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Strategic Development Specialist

Job ID: 31798
Location: Foothills Campus
Updated May 15, 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 Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) in the Cumming School of Medicine invites applications for a Strategic Development Specialist. This Full-time, Fixed Term position is for approximately 12 months, with the possibility of extension. 

Reporting to the Strategic Development Manager, the Strategic Development Specialist plays a critical role in planning and implementation of research programs and services, and enabling and navigating research partnerships for the One Child Every Child (OCEC) transformational research initiative. This position works with institute leaders and partners, including One Child Every Child and ACHRI’s major funding partner, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, to identify areas of strength, research trends, priorities and goals, and develops strategic plans, business cases, environmental scans, as well as large-scale grant proposals with well-justified budgets. 

The work will have significant impact on University results by supporting and prioritizing projects and services in alignment with One Child Every Child thematic areas, ACHRI’s Strategic Objectives, and the Child Health and Wellness Grand Challenges. The incumbent will provide strategic support and influence across the institute, its external partners (provincial and national), as well as into other departments within the University. 

The University of Calgary strives to create and maintain a positive and productive learning and working environment in which there is respect for the dignity of all persons and fair and equitable treatment of individuals in our diverse community. UCalgary has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers five years in a row. As part of the UCalgary community, ACHRI believes that diversity in our team is a strength. 

Once Child Every Child is a Parallel Paths project that has Indigenous and non-Indigenous Paths. All members of the program will undertake training on work with Indigenous people, communities and data. Experience with Indigenous community-based work is an asset for members of the OCEC research team. 


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

Strategic Planning and Implementation (25%):

  • Maintain familiarity with research areas and programs of faculty members within the Child Health and Wellness research community and associated entities relevant to child health research Identify research collaboration opportunities and develop a plan to facilitate them as they relate to child health research 
  • Contribute to the development of an operational and research strategy that is aligned with One Child Every Child/Child Health and Wellness/ACHRI priorities  
  • Make process recommendations about the development of strategic documents, reviews and reports, and implements them upon approval 
  • Initiate, implement, and support new or modified approaches, practices and processes within One Child Every Child and ACHRI  
  • Provide support for stakeholder consultations (surveys, Q&A sessions, town halls etc.) 
  • Draft, revise, and edit strategic documents, business cases, reviews and summary reports for One Child Every Child and ACHRI  
  • Identify child health research trends, strengths and priorities 
  • Undertake environmental scanning to support benchmarking activities  

Funding Proposal Development (20%):

  • Drafts, revises, and edits funding proposals and grant applications for submission 
  • Reviews grant applications for strategic content, accuracy, criteria alignment, and compliance with University and Sponsor requirements 
  • Develops strong, well-justified budgets for funding proposals and grant applications, ensuring that the budget requests reflect current predictions of cost 
  • Works directly with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to develop funding proposals for the Child Health and Wellness Research community  
  • Provides expertise and advice to child health research teams on planning short- and long-term grant strategies, with specific focus on multi-disciplinary and multi-site team grants  

Leadership and Communication (20%):

  • Provides potential research partners with information regarding collaboration opportunities and programs and services offered by One Child Every Child and ACHRI  
  • Communicates new strategic funding opportunities to One Child Every Child and ACHRI leadership 
  • Establishes and maintains effective and productive relationships with all stakeholders internal and external to the University of Calgary 
  • Recommends new ways for Child Health and Wellness researchers to increase collaborative interactions within UCalgary, as well as provincially, nationally and internationally  
  • Contributes to stakeholder reporting, providing content and audience-specific scientific information, as required 
  • Contributes to long term strategy and direction for Child Health and Wellness research support programs  
  • Provides guidance to other research support team members 

Networking and Partnerships (25%):

  • Identifies and pursues opportunities for ACHRI to collaborate with other institutes, research groups, and partners 
  • Establishes and maintains positive relationships key stakeholder groups and works to identify synergistic goals and strategies and to develop a plan to engage them in the implementation of One Child Every Child and ACHRI initiatives 
  • Works closely with Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and other partners, such as the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta’s SPOR SUPPORT Unit, and child health research institutes across Canada  
  • Attend key research, educational and stakeholder events 

Post-Award Grant Coordination (5%):

  • In collaboration with the One Child Every Child business operations team and ACHRI’s Research Support Specialist, reviews successful grant applications for operational needs and assists with the implementation of UCalgary-led projects and develops standard operating procedures and templates providing guidance and orientation to Researchers and their teams  
  • In collaboration with the One Child Every Child Business Operations team, assists with hiring project research staff to run individual projects, creating and updating job profiles as needed 

Finance (5%):

  • Provide advice and aid for the development of budgets for studies led by Child Health and Wellness Researchers, including grant proposals  
  • Work with One Child Every Child Business Operations team to advise on budgets for the upcoming fiscal year and to provide financial reporting for external stakeholders, agencies and sponsors 


Qualifications / Requirements:

  • MSc or higher with additional relevant training in Health or Social Sciences, Health Services Research, Public Health or other relevant discipline
  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience in a research environment, preferably in a multi-disciplinary research context
  • 5+ years of research and technical writing experience
  • Demonstrated experience with qualitative and/or quantitative research methods
  • A broad and thorough knowledge of financial systems and controls (federal, provincial and local), budget management, and project management
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, coordinate, write, review and edit complex grant applications (multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator) and strategic documents
  • Strong skills in technical and lay proposal writing
  • Strong knowledge of the academic research funding landscape in both basic and clinical realms
  • Knowledge, theory and practical application of university and Tri-Council policies and procedures
  • Ability to work independently with minimal guidance to assess multiple competing priorities according to overall priorities of the institute
  • Ability to build effective relationships through a high level of cooperation and understanding when dealing within the University or outside the University
  • Ability to adapt to changes in organizational structures, systems and policies. Knowledge of University of Calgary-specific policies and processes is considered an asset
  • Experience working with philanthropic funding organizations is preferred
  • Experience working with Alberta Health Services is considered an asset
  • Advanced analytical, planning, and decision-making skills
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills
  • Strong organizational and technical skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work with diverse stakeholder audiences

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 part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/ Advisor Job Family, Phase 3.

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.