Associate Director, UBC Knowledge Exchange – University of British Columbia – Vancouver, BC

Application Deadline- June 13, 2018

Full positions details

Department: VP Research & Innovation

Salary Range: $95,617.00 (minimum) – $119,520.00 (midpoint) – $149,401.00 (maximum)

Full Time

Desired Start Date: August 1, 2018

Job Summary

Motivated by the opportunity to support UBC’s commitment to increase the societal impact of UBC research, this leadership role will lead and champion the planning and development of the UBC Knowledge Exchange by working with a network which includes relevant pre-existing administrative units, Faculty members, staff and students and key external stakeholders. When fully operationalized, the Knowledge Exchange will provide services, programs and activities that facilitate the exchange of evidence and expertise between academic researchers and external partners and users of research, to develop solutions to social, economic, environmental, cultural, and health challenges.
We are seeking an individual who is comfortable working in a complex academic research environment, with strong strategic planning skills and experience with developing a range of partnerships with governments, non-profits, community associations, and the private sector. Knowledge and experience of knowledge translation/knowledge mobilization and/or social innovation programs and services across the disciplines would be an asset.

Organizational Status

The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation oversees a portfolio of administrative units that support researchers in developing funding proposals, sponsored research contracts and agreements, patenting and transferring technology, mobilizing knowledge, enhancing research infrastructure, and more. Reporting to the Associate Vice-President Research and Innovation, this role will work closely with the VPRI portfolio units and departments, faculties and other administrative units across the university to ensure successful delivery of assigned projects. In particular, the UBC Knowledge Exchange will be a collaborator with other units in the innovation UBC Hub: the University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO), entrepreneurship@UBC, Corporate Relations, and Innovation Development. The UBC Knowledge Exchange will also collaborate with the Government Relations and Community Engagement units in the Vice-President External Relations portfolio.

Work Performed

Build and lead the UBC Knowledge Exchange

    • Provides leadership in the development and implementation of plans to create socio-economic innovation and impact through knowledge exchange
    • Leads the overall strategic development and management of knowledge exchange at UBC, including operations and budget
    • Set the direction for the development of collaborative research projects within the university and with external partners
    • Maintains close communication with the VP Academic Office, Deans, Department Heads, and School Directors in relation to building awareness of and connection to the UBC Knowledge Exchange
    • Represents the UBC Knowledge Exchange programs and services within the innovation UBC Hub
    • Liaises with other units within innovation UBC to lead the development an appropriate academic/external steering committee to support and advise on knowledge exchange at UBC
    • Leads and creates a credible network structure that builds buy-in for the UBC Knowledge Exchange and represents the best interests of existing groups at UBC and its affiliated research institutes, for example: Community Engagement, Indigenous Research Support Initiative, Centre for Hip Health & Mobility (CHHM) Knowledge Mobilization Studio and others
    • Influence researchers, external partners, and other stakeholders to achieve results that are in the best interest of the unit, UBC and society
    • Identifies researchers and research that has the potential to inform the development of public policy and social programs and services at all levels of government, NGOs and local/national/global communities
    • Work with existing knowledge mobilization researchers, clusters and groups at UBC to identify research areas and external partners that will strengthen and augment the Knowledge Exchange unit at UBC
    • Identify areas of opportunity to advance the unit’s mandate, implement change in UBC processes when needed, and support new initiatives
    • Leads the development of a database of UBC research/researchers relevant to knowledge exchange and create metrics to monitor
    • Provides input to UBC’s membership within Research Impact Canada , a network of universities working together on research impact and knowledge mobilization and supports the ongoing internationalization of knowledge exchange
    • Sets the direction for establishing, an advisory body that will provide advice to stakeholders in the network, including the University
    • Oversees the budget and is responsible for the recruitment, training and management of staff in the unit

Communications and outreach

  • Sets the direction with UBC Communications and Marketing to develop communications, web-based tools and resources to link researchers and external partners
  • Lead the promotion of social innovation by bringing together expertise of community partners, policy makers, NGOs, and other organizations with that of the academic community to engage in research that will have an impact on society
  • Determines priority areas for engagement with research groups on campuses: research clusters, large institutional projects, large Partnership Grants
  • Leads the development and implementation of communication strategies and impact stories and narratives for the promotion of the Knowledge Exchange unit internally and externally. Prepares briefings and presentations about the unit
  • Works with government relations to help research groups proactively engage with government, when appropriate

Facilitation and capacity building

  • Collaborates with VPRI units, including the Support Programs to Advance Research Capacity (SPARC) office, to provide information to researchers on potential funding programs/Foundations and help develop knowledge exchange plans for grant proposals Develops and implements knowledge exchange workshops and training modules, tools and templates and support for stakeholder events

Supervision Received

The successful candidate will be expected to be a self-starter and work independently, with minimum supervision. He or she will require resourcefulness in identifying opportunities and challenges and pursuing them independently, reporting in to the AVPRI regularly. Additionally, the successful candidate will need to be comfortable working in an environment that requires flexibility and adaptability to respond to shifting and emerging priorities.

Supervision Given

The Associate Director is the first position to be hired in the Knowledge Exchange unit within innovation UBC. The position is expected to set the direction and lead the development of a staffing plan for the unit in close collaboration with the steering committee and other stakeholders. It is expected that these additional staff will join the Unit over the course of the first 1-2 years of operations and the position is responsible for the management of these staff including hiring, performance appraisal and termination.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

An extensive degree of judgment and initiative is required to ensure accurate and appropriate decision-making in a variety of tasks and responsibilities. Providing incomplete or inaccurate information could result in misinformation and misstatements on the part of the President or Vice-Presidents to funding agencies, UBC Executive, UBC Board of Governors and external stakeholders. Erroneous or incomplete information provided to the research community could impact funding success or result in missed opportunities.

Communications of decisions can positively or negatively impact public perception of UBC’s research enterprise. Errors could negatively affect the VPRI Office’s goals and objectives, and the reputation and credibility of the Office, the Vice-President, and the University. As the incumbent will be privy to information of a highly confidential and sensitive nature, he or she must be able to recognize the sensitivity of issues and constantly maintain the strictest confidentiality.


Post-graduate degree in a relevant discipline or an equivalent professional designation. Training in research development preferred. A minimum of 7 years of experience and extensive experience in method development, research, and facility management and ethical and other legal and regulatory requirements. Internationally recognized level of specialist expertise. Extensive experience in research partnership development (e.g., as a researcher, as an external partner, and at the interface) and/or in supporting knowledge mobilization/translation activities and services preferred. Experience working in a University setting is preferred and experience working in a large and complex institutional environment is an asset. Experience in the development of proposals, strategic plans, reviews, or other complex written documentation is an asset. Excellent written and verbal communications skills. Excellent presentation skills and comfort with speaking before an audience. Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and priorities. Ability to prioritize and work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines. Ability to work effectively independently and in a team environment. Strong interpersonal and negotiating skills. Proven ability to develop credibility and effective working relationships with faculty, staff, and other relevant stakeholders. Proficient in MS Office, desktop publishing and web design applications. Ability to determine the nature and urgency of inquiries and issues, and triage appropriately. Ability to exercise tact and discretion. Ability to analyze problems, identify key information and issues, and effectively resolve. Ability to take complex, scientific information and fluently translate into clear and succinct language for a broader audience. Ability to demonstrate initiative, resourcefulness and sound judgment. Ability to conduct needs analyses, plan, organize, manage, monitor, complete, and evaluate projects within allocated time and resources. Ability to travel, as required.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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