Job Summary

The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (SBQMI) is a venture into research of systems and phenomena explicitly involving quantum mechanics. It is internationally recognized for its research and discoveries in quantum structures, quantum materials, and applications towards quantum devices. A $200+ million investment including $66.5-million funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) will rapidly broaden the scope of SBQMI's research and operations.

The Managing Director (MD) sets goals and implements organizational priorities in collaboration with the SBQMI Scientific Director, Executive Director and SBQMI Executive Committee to help position SBQMI as a world leader in research and commercialization of quantum material science and technology. With primary responsibility for operational and administrative elements of the Institute, the MD ensures that SBQMI is positioned to achieve its goals, that appropriate policies and procedures are developed and implemented, that plans are successfully executed, that key stakeholder relationships are built and maintained, and that a culture of integrity, collegiality, and agility is fostered. The MD is responsible for oversight and management of the full scope of administrative functions for SBQMI, including human resources, student training and programming, communications, and administrative support for finance, travel, administrative purchasing, training and development, and research activities. The MD must have and maintain extensive knowledge of all external and internal activities and issues that may impact the Institute and adapt administrative strategies and plans accordingly.

Organizational Status

Reporting to the SBQMI Scientific Director, the incumbent interacts and communicates with the UBC Research and Innovation Council (RIC), the SBQMI International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), the Vice President Research and Innovation (VPRI) office, the SBQMI leadership team and administration staff, SBQMI faculty members and external stakeholders.

Work Performed

  • Participates, as a member of the Executive leadership team, in the development and implementation of the strategic plan for the Institute; understands, and advises the Scientific Director and leadership team on the implications of the overall Institute strategic plan on the operational and administrative needs of the organization and the impacts of decisions on time and cost of research; and puts project plans in place to best ensure efficient use of time and resources.
  • Works closely with the Executive Committee to set objectives, establish priorities and develop strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Institute in achieving its vision and strategy.
  • Holds key responsibility for defining and implementing the operational and administrative strategy, goals and targets based on the overall SBQMI strategic plan, reviews, and reports on, strategic direction, plans and progress.
  • Is responsible for the continuous oversight and enhancement of the risk management strategy for the Institute, including ongoing identification of risks to the organization and to its ability to meet criteria for success; ensures that plans, policies and procedures are in place to mitigate identified risks, that the strategy is reviewed regularly, risks are monitored, and reports are provided as required.
  • Oversees administrative and operational projects by coordinating, and collaborating, with key stakeholders, ensuring that the right resources are available, optimally allocated, and distributed in an efficient and timely manner to support the multiple activities of the Institute. Strives to ensure that project assignments leverage the strengths and, where possible, the interests, of the team. Works collaboratively with the project managers, operations team and researchers to ensure resources are available to support research activities and that they are optimally allocated.
  • Leads the drive for equity, diversity and inclusion by working with faculty, researchers, students and staff to establish strategy and to design and implement programs, initiatives, policies and procedures related to recruiting, training and culture that will increase diversity in the Institute and embed EDI principles and values in the Institute.
  • Works collaboratively with the Scientific Director and Executive Director in negotiating with external stakeholders such as granting agencies, commercial partners, government and academic institutions, to ensure interactions are in line with, and further, the strategic objectives of the Institute.
  • Oversees the activities of the Human Resources Manager, to ensure the effective recruitment and management of the people working in all functional areas of SBQMI, and that the workforce is ready, willing, and able to support the Institute's long- and short-term objectives within an agreed upon budget.
  • Communicates closely with, and ensures appropriate resources are directed to, managers of each of SBQMI's functional areas for building and retaining a strong operational team. Works with staff to set and clarify priorities, and reallocates workflows to support shifting priorities.
  • Conducts regular performance reviews with direct reports and regularly provides constructive feedback. Additionally, along with the Scientific Director and Executive Director organizes and participates in the reviews of the scientific, business and technical staff. Oversees direct reports as they conduct the performance review process with their teams. Incorporates input and feedback from across the institute to optimize organization effectiveness.
  • Coaches and mentors direct reports, taking time to connect personally with them, understand their strengths, development needs, and career aspirations, and supports them in their growth where possible.
  • Ensures that appropriate programs, courses and training opportunities are available to SBQMI faculty, as well as technical, scientific, and administrative staff.
  • Oversees the activities of the Manager, Programs and Careers to ensure that student learning initiatives and programs are aligned to SBQMI's strategic goals with regard to student recruitment and engagement, training and career development, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion. Facilitates the development of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate educational initiatives. Ensures development of programs and initiatives to maintain SBQMI alumni engagement.
  • Advises the Senior Finance Manager on the financial needs and required resource allocation of the Institute; collaborates with the Senior Finance Manager (VPRI) to develop short and long range financial plans to meet the strategic goals of the Institute and attract continued funding by providing necessary background information, reports, and support to submission of proposals. Ensures that funds are properly allocated and that the decision process for allocation of funds is transparent and equitable. Makes recommendations to address concerns and special cases to Executive leadership and UBC finance.
  • Develops approaches to ensure that all SBQMI operations are in compliance with UBC policies and procedures as well as the terms of external funding agreements. Ensures that clear policies and procedures are in place and followed with regard to use of facilities, governance matters, human resource management, and upholding of values and culture.
  • Oversees Information Systems for the Institute, including developing an internal IT strategy and liaising with Faculty of Science and UBC Information Technology; identifies technology support needs of the Institute and develops and implements plans to address those needs.
  • Oversees the development, planning, writing and dissemination of SBQMI's annual, and other, reports, including reviews and reports required by the various funding agencies.
  • Oversees the procurement and successful execution of consulting services and contracts related to administration, operations, finance, and HR functions of SBQMI.
  • Coordinates the development of new facilities including advising on planning, negotiating space for SBQMI, and development of renovation and expansion plans. Is responsible to ensure that the workplace meets UBC standards for safety and environmental compliance.
  • Oversees planning regarding allocation of space and furniture, provision of IT equipment and resources, security, environment, and supplies. Coordinates office equipment, records management, security, and maintenance and services contracts; resolves space and resource allocation conflicts.

Supervision Received

Works within very broad parameters, under general guidance from the SBQMI Scientific Director, the VPRI and the UBC Research and Innovation Council. The Managing Director works cooperatively with all staff, faculty and students to coordinate and create opportunities. The incumbent is expected to resolve issues at a senior level with no supervision.

Supervision Given

Supervises the work of direct and indirect reports for all functions of SBQMI operational and administrative team including HR, Communications, Administrative Support, IT, finance and student programming.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

As a critical player in SBQMI's operations and leadership team, the MD must operate with a high degree of independence and responsibility, and at all times, exercise excellent judgement in decision making regarding the development and implementation of policies, the management of people, building of culture, and the organization and allocation of Institute financial, human and technological resources. Decisions made by the incumbent directly affect the effective and efficient operations of SBQMI. Success of SBQMI and continued funding will depend on the quality of work performed by the MD and the use of judgement in operational execution, assigning resources accordingly, and mitigating risk.


Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. University degree in business or science. Postgraduate University degree in business, science or relevant field preferred. A minimum of 7 years of experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Minimum 7 years' experience as a senior manager in a research-oriented environment with leadership of a large team preferred. Expertise in leading strategy implementation and spearheading an annual planning / priority setting process; Has had accountability for performance of at least one department including developing annual objectives and overseeing budgets, policies and procedures, hiring, performance evaluation, and coaching; Expertise in managing large scale initiatives in a research environment; Has led successful negotiations with external stakeholders such as granting agencies, commercial partners, government and academic institutions; Ability to apply in-depth knowledge and experience, both technical and managerial, in identifying and resolving complex, multi-faceted problems; Ability to look beyond existing methodologies and own discipline to anticipate, define, and resolve unique, complex problems.

Visit company website to apply