Senior Program Officer - Foundations for Innovation - Life Sciences -- IDRC, Ottawa, Canada

Position #:
Ottawa, Canada
Salary Range (CAD):
$89,927 - $108,346
Term - Until March 2022
Closing Date (DD/MM/YY):


Job Overview
The Science and Innovation Program supports research and capacity building to help developing countries produce, adapt and use science, technology and innovation for development. All countries need to develop the capacity to produce and use science and technology themselves, and adapt knowledge to their needs and contexts. The projects we fund encourage the generation and sharing of knowledge across regions and countries. Part of the program partners with Canada’s science granting councils to support joint research by Canadian and international scientists in areas of shared interest, such as sustainable societies and climate change.
A new initiative of the Science and Innovation program involves collaboration between IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) to fund the “Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program” (“the Initiative”). The three agencies support the search for breakthroughs in health sciences that have the potential to bring about enduring changes across the globe, including in developing regions. 
The objectives of the Initiative are to advance research and discovery in the biomedical sciences, to encourage international scientific collaboration between Canadian and Israeli researchers and other eligible co-applicants; and to build capacity in biomedical science and brain research in, and scientific relations with, collaborators and trainees from low and middle income countries.
The Initiative will support world-class research at the cutting-edge of biomedical science with a primary focus on brain research. It will integrate researchers from low and middle income countries (LMICs) to further their scientific capacity. In their capacity as collaborators, they will contribute to and benefit from their involvement in the Initiative.
The Initiative will involve annual calls for proposals, with the focus in the first year being on new frontiers in neuroscience. Subsequent calls may extend to other organs and diseases, and other topics in health sciences. Each research team will involve one Principal Investigator from Canada and Israel and the research team will involve collaborators from LMICs.
IDRC is looking for one professional to join this new initiative, based in Ottawa.
As a Senior Program Officer, reporting to a program manager, you will:
  • Coordinate and provide technical guidance to the Initiative’s competition processes: In collaboration with ISF and CIHR, design and implement competition processes, that includes supporting the work of an International Grant Adjudication Panel, preparing application guidelines for annual competitions, and directly managing a portfolio of research projects of up to CAD 500,000 each; supporting the development of a monitoring system for the Initiative and reporting to partner agencies; leading the preparation of reports and other key program documentation for the funders.
  • Monitor the technical and financial performance of projects:  by visiting and liaising with Canadian project leaders and collaborators from LMICs; organizing technical reporting guidelines and approvals with other funders; providing guidance, advice and information to research teams; reviewing scientific publications arising from their research.
  • Promote research quality and scientific merit: by providing quality assurance at all stages of the research and capacity building activities to ensure project and program objectives are on schedule; giving attention to research ethics;  and, where applicable, working with interested stakeholders to foster deeper understanding and effective use of the research undertaken.
  • Facilitate program learning and synthesis across projects: by working with the funding agencies and research grantees to forge linkages with other biomedical science research programs, and to encourage and support dissemination of research findings at research and policy forums, as well as publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Contribute to governance: by supporting the Governance Committee for this Initiative and working with IDRC colleagues to ensure proper oversight of the Initiative and timely technical input and contractual obligations are met.
  • Professional representation: by representing IDRC in a wide range of audiences and venues; developing and maintaining strategic relationships with individuals and organizations to support the goals of the program.
We are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in advanced biomedical sciences and brain research, experience in grant management and in research collaboration with researchers based in LMICs.

Candidate Profile
Ph. D. in health, biomedical, natural or applied sciences with application to neuroscience, including biology, medicine, mathematics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, and other disciplines. Specific education related to brain research would be asset.
Minimum of five years relevant experience in biomedical science which includes:
  • Program research management involving multiple stakeholders;
  • Leading, managing and conducting research projects involving international researchers on issues related to biomedical research;
  • Assessing and strengthening research capacities through mentoring and supervising;
  • Designing and delivering activities to build capacity to conduct and manage research projects;
  • Communicating research: presentations, reports, documents for expert and non-expert audiences;
  • Establishing and building partnerships with research organizations and end users;  
  • Consulting with life science companies, decision-makers and policy actors to identify research needs;
  • Working in developing regions; and
  • Working in a life sciences research organization or a grant-making organization is an asset.
  • Bilingual position (English/French) at an intermediate level
  • Sound knowledge of new frontiers in biomedical medical and brain research (such as neural bases of cognition, modelling of brain function, integrated brain-body functions) and the relevance of neuroscience to the broader field of health sciences  
  • Knowledge of, and preferably links to, existing international professional networks in the field of biomedical research, including in LMICs
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills
  • Strong planning, organization, problem-solving, coordination and negotiation skills
  • Initiative, sound judgment, and the ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to establish, manage, guide and monitor relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team of people from diverse cultures, expertise and experiences
  • Ability to work from a people centered perspective
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to individual, gender and cultural differences



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Cambodia Jobs: Senior Program Officer - Foundations for Innovation - Life Sciences -- IDRC, Ottawa, Canada
Senior Program Officer - Foundations for Innovation - Life Sciences -- IDRC, Ottawa, Canada
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