, “endless possibilities.”


Benefits of Research Administration Certification:

1. Explain how research institutions generate & receive funding, align funding requirements with appropriate funding opportunities

2. Analyze research funding trends and issues in a Canadian context

3. Design a system/program that provides effective administrative support for legal, regulatory & ethical compliance

4. Compose funding proposals with key considerations, including budgeting, human resources, financial management, reporting and impact enhancement/commercialization of research

5. Manage detailed project budgets that are aligned with project timelines and total costing

6. Analyze main types of contracts that are relevant to a research administrator, choose appropriate contract option

7. Design internal audit mechanisms to support external audits.



Is there a certification you are working towards? Are you developing a particular skill? We would love to hear all about it. Leave a comment on our social channels!


For more information on the Research Administration Certification, check out the website: