Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Toronto


DepartmentThe University of Toronto is recognized for its ability to launch and develop large-scale interdisciplinary research initiatives. The new Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) portfolio led by the Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives (AVPVP SI) is dedicated to improving the university’s capacity to seed, develop and make sustainable large cross-divisional interdisciplinary, excellence-driven research initiatives. Working with university-wide and divisional units, the ISI portfolio provides support and/or expertise in areas such as research leadership, budget and finance, human resources, proposal development, fellowship models, organization of events and public engagements such that individual initiatives do not have to duplicate efforts at a smaller scale. Along with these supports, in consultation with divisional leadership, the ISI portfolio also provides support to seed and funding to match cross-divisional ISIs.

Reporting to the AVPVP SI and serving as a top advisor to the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives (VPRISI), the Executive Director will provide strategic leadership and guidance during the critical seeding and growth phases of high priority strategic research initiatives. The Executive Director will work with academic leads, key members of divisional and central advancement and communications to ensure the successful development, establishment and scaling of initiatives. Responsibilities include: developing business and/or operations plans for ISIs, developing grant proposals; working with divisions, industry and advancement to source and secure short and long-term funding to support specific initiatives; working with divisional and/or central HR support to staff new and emerging ISIs, overseeing execution of a strategic communications plan for new ISIs; creating a strategy for bringing together and serving researchers from various UofT academic divisions to create an engaged academic community of affiliates within each ISI; developing new partnerships with public sector research institutions, companies and private-sector umbrella organizations to support new ISIs; leading the organization of industry consortia; guiding and supporting oversight and management of ISI operations and governance. The incumbent will be responsible for ensuring that ISIs’ obligations under all funding and partnership agreements are fulfilled and will have full accountability for fiscal, human resources, space and other administrative management responsibilities for specific ISIs.


Post graduate degree or the equivalent acceptable combination of education and experience. A PhD is highly desirable.

Ten (10) years of relevant experience developing and leading early-stage, emerging organizations to reach high growth potential, experience within an academic or industry setting. Experience in accessing and implementing early-stage funding, and partnership-brokering with public, industry and private sectors, promoting industry-partnerships, innovation, and research commercialization. Demonstrated effectiveness in developing operational, financial and staffing plans and structures to support organizational growth potential.

Entrepreneurial and transformational leadership skills, adaptable to changing needs, proven ability assessing opportunities in a variety of disciplines; excellent research, analytical, negotiation, partnership development, organizational and interpersonal skills; excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to concisely summarize information and provide a rationale for action ; creative problem solving; mentorship abilities.

Ability to work at the highest strategic levels, to gain and maintain the respect of senior administration and also to take strategy and move it through to tactics and action, strong project management ability. Ability to work in a collaborative and collegial manner. Must be highly self-motivated and sustain a high degree of initiative. High degree of political acuity, tact and judgment, including the ability to partner with senior University Officers and external stakeholders in a manner which facilitates cooperation and consensus building and demonstrated experience maintaining the respect of senior administration, donors and volunteers and moving strategy through to tactics and action. Must be able to identify and understand emerging issues as well as set and manage priorities.

Department: Office of the Vice President, Research & Innovation
Campus: St. George (downtown Toronto)
Schedule: Full-time
Job Field: Research Administration
Job Posting: Dec 2, 2019
Job Closing: Dec 15, 2019, 11:59:00 PM

  • education
  • human resources
  • ms project