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Senior Programs Officer

Canada Foundation for Innovation

This is a Contract position in Ottawa, ON posted November 19, 2023.

Senior Programs Officer

  • One permanent full-time
  • One 24-month contract
  • One 12-month contract

Position summary

As a member of the programs team, a Senior Programs Officer (SPO) provides advice on CFI policies and program design and manages the review of applications for research infrastructure funding and operating funds, as well as the post-award process, including the negotiation of final budgets and amendments.

Senior Programs Officers report to Associate Directors and can be assigned to a variety of teams within the Programs team on a rotating basis. They report to the Associate Director and supervise the Programs Officers in their teams.

Key activities

  • Takes a leading role and contributes cross-functionally in the design, development and implementation of CFI policies and programs and in the continuous improvement of the application, review and monitoring processes
  • Leads the design, application and review processes for funds that are assigned to their team. Ensures the rigor of the merit-review process, including:
  • Recruiting scientific experts and members for various assessment committees for each evaluation stage
  • Overseeing the administrative review of proposals
  • Acting as secretary for assessment committees as required
  • Analyzing proposals and expert reviews to bring salient points to the attention of committee members
  • Advising committee chairs and members on CFI policies and practices
  • Producing detailed evaluation reports
  • Provides insight for new CFI policies and program design by:
  • Conducting outreach
  • Promoting the CFI mandate, programs and policies
  • Developing an understanding of stakeholder’s concerns, needs and challenges
  • Applies a risk-based approach to the oversight of post-award project progress, including the negotiation of the budget, and acts as signing authority on award agreements and amendments
  • Is responsible for the supervision, performance management and professional development of assigned Programs Officers
  • Assumes responsibility for various internal initiatives by:
    • Organizing workshops
    • Becoming familiar with particular fields of research to understand their needs and methodologies for conducting leading-edge research
    • Managing the work of contractors and ensuring the timely delivery of products
    • Liaising with other sections of the CFI
  • Represents the CFI on interagency committees and among academic associations, as well as at public events
  • Coordinates and maintains relationships with various institutions
  • Serves as principal liaison with one or more provincial matching funding programs, ensuring effective and harmonized processes
  • Participates in other projects, as required


  • Lead initiatives in an engaging and inspiring way and to work collectively
  • Embrace change and empower others in the spirit of improvement
  • Be consultative and analytical and use informed judgement in decision making
  • Work independently
  • Effectively supervise staff
  • Work under pressure with a high volume of work for limited time periods
  • Read and understand technical and scientific proposals and understand the tools and facilities used to perform research
  • Work with databases, electronic communications, spreadsheets and text processing software, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Skills and knowledge

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including good judgement, discretion and professionalism
  • Strong time management and organizational skills
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Canada’s research community
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in both official languages


  • A university degree; a post-graduate degree is preferred
  • Over three years of experience in grant administration, program design and management
  • Experience overseeing and monitoring large research funding and/or infrastructure awards
  • Occasional travel and irregular work hours


Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The CFI offers a competitive compensation package that includes employee benefits and participation in a SunLife Financial pension plan.

These are full-time positions in a hybrid work environment, requiring a minimum of two days per week at the CFI offices in downtown Ottawa.

Please send your CV and a covering letter by end of day on December 10, 2023 to:

Eric Desjardins
Manager, Human Resources
Canada Foundation for Innovation

The results of this competition may be used to staff similar temporary or permanent positions for a period of twelve months following the completion of the staffing process.

We would like to thank all candidates who apply. Please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation supports official languages principles, and respects Ontario’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service policy. We attempt to accommodate individual needs in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the hiring process, please contact us to make your needs known in advance.

The CFI is committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. In all our activities, we recognize that a breadth of perspectives, skills and experiences contributes to excellence in research.

Visit our website for more information about the CFI.