Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH)
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is seeking a Scientific Director for the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH), one of CIHR's 13 virtual Institutes. This is a 4-year mandate, beginning January 1, 2024, with the possibility of one second term 4-year appointment.
CIHR strongly encourages applications from candidates who have been historically excluded and marginalized including, but not limited to, applicants who identify as Indigenous, racialized, a person with a disability, women, and/or a member of an 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
CIHR is Canada's federal health research funding agency. Composed of 13 virtual Institutes, CIHR collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system. Under the authority of the CIHR Act and in line with CIHR's accountability to Governing Council and the Government of Canada through the Minister of Health, CIHR strives to create new scientific knowledge and enable its translation, focusing on the health priorities that are important to Canadians.
CIHR's Strategic Plan 2021-2031: A Vision for a Healthier Future establishes the context that will allow Canadian health research to be internationally recognized as inclusive, collaborative, transparent, culturally safe, and focused on real world impact. CIHR is committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), accessibility, anti-ableism, and anti-racism. Additionally, CIHR embraces a distinctions-based and culturally safe approach, incorporating Indigenous Ways of Knowing, by listening attentively to and working with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples to further strengthen Indigenous health research in Canada. CIHR is committed to the values and principles of EDI across all aspects of its business.
The mandate of CIHR-ICRH is to support research into a wide range of health conditions associated with the heart, lung, brain (stroke), sleep, blood, blood vessels, and critical care.
Through its nearly $9 million annual budget, and in partnership with other CIHR Institutes and relevant stakeholders, CIHR-ICRH develops strategic actions and funding opportunities that support the research community to address the important health needs within the diverse CIHR-ICRH mandates.
CIHR-ICRH strategic actions include supports for the research community through training workshops, recognizing excellence in research achievements, sharing research evidence with partners, strengthening Indigenous Health Research, and fostering EDI in all activities.
The recently launched CIHR-ICRH Strategic Plan, Partnerships for Better Health (2022-2025) will guide the Institute through a period of recovery and growth following the pandemic. The central tenet of partnerships, three strategic priorities (Preparing Future Capacity, Accelerating Knowledge Through Collaboration and Catalyzing Impact Through Knowledge Mobilization) and two foundational themes (Strengthening Indigenous Health Research and Enhancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Health Research) were identified following many months of dialogue with the research community.
Reporting directly to the CIHR President, and working with CIHR's Executive team, staff, and other Scientific Directors and Institute staff, the Scientific Director of CIHR-ICRH will provide overall executive direction and scientific leadership for CIHR-ICRH, and will champion and support health research, knowledge mobilization, and capacity development at the highest level of scientific excellence.
As Scientific Director of CIHR-ICRH, the successful candidate will:
- support innovative and impactful research related to circulatory and respiratory health research across health research pillars (biomedical, clinical, health services and social, cultural, environmental, and population health research);
- maintain an active presence, scientific standing, and engagement in/with the health research community through selective attendance at, and contributions to, workshops, conferences, scientific fora, and other related activities, at the national and international level;
- play an important convener role with stakeholders, nationally and internationally, that contribute to the leadership of Canada in the area of circulatory and respiratory health research;
- embed an EDI lens into all areas, including decision-making, engagements, and initiative development;
- strengthen Indigenous Health Research within the Institute mandate areas;
- foster partnerships amongst researchers, people with lived and living experience, knowledge users, practitioners, community-based organizations, decision makers, other funders, and government organizations as well as other CIHR Institutes to sustain inter- and transdisciplinary inter-sectoral research initiatives and explore opportunities to develop new ones;
- support capacity development of trainees, early- and mid-career investigators, as well as in emerging areas of expertise to develop and strengthen health research capacity in CIHR-ICRH mandate areas;
- prioritize the mobilization of new and existing knowledge to inform health practices and policies, and improve the health literacy of Canadians;
- coordinate the constituency, conduct meetings, and receive input from an Institute Advisory Board (IAB) and sub-groups associated with the IAB;
- through both direct and indirect actions, foster and promote a culturally safe and inclusive environment; maintain awareness of evolving best practices of EDI, accessibility, anti-ableism, anti-colonialism and anti-racism.
As a member of Science Council, the Scientific Director, in collaboration with colleagues from the other CIHR Institutes as well as the senior CIHR executive leadership team, will:
- provide analysis and advice on Canada's research needs, gaps, and opportunities;
- contribute to the elaboration of CIHR-wide science policies and research strategies;
- advise on the development of, and investment in, cross-cutting strategic initiatives;
- share responsibility as one of CIHR's Institutes for achieving the strategic objectives of CIHR as delineated in CIHR's Strategic Plan and the accompanying annual action plans;
- advance CIHR's commitment to eliminating systemic ableism in Canada's health research funding system and ensure the application of accessible and anti-ableist practices;
- advance CIHR's commitment to eliminating systemic racism in Canada's health research funding system and ensure the application of anti-racist principles, through initiatives including but not limited to CIHR corporate activities and granting processes; and
- support the implementation of CIHR's Indigenous Health Research Action Plan, embody the 'Calls to Action' of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and at all opportunities, seek to promote the inclusion of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and learning in the culture and programs of CIHR.
- have a PhD and/or MD degree with an equivalent advanced degree in a discipline relevant to the CIHR-ICRH mandate areas;
- hold an academic position at, or be affiliated with, a CIHR eligible institution*;
- have a demonstrated track record of effective leadership, including of interdisciplinary teams in various domains (research, administration, etc.) and mentoring diverse trainees and students to support capacity-building;
- demonstrate a clear scientific and strategic vision, including continuity for the Institute and its role within CIHR, and an in-depth understanding of the relative strengths, gaps and opportunities in fields related to the CIHR-ICRH mandate and/or areas;
- have a demonstrated track record of research accomplishments (e.g., research publications, guidelines, datasets, standards, influence on policy and practice, knowledge mobilization, etc.) at both the national and international level in the field of circulatory and respiratory health research;
- have a demonstrated track record of integration of best practices in EDI, accessibility, anti-ableism, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism into all aspects of the work environment;
- understand the breadth of circulatory and respiratory health research landscape and work to ensure all areas and their constituent communities are adequately represented;
- be able to undertake planning and prioritization processes in the face of limited resources;
- be an excellent and culturally competent communicator, facilitator, and convener, able to listen and build relationships with broad and diverse stakeholders;
- be a strong advocate for health research across all four CIHR research pillars;
- demonstrate a thorough understanding of the value of engaging with partners and key stakeholders in circulatory and respiratory health research; and
- demonstrate an understanding of human and financial resources management.
Proficiency in both official languages would be an asset.
* Questions about CIHR eligible institutions can be directed to SDrecruitment-recrutementDS@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
The start date for this role will be no later than January 1, 2024. This is a 4-year mandate with the possibility of one additional 4-year appointment. If the incumbent desires a renewal, a process of evaluation will be conducted by CIHR, in conjunction with health research ecosystem partners, and a recommendation will be provided to Governing Council. A timely decision will be provided to the incumbent before the start of the fourth year of the first term.
The Scientific Director will remain an employee of their host institution and will be required to devote 50% of their time to the provision of services to CIHR. The Scientific Director will sign a letter of understanding with CIHR and a separate one with the host institution covering the duration of their term.
CIHR will endeavor to provide the following, in support of the incoming Scientific Director of CIHR-ICRH:
- Reasonable ongoing support to ensure the continuity of the Scientific Director's research program, while in post; and
- Research support to facilitate the Scientific Director's re-entry into the competitive market following completion of their term(s).
The Scientific Director will be provided with the funding, through an annual Institute Support Grant (ISG), to hire a support team through their host academic institution. The host institution is also expected to provide support to the Scientific Director and Institute staff, for example, by providing access to office facilities. The Scientific Director will be expected to integrate EDI, accessibility, anti-ableism and anti-racism best practices in the promotion, recruitment, and retention of the team members.
The 50/50 model ensures the critical role of Scientific Directors remaining abreast of research developments in their respective areas of study; however, it also creates a higher potential for the emergence of potential, perceived, or actual Conflict of Interest (COI) situations. Scientific Directors are subject to the CIHR Policy on Conflict of Interest Prevention and Management for Scientific Directors, Members of Governing Council and Advisory Bodies. CIHR's policy on Conflict of Interest aims to proactively avoid and prevent COI situations where personal interests (research, financial, familial) may be a potential, perceived, or actual, conflict with a Scientific Director's CIHR responsibilities, and is reviewed annually. The COI policy as well as the Directive on Scientific Directors and CIHR Funding outline that Scientific Directors are not permitted to compete for CIHR funding while in office and in some instances it may be required to reduce or completely relinquish their role on existing research projects should an actual significant risk of COI be determined.
Upon appointment, the Scientific Director candidate will be required to submit an annual Declaration of External Interests Form. Prior to assuming the responsibilities of the Scientific Director, the candidate will be expected to undergo a standard security clearance and arrange their personal affairs in such a manner as to prevent their external interests from conflicting with the performance of their CIHR responsibilities. If such a conflict arises, it is to be declared and resolved in the interests of CIHR and for the public good. For more information, visit the COI webpage.
If you have any questions regarding the conflict of interest policy, please contact email@example.com.
How to Apply
CIHR invites applications from all qualified candidates. Please email your CV with a cover letter and 3 references (include name, relationship and email address) to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at SDrecruitment-recrutementDS@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.
Submissions must be received by May 4, 2023.
If you have any questions regarding this exciting leadership opportunity, please contact SDrecruitment-recrutementDS@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.
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