Indigenous Ethics and Process Specialist, Office of Research Services, VP Research

The University of Calgary - Calgary, AB (23 days ago)

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Position Overview

The Department of Research in the VP Research portfolio invites applications for an Indigenous Ethics and Process Specialist. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Research Services works with the University of Calgary's research community to advance the research enterprise. The Indigenous Research Support Team (IRST) is a pilot project launched within Research Services to address identified challenges being overcome by the Indigenous faculty members at the University of Calgary, as well as challenges associated with research being carried out in Indigenous environments. The overarching intention of the project is to strengthen and identify existing resources for Indigenous communities and stakeholders, university researchers, and further partners to promote collaborative, reciprocal, and culturally responsive research.

The project affirms the University of Calgary's Indigenous Engagement Strategy, ii'taa'poh'to'p, which was launched in 2017. ii'taa'poh'to'p seeks to implement and communicate commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, and to provide pathways for transformation that advance the deep learning required for reconciliation.

The IRST understands that responsible and ethical research with Indigenous communities and within Indigenous environments demands the need to build and develop mutually beneficial partnerships, observing the contextual challenges and opportunities for increasing rapport and capacity. The IRST serves to provide the opportunity for Indigenous communities to connect with a research body that can help to facilitate and identify the endeavors they would like to explore. The IRST will be the point of contact for all university researchers doing any work with or in Indigenous communities or on Indigenous lands. In continuity, the IRST is an advisory entity that will provide guidance to researchers and scholars on the proper processes and protocols for Indigenous research.

The Indigenous Ethics and Process Specialist will be the senior AUPE member of the IRST, reporting directly to the IRST's Manager, and collaborating with the Executive Director of Research Services, the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement), the division Directors in Research Services, the Ethics & Compliance Manager, and the Chairs of the University's Research Ethics Board. While the Manager of the IRST will be the primary contact for external stakeholders, this role will focus on acting as the internal single point of contact for UCalgary researchers planning on working within the Indigenous landscape, establishing protocols and processes to ensure effective operations in this portfolio, and partnering with Research Service's Ethics Team in the processing of Indigenous-related ethics applications.

As a key component of the position is relationship building with researchers from across the University's campuses, it is vital to this role that the incumbent has a strong understanding of the challenges faced by such researchers, therefore, advanced university research experience will be considered advantageous for an applicant.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Indigenous Research Advising 50%

Advise researchers on supports related in Indigenous research that is both culturally appropriate and driven
Advise researchers on procedures for working on Indigenous lands and/or waters, based on jurisdiction including appropriate procedures for engaging with relevant communities
Advise researchers on best practices for engaging in community-based research
Develop pro-active communications related to Indigenous research policies, procedures, requirements, and supports, including
Creating and maintaining an on-line FAQ and Indigenous Research information page
Working with VPR Communications to develop a regular e-mail or newsletter communications plan
As invited, attend academic and/or research unit workshops and meetings to provide expert knowledge on relevant policies, procedures, requirements, and supports.
Assist with workshops and training programs related to university policies, procedures, requirements, and supports for faculty and researchers engaging in Indigenous research
Assist members of Research Services and research support staff from across campus in understanding and implementing relevant Indigenous research policies, procedures, requirements, and supports
Support members of university leadership in understanding our Indigenous Research policies, procedures, requirements, and supports
Assist University Leadership in identifying strong candidates for external Indigenous Research-related prizes and awards, and assist with the preparation of relevant award nomination
Liaise with the Office of Indigenous Engagement on matters related to Indigenous research

Indigenous Research Ethics Application Processes 25%

Assist the Manager, Ethics and Compliance, research ethics staff and REB Chairs in understanding the various local, national and international policies and procedures related to Indigenous research ethics
Work with the Ethics team, under the direction of the Manager, Ethics and Compliance, in primarily facilitating the review of ethics applications for Indigenous research, including, but not limited to
Supporting primarily Indigenous focused researchers in the preparation and submission of their human research ethics applications
Reviewing and provides REBs support with on-going administration of primarily Indigenous human research ethics applications
Attend REB meetings when Indigenous research ethics applications are discussed
Undertaking and maintain all required human research ethics training and certification
Maintaining an in-depth understanding of various complex and nuanced local, national and international requirements and regulations, primarily related to Indigenous research ethics, but must also have a strong knowledge of ethical issues in research involving human participants more generally. This includes possessing established knowledge of university policy and procedures and the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2), in particular Chapter 9, as well as a wide range of other legislations, regulations and guidelines to be applied when conducting reviews and providing advice
Apply a high level of critical thinking and understanding of the relevant research context, assesses applications for common ethical issues primarily related to Indigenous research and notifies reviewers and the Chairs regarding participant risk
Assists researchers in understanding REB decisions primarily related to Indigenous research, may advise on suitable responses to questions or concerns identified by the reviewers and ensure accurate and timely documenting/tracking of the entire process
Work closely with CFREB/CHREB Chairs and the Manager, Research Ethics and Compliance to lead workshops and information sessions on Indigenous research ethics
Keeps up to date on complex and ever-changing ethics issues and requirements specific to Indigenous research

Indigenous Research Policy and Procedure Development, Maintenance & Implementation 25%

At the direction of the Associate Vice-President (Research) and/or the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement), undertake the creation or updating of relevant University Policies and Procedures and Guidelines under the supervision of the IRST Manager
Liaise with relevant RSO unit including Legal, and Ethics and Compliance, in addition to other University units including General Counsel's office in drafting policies or procedures
Work with the IRST Manager and University leadership in stewarding relevant policy and procedure approvals
Provide operational support for the implementation of Indigenous research procedures beyond those covered in the Ethics and Compliance portfolio
Ensures the relevant administrative teams and faculty are informed, in a timely manner, of emerging issues, process changes and other pertinent information related to Indigenous research
Assists in development of content for relevant administrative webpages and other communication materials or guidelines, as appropriate
Work with VPR Data Analysts to maintain data on policy and procedure effectiveness

Qualifications / Requirements:
Graduate degree is required. An equivalent combination of education, training and experience will be considered
Experience (minimum 3 years) working with university research teams, preferably teams engaged in Indigenous research
Experience developing policies or procedures, including as a member of a team undertaking such a development
Experience supporting researchers or project leaders in an academic, industrial, or community setting
Willingness and ability to develop an expert level of knowledge of relevant University policies and processes
Established knowledge of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2) is required
Comprehensive understanding of OCAP Principles
Expert knowledge in local, national and international guidelines, recommendations and legislation relating to Indigenous research and working on Indigenous lands and waters, such as UNDRIP and the TRC's Calls to Action
Ability to act decisively and to exercise a high degree of initiative and sound judgment coupled with related experience in an administrative position providing support to senior management is required
Ability to use tact, good judgement and discretion in dealing with sensitive and confidential situations is required
Ability to build productive and supportive relationships internal and external to the unit is required
Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with management and other leaders is required
Experience working with relevant computer programs, such as Word, Excel, Peoplesoft, will be advantageous
Expertise in university-based research collaborations with Indigenous communities and leadership is essential. The incumbent will have comprehensive understanding and experience in navigating complex and competing priorities within Indigenous contexts
Demonstrated cultural competencies that affirm Indigenous ways of knowing and doing, and incumbent is recognized by Indigenous communities as a trusted and respectful colleague

Application Deadline: March 6, 2020

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.