Research Programs Specialist

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Department: Weston Brain Institute



The Weston Brain Institute directly supports world-class neuroscience research. Using an innovative, collaborative granting process the Institute aims to accelerate breakthrough discoveries for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases of aging including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and frontotemporal dementia.

The Research Programs Specialist is responsible for develop a portion of the Institute’s scientific knowledge, running multiple granting programs and managing part of the Institute’s grant portfolio. Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Research Programs Specialist is a critical member of the Institute’s team..


Develop and use the Institute’s scientific knowledge

  • Assist in the development of new funding programs.
  • Develop, maintain, codify and communicate industry understanding and institutional knowledge of the neuroscience research landscape.

Run the scientific portion of some of the Institute’s funding programs and manage part of its portfolio of grants

  • Develop materials (e.g., MOUs, RFPs, applications).
  • Design and recruit review panels.
  • Liaise between scientific review committees and applicants/grantees, e.g., synthesize feedback from review panels to applicants and grantees, and review grantees’ progress reports.
  • Track progress of and help manage grantees’ projects, including working with grantees on issues.
  • Develop, track, report on and manage to key success metrics, including grant performance.
  • Design and solicit feedback from key constituents about current processes.
  • Ensure the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the process, including identifying and implementing process improvements.

Other role responsibilities

  • Contribute to the scientific content of Institute conferences, research and social events (e.g. design agenda, recruit review panel and relevant participants, select scientific presenters).
  • Attend conferences and other events to keep abreast of new developments in neuroscience research and grants management, and to recruit new reviewers.
  • Assist in preparing for Board and Committee meetings.
  • Other work/special projects as required.


  • Research experience in one or more neurodegenerative diseases of aging (Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, vascular contributions to these diseases and prodromes to these diseases), with a relevant PhD or MD.
  • Prefer candidates with
    • Experience with translational research and/or clinical studies as opposed to basic research.
    • Some postdoctoral experience, other insight into the running of a lab, or experience with a pharmaceutical, medical device or biotechnology company.
    • Experience with commercialization and the pharmaceutical, medical device and/or biotechnology industries.
    • Experience writing/reviewing grants.
    • Project or event management experience.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
    • Ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to various audiences, including senior researchers and laypeople.
    • Ability to create clear and comprehensive scientific and lay communications, including research policies and feedback to applicants and articles.
  • Broad knowledge of the methods, approaches and limitations of contemporary research in neuroscience.
  • Broad knowledge on recent advances, from both industry and academia, in the field of neurodegenerative diseases of aging.
  • Understanding of the regulatory and ethical requirements for neuroscience research.
  • Flexibility and resilience to respond to tight deadlines, competing priorities and sometimes critical audiences.
  • Available to work outside normal office hours on occasion.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Computer literate, highly proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel; strength in other common programs a plus.

Salary based on experience. We appreciate the interest of all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No agencies or telephone calls please.