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Current Opportunities

Research Scientist & Scientific Software Developer - Toronto, Ontario

Position: Research Scientist & Scientific Software Developer
Site: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Drug Discovery
Reports To: Scientific Advisor
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Status: Full-time, Temporary (2 year with potential to extend to 3 years)

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Research Scientist/Scientific Software Developer with expertise in Computational Chemistry and Chemoinformatics to join the Drug Discovery Program. This is a two year contract, with the potential to extend.  

The OICR Drug Discovery Program is one of the largest programs of its kind in Canada. Our mission is to help efficiently translate discoveries made in Ontario’s labs into novel oncology therapies. Together with our Computational Chemistry group and in collaboration with a leading hybrid machine learning company, you will develop and deploy new algorithms, and develop software suites where state-of-the-art quantum mechanics, machine learning, AI, and first principles physics-based molecular modeling methods will be applied to problems of Computer-Aided Drug Design to accelerate Drug Discovery. 

As a member of the Drug Discovery Program, you will have access to state-of-the-art OICR hardware facilities (that includes a 14,000-core SGE HPC Cluster with 16 PB data storage), Drug Discovery servers and all major commercial software tools required for Computational Drug Discovery. 

The MaRS Centre has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in place that requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a medical exemption issued pursuant to the Government of Ontario guidelines.  Accordingly, as a condition of employment, new employees who may be required to work on-site are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 subject to the duty to accommodate on the basis of protected grounds pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.   

Fully vaccinated is defined as having received all of the required doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine and having received the final dose at least 14 days before your employment start date. 

As described above, the requirement to be fully vaccinated is subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code. If the candidate is unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for a reason protected by the Code, requests for accommodation from the vaccine policy will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  

Learn more about working at OICR here.


  • Develop new scientific software tools to estimate binding affinities for protein-ligand interactions, develop new tools and improve on existing ones to accelerate early stages of Drug Discovery efforts;
  • Develop a set of scientific software suites to enhance our physics, quantum mechanics, and data-based in silico modeling;
  • Create a comprehensive solution for the drug discovery community that incorporates our most recent advances in new algorithms, as well as those that will be added;
  • Design and deploy the program's user interface;
  • Collaborate effectively with our multidisciplinary scientific team as well as our external partners and customers;
  • Present results to internal and external audiences, including at international meetings, and contribute to manuscripts for peer-reviewed international journals; and
  • Adhere to all OICR safety guidelines and policies, strongly advocate safety to others.


  • PhD in Computational Chemistry, Machine Learning, AI & Data Science or in theoretical chemistry with greater than 5 years’ experience working as a scientific software developer/scientific programmer, computational and/or theoretical/quantum chemist on projects predominantly related to small molecule drug discovery and machine learning;
  • Thorough understanding of quantum mechanics, classical molecular mechanics force fields, methods to estimate free energy of binding;
  • Excellent knowledge of mathematics and computer algorithms, strong analytical, programming and scientific software development skills, in particular with python;
  • Deep understanding and hands-on experience with various machine learning techniques and quantum mechanics software suites;
  • Understanding protein structure, molecular docking and scoring;
  • Proficiency in at least one molecular modeling package, i.e., Schrodinger Drug Discovery suite, MolSoft ICM Pro desired;
  • Understanding organic and/or medicinal chemistry is a plus;
  • Highly motivated and self-dedicated scientist, good team player and excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Written and spoken fluency in English and excellent communication skills; and
  • Enthusiasm to work in an interactive, team environment; excellent entrepreneurial skills is a plus.

OICR is a collaborative, not-for-profit research institute accelerating the development of new cancer research discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. We are dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals who share our values of excellence, innovation, collaboration, impact, responsibility and community.

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

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 .pdf or .doc file.