Institutional Strategic Awards at SFU is seeking an experienced Senior Advisor with a specialization in the Arts, Social Sciences, and/or Humanities. The successful candidate will contribute discipline-specific expertise, leadership, and proposal development support to our core research programs and to emerging funding opportunities, particularly those offered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat. Experience with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) considerations in research, including knowledge of Indigenous research principles (e.g., OCAP), intersectional approaches (e.g., SGBA+), and strategies to achieve a more equitable, diverse and inclusive research environment is considered a strong asset.
SFU's Research Operations unit manages over $160M in sponsored research income each year at Canada's fastest growing research institution. Institutional Strategic Awards - a key part of Research Operations - focuses on both seeking and managing the largest of these awards, grants and prizes. Complementing our team of Research Project Managers, ISA fields a team of writers, facilitators and advisors, who support the development of major funding proposals that are critical to achieving the objectives of SFU's Strategic Research Plan.
The Senior Advisor, Institutional Strategic Awards plays a key role in providing leadership and facilitation services for the largest, most complex funding proposals/awards across the institution. The position is responsible for providing strategic advice in preparing funding proposals in priority research areas for the institution (e.g., Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) infrastructure, Canada Research Chairs, or Western Economic Diversity infrastructure projects (multi-year, multi-million dollar projects). The Senior Advisor coordinates and builds teams of diverse faculty members across departments, Faculties and other institutions; leads the preparation and coordination of multidisciplinary/multi-investigator funding proposals that typically involve complex partnerships (e.g., a $7M, 7-year SSHRC Partnership Grant); and establishes plans and processes for research development team projects.
Knowledge and Skills
- Good knowledge of strategic research priorities at institutional, agency and government levels.
- Excellent leadership skills and ability to work directly with faculty from multiple disciplines.
- Strong understanding of the language and culture of the research community and granting agencies and foundations.
- Excellent knowledge of policies and procedures for granting agencies and foundations.
- Good knowledge of University policies and procedures related to research administration and awards.
- Superior verbal and written communication, presentation, interpersonal, organizational, and online research skills.
- Excellent writing/editing and proofreading skills for a variety of technical materials.
- Excellent communications skills and the ability to facilitate interaction with diverse groups of individuals to research, secure
and/or provide information, clarify situations, resolve problems, and engage individuals in decision making.
- Exceptional time management skills and the ability to coordinate projects and resources, prioritize and track multiple projects
simultaneously, and meet critical deadlines.
- Excellent strategic and project management skills.
- High degree of tact, diplomacy and discretion.
- Ability to write and edit both academic-focused and public/external-focused works for diverse purposes.
- Ability to summarize complex information into plain and succinct language.
- Ability to multitask, work under pressure and meet multiple/competing deadlines.
- Ability to work independently and within a team environment, and the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with
- Proficiency in office applications (i.e., Excel), internet applications and database software.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Provides strategic leadership and advice in the preparation of high priority, major institution-led funding proposals in priority
research areas for the institution by:
- Developing strategies for managing highly complex/high value competitions (e.g., partnership/international grants).
- Identifying and engaging key stakeholders; forming strategic groupings of researchers and staff; and ensuring
cohesion of vision to the proposal, and adherence to funding entity requirements.
- Planning the content of proposals in consultation with faculty, administration, external agencies and peers.
- Planning, and assigning work to other unit staff on the writing and production of funding proposals, reports, and
other related documents.
- Reviewing and providing feedback on proposals, and providing an interface with senior administration and
University executives as required.
- Working in partnership with researchers, senior management and staff throughout the University and collaborating
with institutions and external funding agencies in the production of the final product.
- Providing advice and assistance in the development and approval of funding proposals by others, prior to submission
to external agencies.
- Informing the supervisor of award activities and issues related to institutional risk.
- Liaising with funding agencies and other sponsors; staying current with funder(s) requirements; and studying the
patterns of successful proposals.
2. Coordinates planning and processes for research project development in collaboration with senior project managers, and
often functions as the primary pre-award project manager (depending on the size of project) by:
- Developing and coordinating project plans in collaboration with the project team (faculty, collaborating
- Coordinating support team contributions, including multiple support units within and external to the institution
required for project development (e.g. IT, Facilities, Procurement, external suppliers).
- Coordinating customer service and continuity in consultation with senior project managers and the Awards team.
- Managing complex funding arrangements (e.g., multiple contributions that are interdependent) in consultation with
the Financial Analyst, Industry Engagement Office.
3. Provides timely submission of qualified proposals, including supporting documentation, in coordination with Research
4. Develops and delivers presentations to faculty regarding large, highly complex grants.
5. Coordinates writing and co-facilitation in collaboration with Research Facilitators across the university and the supervisor.
6. Contributes to the university requirement for detailed research metrics by:
- Providing leadership in the management of university-level research metrics, including measuring and monitoring
success rates, publications and other outcomes.
- Maintaining and sharing standardized data on unit activity.
Doctoral degree in Science, Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, or a related/relevant discipline, and six years of related experience in
research development and administration at a Canadian university, funding agency or related agency; experience in writing and
coordinating multidisciplinary research award proposals with multiple collaborators for a variety of funding sources (public and
private); or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
How to Apply
Please include your cover letter and resume in one attachment.