Vice-President, Research & Innovation

VPRI Research and Innovation

Competition No.  -    A106244829
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

Reporting directly to the President with ongoing consultation on major operational matters with the Provost and Vice- President (Academic), the Vice-President (Research & Innovation) plays a vital role in the achievement of the University’s vision by providing leadership and direction to research activities and initiatives on campus.

The Vice-President (Research & Innovation) will join the University of Alberta as it reimagines its academic and administrative structures to create a more efficient, innovative, and sustainable model of the modern post-secondary institution, and as it builds on its place as a leader in higher education and research, and its central role as a driver of economic growth, innovation, and creativity, in the province and beyond. This is a period of tremendous opportunity and challenge for the University of Alberta, with no other Canadian university having attempted such a transformational change.

The Vice-President (Research & Innovation) will play a key role in leading and supporting this transformation and will be part of the team that will create a new model for post-secondary across the country, while positioning the U of A as a leader in entrepreneurial and innovative solutions in higher education.

For further information about Research and Innovation at the University of Alberta, visit For further information about the Office of Research & Innovation, visit

The Vice–President (Research & Innovation) has the following powers, duties, and functions as assigned by the Board of Governors on the recommendation of the President:

  • As per the University’s institutional strategic plan, For the Public Good, creates a climate that fosters the development and enhancement of exceptional research and scholarship in all areas of the University for the public good, and facilitates the transfer of knowledge generated by all disciplines into the wider community.
  • Provides mechanisms that support research so individuals can achieve success in attracting research funds in international and national peer-reviewed competitions, and from other government and private partners.
  • Renews and enhances the University’s research services and provides high-quality support to faculty to meet their needs into the future.
  • Identifies and supports interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and student-based research through direct leadership and through support of academics taking the lead in areas undergoing evolution.
  • Celebrates the University of Alberta’s outstanding faculty, staff, and students whose research contributes to the attainment of the University’s vision. Ensures the research achievements of the University community are acknowledged by making the community aware of available research awards, suggesting possible nominees, and taking a lead role in reviewing nominations prior to submission.
  • Fosters research leadership development and stewardship throughout the institution for the public good.
  • Designs a strategy to articulate the value, both internally and externally, of the breadth of pure and applied research and the importance of the link between teaching and research.
  • Aggressively pursues, through strategic partnerships and alliances, increased research capacity and major external funding for areas of strength and potential strength.
  • Contributes, both personally and via University representatives, to the formation and communication of research policy at the federal and provincial levels.
  • Develops the appropriate policies and processes to ensure funds given to the University by granting agencies are appropriately spent and accounted for.
  • Authorizes action be taken with trustholders when funds are not appropriately managed.
  • Builds and facilitates productive partnerships that enhance collaborative research, knowledge transfer, and commercialization/innovation.
  • Ensures the overall effectiveness of the University through maintenance of close working relationships with various orders of government and key granting agencies.
  • Builds a senior team within his/her portfolio committed to fulfilling the vision, goals, and priorities necessary to ensure the long-term success of the portfolio and the University.
  • Participates as an active member of the President’s executive committee to establish institutional vision and goals, and to effectively communicate and organize to achieve those goals.
  • Maintains a professional reputation which preserves the values and standing of the University and permits him or her to effectively represent the many achievements of the University both internally and externally.
  • As a member of senior administration, participates actively on Board and other committees relating to the areas of mandated responsibility.
  • Carries out other responsibilities as set out in policies and procedures approved by GFC and/or the Board of Governors.

Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes

The Vice-President (Research & Innovation) will have a distinguished record of teaching, research, professional engagement, and administrative experience gained within a complex, research-intensive environment as well as a minimum of a Master's Degree, a PhD is considered an asset. Although the Selection Committee recognizes that no one individual possesses the sought-after attributes in equal measure, it has developed a set of criteria to articulate the desired background, experience, and personal qualities of the successful candidate:

  • A significant record of scholarship consistent with appointment to the rank of full professor, a personal record of success in attracting support for research, and a commanding presence on the local, national, and international research stage;
  • The leadership skills to guide, oversee, and advance the U of A’s dynamic and diverse research enterprise, to inspire and support researchers across the campus, and to promote the University’s research to a wide audience, including governments, commercial enterprises, donors and friends of the University, and potential research partners locally, across Canada, and internationally;
  • Broad scholarly interests, a deep commitment to interdisciplinary research (ideally manifested in their own scholarship), and a proven enthusiasm for advancing research and nurturing scholars outside of their own discipline, along with the ability and enthusiasm to develop and promote cross-disciplinary research activities, and to be a mentor and enabler of researchers across the campus;
  • An innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, and a track record of encouraging and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in others;
  • An in-depth understanding of the relationship between research and teaching, and a commitment to furthering this integral relationship at the U of A, and to finding innovative ways to engage graduate and undergraduate students in research, commercialization, social entrepreneurship and the ongoing mobilization of knowledge;
  • An understanding of the relationships among all types and levels of research -- pure/basic, applied, and creative, a recognition of the uniqueness of each of the
  • various academic disciplines, and an appreciation of the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing and the supports needed for Indigenous focused research;
  • A deep understanding of intellectual property and commercialization and knowledge mobilization issues, including experience in building both the support and infrastructure to strengthen success in commercialization, knowledge mobilization and social entrepreneurship;
  • Well-developed advocacy skills and an innovative approach to generating and attracting revenue in support of research from a variety of sources;
  • Knowledge of the research and funding communities provincially, nationally, and internationally (government, private sector, and others), and the ability to nurture and develop strong relationships with these partners and to take an entrepreneurial approach to potential alternative means of revenue generation;
  • A strong background in strategic planning and leadership, the strength of character and willingness to make difficult decisions when needed, and the energy, skills and drive to work closely with the U of A community to see vision through to execution;
  • A strong track-record and demonstrable commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and a commitment to advancing inclusive excellence in research activities;
  • The ability to be persuasive in dealing with diverse constituents, both internally and externally, and to create a sense of common purpose that transcends individual and particular interests;
  • A sense of diplomacy and fairness, humility, and an open, inclusive, and transparent style of leadership.

How to apply: Nominations and expressions of interest may be sent to Colleen Keenan or Krutika Hotwani at

This position is in accordance with University terms and conditions, and remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience, and competitive with public research post-secondary institutions. Components of compensation will include base salary and a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits.

How to Apply

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.