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Executive Search

Associate Vice-President, Operations and Communications Search Committee


The Associate Vice-President, Operations and Communications (AVPOC) is a member of the executive team of the Vice-President, Research and International (VPRI) and provides leadership for the operations and communications functions of the Office of Research. 

Qualifications, duties, and responsibilities 

The AVPOC will be accountable for Waterloo research funding endeavours including: identification of strategic funding opportunities both domestic and international, pre- and post-award support, and financial administration of awards. Additionally, the role holds responsibility for the operations and human resources management of the Office of Research. The portfolio includes reporting relationships for four Directors and related units including: Institutional Research, Funding Agencies & Non-profit Sponsors (FANS), Research Finance, and Operations and Communications. The Office of Research is deeply committed to advancing the research and innovation trajectory of the University of Waterloo. In particular, this portfolio oversees major and large-scale strategic grants and awards of critical importance to the institution.

Candidates must hold a faculty position at Waterloo with experience in leadership and advancing strategic priorities. The role requires depth of understanding in the research endeavour from across campus, exceptional relationship management skills, and strong financial acumen. The AVPOC will have exceptional facilitation and communication skills, the ability to build teams to take advantage of opportunities, and also respect, appreciate, and encourage equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The AVPOC will work closely with the VPRI, along with the executive team, within the Office of Research to execute the vision and strategic priorities of the University.

Term of office

The AVPOC appointment will be for an initial and negotiable three-year term; the successful candidate will take office as soon as possible. The appointment may be renewed, at the discretion of the VPRI.

Appointment procedure

A. Appointment of a nominating committee

The nominating committee shall consist of:

  • Vice-President, Research & International
  • One Associate Vice-President, Office of Research
  • One Associate Dean, Research,
  • One Director, Office of Research
  • One faculty member

A reasonable gender balance should be maintained on nominating committees when feasible.

Membership on nominating committees shall be conditional on each person agreeing to maintain, in confidence, the information discussed by the committee (except on points where the committee subsequently agrees otherwise) and to exercise authority and responsibility as an individual so that decisions may be made at the time and place of committee meetings.

B. Terms of reference

The committee will invite nominations, by whatever means it considers appropriate, from any person or group; it will advertise the position internally; and it will establish criteria against which nominations and applications may be measured.

The committee will consider all names placed before it and will develop a short list of candidates as the first step in proceeding towards a recommendation. These candidates will be invited to meet with the committee and/or with such other persons and/or groups it may determine. After screening candidates, the committee shall select the person it regards as most suitable for the position and recommend the appointment of the candidate to the VPRI.

Search committee members

  • Charmaine Dean, Vice-President, Research and International
  • Bruce Muirhead, Associate Vice-President, Research Oversight and Analysis
  • Shirley Tang, Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Science
  • Tamer Özsu, University Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
  • Brenda MacDonald, Director, Research Operations and Communications