Member, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

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Innovation, Science and Industry
Position title:
Across Canada
Application Review Date:
March 20, 2024
Opportunity number:

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. Researchers supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has a governing Council composed of the President and up to 18 other members. 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. The governing 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.

Diversity and Official Languages

We are committed to providing a healthy and accessible workplace that supports one’s dignity, self-esteem and the ability to achieve one’s full potential. With this in mind, all appointees will be expected to take steps to promote and maintain a healthy, respectful, inclusive and harassment-free work environment.

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.

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

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 that is underway or has been completed at a recognized university, or an acceptable combination of education, job-related training and / or experience;

  • 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 education 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 considered an asset; and

  • Experience in public policy development with a particular focus on the academic research community, 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 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;

    • 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 and graduate studies, 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 would be considered an asset;

  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written;

  • 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 would be considered an asset; and

  • 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.

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 Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees will be subject to the Conflict 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 Commissioner, 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 behaviors 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 behaviors 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.

  • Appointees must be willing to participate in Council and committee meetings in Canada. There are typically three meetings each year, two of them in-person / hybrid and one by videoconference / teleconference, with additional virtual meetings as required. Members who serve on standing or special committees of Council are required to participate in additional meetings. Meetings are normally held in Ottawa.

  • Appointees must be 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 (more information here) will begin on March 20, 2024. Candidates should 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 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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