Director, Communications

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Director, Communications

Job Information
Author CIFAR
Date November 21, 2022
Deadline December 04, 2022
Type Full Time
Company Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Location Toronto, ON
Category Communications
Contact Information

Director, Communications

La version française suit.

About CIFAR:

CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society.

For more information please visit our website.

Purpose of the Position:

The Director of Communications is responsible for the implementation of CIFAR’s strategic communications plan with a significant focus on identifying, developing, measuring, and managing comprehensive marketing and communications strategies to engage CIFAR’s Knowledge Mobilization, Advancement, Research, and Shared Services activities. The Director serves as the lead point person for communications planning and coordination across departments and with external partners. This role will be responsible for two direct reports.


Supports the Vice-President, Communications in the development and implementation of CIFAR’s overall strategic communications planning and, specifically, the strategic goals related to the Communications team:

  • Participates as a member of CIFAR’s leadership team and serves as the lead on Marketing & Communications plans and strategy implementation.
  • Analyzes market potential, alignment with mission and internal capacity for new ideas and initiatives that increase CIFAR’s impact and reach, identifying opportunities to test and evaluate new methodologies.

Provides leadership direction, management support and implementation of the marketing and communications plans, including CIFAR’s brand strategy, to support CIFAR’s corporate plan objectives:

  • Manages cross-departmental project plans and teams to deliver on the agreed measurable goals and objectives and works with CIFAR staff across groups as well as researchers to design, plan and execute marketing and communications strategies.
  • Selects and manages external vendors and strategic partners.
  • Leads marketing planning and measurements.
  • Aligns and manages projects in order to achieve marketing objectives, e.g. REACH magazine, News & Ideas, events.
  • Develops and implements brand positioning strategy across key marketing and outreach activities.
  • Developing and maintaining constructive relations with peers internal and external to CIFAR as well as partner organizations, CIFAR Fellows and Azrieli Global Scholars.

Directs messaging, materials management and design development across all channels (e.g. digital, print, event, online, traditional and social media):

  • Develops and continuously refines editorial guidelines to rollout across the organization.
  • Manages materials development and ensures accuracy and consistency in messaging across platforms.
  • Selects, evaluates and proactively manages relationships with agencies ensuring cost-effectiveness, high service delivery and quality of work.
  • Manages and implements communications across all digital and print channels.


Education/Experience required:

  • Seven to 10 years of experience or more managing successful marketing and communications plans in an academic, not-for-profit, research, healthcare or agency environment
  • Related degree or diploma in communications, marketing, journalism or relevant field.
  • Experience with science and research communication and fundraising communications is preferred.

Core Professional/Technical Knowledge & Skills required for the position:

  • Bilingualism in English and French is strongly preferred.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience in translating marketing and communications strategies into project plans and executing with precision.
  • Background in a research or academic work environment will be preferred, with experience in identifying demographics and psychographics of target markets and selecting, evaluating and managing an agency partner.
  • Experience implementing brand-centred strategies and making results a top priority in a fundraising environment.
  • Superb organizational, planning and time management skills, with ability to work under pressure and with tight deadlines
  • Exceptional manager who is able to manage, coach and mentor staff
  • Superior project management skills including writing, editing, design supervision, production and events.
  • In-depth knowledge of Canadian academic and research environment
  • Extensive experience managing successful social media channels
  • Experience using Customer Relationship Management tools (Saleforce is preferred) in marketing and communications campaign planning


Qualified applicants are invited to apply HERE by Sunday, December 4th at 11:59pm EST. Please include a cover letter, resume, and 3 relevant clippings from your portfolio. We appreciate your interest in this opportunity, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted via email.

CIFAR is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We recognize that bringing together individuals from multiple backgrounds, perspectives and experiences is integral to advancing excellence and increasing the impact of our organization. Our leadership, staff and volunteers strive to create an equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace and, in turn, an environment that will give our diverse global community of researchers the support to successfully address the most important questions facing science and humanity. Ensuring that every person feels valued and welcome, regardless of age, education, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, parental status/responsibility, immigration status, Indigenous status, religion, disability, language, race, place of origin, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status, and other attributes is vital to achieving our mission. We strongly encourage applications from members of our society who face systemic barriers and biases, including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous persons, members of visible minority/racialized communities, 2SLGBTQ+ persons, members of marginalized gender identity communities, and persons with disabilities. Applicants may confidentially self-identify at the time of application.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES – CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email and include the term ‘Accessibility’ in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.

CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible.  Other languages are also considered an asset. For a French version of the job posting, please visit

CIFAR is supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec as well as international partner organizations, individuals, foundations, and corporations.

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