Member - AMENDMENT, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

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Innovation, Science and Industry
Position title:
Application Review Date:
July 20, 2020
Opportunity number:

**If you applied between June 8, 2020 and July 2, 2020 you do not need to re-apply to be considered for this position.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian organizations to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada's long tradition of scientific excellence.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries – valuable world-firsts in knowledge pursued by a brain trust of over 12,400 researchers. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada help advance R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and mitigate the risks of developing new technology. The new Alliance grant program will incentivize research carried out in collaboration with small- and medium-sized enterprises, industrial value chains, and multi-sectoral partnerships. It will also recognize the necessity of supporting high-risk, early-stage research carried out in collaboration with non-academic partners.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada promotes and supports an active Discovery and Innovation dynamic by collaborating with nearly 3,800 public and private organizations. The results are profound: 20,000 full-time and part-time students are trained annually in industrial settings; 1 in 4 partner companies hired a student from the research project; 1 in 3 partners stated that the research results helped to reduce environmental impact; and 1 in 2 partners developed or improved a product, process or service.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has a governing council consisting of the President and not more than 18 other members. The members are distinguished representatives from the private, academic, not-for-profit and public sectors appointed by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister. The functions of the Council are to promote and assist research in the natural sciences and engineering, other than the health sciences; and to advise the Minister in respect of such matters relating to such research as the Minister may refer to the Council for its consideration.

Council advises the President on strategy and high level policies for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and reviews and evaluates performance. The Council works to achieve the greatest strategic impact for Canada from the expenditure of public funds, and ensures that public funds are allocated in a manner that maximizes research outcomes. Council members represent the Canadian public and rely upon their knowledge of current issues and trends in the natural sciences and engineering to strengthen the president’s ability to lead the organization with the conviction that comes from independent advice and, with the support of Council, to confidently account to the Minister and to Parliament for the decisions made, the resources expended, and the results achieved.

Council is advised on policy and programming matters by standing committees that are responsible for overseeing, where appropriate, the work of selection committees and panels. The committee structure adopted by the Council enables it to devote most of its deliberations to broad policies, strategic direction and financial issues.

Diversity and Official Languages

The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore encouraged to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language. Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • A graduate degree from a recognized university or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training and/or experience;

  • Significant national or international experience in research or research management within the academic, private, not-for-profit or public sector;

  • Experience developing, implementing and managing strategic initiatives within the post-secondary sector or other private, not-for-profit or public sector organizations;

  • Experience in strategic management, organizational change and management techniques, which promote and improve organizational performance;

  • Experience serving as a member of a board of directors for an academic, private, not-for-profit or public sector organization would be an asset; and

  • Experience in public policy development with a particular focus on the academic research community, would be an asset.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s mandate, business activities and governing legislation, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act;

  • Knowledge of Canada’s academic community, including the following: knowledge of the post-secondary education system; an understanding of funding for post-secondary students and researchers, respectively; and challenges and opportunities related to generating knowledge, to developing talented leaders, and to facilitating knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, post-secondary institutions and all sectors of society;

  • Knowledge of the current challenges and opportunities related to natural sciences and engineering research, including impacts of major crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic on the domestic and global science, research and innovation ecosystems;

  • Knowledge of the Government of Canada’s structure and operations, and its relationship with the research funding agencies;

  • Knowledge of corporate governance and risk management policies, practices and principles;

  • Ability to understand emerging and global trends;

  • Ability to provide strategic guidance on how to efficiently and appropriately develop and implement activities that support the mission and strategic objectives of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and on designing and implementing appropriate near and longer term measures to respond to such fast-breaking priorities as the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • Ability to understand, interpret and evaluate financial statements and budgets;

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with other council members and stakeholders, including contributing to coordinated, whole-of-government responses to fast-breaking priorities such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and

  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages would be preferred.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • Superior interpersonal skills

  • Sound judgment

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Tact and diplomacy

  • Initiative

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • If you are appointed to one of these positions, you must be willing to participate in Council and committee meetings in Canada. These commitments include at least two in-person meetings each year, with additional meetings by teleconference as required. Members who serve on standing or special committees of Council will be required to participate in additional in-person meetings and teleconferences. Meetings are normally in Ottawa.

  • You are willing to commit up to 25 days per year to Council business.

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment.

A list of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Review of applications will begin on July 20, 2020. Candidates must apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date. After this date, your application will be retained and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made. Your cover letter must demonstrate that you meet the requirements of this position and should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office, and should be sent through the online application.

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