Queens University logo

Managing Director

Posting Details

Job Category


Position Type


Career Level


STEM Sector


Salary Range

112,400- 153,900

Number of Openings


Job Description

Queen’s University is seeking an administrative and operational leader for the position of Managing Director (MD) at the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute (McDonald Institute). The McDonald Institute is a Tier 1 Research Institute at Queen’s built on the success of world-leading astroparticle physics research resulting in a Breakthrough Prize in fundamental Physics in 2016, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015, CERC and CFREF awards in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Reporting to the Scientific Director, the MD is responsible for establishing and delivering on the strategic direction of the Institute, including directing all non-scientific programs and personnel across multiple sites in Canada. The incumbent must be experienced in working with a collaborative research community towards greater integration for the benefit of Canada. The MD will have the autonomy to use their creative and strategic acumen to realize opportunities and address challenges, ensuring this will be a challenging and rewarding opportunity. If you are a dynamic, collaborative, and strategically oriented individual, looking for the opportunity to join our leadership team, we encourage you to apply.

Strategic Leadership:
• Identify, communicate and implement sound strategic directions for the Institute, subject to Scientific Director and Board approval.
• Work with the Scientific Director to identify and respond to new opportunities aligned with the goals of The McDonald Institute.
• Work with the Scientific Director to position the Institute and its programs such that they will be sustainable beyond the initial seven-year period of funding from CFREF, including the envisioning and drafting of new funding proposals

Administrative and Operational Leadership:
• Provide leadership and guidance to the administrative, financial and program management of all Institute activities.
• Manage the Institute’s staff, encouraging an environment that is respectful, collaborative and productive.
• Develop and provide supporting materials, implement schedules and agendas and follow-up action plans for all committee meetings and events.
• Maintain a complete database of all program relevant information including: funding history for the field, career trajectories of highly qualified personnel, publications, citations, innovations, patents, outreach activities, schools, conferences and workshops supported and scientific milestones realized.
• Ensure that Institute-supported activities are aligned with the priorities of the program for social and economic impact.

Financial Management and Accountability
Working with the Scientific Director and the Finance Officer:
• Develop and manage the McDonald Institute budgets in all areas of responsibility.
• Oversee and support all agency statistical, operational, and financial reporting.
• Oversee and support all agency financial and compliance audits.
• Ensure ethical conduct, integrity and a high degree of professionalism and accountability in all business, financial and research activities.

Partnership Development and Partner Relations
• In close cooperation with the Scientific Director and using a collaborative approach ensure a continued smooth integration into the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, and develop strong relationships with other Queen’s University departments and faculties, Institute partners, funders and participants and promote collaboration and networking among these groups.
• Liaise as appropriate with stakeholders including the agency Secretariats, partner universities (Universities of Alberta, British Columbia, Carleton, Laurentian, McGill, Montréal, and Toronto), partner research institutes (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the Institute of Particle Physics (IPP), the Perimeter Institute (PI), SNOLAB and TRIUMF) and provincial and national research funding agencies and foundations.
• Establish new partnerships and develop Memoranda of Understanding and other agreements with emerging relevant international astroparticle physics faculties, institutes, educators, Centres and related industries.
• Promote a team culture and a sense of ownership among all Institute researchers, partners, and participants.

Management and Supervision of Administrative McDonald Institute Staff
• Staffing and supervision of the McDonald Institute administrative staff, ensuring a supportive environment that encourages effective working relationships. Build a cohesive, interdependent and highly functional team through training and mentorship.
• Implement a strategy to ensure that employment equity, diversity, inclusion and indigeneity (EDII) is a key element of all hiring processes (at all institutions using the McDonald Institute funds) to hire faculty, research scientists, staff members and students.
• Plan, prioritize and manage the work of employees, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance, and coaching. Identify the need for staff resources, participate on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.
• Manage performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing, and evaluating performance, and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
• Assess staff training and development needs and ensure that employees receive the training required to improve and sustain successful performance.

Communications and Leveraging Additional Funding Opportunities
• Use innovative methods to effectively communicate the Institute’s vision, mission, priorities, and goals to internal and external communities.
• Work closely with the Scientific Director and members of the astroparticle physics community as a partner in helping them develop successful research grants for projects aligned with the objectives of the McDonald Institute.
• Identify and provide support for opportunities to leverage additional funding for research and training through provincial, national and international government and industrial initiatives.
• Identify opportunities for philanthropy in support of the McDonald Institute program and work with University Advancement offices to realize these opportunities.

Commercialization and Business Development
• In close cooperation with the Associate Director, External Relations, develop and execute a commercialization strategy for the Institute.
• Liaise with technology transfer/business development offices at partner institutions and facilitate the transfer of technology in co-ordination with the owners of the technology.

• University degree in business or science and will possess seven to 10 years of experience in scientific/research program administration and management, stakeholder engagement, communications/knowledge mobilization and/or business/commercialization.
• Several years of progressively responsible management experience, including supervision of administrative and technical staff.
• Proven operations experience within the academic research sector developing and implementing innovative policies and practices.
• Demonstrated ability to lead the development of strategic and operational planning processes; oversee, monitor, track and evaluate organizational progress towards milestones and performance targets; and plan, deliver and report on strategic meetings and events.
• Extensive national contacts and the ability to speak both official languages, English and French, would be assets in this role.

• Excellent communication (both verbal and written) and interpersonal skills, demonstrating tact and diplomacy when interacting with individuals at every level and from many different perspectives.
• Ability to work in a complex environment, in a collaborative and collegial manner, using well developed relationship-building, influencing and negotiating skills to secure commitment and achieve results.
• Excellent leadership ability to manage a team of professionals and work effectively with diverse stakeholders (e.g. academic researchers, government representatives, senior administrators) internal / external to the University.
• Excellent attention to detail with strong commitment to quality and best practices combined with exceptional writing and review skills to prepare reports and make presentations, adjusting communication style to diverse audiences (e.g. researchers, funding agencies, University Research Services, granting councils, the public, and compliance bodies).
• Strong interpretative, and problem-solving skills. Ability to synthesize information from a wide variety of sources.
• Strategic planning, analytical, budgeting and financial management skills.
• Exceptional organizational skills to coordinate and direct the work of the unit. Ability to cope with multiple demands, resolve priority conflicts and operate effectively in a deadline driven environment.
• Capable of transitioning from high level conceptualization to detailed and thorough implementation with the ability to engage in both independent and consultative decision making so as to move issues forward and build necessary consensus around a resolution.

• Establishes policies, procedures, and quality controls to meet compliance requirements.
• Determines required analysis to provide appropriate advice to the Scientific Director. Identifies related institutional, financial, and other implications and makes recommendations for action as required.
• Makes financial decisions on budget related matters in area of responsibility on behalf of the Institute, determining the best allocation of resources.
• Decides on best alternatives or range of solutions to a given problem, identifying possible risks and benefits of each. Determines when to involve the Scientific Director.
• Evaluates job candidates and makes effective recommendations on suitable hires.
• Makes decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions.
• Evaluates employee performance and decides on appropriate training or coaching to address lack of proficiency in carrying out responsibilities, or remedial action for staff disciplinary situations.
• Assesses investigation outcome of grievances and makes effective recommendations on appropriate course of action or next steps on grievances.
• Makes effective recommendations on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 19/06/2022