We have an exciting opportunity for an Executive Director, Research Operations in the Research Institute at SickKids, reporting to the Chief of Research.

The SickKids Research Institute (RI) is Canada’s largest, hospital-based child health research institute, and one of the top five of its kind in the world. Our commitment is to improve the health of children, here in Canada and in the global community. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning is the home base of the Research Institute (RI) community, which spans the entire hospital enterprise, and is composed of more than 3,000 faculty, staff, and trainees.

The Executive Director, Research Operations plans and oversees the operations and finances of the RI, including the provision of staff, systems, and services to support and foster clinical and basic research and ensures accountability to external funders.

The Executive Director is responsible for policy and service development, implementation, and ongoing operational management of large and diverse business groups, including all, operational and infrastructure areas supporting research activity.  This includes working collaboratively with relevant corporate service providers to ensure RI interests are represented organizationally and service needs met.  In addition, this includes the planning and on-going operations of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL), and associated operations, infrastructure builds/upgrades and the oversight of service contracts.  

The Executive Director is a member of the RI Executive and works in collaboration with the Chief and RI Executive, leading, developing, and providing input into strategic decisions.  Plays a critical role in developing and implementing strategic initiatives on behalf of the RI.  

The Executive Director is responsible for the partnership with Hospital Corporate and Operations leaders to ensure that RI Operations align and are consistent with SickKids strategic and operational plans, and that opportunities to maximize efficiencies between areas are explored and secured.


Operations Management 

  • Ensures that all Operations within mandate are run efficiently and effectively, maximizing quality and ensuring regulatory compliance

Research Finance

  • Responsible for managing the ~$300 million dollar budget of the Research Institute
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of the annual operating plan and capital budgeting process for the Research Institute by reviewing past expenditures and revenue, predicting future growth and appropriately allocating budgets

Infrastructure Management

  • Responsible for RI facilities planning and space management activities.  Includes management of space inventory and renovations, planning and installation of major equipment, procurement, and installation of said equipment and the monitoring and management of contracts associated with space, operations, and capital as appropriate

Research Services

  • Ensures efficient and effective provision of key services to the RI community including: the planning, development, contract management, and ongoing operations of the Supply Centre, glass-washing services, and liquid nitrogen services; responsible to ensure that proper BPS procurement guidelines and applicable safety standards are met and/or exceeded, and that appropriate and modern inventory management systems are in place
  • Operational accountability for the Laboratory Animal Services 

Research Information Services

  • Responsible for the Research Information Technology (RIT) group supporting the research community’s computer resources, services and infrastructure.  Services include desktop support, help desk, data centre and systems management, eHUB development, and data management

Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Leads the strategic development of the current programs of Research Operations and new programs and services as they arise 
  • Support the Chief and RI executives to develop RI-wide strategies, leading strategy development and implementation aspects related to positional span of control

People Management

  • Develop and build Research Operations team members to enable individual growth in their careers at SickKids and position them for future leadership roles  
  • Ensures maximal integration of clinical and basic research 

Organizational Development

  • Acts as the Research Institute representative on key Hospital-wide committees (i.e., Human Resources Advisory Committee, Staff Continuing Professional Development Fund (SCPDF), Returning to the Workplace and Re-imagining Work Cross-Functional Taskforce etc.)


  • Masters’ degree is preferred (MBA, MHSc, MHA or Policy Administration) or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Ten years of extensive senior-level leadership experience in an academic health centre; understanding of biomedical & clinical research processes & support requirements
  • Budget management & stewardship of multimillion-dollar budgets
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a diversity of stakeholders inclusive of word-class scientists/physicians, research leaders, directors, clinical managers, project managers, interprofessional leaders and a passion for working with complexity
  • Demonstrated ability of successfully managing in an ambiguous, fast-paced environment where there are multiple and often highly contentious priorities that must be addressed
  • Well-developed operational, project management and business management skills inclusive of financial management, business case development, systems and processes to ensure excellence in overall oversight of the RI
  • In-depth knowledge of corporate governance and general management best practices
  • Considered a valued thought leader and effective champion and advocate for research operations
  • Excellent analytical acumen, problem-solving, and decision-making skills 
  • Exemplary skills in team building, relationship-building and communication to build trust and confidence with diverse research & hospital stakeholders and external partners
  • Exceptional negotiating and influencing skills, including the ability to obtain stakeholder buy-in and understand where concessions can be made and when policy or practice must be followed 
  • Experience successfully supporting diverse stakeholders and complexities; strong consulting, counseling and facilitation skills; and experience establishing credibility and working relationships at all levels of the organization 
  • A solid sense of confidentiality, discretion and professionalism 
  • Exceptional visionary leadership, people management, strategic thinking and transformational change management skills 
  • Demonstrated high Emotional Intelligence behavioural competency
  • Experience leading and supporting strategic planning and transformational change
  • A supportive and constructive leadership style when leading operational teams
  • A highly collaborative, collegial, and flexible approach to working with partners and leaders
  • Superior and advanced written, oral communication and presentation skills 
  • Highly developed analytical, problem solving, negotiation and conflict management skills
  • Excellent knowledge of computer applications inclusive of Office 365 and other relevant business tools

Employment Type

Full-Time, Permanent 

Our Commitment to Diversity

The children and families we care for are from a variety of communities, and so are our employees. We welcome and encourage everyone to join our organization and be part of our team.

 When requested, SickKids will provide access and inclusion supports to eligible candidates to support their full engagement during the interview and assessment process.  Information received related to access or inclusion will be addressed confidentially.

Thank you for your interest in joining SickKids. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. In accordance with our Hospital policy, employment at SickKids is conditional upon the Hospital’s receipt of all necessary documentation.

FOR EXTERNAL APPLICANTS ONLYAs a health care institution, our highest priority is the safety of patients, families and staff.  As a result, we are adopting all prevention measures to ensure the safety of our patients, families and our staff.  Therefore, any offer of employment is conditional upon you submitting proof that you have been fully vaccinated with a Health Canada or World Health Organization (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible and no later than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the effective start date, in addition to satisfying any other condition(s) that may be set out in an offer.  If a candidate fails to satisfy this condition (or any other condition(s) set out in an offer), any offer of employment shall be immediately rescinded.

How to Apply

Tip: Combine your cover letter and resume into ONE document of 20 pages or less as you cannot upload multiple documents as part of your application.

Apply Here

Posted By

The Hospital For Sick Children

Contact Information


Toronto, Ontario


Child Health Research

Positions For

MBA,MHSc,MHA or Policy Administration

Date Posted

Thursday June 30, 2022