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Junior Legal Counsel, VP Research

Job ID: 31791
Location: Main Campus
Updated May 08, 2024

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We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.


The Office of VP Research invites applications for a Junior Legal Counsel. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 2 years (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The University of Calgary is one of Canada's top comprehensive research universities, with a mission to produce new knowledge and to translate knowledge into impact. Impact from research and scholarship is realized in many domains including social, health, environmental, cultural, economic, legal, technological, and policy domains. These positive influences from UCalgary research and scholarship will benefit local, national and international communities.

The One Child Every Child (OCEC) initiative is set to rewrite Canada's narrative in child-health outcomes. This ambitious initiative is more than an investment in research; it's a profound commitment to every child's right to optimal health and the brightest possible future. This ground-breaking initiative is backed by a robust $268-million investment, including the largest research grant ($125 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) in UCalgary's history. This funding, coupled with unprecedented contributions from partners and donors, amplifies the initiative's potential to dramatically enhance children's lives.

The Legal & Intellectual Property (IP) division in Research Services plays a vital role in the research process at the University, helping University faculty members prepare, negotiate and finalize research agreements with industry, governments, and other funding agencies. Following the success of the OCEC Initiative, there is a growing need for legal guidance in structuring research collaborations.

The Junior Legal Counsel position reports to the Senior Legal Counsel and is responsible for providing legal support relating to the OCEC Initiative together with delivering effective legal solutions in a broad range of other legal and business issues related to research, innovation, and technology in a fast paced and challenging environment.

This role supports the continued indigenization of the University of Calgary. Click here to see more job opportunities with an Indigenous scope. 

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Review, draft, negotiate and advise various researchers, faculties and university departments on a broad range of research related matters including research and collaboration agreements, consortium and service arrangements, intellectual property related matters, commercialization and policy and compliance related issues.
  • Assist Senior Legal counsel in managing transactions with significant risk or complexity.
  • Interpret legal, policy and compliance related matters for complex files.
  • Act as a legal resource in all matters as delegated by Senior Legal Counsel.
  • Provide knowledge and expert advice in specialized areas pertaining to research including intellectual property, compliance and commercialization within the University and in the context of academic and research plans.
  • Interpret and apply University policies and procedures and legislation affecting University research.
  • Assume responsibility for special projects and initiatives including providing legal support on CFREF projects.
  • Develop a variety of template research related agreements.
  • Develop workshops and other educational initiatives on research related legal matters affecting the University community.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Law degree is required.
  • Member of the Law Society of Alberta is required.
  • Must have at least 2 years of experience in commercial transactions.
  • Experience with intellectual property law is an asset.
  • Experience with a high-volume contracting process.
  • Strong drafting and negotiating skills, with demonstrated strength in risk and legal analysis.
  • Superior oral and written presentation skills.
  • Excellent judgment and the ability to address legal issues by developing solutions that are practical and mitigate risk in an acceptable manner.
  • A proven ability to handle multiple files successfully, working independently and proactively, with a wide variety of stakeholders and competing deadlines.
  • Cooperative, team player attitude and excellent interpersonal skills, with a pragmatic and collaborative approach to handling files and completing projects.
  • Versatility and diplomacy are essential with strong skills in negotiation, mediation and partnership building.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Strong time management skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Experience working in a university environment would be considered an asset.
  • Understanding of historical and current challenges related to colonialism.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with Indigenous communities, history, and culture.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Treaty 7 territory and/or an established working relationship with Treaty 7 communities are considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to build positive relationships with Indigenous Peoples and alongside Indigenous communities including Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the cultural knowledge and communication skills required to connect with Indigenous students, schools and communities.

Application Deadline:  May 29, 2024

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

This position is classified in the Professional Career Band, Level 3 of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. 

For a listing of all management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary, view our Management and Staff Careers website

About the University of Calgary

UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 36,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-ups. Start something today at the University of Calgary. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).

Do you have most but not all the qualifications? Research show that women, racialized and visible minorities, and persons with disabilities are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At UCalgary we are committed to achieving equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible employment practices and workplaces and encourage you to apply if you believe you are right for this role. 

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.