Chief Operating Officer University of British Columbia Canada





The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (SBQMI) is a venture into research of systems and phenomena explicitly involving quantum mechanics. It is internationally recognized for its research and discoveries in quantum structures, quantum materials, and applications towards quantum devices.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) collaborates with the SBQMI Scientific Director and the SBQMI Executive Committee to set overarching vision, strategy, goals, and priorities that will position SBQMI as a world leader with respect to research and commercialization of quantum material science. Working cooperatively with the SBQMI Scientific Director and research team, the COO will provide leadership in developing, planning and executing the strategic direction and operations of SBQMI and its multi- disciplinary research projects and programs. With primary responsibility for all operational and administrative elements of the Institute, the COO ensures that SBQMI is positioned to achieve its goals, that strategic plans are successfully executed, that key stakeholder relationships are built and maintained, and that a culture of integrity, collegiality, and agility is fostered.

This position plays a key role in providing leadership to develop, plan and implement the long term strategic directions and operations of SBQMI. The COO will ensure that the vision, values and goals of SBQMI are aligned, that policies and procedures are in place to guide the activities and contributions of all SBQMI staff, and that all staff understand what is expected of them to deliver a high quality of work that will ultimately achieve SBQMI goals and objectives.



Reports to the Scientific Director. Interacts and communicates with the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI), the UBC Research and Innovation Council, the SBQMI International Scientific Advisory Board, the VPRI Office, the SBQMI management team and administration staff, and SBQMI faculty members.




  • Responsible for development and implementation of the overarching operational vision; anticipate changing circumstances (internal or external) that will impact SBQMI's ability to achieve objectives and make recommendations to modify strategy and procedures as necessary.
  • Establish a quantum materials technology hub around UBC, with the goal of creating economic benefits for Canada and helping British Columbia to transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.
  • Understand the implications of the strategic plan on the operational and administrative needs of the organization; define operational and administrative goals and targets, and develop and implement plans to meet them; review, and report on, strategic direction, plans and progress.
  • Work with the governing and advisory bodies of UBC and SBQMI to define criteria for continuance of funding, and lead the development and implementation of plans to meet these criteria.
  • Develop a risk management strategy for the Institute, including identification of risks to the organization and to its ability to meet criteria for success; ensure that plans, policies and procedures are in place to mitigate identified risks, that the strategy is reviewed regularly, risks are monitored, and reports are provided as required.
  • Collaborate with the Scientific Director and the Director of Business Development to ensure that SBQMI takes the lead in establishing academic and commercial partnerships to advance quantum materials science internationally; expand and solidify SBQMI's current partnerships and identify new partnerships that would allow SBQMI to leverage its knowledge and resources and benefit from sharing the knowledge and resources of other organizations.


Project Management

  • Direct resources and assist the Scientific Director in developing leading edge research projects that clearly demonstrate their relevance to the goals of SBQMI.
  • Directly and through others, oversee the project coordination and resource allocation, ensuring that the right resources are available to support research activities, that assignments leverage the strengths and, where possible, the research interests, of the team, and that they are distributed in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Provide guidance and consultation to the Scientific Director and senior members of the Research team to understand the impacts of decisions on time and cost of research, and help them to put project plans in place to best ensure efficient use of time and resources.


Organizational Development

  • Oversee the activities of the Human Resources Manager in building a strong operational team and to recruit and retain talented technical support service groups.
  • Coach and mentor direct reports, taking time to meet with them, understand their strengths, development needs, and career aspirations, and support them in their growth where possible.
  • Conduct regular performance reviews with direct reports and regularly provide constructive feedback. Oversee direct reports as they conduct the performance review process with their teams.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented to train the next generation of researchers and innovators, with essential skills in research, innovation, commercialization, and leadership. Oversee the activities of the Manager, Programs and Careers to ensure that student learning initiatives and programs are aligned to SBQMI's strategic goals with regard to student recruitment and engagement, training and career development, as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion. Facilitate the development of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate educational initiatives.
  • Ensure that new programs, courses and training opportunities are available to SBQMI faculty, as well as technical, scientific, and administrative staff.



  • Work with the Senior Finance Manager to develop financial plans to meet the strategic goals of the Institute and attract continued funding by providing necessary background information, reports, and support to submission of proposals.
  • In collaboration with the governing bodies of SBQMI, oversee all Institute financial activity and reporting requirements. Ensure that funds are properly allocated and that the decision process for allocation of funds is transparent and equitable.
  • Oversee development of the operational and administrative elements of the budget, ensure that allocated resources are used in the most efficient manner for the intended purpose, and provide regular, accurate, and timely reporting.
  • Develop strategies to ensure that all SBQMI operations are in compliance with UBC policies and procedures as well as the terms of external funding agreements. Ensure that clear policies and procedures are in place and followed with regard to use of facilities, governance matters, human resource management, and upholding of values and culture.
  • Work with the Scientific Director and the Metrics and Communications Officer on the ongoing development of the GREx Performance Measurement Plan, Performance Reporting, and Midterm Reviews as stipulated by CFREF.
  • Oversee the development, planning, writing and dissemination of SBQMI's annual, and other, reports.



University degree in business or science. Postgraduate University degree in business, science or relevant field, augmented by an understanding of quantum materials research and applications. Minimum 9 years’ experience in a research environment or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Minimum 9 years' experience as a senior manager in a research-oriented environment with leadership of a large team preferred. Expertise in leading strategy development and spearheading an annual planning / priority setting process; Has had accountability for performance of at least one department including developing annual objectives and overseeing budgets, policies and procedures, hiring, performance evaluation, and coaching; Expertise in project managing large scale research initiatives; Has led successful negotiations with external stakeholders such as granting agencies, commercial partners, government and academic institutions; Applies in-depth knowledge and experience, both technical and managerial, in identifying and resolving complex, multi-faceted problems; Looks beyond existing methodologies and own discipline to anticipate, define, and resolve complex problems.



Please apply

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. UBC offers a competitive benefits package including extended medical, dental, life insurance, professional development funding and pension.


Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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