Vice President, Research

CIFAR is a Canadian-based global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.  By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing.  CIFAR’s time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, CIFAR is a catalyst for change in industry, government and society.  CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 19 Nobel laureates and more than 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world’s first AI Strategy.  

Reporting to the President and CEO and as a member of CIFAR’s executive team, the Vice President, Research supports the President in maintaining the intellectual leadership of the Institute’s research programs. The Vice President will provide leadership in the development and evolution of the research portfolio of the Institute, and in possible future research activities. Responsible for the management and oversight of the Programs and Research Department, the Vice President will work closely with the Directors of Programs on assigned research programs, being involved primarily at the program development and review stages. The Vice President will engage in the advancement, advocacy and promotion of the Institute among key stakeholder groups, especially but not limited to universities and research organizations, the private sector and the governmental sector.

The ideal candidate is a highly regarded, experienced and credible researcher who can articulate to both academic and non-academic communities the important role CIFAR plays in supporting fundamental research which addresses every aspect of life and health, individuals and societies, information and matter, and earth and space. Candidates must have an understanding of the Canadian research university setting and research environment, and therefore, the ability to evaluate new programs and initiatives on behalf of the organization. Strong people management skills, an ability to build strong partnerships with both internal and external stakeholders, and an ease communicating with groups of varying size are also required. Excellent knowledge and experience of financial and human resources and administrative methodologies are required.  An established intellectual network in Canada and globally, and the fluidity to translate those relationships into support of CIFAR’s programs is a desired skill set. Appointable for a 5 year renewable term, and with an openness to a secondment from a post-secondary institution, ideally the new Vice President will take office no later than July 1, 2020.

One of CIFAR's core cultural values is Diversity - we value diversity and aspire to be inclusive in all aspects of our work.  CIFAR is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to removing systemic barriers and biases, and by promoting the practice of inclusivity, so that all individuals have equal access to and benefit from the work we do.  We encourage applications from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to diversity within our organization.

To explore this key leadership position at CIFAR further, please contact Jane Griffith or Sarah Adams at or submit your resume and related information in confidence online at

CIFAR is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, upon request, accommodation will be provided by both Odgers Berndtson and CIFAR throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process to applicants with disabilities.