Brain Canada Brain Canada


We offer a dynamic work environment and attractive compensation and benefits.

Brain Canada is an equal opportunity employer that offers a dynamic work environment and attractive compensation and benefits. To apply for an open position, please send your cover letter and resume to

We thank you for your interest in joining our team. That being said, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Published on June 14th, 2019

Director of Programs

Director of Programs

The Organization

Brain Canada is a dynamic charitable foundation that designs and develops research programs, and funds transformative brain research across Canada. Brain Canada raises funds to support brain research and stewards the Canada Brain Research Fund, an innovative private – public partnership supported by Health Canada and more than 100 partners and funders. Brain Canada promotes a “One Brain One Community” approach that views the brain as a single interconnected system, and fosters a stronger more networked brain community across Canada.  For more information, see

Further to the renewal of our partnership with the federal government and an accelerated fundraising program, Brain Canada is seeking a Director of Programs who is an entrepreneur, team builder, and experienced with putting in place the structures and processes to run a national, world-class research program. 

Position Summary

 The Director of Programs provides leadership for Brain Canada’s research programs and activities.  Supervising program staff, the Director of Programs leads the design, implementation and delivery of all research funding programs, including all aspects of the competitions, grant and award management and monitoring of the funded research.  In conjunction with a Science Advisor, he/she assists with managing relationships at the scientific level with key stakeholders including the Government of Canada, partners and research funders, universities, and the Canadian and international neuroscience research community. The Director is responsible for the development of a comprehensive Knowledge Translation (KT) strategy, thus creating a functional bridge between researchers and decision-makers.  Located at Brain Canada’s head office in Montreal, he/she reports to the President and CEO and is a key member of Brain Canada’s leadership team. 


A) Program Management

  • Leads the design, implementation and delivery of all research and training programs to advance Brain Canada’s mission of supporting excellent Canadian brain research;
  • Supervises a team of professional program staff;
  • Develops and writes Requests for Applications that describe Brain Canada’s research initiatives;
  • Identifies and assists with recruiting reviewers for funding applications, and Selection Committee members, and advises on the assignment of applications to specific reviewers and committee members;
  • Oversees the reporting framework for recipients of Brain Canada funding for regular monitoring of progress, and recommends remedies to the President and CEO when instances of unsatisfactory progress are detected, this includes reviewing reports in coordination with the Program Manager(s);
  • Oversees program data collection and reporting to government, partners and donors;
  • Ensures effective coordination and information-sharing between the programs team and other staff, including finance and legal; most notably, this involves putting in place and monitoring a tracking process to ensure contracts related to awarded grants are completed in a timely manner, and grants underway are reviewed for scientific progress and financial accountability;
  • Maintains familiarity with the work of program team members in order to replace any of them temporarily if needed.


B) Interfacing with the Research Policy Committee (RPC)

  • Supports the work of the Research Policy Committee of the Board; serves as the staff liaison to the Chair and works with the Chair to organize the agenda for the meetings and related documentation.


C) Consolidating a continuous dialogue with the research community

  • In conjunction with a Science Advisor, organizes and facilitates in person or virtual meetings of researchers, partners, and other stakeholders to discuss and plan research initiatives, or to report on progress in ongoing initiatives;
  • In coordination with a Science Advisor, develops a network of key people in the brain research community and serves as a source of on-going intelligence gathering.


D) Partnership development

  • In collaboration with a Science Advisor and the President and CEO, works with potential donors and partners to identify and define common objectives for partnerships and to develop and negotiate research funding programs of mutual interest.


E) Knowledge Translation (KT)

  • Develops a comprehensive KT strategy including knowledge synthesis, dissemination, exchange and implementation. The strategy’s aim is to bring research results in the realm of decision-making at the policy, management and clinical levels, as well as for patients and the general public;
  • Works with communications and program staff and consultants to develop strategies to communicate details of Brain Canada’s current and planned research initiatives to trainees, the research community, research institutions, and funding partners, and advises on the responses to questions from potential applicants related to scientific issues relevant to competitions in progress;
  • As requested by the President and CEO, represents Brain Canada at scientific conferences and meetings with potential partners, other stakeholders and the public, and responds to media requests for scientific information about contemporary brain science, and Brain Canada’s role in advancing it.


F) Policy development

  • In close collaboration with the General Legal Counsel, develops and updates Brain Canada policies that relate to conflict of interest, research integrity, ethical conduct of research, publication, data access and sharing, intellectual property, and other aspects of the research process.


G) Other duties

  • As assigned.

Qualifications and Attributes

  • A minimum of 10 years experience working in a research funding organization or in an administrative capacity in a research performing organization;
  • Research experience in the neurosciences, mental health or a related biomedical, social or behavioural area, with a relevant PhD;
  • Experience managing and motivating a small, professional team to ensure that the deliverables as agreed with the President and CEO are met and deadlines adhered to;
  • Ability to communicate effectively complicated science and research issues to various audiences, including researchers, laypersons and the media, in settings ranging from one-on-one interviews to presentations before several hundred people;
  • Superior English written communications skills required for the creation of clear and comprehensive research policies, requests for applications, responses to scientific enquiries and exchanges with key external audiences;
  • Good broad knowledge of the methods, approaches and limitations of contemporary research in the neurosciences and mental health;
  • Understanding of the environment for brain research in Canada and how Brain Canada contributes to it;
  • Knowledge of the current major international research initiatives in the neurosciences;
  • Understanding of the regulatory and ethical requirements for brain research;
  • An appreciation for and understanding of the roles that biomedical, clinical, translational, health services, and population health research together play in moving research discovery to products, practices, and policies that improve the lives of Canadians;
  • Flexibility and resilience to respond to tight deadlines, competing priorities and sometimes critical audiences;
  • Track record demonstrating an ability to think strategically, and an entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Available to work outside normal office hours and to travel nationally and internationally.

Priority will be given to candidates who have the ability to work in both official languages.

Brain Canada is an equal opportunity employer that offers a dynamic work environment and attractive compensation and benefits.  To apply for an open position, please send your cover letter and resume to We thank you for your interest in joining our team. That being said, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Candidates are encouraged to apply promptly as they will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.