Director, Human Early Learning Partnership

The Faculty of Medicine Research Office at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) in the Faculty of Medicine invite applications for the position of Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP). The appointment is for an initial term of five (5) years with the possibility of renewal, subject to satisfactory review. The position is expected to be filled by a candidate internal to the University, normally at the rank of Professor within the tenure stream. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2021, or upon a date to be mutually agreed.

HELP is a UBC Senate-approved Centre in the SPPH within the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. HELP is recognized provincially, nationally, and internationally for its pioneering interdisciplinary research on child development from a society-to-cell perspective and for its knowledge translation and mobilization work with diverse stakeholders, including health authorities, policy makers, educators, and parents. Since HELP was established in 2000, one core activity of HELP’s Human Development Program of Research has been to gather population-level data related to child well-being and development in BC and conduct research on children’s developmental trajectories.

The Director of the Centre will lead and encourage an integrated interdisciplinary program of research on child development, and maintain and build research relationships within UBC, and with external affiliates and partners. The Director will have overall responsibility for ensuring the activities of the Centre are furthering the goals of the School of Population and Public Health and Faculty of Medicine’s Strategic Plans. The Director will identify and actively pursue opportunities for fundraising from provincial, federal, and international agencies and foundations. To this end, the Director will also have the authority to put into place mechanisms within HELP to directly raise funds for HELP, in keeping with the policies and regulations of the University and the Faculty of Medicine. The Director will guide HELP’s contribution to teaching in the School of Population and Public Health, which also includes supporting and nurturing the emergence of new and young academics with interests in interdisciplinary research on child development. It is expected that the Director will have a physical presence at the HELP office within the School located at the UBC Vancouver Campus.

The Director will be a central figure in directing an internationally recognized research centre that focuses on understanding biological, social, and ecological factors associated with healthy child development trajectories, and will contribute to translating research toward policy and systemic improvements for children and families. This work involves collaborating with researchers from multiple disciplines both within and outside of UBC, and partnering with stakeholder groups and knowledge users provincially, nationally, and internationally to ensure that HELP’s knowledge translation activities are rooted in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. The Director will also lead work with HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee and with external First Nations, Métis, and Inuit organizational partners.

The Director will be responsible for the financial and operational sustainability of HELP. This responsibility includes providing leadership for the core funding received from the Ministries of Children and Family Development, Education, and Health (in place for over 15 years), raising funds for HELP’s research and knowledge translation activities, and maintaining and building philanthropic grants. These financial flows support over 35 staff who support HELP’s applied, interdisciplinary research activities, population-level data collection on child and youth development, and HELP’s knowledge mobilization activities, in close collaboration with government, stakeholders in the health and education sectors, and community organizations across BC.

The Director will report primarily to the Director, SPPH, and to the Vice-Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine on matters that are faculty-wide or regional in nature, and will work with the Associate Director Research, SPPH in furthering the objectives of both the Centre and the School.

Candidates should have a PhD or an equivalent degree, outstanding research contributions, experience in research translation and knowledge mobilization in child development, population/public health and/or educational contexts, and experience in partnership development and relationship management, government relations, and fund development including tri-council grants, government contracts, and philanthropy. The HELP Director is a dynamic visionary and collaborative leader with excellent communication and inter-personal skills, and the experience in mentoring early career researchers and trainees, faculty, and staff. They have commitment to working with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit organizational partners, and with HELP’s long-time Aboriginal Steering Committee toward contributing to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) recommendations in line with the First Nations Principles of OCAP (ownership, control, access, and possession) and Indigenous research methodologies.

A more detailed job description is available in the SPPH Administrative Office, for those who wish to review it. Please enquire at the email address below.

Please submit a letter of application accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae, evidence of effective teaching, names of four references, no more than a 1-2 page vision document outlining a plan to enhance the vision and leadership of the Centre as a Director, and up to five recent publications that you would consider representative of how your research related to the Centre, to:

Peter Berman, PhD,
Professor and Director
School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
c/o Michaela Butler

(email: with subject line: Director, HELP)

Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.