Back to top

Senior Policy Advisor, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health, York University

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline December 27, 2017

Position Overview

Job Title: Senior Policy Advisor, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health
Supervisor: Steven Hoffman, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health
Main Contact: Marisa Creatore (, Assistant Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health
Location: York University, Toronto, Ontario
Application Deadline: December 27, 2017
Overview of Position  

Reporting to the Scientific Director, the purpose of this position is to plan and lead strategic efforts aimed at institutionalizing the use of population and public health (PPH) research evidence in relevant policymaking processes, supporting the development of evidence-informed public health policies in priority areas, enabling research that is responsive to policy priorities and needs, and engaging researchers, knowledge users, and citizens to achieve these goals. The Senior Policy Advisor’s primary role will be to provide advice and support on all   Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH) initiatives to ensure that they are aligned with IPPH’s strong policy mandate. Working within IPPH’s mandate and priority areas, the Senior Policy Advisor will also lead several   projects to advance the priorities of the Scientific Director and the Institute. The successful applicant will lead strategic activities, including developing and organizing consultations and dialogues, overseeing the preparation of analyses and briefing materials, and representing IPPH on key government and stakeholder committees and working groups. They will also collaboratively develop strategic funding opportunities relevant for policy development and decision-making. The position requires strong knowledge of the Canadian public health system and policy environment, familiarity with key public health issues and stakeholders, and a good understanding of   the principles, approaches, and related methods for population and public health research.  

  • Master’s or professional degree in a related field (e.g., public health, social sciences, public policy, law) and a minimum of 8 years of relevant experience
  • Extensive knowledge of Canadian politics, governmental processes, civil society, public policy, and advocacy strategies
  • Considerable knowledge of PPH issues in Canadian and global contexts  
  • Considerable knowledge of key actors including policymakers, practitioners, researchers, non- governmental organizations, industry, and community representatives and demonstrated track record in building, nurturing, and leveraging relationships
  • Knowledge of strategic and operational planning and experience in the development of business plans, operational plans, and other planning documents
  • Considerable experience planning, organizing, implementing, and evaluating relevant initiatives and large- scale projects
  • Excellent project management, time management, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills
  • Considerable experience working with and providing advice to senior officials and committees
  • Demonstrated ability to write and edit materials (e.g., reports, presentations, option analyses) for a variety of audiences
  • Advanced computer skills and experience using MS Office, project management software, and other relevant software
  • Demonstrated interpersonal, relationship-building, networking, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work both independently and within a team environment
  • Excellent English oral and written communication is required. French language proficiency is an asset.

Key Responsibilities

  • Track emerging policy and political trends and identify opportunities for PPH research to inform policy change at the local, provincial/territorial, and especially national level
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with relevant government departments and stakeholders
  • Design, pilot test, evaluate and promote the scale-up of innovative mechanisms and programs that make it more likely for PPH policies to be informed by PPH research evidence
  • Help convene researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders around priority PPH issues where existing research evidence can have a catalytic or transformative impact
  • Commission high-quality bilingual research syntheses and lead the writing of briefing materials for different audiences so they have the potential to maximize policy impact and/or public engagement
  • Oversee the organization and delivery of high-impact think tanks, symposia, and other engagement events that promote the uptake of research evidence on salient PPH issues
  • Collaborate with other IPPH staff to foster effective partnerships with organizations with shared policy and practice impact objectives
  • Assist with strategic and operational planning activities and supervise staff and consultants within a matrix environment as appropriate
  • Act as a point of contact for various knowledge translation initiatives and formally represent IPPH on related internal and external committees
  • Support efforts to evaluate the Institute’s performance and the effectiveness of its initiatives.

Special Conditions

  • Considerable travel in Canada and some international travel
  • Requirement to work outside of regular work days/hours
  • Requirement to adapt to rapidly changing work environment and shifting priorities

How to Apply

Please submit your curriculum vitae and a cover letter summarizing relevant education, experience, and language skills by December 27, 2017 to: Phoebe McAuley at Interviews are expected to be scheduled for January 8-19.


For more information about the position, please contact: Marisa Creatore at
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada’s health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.


The CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health aims to improve the health of populations and promote health equity in Canada and globally through research and its application to policies, programs, and practice in public health and other sectors. The Institute is led by Steven Hoffman, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health, Director, Global Strategy Lab, Professor, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research,
Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and Adjunct Professor of Global Health & Population, Harvard University.

The Global Strategy Lab (GSL) is an interdisciplinary research program that integrates analytical, empirical and big data methods to craft global strategies that better address transnational health threats and social inequalities, such as antimicrobial resistance, falsified medicine, health misinformation, pandemics, poverty, tobacco and vaccine hesitancy. As of August 1, 2016, GSL is administrative host of the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health.