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Director, Academic Partnerships

April 28 2020
Industries Non-profit organisation - NPO
Categories Education, Library, Health, Medical, Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, Other Health Professionals, Public Sector, Associative Sector, Non Profit, Sales, Business Development
Ottawa, ON

Mitacs is a national not-for-profit that helps industry and non-profit partners solve strategic challenges by leveraging Canada’s world-class post-secondary talent and a global network of industry, academic, and government partnerships. Through these collaborations, Mitacs helps business and community partners succeed, improves students’ on-the-job skills development, and strengthens Canada’s world-class innovation ecosystem. At Mitacs, we strive to develop the next generation of innovators with vital research and business skills. In partnership with domestic and international companies, governments and academia, we support a new economy using Canada’s most valuable resource – its people. To get a better understanding of Mitacs and read more about our values please visit our website

The Director, Academic Partnerships will report to the Vice President, National Partnerships and lead the development and implement of an engagement strategy for Mitacs and its academic partners (university and college).


  • Develop and implement a multi-year engagement strategy for Mitacs’s university members (Full, Associate and Honourary), as well as eligible college and CEGEP partners.
  • Establish effective communications channels with academic partners and act as key liaison Mitacs and these valued partners.
  • Work with other Mitacs teams to:
    • Develop and share the Mitacs story by leveraging existing and new relationships with academic partners;
    • Ensure academic partners are well served across Mitacs’s media, social and marketing channels;
    • Ensure coordination of activities with academic partners across the organization;
    • Drive awareness of Mitacs programming and activity throughout the academic institutions, especially with Vice Presidents (Research and Innovation), Deans of key Faculties, the offices responsible for (applied) research, international and co-op services.
    • Identify and effectively address issues raised by academic institutions;
    • Develop process for collecting and managing examples of successful projects, partnerships, as well as relevant data related to the impact of Mitacs;
  • Prepare briefing documents for senior management that support interactions with government and academic stakeholders; documents could include memoranda, presentations, environmental scans, letters, proposals, etc.;
  • Provide strategic advice to Executive Management Team (EMT) and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members re: Mitacs’s academic partnerships, including emerging issues and opportunities relating to existing programming and new pilots;
  • Engage and, in some instances, represent Mitacs with key external partnerships, including various working groups and committees led by key national stakeholders (e.g. University Canada, CICan, and CEWIL) and key provincial stakeholders (e.g. COU, AAU, and RUCBC); and
  • Lead the development of Mitacs’s annual academic reports, which provides detailed summaries of our engagement with members.


  • Graduate or bachelor’s degree in Business or Communications, or an equivalent combination of qualifications (MBA considered an asset)


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in academic partnerships


  • Deep understanding of how to build successful academic partnerships with academic institutions and other partners (e.g. University Canada, CICan, CEWIL, and key provincial organizations)
  • Demonstrated ability to develop “trusted advisor” relationships at all levels within an academic institution and manage key relationships with other senior stakeholders
  • Strong understanding of the structures, priorities and governance models of Canada’s universities and colleges, especially as it relates to the mandate of Mitacs (work-integrated learning, industry-academic collaborations, etc)
  • Confidence in their ability to actively participate in advocacy work and negotiations with governments, universities, and other strategic partners
  • Exceptional collaboration skills across internal teams, including Marketing Communications, Business Development, Programs, Policy, and other relevant groups
  • Superior communication, analytical and interpersonal skills, including tact and diplomacy
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Enthusiastic and high-energy self-starter
  • Team player
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, high performance culture
  • Ability to handle the pressure of change and evolving priorities
  • Fluency in French and English

Mitacs has a COVID-19 policy in place that requires all employees to be fully vaccinated to protect our team and our stakeholders, subject to any accommodations required under applicable human rights legislation. Information about getting vaccinated can be found here.

At Mitacs we believe a diverse workforce comprised of individuals with different ideas, strengths, interests and backgrounds which is crucial to our success. We encourage candidates to connect with us and share ways how we may accommodate your needs during the recruitment process. network