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Program Director, Arctic and Northern Challenge Program

City: Within a National Research Council Office across Canada 

Organizational Unit: Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering 

Classification: MGT-2 

Tenure: Continuing 

Language Requirements: Bilingual Non-Imperative CBC/CBC

The NRC Advantage



The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. We collaborate with over 70 colleges, universities and hospitals annually, work with 800 companies on their projects, and provide advice or funding to over 8000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) each year.


We bring together the brightest minds to deliver tangible impacts on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. And now, we want to partner with you.  Let your expertise and inspirations make an impact by joining the NRC.


At NRC, we know diversity enables excellence in research and innovation. We are committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment, and contributing to a more inclusive Canadian innovation system. 


NRC welcomes all qualified applicants and encourages candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


Please advise of any accommodation measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. They are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially.

Your Challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada's largest research and technology organization.

We are looking for a Program Director, Arctic and Northern Challenge Program to support our Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre. The Program Director would be someone who shares our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Respect and Creativity.


The Arctic and Northern Challenge Program is being created to help apply research that addresses those challenges that prevent northern residents, industries and governments from participating fully in the Canadian economy and obtaining a quality of life commensurate with southern communities.  The Arctic and Northern Challenge Program will forge prioritized partnerships with northern communities, governments, industry and academia to co-develop, co-execute and co-disseminate research that targets northern-identified research priorities. 

As Program Director of the Arctic and Northern Challenge Program, you will build and lead a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research team to develop goals and outcomes that address Arctic and northern stakeholder prioritized research agendas.

Under your leadership, the Program will bring together government, community, academic and business researchers, A core team of research, technical, and program management staff from across many of the NRC's national research centres will support this research. In addition, funding will be provided for over the life of the Program to fund the participation of northern and Indigenous partners, other government departments, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and academic partners and their teams in the program as appropriate.

As Program Director, you will consult with northern partners and stakeholders on the Program approach, set the outcome(s), build the team, establish the research program and its supporting projects, and then lead the program to achievement of the target outcomes.

To successfully do so, you will have experience as a researcher, leading large team research programs, and managing financial and human resources. You will have the experience and attributes required to inspire and lead collaborative multidisciplinary teams with expertise in a wide array of disciplines of scientific interest in the North.

You will be part of NRC's Engineering Division, reporting directly to the Director General of the Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre, but expected to work collaboratively with other Research Centres across NRC.

This is a unique opportunity to play a leadership role in advancing multiple forms of research, to help transform the Canadian Arctic and Northern landscape.

Screening Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:

  • A graduate university degree in engineering or in a science field relevant to the position.
  • Preference may be given to candidates with a combination of science/engineering experience and business education.


For information on certificates and diplomas issued abroad, please see Degree equivalency

  • Significant experience developing strategic program plans and the associated metrics for discovery oriented work.
  • In depth experience working in the Canadian and international context around Program specific technologies: industries, forums, trends, the issues and dynamics that impact them and the engagement needed to keep this knowledge current.
  • Extensive and recent experience in providing strategic advice and counsel to senior level executives including Presidents, Vice Presidents and/or other equivalent positions in the public or private sectors, on complex initiatives.
  • Significant business experience within the relevant scientific and technological domains gained through experience with industry, government or other partnerships.
  • Significant experience managing partnerships including contributions, terms of engagement, reporting and IP ownership.
  • Experience working with northern and Indigenous communities, governments and industries in a research environment.
  • Experience supervising and developing both direct and indirect staff in multidisciplinary teams, ideally in a matrix environment of projects and programs.
  • Significant and recently demonstrated experience in applying the principles, tools and practices of administrative, financial, and human resource management.
  • Experience in leading, planning, monitoring and re-aligning studies, projects or strategic initiatives within a fast-paced and complex environment.
  • Experience in designing and delivering strong impact presentations to various audiences.
Condition of Employment

Secret (II)

Language requirements
Assessment Criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical Competencies
  • Knowledge of the NRC, and its mandate, programs and awareness of the characteristics and special requirements of an innovation program and scientific research environment.
  • Expert knowledge of R&D management, including strategic planning, in an environment whose main features are matrix management; high interdisciplinary; and multi-partner participation in mission-critical roles.
  • Expert knowledge of the relevant field and its applications in a broad range of sectors, including current and emerging trends globally.
  • Expert knowledge of the players, dynamics, and business models of industry sectors in the Arctic and other northern regions as well as the related R&D fields nationally and internationally.
  • Significant knowledge of policies and sound practices related to contract management, financial management, human resources, and procurement management.
  • Knowledge of strategic marketing, and the practices and principles of negotiating and securing business and partnership relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to autonomously evaluate, manage and assume risks for large scale R&D projects.
Behavioural Competencies
    Competency Profile(s)
    • Inspirational Leadership (Level 3)
    • Strategic Outlook and Alignment (Level 3)
    • Drive for Results and Efficiency (Level 4)
    • Leverage Collaborative Relationships (Level 3)
    • Financial Management (Level 3)
    • Client Relationship Management (Level 3)
    • Industry Sector Knowledge (Level 3)
    • Self-awareness (Level 4)
    • Action management (Level 4)
    • People Management (Level 3)


    For this position, the NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profile(s): Management Competencies (MG)


    View all competency profiles


    Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with the NRC's directives.

    Salary Range

    From $125,300 to $150,300 per annum. 

    • A pre-qualified list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.
    • NRC employees enjoy a wide-range of benefits including comprehensive health and dental plans, pension and insurance plans, vacation and other leave entitlements.
    • Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
    • The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.



    Please direct your questions, with the requisition number (7909) to:


    Telephone: 613-990-1679 

    Closing Date: 29 November 2019 - 23:59 Eastern Time



    For more information on career tools and other resources, check out Career tools and resources


    *If you are currently a term or continuing employee at NRC, please apply through the SuccessFactors Careers module from your NRC computer.


    Date Modified: 2019-10-31

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