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Project Lead Research Transformation

Position: Project Lead, Research Transformation
Reports to: Director, Research and Partnerships
Department: Mission – National
Location: Toronto
Status: Contract, Full-time

The Heart and Stroke Foundation

Life. We don’t want you to miss it.™

That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. Powered by donors and volunteers, we fund life-saving research and help Canadians lead healthier lives.

Heart & Stroke is a health charity active in communities across the country. We are sustained by the commitment and generosity of more than 100,000 volunteers and more than 1.4 million donors.

The opportunity

The Project Lead will ensure the H&S research transformation project and the integration of the advice of the Mission Critical Area (MCA) Councils are implemented on time and on budget, working closely with the Director, Research and Partnerships, Senior Manager, Research, Director, Systems Change and Stroke Program and Director, Data and Knowledge Management, Heart Program.  

The Project Lead is responsible for planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closing of the research transformation project (post launch of all new programs). As part of the research transformation, design and development of key elements of the transformation, and for development of specific components of the research transformation project as described below.

Key responsibilities

Program Development and Design 

  • Supports the overall transformation of H&S research program, across all components of the programs and all competitions.
  • Creates a new multi-year, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional translational research program (“impact grant competition”) design, working closely with the Senior Manager Research to ensure alignment and fit with H&S suite of grants and awards, infrastructure and capacity.
  • Creates the provincial research competition program, in close collaboration with provincial mission leads.
  • Advises on peer review approaches to discuss with the Scientific Review Committee (SRC).
  • Supports the implementation of peer review processes, further to SRC guidance, in alignment with the research team and with provincial mission leads (as required).
  • Ensures the program guidelines and administrative requirements to launch the impact grant competition and the provincial research program are in place.
  • Designs the oversight and monitoring approaches for impact grants, seeking to create dynamic and proactive relationship between H&S and the successful investigators.
  • Provides inputs into the research transformation evaluation, particularly elements related to the impact grant.
  • Gathers data and information on the Canadian health research ecosystem, research grants and awards, best practices in research funding organizations peer review, post-grant administration, people with lived experience engagement in research, partnership approaches and other topics using a variety of methods and sources such as literature reviews, interviews, web searches.
  • Works with the Senior Manager, Research to analyze trends from H&S funding to determine feasibility and suitability of options.
  • Analyzes data, determines feasibility and suitability of options, synthesizes information and writes briefing notes and options papers to inform planning and decision-making.
    Works with the Council of Co-chairs and the CoMPASS co-chairs to synthesize and integrate the outputs of the advisory structures, to ensure that they support the successful execution of the research transformation.

Project Management

  • Supports the research transformation project and the Mission Critical Area Councils by ensuring deliverables for each are clearly defined, communicated and executed by all members of the core team for each initiative.
  • Updates and maintains project plans for research transformation and Mission Critical Area Councils and Council of Co-Chairs
  • Identifies tasks and milestones, develops and maintains on-line project task and schedule tracker and ensures projects are on time and on budget.
  • Documents and presents status reports, roadmap changes and schedules, and impact with mitigation plans to core team
  • Completes, seeks approval of, and submits all required project reports, forecasts and financial information.
  • Work closely with Coordinator, Heart Program to organize, set agendas and support MCA core team meetings.
  • Assesses and manages project’s risk on an ongoing basis in order to maximize project’s success and minimize risk and/or losses of funds.
  • Works with other cross-functional teams to facilitate readiness within the organization for the transformation and to clarify interdependencies, timing, resource requirements.
  • Develops key messages related to the transformation, particularly the impact fund, prepares documentation and supports the Communications team in developing communications plans and materials related to research transformation.

Stakeholder Relationships

  • Works closely with the Senior Manager, Research, the research team and other mission leadership to ensure alignment of the new programs with our infrastructure, processes, and capacity/competencies.
  • Builds relationships with key external research stakeholders to support the successful development and launch of the research transformation and actively integrates feedback into the new research program. 
  • Identifies and pursues opportunities to amplify H&S research transformation given the direction and priorities of other research funding and funders. 


  • University degree in health, science or relevant field

Experience and Skills

  • 5 years of research administration, research funding or project management experience in progressively more responsible roles.
  • Experience working with researchers and clinicians, research or health institutions and other funding bodies (e.g., Canadian Institutes of Health Research).
  • PMP certification preferred or equivalent training and experience; Scrum Master Certification is an asset.
  • Extensive experience of Canadian health research funding environment. Knowledge of heart, stroke and brain health research is an asset.
  • Work experience within the NGO or public sectors is a definite asset as is experience with volunteers, committees or boards.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan at both a strategic and operational level, recognizing that execution is mostly occurring at the operational level.
  • Exceptional organizational and analytical skills,
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multiple projects in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, planning, leading and executing on multiple files simultaneously.
  • Exemplary written and oral communication skills, including effective presentation skills
  • Ability to work independently and with minimal direct supervision is essential.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively, in a team-based environment, with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Ability to critically assess information and synthesize a broad range of information for the purposes of high-level decision making.
  • Demonstrated ability to problem solve, think outside the box, and find creative and feasible solutions to project delivery challenges and expected risks or issues. Must be willing and able to handle unexpected changes in plans and need to improvise or change course of action within short notice.
  • Strong computer skills and ability to use technological tools to organize and advance the work of the team (i.e., MS Office Suite, SharePoint, Microsoft Project, CRM and other workflow tools such as Wrike, Slack). 

If you have the qualifications and share our passion for our mission, we invite you to forward your resume, cover letter and salary expectations to

This posting will remain open until August 6, 2018.

Please include the exact job title, including location, in the subject line of your email.

We thank all applicants for their interest however, due to volume, we can only contact those selected for interviews. 

Candidates from diverse groups are encouraged to apply. We are committed to fostering an inclusive, barrier-free and accessible environment. If you have been contacted for an interview and require an accommodation due to disability to participate in the recruitment and selection process, please advise and we will work with you to meet your needs.

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