President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

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Innovation, Science and Industry
Position title:
Salary range:
$237,700.00 - $279,600.00/Year
National Capital Region
Application Review Date:
March 22, 2020
Opportunity number:

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding organization that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing talent, generating insights and forging connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.

SSHRC-supported research in the social sciences and humanities enhances our understanding of modern social, cultural, technological, environmental, economic and wellness issues. It raises profound questions about who we are as human beings, what we need in order to thrive in complex and challenging times, and where we are headed in the new millennium.

The work SSHRC supports encourages the deepest levels of inquiry. It spurs innovative researchers to learn from one another’s disciplines, delve into multiparty collaborations and achieve common goals for the betterment of Canadian society. Research outcomes are shared with communities, businesses and governments, who use this new knowledge to innovate and improve people’s lives.

SSHRC also invests directly in Canada’s future. Through the social sciences and humanities, students receive the best possible training in critical thinking, complex decision-making and creative exploration. By investing in scholarships, fellowships and research training, SSHRC helps develop Canada’s best and brightest scholars and researchers into Canada’s future leaders.

SSHRC has a governing council consisting of the President and not more than 18 other members. The members are distinguished representatives from the academic, not-for-profit, public, and private sectors, appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. The functions of the Council are to promote and assist research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities; 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.

SSHRC's governing council offers a broad view of Canada's needs and opportunities and advises the president on strategy, risk management, performance management and stakeholder relations with the goal of ensuring that SSHRC's priorities and programs support high quality research, training and knowledge mobilization. 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 to enable a strong, vibrant research community in the social sciences and humanities. Council members represent the Canadian public and rely upon their knowledge of current issues and trends in the social sciences and humanities research community 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.

The President is the chief executive officer of the organization and has supervision over and direction of the ongoing work of the organization and its staff. The President also plays an important role as a member of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee.

This role requires knowledge of, and experience in, Canada’s science, research and innovation ecosystem, collaborative research activities, and federal support for science and research in Canada. Knowledge of the workings of the science and innovation agendas of the Government of Canada and provinces would also be an asset.

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 doctoral degree from a recognized university in a relevant field of study;

  • Executive level management experience involving the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, ideally acquired within a large, complex private or public sector organization;

  • Extensive corporate leadership experience at the senior executive level, including managing human and financial resources;

  • Significant experience in research management in a post-secondary institution, in government or in industry, with a strong record of achievements;

  • Experience in building, fostering and maintaining productive and strategic partnerships, relationships and collaborative arrangements with partner organizations, diverse stakeholders and academic leaders at the national and international levels;

  • Experience in dealing with government, preferably with senior government officials;

  • Experience gained within the post-secondary sector in Canada would be considered an asset; and

  • Experience undertaking research would be considered 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 the mandate, programs, legislative framework and activities of SSHRC;

  • Knowledge of the federal government and public policy environments, especially in respect of science, research and innovation;

  • Broad knowledge of Canada’s economic and social fabric, the role of its science and technology infrastructure and the role of research and development in addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the nation;

  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles of sound governance and business practices, including human resources and financial management, strategic corporate planning, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of corporate performance;

  • A deep understanding of the operations and needs of Canada’s science, research and innovation community and the Government of Canada’s science and innovation agenda;

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with post-secondary stakeholders and with government and industry partners, to support ecosystems across the country and multidisciplinary research; and

  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral, and ability to manage communications with a variety of stakeholders, including the media, ministers, parliamentary committees, other government representatives, the public, the research community, and the private sector.

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:

  • Strategic and innovative thinker

  • Leadership and sound judgement

  • Superior interpersonal and collaborative skills

  • Open-mindedness and impartiality

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Tact and discretion

  • Stature and credibility in the national and international social sciences and humanities community

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.

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 March 22, 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 should be addressed to the Deputy Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office, and should be sent only through the online application.

Instructions on how to apply for an appointment opportunity can be found on the Governor in Council Appointments website.

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