Executive Director, Vice-President, Research

London, Ontario
Salary Grade: 30
October 14, 2020
November 3, 2020
Job Level
AVP, Director
Employment Type
Full time
Designations Required/Preferred

With an international reputation for success, Western ranks as one of Canada's top research-intensive universities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western also provides an exceptional employment experience, offering competitive salaries, a wide range of employment opportunities and one of Canada's most beautiful campuses.

Western Research provides strategic and administrative support to foster a culture of research excellence that enhances Western University’s profile on the global stage. We support our scholars through collaboration, communication and service. Western Research supports a broad definition of research, including discovery, innovation, creativity, and artistic works.

The Executive Director will support the development and lead the implementation of strategic plans to support and advance institutional objectives related to Western Research.  The incumbent will act as a senior operating officer responsible for researching information, providing advice, building relationships, planning, executing projects, and managing the allocation and reporting of financial, human and physical resources to support the research goals of the university.  The incumbent will reinforce and advance Western's reputation for excellence in research, and ensure the development of strategies to sustain successful administration of research funds within a large diverse research community.  The Executive Director will also work in collaboration with other leaders to develop, implement and monitor processes that ensure the success of research at Western, and compliance with granting agency and other regulations.  Similarly, the Executive Director will identify opportunities for process improvements, and design and/or revise practices, with appropriate controls, to ensure the mitigation of risks. 

The Executive Director has a shared accountability to foster a culture of research & innovation at Western by guiding operational decisions for the portfolio, and has primary accountability for developing, interpreting and recommending strategies and policies to manage issues that arise on a daily basis.  The incumbent will develop a knowledge of the research funding landscape to support the AVPRs and VPR. Finally, a key role of the Executive Director is to provide leadership, supervision, and oversight, to operational teams within each unit in the portfolio.


-   Masters of Business Administration

-   Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) is preferred


-   10 years of success in strategic and operational administration, in research or a similar area

-   5 years’ experience managing staff and projects

-   Senior level leadership experience

-   Experience in strategic planning, implementation, and operationalization

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

-   Knowledge of best practices in building a strong collaborative team and leading people and of best approaches for creating a shared vision

-   Business acumen with an advanced understanding of quality standards relative to operational improvement, strategic planning and business growth

-   Communication skills with the ability to converse with, write reports for, and deliver presentations to all levels of the organization

-   Ability to deal confidentially with information that has financial, political, regulatory and reputational implications

-   Ability to provide solutions and ideas for improvement by using imaginative approaches where constructive thinking and innovation are required

-   Ability to make decisions and recommendations that are clearly linked to the organization's strategy and goals

-   Openness to recognize when change is necessary, and to develop, implement and lead effective change management strategies

-   Project management skills to manage multiple projects simultaneously from conception to completion within tightly prescribed timelines

-   Proven ability to build both formal and informal professional relationships within, across, and external to organizational boundaries

-   Compelling and persuasive communication skills to engage individuals and teams inside and outside the University

-   Knowledge of the legal frameworks in which research outcomes are achieved

-   Familiarity with Canadian peer-review granting systems, processes and procedures and of the regulations and guidelines governing research in an academic environment

-   Knowledge and understanding of the regulations and requirements of the agencies with oversight of animal research

-   Ability to promote individual growth by encouraging others to learn new skills and develop themselves

-   Ambitious with the ability to identify opportunities, develop action plans and set challenging goals in order to achieve desired outcomes

-   Computer skills with the ability to learn and use software programs; advanced computer skills with Microsoft Office Suite

-   Influential interpersonal skills that build positive and strong relationships at all levels of the organization

-   Ability to handle complex, ambiguous situations with diplomacy, calmness and good judgment

-   Results-oriented with the ability to motivate and coach employees to meet high performance standards, while working effectively as a member of the leadership team

-   Ability to recommend controls to manage operational and legal risks

-   Ability to evaluate issues, recognize potential problems and take action to proactively resolve issues

-   Capacity to think and act at a strategic level and achieve operational requirements

-   Familiarity with University policies and procedures preferred

Interested applicants are asked to visit: https://recruit.uwo.ca to apply online to job reference #20794, by midnight on November 3, 2020.

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process.  If you require accommodations for interviews or other meetings, please contact Human Resources at hrhelp@uwo.ca or phone 519-661-2194.