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Director, Science

Ocean Networks Canada, University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia
Closing date
Apr 3, 2024

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Ocean Science
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit


Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) invites applications for the position of Director of Science.  As a pioneering organization that supports ocean discovery and innovation, ONC offers a stimulative, supportive environment within a multi-disciplinary culture, celebrating individuals and teams for their distinct cultural and knowledge backgrounds and innovative thinking.

ONC operates observatories in the deep ocean, coastal waters and land of the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic coasts of Canada, and in the Antarctic Ocean, delivering data in real-time that accelerates scientific discovery and provides services and solutions for a resilient planet. ONC serves multiple fields of ocean research ranging from geophysics, oceanography, marine acoustics, marine ecology, and geochemistry to microbiology and collaborates with national and local governments, educators, students, communities, and Indigenous peoples. The essential data from thousands of mobile and land-based sensors on ferries, autonomous floats, moorings, and coastal assets enables evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, public safety, and environmental protection, addressing key scientific and policy issues. Diverse user communities utilize ONC’s powerful online data management system, Oceans 3.0, to access, analyze, visualize, and present observatory data. Committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion, ONC believes that the most profound understanding of our ocean stems from a diversity of perspectives, and we strongly encourage applications from candidates whose values align with this commitment. As a Major Science Initiative funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and managed by the University of Victoria, ONC tackles some of the most important issues facing society and remains a crucial enterprise for exploring the frontiers of ocean research

The Position

ONC is seeking a passionate and experienced leader and ocean science expert to drive the development and delivery of ONC’s Science division. Responsible for ONC’s scientific direction and national and international partnerships, the Director steers ONC in the scientific excellence and innovative thinking necessary to maintain ONC’s leadership at the forefront of ocean observing. 
Reporting to the President & CEO of ONC and as a member of the Executive team, the Director of Science provides strategic, executive, and operational leadership and oversight to the science division. The Science Director provides leadership and direction to a team of staff scientists who bring expertise across many scientific disciplines and serve as the essential interface between the global community of scientific researchers and the ONC observatory infrastructure capabilities. The staff scientists contribute to and support the publication of research results; collaborate directly with internal and external scientists and stakeholders to define data requirements for research projects; advise on uses and data interpretation; plan future initiatives; coordinate workshops; build collaborations; and support research teams in preparing experiments, including but not limited to funding proposals.


Applicants must submit: a cover letter that summarizes their leadership experience, vision, and commitment to diversity; a curriculum vitae; and contact information for at least three references. Reference letters will only be requested from top applicants. Review of applications will begin in April 2024, and continue until the position is filled, ideally by 1 September 2024 (negotiable). Please submit your application through Uvic Careers portal:



A visionary leader with a proven record of program development and management, the Director of Science has a Ph.D. in any discipline related to oceanography, marine science, or ocean technology, plus years of relevant experience consistent with a leadership role in either academia, industry, or government.

Education and Experience:

• Doctoral degree in a relevant field of study
• 10 years of scientific leadership and/or senior-level research experience in a science program of national and international standing
• 10 years of supervisory experience
• Experience in developing, managing and directing research programs
• Experience in writing scientific proposals
• A record of publishing in academic journals

Competencies include:

• Excellent critical thinking
• Skilled and confident spokesperson and facilitator in scientific discussions
• Ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders
• Excellent interpersonal skills, including conflict management
• Strong team leadership and strategic thinking
• Ability to apply project management best practices to achieve program and project goals on time
• Strong organizational, analytical, and problem-solving abilities
• Demonstrated administrative and organizational skills
• Ability to build and maintain positive working relationships
• Commitment to diversity and contributing to an inclusive and respectful working and learning environment

Unusual working conditions:

• The Director may be called upon to lead offshore expeditions.
• During ONC field excursions or 24/7 expeditions, the Director is required to be on call to respond to urgent matters.
• Work may involve travel nationally and internationally to promote ONC, meet with stakeholders, coordinate with related projects, and explore new areas of research enabled by ONC infrastructure.
• Due to the many priorities and deadlines that the Director must accommodate in their work, a necessary high level of quality assurance, and crisis management skill is required for this position and can be a source of significant mental stress particularly in the lead up to field excursions or expeditions.

Condition of Employment:
• The ability to obtain and maintain a Government of Canada Secret Level II security clearance is a requirement of this position.

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