Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Category: Policy and Programs
About the Employer
Established in 2011, the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) was created to enhance academic pathways and reduce barriers for students looking to transfer among Ontario's 45 publicly funded colleges and universities. As a member organization, it works with those institutions to develop transfer credit policies and practices to ease student mobility.
About the Position
The Senior Researcher supports the development and oversees the implementation of ONCAT’s Research Plan. The Senior Researcher ensures that ONCAT-led and/or funded research projects align with the organization’s mandate and strategic priorities and works closely with consultants, researchers (from other postsecondary educational institutions and/or PSE organizations), ONCAT committees/ working groups, and ONCAT staff/senior management. As a member of the Policy & Programs team, this position will provide coordination to and research expertise on various research initiatives/projects. This position will also provide oversight to ONCAT’s grant (RFP) program supporting credit transfer and student mobility research; working closely with the Project Lead, Grants to be responsible for various aspects of the grant program (e.g. grant program design, application and proposal adjudication, negotiation of research grant contracts, project management/reporting) and strategic analysis of ONCAT funded research projects to inform future planning. As ONCAT continues to support system improvements and the development of a mature transfer system in Ontario, this position will be critical to moving projects forward, ensuring their success and translating knowledge from multiple and across projects to support system development.
To be successful in this position you will display mature judgment, expert knowledge of research and research methodologies, a commitment to high quality work, excellent project management skills, and work effectively independently and in a professional team environment. You must also be committed to the value of postsecondary education, be dedicated to improving the transfer student experience, and demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Manages research contractors and support research grant recipients (30%)
- Manages the implementation of ONCAT’s research initiatives and ensures alignment with ONCAT’s mandate and priorities.
- Assembles contracts for researchers/consultants/vendors as per ONCAT financial/procurement policies
- Develops mechanism for managing multiple projects and ensure accurate tracking of deliverables, check in with researchers, reporting, and delivers invoices to the accounting department for payment
- Manages strategic research initiatives; including oversight of overall ONCAT research budget, work plans, progress reports, etc. and provides updates to senior management.
- Manages research grants stream (50%)
- Works collaboratively with the Project Lead, Grants, senior management and Policy and Programs Team to implement annual ONCAT Research Grants stream.
- Provides coordination to support various aspects of the research project life cycle (e.g. Request for Proposal, application, proposal adjudication, awards, contracts and payments, interim reporting and check, and final reporting).
- Develops and maintains positive working relationships with partner institutions.
- Ensures accountability of transfer payment funds and proper grants management protocol.
- Re-negotiates deliverables/contracts or closes grants, where needed, to ensure value for money and alignment with ONCAT mandate and priorities.
Knowledge Mobilization and Planning (10%)
- Engages sector partners and research community to support, inform and champion ONCAT mandate.
- Conducts literature reviews, environmental scans and key informant interviews to inform research and planning; develops reports for varied uses and users.
- Provides analysis and strategic foresight to inform ONCAT planning and supports the development of a mature transfer system in Ontario.
- Synthesizes and analyses findings from multiple ONCAT research projects and research grants to provide accessible information to inform sector partners, ONCAT communications, etc.
- Edits and summarizes internal or ONCAT-funded project final reports in preparation for public posting.
- Reads and reviews final reports of ONCAT-funded projects
- Writes executive summaries for final reports as required.
- Provides input and assists in assembling the research stream at ONCAT’s annual conference.
- Ensures that day to day operations and directions of projects are tied to strategic direction and continue ONCAT’s focus on collaboration and ease of transfer student experience.
- Policy & Programs Team (10%)
- Provides backup support to team members as needed.
- Recommends future projects and strategies to meet ONCAT’s priorities and mission.
- Remains current on best practices and emerging trends in the area of research and postsecondary education in order to provide necessary analysis on the impact on activities and priorities within the portfolio.
- Provides regular updates on projects to senior management.
- Writes status updates for quarterly and annual reports for government reporting.
- Provides consultation on issues involving research and data across the organization.
- Participates in postsecondary sector and credit transfer-related conference, symposia and fairs (Occasional)
- Attends and/or presents at ONCAT’s annual Student Pathways Conference
- Attends and/or presents at credit transfer related conferences and/or fairs
- Attends and/or presents at other relevant postsecondary sector conferences, symposia, or meetings
- Attends MTCU meetings as necessary
- Master’s degree in a related field.
- Knowledge of postsecondary education, and issues of credit transfer, access, and student success in postsecondary education.
- Understanding of existing research and data resources available in the Canadian postsecondary sector.
- Knowledge of research and evaluation methodologies, tools, statistics, and techniques.
- Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
- Knowledge of project management principles and methodologies to oversee and guide the overall delivery of mandates and strategies.
3-5 years of experience in research project management.
- Experience working with outside consultants and managing contracted projects to successful completion.
- Experience conducting research, writing research papers for publication (e.g. articles), and briefs.
- Track record of delivering high-quality work product under a deadline.
- Experience managing a complex budget.
- Experience working in cross functional teams.
Preferred Experience (asset)
Doctoral candidacy or PhD
- Bilingual in French and English
Skills & Abilities
Exceptional organizational skills and ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects.
- Ability to overcome unforeseen obstacles and see projects through to completion.
- Ability to remain flexible, calm under pressure, and adaptive to change as priorities shift.
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills and public speaking facility.
- Ability to work well in a team atmosphere working both independently and with team members.
- Technical expertise utilizing a variety of common office and statistical software.
- Ability to quickly learn new function areas.
Must maintain close relationships with ONCAT stakeholders, particularly involved in research grant projects, working groups, and contractors.
- Must maintain a close working relationship with other members of the ONCAT team and senior management.
- The role of the Senior Researcher requires the use of problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity in order to take general, high-level direction regarding the projects under their purview and expand those directions out into concrete, workable projects. This includes the developing timelines, establishing meeting agendas, creating sub-groups as needed, overcoming obstacles or objections that arise, and in general, realizing the overall goals of the project in real time.
- The Senior Researcher makes all day to day decisions regarding the organization and communications aspects of the projects under their purview. They must use their best judgement in order to recognize when a potential issue or conflict that might influence the overall direction of a project requires consultation with the Policy and Programs team and/or the Executive Director, a course of action in keeping with ONCAT’s collaborative, teamwork approach.
- This position is conducted in a comfortable office environment and is not physically demanding. However, the position does require extended periods of sitting. There may also be local, provincial, and national travel involved in this position.
- This position requires strong focus and concentration when reading detailed documents. It also involves the ability to synthesize information, produce summaries and reports, communicate clearly and professionally with ONCAT communities, and compose professional and carefully worded communication.
- This position does not require one to work in special working conditions.
- The Senior Researcher, in conjunction with the Policy and Programs team and the Executive Director, determines budgets to be allocated to each project under the Senior Researcher’s purview and requests payment be made to institutions and contractors, as required.
- This position may supervise interns/associates.
Impact of Errors
- The Senior Researcher must conduct him/herself in accordance with maintaining the professional and congenial relationship between ONCAT and its member institutions, government, and government-affiliated postsecondary agencies, and other organizations with which ONCAT works. Poor conduct or failure to uphold professional duties could potentially influence those good relationships. Failure to effectively manage the timelines or tracking of budgets could have strong impact on ONCAT finances and reputation.
Please email your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to apply Thursday, November 1st 2018 11:59pm. Late applications will not be accepted.
We thank you for your interest. Only those selected for further screening or an interview will be contacted.
ONCAT is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier free recruitment process to applicants with accessibility needs in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require an accommodation during this process, please inform ONCAT of your requirements.