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Director, Institutional Research

Date: July 1, 2013
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Vice-President, Research Operations
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles):
Location: Main Campus, Needles Hall

USG 16

35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Reporting directly to the Associate Vice-President, Research Operations, the Director, Institutional Research brings the highest standards of professionalism and dedication to a suite of institutionally significant research funding mechanisms through which millions of dollars are secured annually. The incumbent has administrative responsibility for the portfolio and must provide strategic direction to devise and implement strategies aligned with the foundational pillars of the university strategic plan to attract and retain world-class faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and other research personnel.

Key Accountabilities:

Provide strategic and expert advice and operational support to the Vice-President, University Research and the Associate Vice-President, Research Operations in achieving research goals and objectives outlined in the university strategic plan.


Represent the Vice-President, University Research at provincial and national working group committees (e.g. Ontario Working Group, U-15 Research Directors Group) to develop Best Practices and joint recommendations for provincial or federal consultations.


Hold positions on internal and external committees, boards and advisory groups as appropriate (e.g. CASRAI), providing leadership and working closely with researchers and other senior administrative staff to develop strategies to improve the quality of applications and to create effective policies and procedures for implementation of specific sponsor requirements or to develop standardized research management tools.


Supervise and provide leadership to 5 FTEs (1 Research Administrator, 2 Research Coordinators and 2 Managers), several contract writers and a co-op student each summer in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment in which there are many competing priorities.


Oversee and as appropriate execute the negotiation of contracts and agreements. The incumbent must have strong knowledge of formal agreement and/or contract requirements, the academic and research environment, and university policies and procedures as they relate to research grants and contracts, financial management, human resources, indirect cost recovery, legal issues (liability, payment terms, publication, licensing and patent rights, and student participation), procurement services and exchange rates. Effectively maintaining UW’s reputation, performance obligations and intellectual property protection is paramount.

Position Requirements


Graduate degree and have acquired through 7-10 years of management/leadership experience.


The incumbent will have earned a graduate degree and have acquired through 7-10 years of management / leadership experience in a research-intensive university environment an expert knowledge of Canadian research administration policies and practices. Must have highly developed strategic and conceptual skills and the ability to take a proactive, innovative approach to service delivery with a keen sense of responsibility and an ability, together with the confidence, to communicate effectively with a broad range of individuals both within the University (faculty and senior administration) and with external agencies (government representatives and other institutional partners). The incumbent must have well developed analytical skills coupled with strong oral and written communication skills. Project management skills together with budgetary, negotiation, administrative and organizational skills are essential.



Incumbent must have strong computer capabilities, including knowledge of Microsoft software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and database management.


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Advanced Advanced other

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Institutional Research provides professional management, promotion and oversight of prestigious external research awards and major research infrastructure funding to the entire university community. The incumbent must present a professional, competent presence to external sponsors, university administrators, faculty members, staff and students. Thoroughness, vigilance and attention to detail are paramount. A proactive problem-solver, the incumbent works effectively in team settings. The incumbent must have excellent problem-solving / diplomacy skills including the ability to negotiate effectively conditions of funding with government representatives and other partners.


Significant Internal and External Relationships

The sphere of interaction for the Director, Institutional Research is broad, extensive and complex. Internally, the incumbent must liaise with senior leadership including Deans, Associate Deans Research, Centre Directors, Procurement and Plant Operations, providing strategic advice and expert guidance in the development of proposals, including extensive writing, editing and development of complex budgets, negotiation of award agreements and ongoing monitoring of research progress.


Externally, this position will have significant senior contacts with academic, industry and government organizations and will be involved with highly sensitive, confidential matters that are critical to the success of the research enterprise.

Level of Responsibility:

The position is solely responsible for the Institutional Research group and is expected to proactively promote research opportunities. The job has specialized work with minimal supervision. Management of risk, including environmental, financial and contractual risk and of intellectual property are critical elements of the position.

Decision-Making Authority:

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of a senior leadership position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of a senior leadership position; exposed to high stress and pressure associated with senior level responsibilities. Work beyond normal hours and under frequently tight time lines should be expected, including weekends and evenings, although all such occurrences will be scheduled in advance and in accordance with university policy.