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Director, Research (15 Month Contract)

Position Profile:

As a member of the senior management team reporting to the Vice President, Research, this position provides institutional leadership and administrative management of research programs.  The Director, Research works closely with the Vice President, Research in the development of CIFAR’s research portfolio, including in the management of operational systems.  The position provides leadership and supervision to employees in the Research Department and supports collaboration across the Institute among various departments and teams, as well as the transfer of knowledge and ideas across the organization. The Director, Research provides input into strategic directions for CIFAR, and will regularly interact with external research organizations, partners and donors, serving as a relationship manager in close collaboration with other departments, as needed.



Provides institutional leadership and administrative management of research programs by: 

  • Developing and managing research program strategies for all assigned programs and coordinating and aligning activities across all areas of the organization including Knowledge Mobilization, Strategic Communications, and Advancement. 
  • Developing and supporting research program activities as determined through consultation with program directors, advisory committees and program members 
  • Building and maintaining relationships with program directors and program members
  • Attending program meetings for assigned programs, ensuring that meetings are planned and organized for assigned programs and ensuring program members are engaged in ongoing planning (e.g. through business meetings and advisory committee meetings)
  • Maintaining current knowledge and progress/status of each assigned program and resolving issues that arise.
  • Organizing and overseeing, 5-year program reviews for assigned programs in alignment with other CIFAR activities including the Global Call
  • Overseeing the appointments process for the assigned research programs
  • Planning and managing program budgets for assigned research programs

Supports the VP, Research in the development and support of CIFAR’s research portfolio by:

  • Working with the research leadership team on the development of policies and practices that govern the administration of all existing and new research programs
  • Ensuring that appropriate planning, operational and assessment systems, related to the research portfolio, are in place, documented and periodically reviewed
  • Working closely with colleagues from the Strategic Communications, Knowledge Mobilization and Advancement Departments to contribute to materials that promote and support the work of CIFAR and the assigned research programs 
  • Supporting the activities and development of CIFAR’s research partnerships
  • Other duties as assigned by the VP, Research.

Provides leadership and supervision to employees by (pending appropriate experience of the successful candidate):

  • Supervising assigned employees, including assigning additional duties when necessary; conducting performance reviews, recruitment and selection, and resolving employees issues



Education/Experience required:

  • A proven track record of senior-level research administration with experience working within an academic, policy, or research institution with capacity to provide managerial leadership in planning and organization.  
  • A PhD is required, with at least five years’ experience working with universities, research institutions or government, or similar settings.  

Core Professional/Technical Knowledge & Skills required for the position:

  • Project management, planning and execution skills are necessary along with the ability to evaluate and launch new initiatives/programs.  
  • Good knowledge of financial, human resources and administrative methodologies to build capacity and to monitor budgets will also be required.  
  • Computer skills to use a variety of standard and/or in-house office software is necessary.  


If and when air travel becomes safe and feasible travel will be required – this position attends program meetings and workshops (approximately 10 meetings of 2 days each per year). All meetings are currently being conducted virtually.

Position reports to:  Vice-President, Research

Term of position: 15 Months

Start date: May 2021

Contact:  Please send resume and cover letter in confidence to quoting “Director, Research (15 Month Contract)” in the Subject Line.  The deadline for submitting your application is 11:59pm on Sunday, April 18, 2021. 


To find out more, please visit our website:

One of CIFAR’s core cultural values is Diversity – we value diversity and aspire to be inclusive in all aspects of our work.  CIFAR is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to removing systemic barriers and biases, and by promoting the practice of inclusivity, so that all individuals have equal access to and benefit from the work we do. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application.  

ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES – CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email and include the term ‘Accessibility’ in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.

CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible.  Other languages are also considered an asset. For a French version of the job posting, please visit

CIFAR is supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec as well as international partner organizations, individuals, foundations and corporations.

We thank you for your interest in working at CIFAR. All applications will be reviewed however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted via email. 

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CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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