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Current Opportunities

Communications Manager - OHS - Toronto, Ontario


Position: Communications Manager
Site: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Ontario Health Study
Reports To: Program Manager
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 Hours/week
Status: Permanent, Full-time

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Communications Manager to work within the Ontario Health Study (OHS) team. The OHS is a prospective, longitudinal cohort study that has recruited over 225,000 participants to take part in the Study. The OHS aims to provide data and biosamples to the scientific community to support research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases. The primary objectives of this role are to maintain participant engagement in the Study, develop and implement communications to support additional data collection activities (e.g., follow-up questionnaires, blood samples), and to increase awareness of the OHS in the research community. The successful candidate will develop and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including Study participants, researchers, various levels of government, not-for-profit organizations and industry. This individual will ensure that a positive and credible image of the OHS is continuously managed, and that a successful communication strategy to achieve the OHS’s objectives is developed and implemented.

The key responsibilities include:

• Develop and implement an integrated communications plan that supports the Study’s short and long term objectives, notability a multi-pronged approach for maintaining participant engagement in the Study, and increasing awareness of the Study as a resource for researchers;
• Draft various external communications, such as targeted recruitment campaigns for data collection initiatives, participant newsletters, web content, news releases, and other print and electronic materials aimed at fostering favourable support and awareness of the OHS. Some familiarity with design software (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite) an asset;
• Provide leadership within a small team, including supporting staff management and development, monitoring expenditures, and recommending and selecting outside services, as required;
• Manage the Study’s day-to-day communications activities, including external communication with the general public;
• Provide advice and counsel on all communications matters, including internal and external communications, media relations, community relations, and crisis communications;
• Contribute to reports to keep funders, executives, and the OHS team informed about communications-related activities;
• Monitor projects, recruitment initiatives and communications-related research associated with the OHS, which may include public opinion research, focus groups and/or surveys;
• Coordinate closely with the Operations and IT teams, both within the OHS and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and
• Manage issues proactively. This may include: preparation of briefing notes to keep key individuals informed; liaising with stakeholders, media relations and internal communications.


• Completion of a Bachelor’s degree or community college program in a relevant discipline;
• A minimum, 5 years practical and related experience required;
• Proven ability to successfully develop and implement communications strategies;
• Sensitivity to and knowledge of diverse community groups, demographics of the public, and the need for appropriate communication to these groups;
• Excellent oral and written communications skills, including the ability to communicate complex technical/scientific information to a lay audience in a simple but compelling way;
• Excellent editing skills;
• Ability to identify and prioritize issues and determine the nature of the response required;
• Ability to network and establish strong relationships with a wide-range of stakeholders;
• Project-based experience an asset.
• Experience working with government, associations, public and private sector groups an asset.
• Knowledge of research and writing techniques, and production of information materials; and
• Fluency in French (written and spoken) is preferred.

OICR is an innovative cancer research institute located in the MaRS Centre in the Discovery District in downtown Toronto. OICR is addressing significant challenges in cancer research with multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional teams. New discoveries to prevent, detect and treat cancer will be moved from the bench to practical applications in patients. The OICR team is growing quickly. We are innovative, dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals interested in being part of a culture of excellence that will result in Ontario being recognized internationally as a leading jurisdiction for cancer research.

Launched in December 2005, OICR is an independent institute funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

CLOSING DATE: Until Filled

OICR is an inclusive employer dedicated to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and will accommodate applicants’ needs throughout all stages of the recruitment and selection process. Please advise the Recruiter to ensure your accessibility needs are accommodated throughout this process. Information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted.

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume so that you can cut and paste it into the application box provided. Before you submit the completed application, you will be asked to attach one or two files to your application. Please attach your resume as a .doc file.