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Job Description

Senior Program Officer, Sustainable Diagnostic Laboratories - Toronto, Ontario

Job Posting #905652

Position: Senior Program Officer, Sustainable Diagnostic Laboratories
Site: MaRS Discovery Tower (currently remote)
Department: Grand Challenges Canada
Reports to: Chief of Staff (to co-CEO Karlee Silver)
Status: Full-time, Contract (1 year) – possible extension

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is seeking a Senior Program Officer to play a critical role in developing a Grand Challenge in Sustainable Diagnostic Laboratories.

Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas that Grand Challenges Canada supports integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – known as Integrated Innovation®- and we work to catalyze their scale, sustainability and impact. One of the largest impact-first investors in Canada, Grand Challenges Canada has funded over 1,300 innovations championed by innovators in more than 100 countries. These innovations are expected to save up to 1.78 million lives and improve up to 64 million lives by 2030.

Grand Challenge in Sustainable Diagnostics Laboratories

Infectious disease diagnostic laboratories serve as a platform to support routine disease surveillance and early detection of disease events (which would most commonly be due to endemic diseases or naturally occurring outbreaks but could also result from emerging diseases or malicious introductions). The barriers that hinder the sustainable operation of diagnostic laboratories in low resource settings are complex and multi-faceted ranging from technical barriers like lack of context appropriate technologies and infrastructure to systemic barriers like fragmented or poorly coordinated labs. See here for more information. Individual problems interact with each other and multiply to create significant challenges to running the overall system. Solving one or two of these problems alone will not be enough to bring breakthrough solutions to the current system. Therefore, a Grand Challenge is needed to provide truly transformative holistic solutions.

Senior Program Officer

Reporting to the Chief of Staff (to co-CEO Karlee Silver), and working closely with the Special Projects & Partnerships Associate, the Director of Partnerships & Fundraising, the Senior Director, Global Health Innovation and partners at the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and Grand Challenges Africa, the Senior Program Officer will play a leadership role in developing and shaping a nascent Grand Challenge in Sustainable Diagnostic Laboratories by demonstrating the feasibility of using a grand challenge approach to address the challenge briefly described above. The feasibility study is meant to accomplish the following over a 12-month period:
1. Validate the hypothesis that there are untapped innovative solutions in the landscape with high potential to address the challenges of sustainable diagnostics labs
2. Develop and embark on a clear fundraising strategy
3. Determine the optimal structures for any future funding of subsequent phases

Initial responsibilities of the Senior Program Officer include but are not limited to:
• Building and nurturing relationships with strategic partners and stakeholders relevant to the Grand Challenge in Sustainable Diagnostics Laboratories to enable a successful feasibility study and to structure future phases of the Grand Challenge
• Defining the critical barrier(s) that the Grand Challenge should target through a landscape analysis of the current ecosystem, and consultations with experts (including those led by Grand Challenges Africa) and end users of potential solutions
• Launching a Request for Expressions of Interest for innovative solutions, managing intake of Expressions of Interest and identifying promising applicants to assist in unlocking funding for a multi-year program
• Writing reports to summarize feasibility study learnings and make appropriate recommendations for future phases of the program
• Supporting development of a fundraising strategy for program expansion and sustainability, and liaising with a network of potential donors, foundations, impact investors, social entrepreneurs and development organizations critical to accomplishing the ultimate goal of building out the space for innovation in sustainable diagnostic laboratories in low- and middle-income countries
• Acting as a brand ambassador for GCC, representing GCC and Canada's strategic interests and promoting their activities and opportunities through external collaborations, presentations and communications with potential partners, innovators, external thought leaders and Canadian government representatives

If the feasibility study is successful, this role is expected to convert into a permanent position. Future responsibilities may include but are not limited to:
• Recruiting and managing a high-performing, resilient team
• Supporting the development of annual plans, priorities, and budgets
• Sourcing, selecting and supporting innovations using Grand Challenges Canada’s processes
• Managing portfolio of innovations for success

• Advanced degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. public health, global development, epidemiology, medicine, molecular biology, bioengineering) and/or 5-10 years of relevant work experience including 2+ years in a manager capacity. Work experience or lived experience in a low-resource setting will be considered a strong asset.
• Demonstrated ability to develop and manage productive relationships with internal and external partners
• Ability to design and implement strategic initiatives
• Experience as an entrepreneur, or supporting innovators is a significant asset

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women, people of color, people from LGBTQ2S+ and disabilities communities are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Grand Challenges Canada, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, authentic, and accountable workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply as you may be the ideal candidate we are looking for.

International travel is expected (aligned with travel advisories). Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to relocate to Toronto when the Grand Challenges Canada offices open.

People with disabilities are encouraged to apply. People with lived experiences in relevant thematic areas are encouraged to apply.

Vaccines (COVID and others) are a requirement of the job unless you have an exemption on a medical ground pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

If you are interested in making your contribution at UHN, please apply on-line. You will be asked to copy and paste as well as attach your resume and covering letter. You will also be required to complete some initial screening questions.

Posted Date: September 1, 2022                                 Closing Date: September 30, 2022

For current UHN employees, only those who have successfully completed their probationary period, have a good employee record along with satisfactory attendance in accordance with UHN's attendance management program, and possess all the required experience and qualifications should apply.

UHN thanks all applicants, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Note: Interviews may occur on a rolling basis, as eligible candidates apply.

UHN is a respectful, caring, and inclusive workplace. We are committed to championing accessibility, diversity and equal opportunity and welcomes all applicants including but not limited to: all religions and ethnicities, LGBTQ2s+, BIPOC, persons with disabilities and all others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process providing the applicant has met the Bona-fide requirements for the open position. Applicants need to make their requirements known when contacted.

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