Research Support Specialist – University of British Columbia – Kelowna, BC

Research Support Specialist

University of British Columbia

250 reviews

Kelowna, BC

$60,470 a year

The Research Support Specialist (RSS) is responsible for planning, communicating, and managing high value and high-impact research opportunities at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. This position is responsible for providing expert advice and guidance to faculty in the identification of research opportunities and in the completion of grant applications. To accomplish this, this position works closely with the Okanagan Office of Research Services and with the ‘Support Programs to Advance Research Capacity’ (SPARC) Office at UBC’s Vancouver Campus to develop program support for major research funding opportunities. This position will inform the Vice Principal Research (VPR) of important funding developments and provide recommendations on potential opportunities for UBC Okanagan’s research community. This position is expected to increase the opportunities for research success and to increase the number and dollar value of successful funding applications at the UBC Okanagan campus

Works under a dual reporting structure, with an operational report to the Associate Director, Office of Research Services and direction on research strategy and activity from the Associate Vice Principal Research (AVPR). Works closely with faculty, senior administration and other research facilitation/support staff from all Departments and Schools on the Okanagan campus and works closely with the SPARC Office the Institutional Programs Office, and Tri-Council Faculty Advisors on the Vancouver campus.

1. Ensures success in obtaining research funding by:

  • Working with individuals and teams of faculty members to develop research funding proposals and submissions to provincial, national and international granting agencies; advises and assists researchers to identify fundable research programs and proposals; provides advice and support to researchers at all career stages in articulating their research programs and identifying funding sources.

  • Identifying opportunities for, and supporting development of, new research projects, new teams and new partnerships, particularly those that provide opportunities to address priority research areas of external agencies. Providing research project development support for individual faculty members and faculty teams.

  • Recognizing changes in the funding landscape and maintaining expert-level knowledge of research granting agencies to customize proposals to granting agency mandate, priorities and guidelines.

  • Providing authoritative information on research funding opportunities and ongoing development of strategic directions and research priorities provincially, nationally, and internationally to faculty and senior administration.

  • Holding workshops and facilitating team meetings for research groups, centres and teams; advising and assisting researchers in the articulation of research programs and proposals; maintaining in-depth knowledge and understanding of Okanagan campus researchers and research programs.

  • Identifying, designing, developing and delivering grant writing modules, workshops and seminars.

Providing project management support for multi-investigator teams; coordinating the development and writing of complex (e.g. multi-author or multi-institutional) funding proposals.

2. Fosters Research Capacity and Growth on campus by:

  • Working closely with Faculties, Schools and Departments to administer faculty mentorship programs, interpeer review committees, and other initiatives to help build and support research capacity on campus.

  • Planning, developing and implementing internal procedures and policies for internal funding competitions.

  • Providing expert critical review of draft proposals based on agency guidelines and assessment criteria.

  • Formulating budgets to ensure that all funding agency and university requirements are met.

  • Providing information on policies and procedures within the Office Of Research Services, and administering, approving and submitting applications to funding agencies.

3. Other duties as required.

Works under the general direction of the Associate Director, Office of Research Services and Vice Principal Research. Must be able to work independently and see projects to completion. The Research Support Specialist keeps the Associate Director, ORS, the Associate Vice Principal Research and the Vice Principal Research informed of the status of work in progress. Works to deadlines.. Work is reviewed in terms of achievement of desired results. Works with considerable latitude.

This position works as a team member in the Office of Research Services.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

This position has significant influence on the quality and effectiveness of the services provided by the Office of Research Services. Non-compliance with contractual terms and/or sponsoring agency guidelines could result in the return of agency funds, loss of future funds and/ or inability to collect funds owned to the University. Incorrect interpretation of Sponsoring Agency and University policy provided to faculty will result in non-compliance with sponsoring agency terms on the use of funds.

Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Masters or PhD in an academic discipline, with research experience. Minimum of three years experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Three years of directly relevant experience in developing, writing, critiquing or evaluating research funding applications. Expert-level knowledge of Canadian funding agencies mandates and programs (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, CFI, Foundations, etc.). Knowledge of successful grant application procedures and granting agency requirements. Related experience in building collaborative research teams and multi-disciplinary and/or multi-institutional research proposals for provincial, national, and international agencies. Related experience in the development of research proposals, publications, grant applications, including project logistics and budget development. Knowledge of project management principles. Knowledge in conducting and designing research programs and in research methodologies. Strong interpersonal, organizational and problem-solving skills, including the ability to multi-task a range of complex projects and to meet the required deadlines. Ability to work under pressure and with frequent interruptions; and the ability to work in an independent and flexible environment. Experience in teaching and/or in developing and conducting grant/proposal writing workshops and training sessions. Excellent English verbal and written communication skills including training and/or education in academic communication. Ability to incorporate a broad knowledge base with understanding and communication of complex research issues to the non-expert reader. Excellent critical review and substantive editing skills.


Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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