Manager, Indigenous Research Ethics at the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

Company Name: University of Waterloo

Job Type: 2 year contract

Job Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Application deadline: Until position filled

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Application email / URL:

This role is a 2 year contract and comes with full benefits, and pension. 

Working within a team made up of the Director, Managers, Advisors, Research Ethics Board (REB) members, and Animal Care Committee (ACC) members, the Manager, Indigenous Research Ethics will serve as the central Office of Research Ethics (ORE) contact for all researchers conducting studies with, for, and about Indigenous peoples and communities, or animals on Indigenous lands. As a member of the REB and ACC, the Manager, Indigenous Research Ethics will be responsible for ensuring the ethical acceptability of research ethics applications relating to all human participant research with, for, and about Indigenous peoples and communities, and research using animals on Indigenous lands.

The Manager will assume a leadership role for ORE activities relating to the orientation and training of Waterloo faculty, staff, and students in the areas of Indigenous research and research ethics. The focus will be supporting Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers to advance institutional change with respect to research with Indigenous peoples in a culturally sensitive way and promote a culture of inclusion and cultural humility.

As part of the impact theme on Strengthening Sustainable and Diverse Communities, the University of Waterloo, through the 2020-2025 strategic plan, is committed to promoting and supporting Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenous Relations and a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusivity for all. Improving the representation, participation, and engagement of equity-deserving groups within our community is a key objective of Waterloo’s strategic plan for 2020-2025. The selection process for this position will follow the provisions for a special program as described by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples and to increase specialized support for Indigenous faculty and staff within the research ecosystem.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, the University will prioritize applications from, and priority in selection will be given to, candidates who identify as First Nations (status or non-status), Inuit, or Métis with familiarity of the diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada, a keen understanding of the historic and contemporary relationships of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and a strong knowledge of Indigenous research and research ethics practices.

We ask each interested applicant to include a statement in their cover letter if they self-identify as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit with lived experience of Indigenous worldviews, cultures, and values, and maintain strong ties to an Indigenous community(ies). Experience conducting research in and working and/or living in a First Nations, Inuit, or Métis community will be integral to the role.

Please note that our recruitment system has limitations: older versions of your résumé/cover letter will be overridden, and therefore, if you are applying to more than one job simultaneously, your self-identification will be available to all hiring managers.

The Manager will be expected to work from the ORE office on campus as the research ethics team does not work fully remotely, however hybrid working arrangements are possible.


Indigenous Research Ethics Leadership, Guidance, and Support

  • Ensure the ethical acceptability of both minimal and greater than minimal risk human participant research with, for, and about Indigenous peoples and communities, and research using animals on Indigenous lands, conducted by Waterloo faculty, staff and students by conducting delegated ethical reviews including amendments and continuing reviews (e.g., annual renewals)
  • Ensure human participant research with, for, and about Indigenous peoples, or with animals on Indigenous lands is compliant with OCAP® principles, TCPS2, Canadian Council for Animal Care (CCAC), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and other relevant requirements
  • Review research ethics protocols for compliance with institutional or other external obligations and provide guidance to researchers
  • Apply subjective judgment and establish risk assessment techniques to assess research ethics applications for the appropriate review route (i.e., committee or delegated review)
  • Review processes and issues associated with conducting ethical research with, for, and about Indigenous peoples, or on Indigenous lands, and provide advice to researchers, REB/ACC members, or others at Waterloo which includes anticipating issues and ensuring appropriate information is available to facilitate REB/ACC decision making
  • Foster effective working relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers conducting research with, for, and about Indigenous peoples, or with animals on Indigenous lands
  • Identify structural and systemic barriers experienced by Indigenous researchers within the research ethics processes and work with the ORE, REB/ACC members, and the others within the university to revise existing processes that remove these barriers
  • Develop processes to enhance and support Waterloo’s ability to conduct culturally sensitive research with Indigenous peoples, or with animals on Indigenous lands, and anticipate emerging issues (including researcher experiences, standard and best practices across Turtle Island, current research, etc.) to make evidence-based research ethics recommendations
  • Develop research ethics guidelines for researchers conducting studies with, for, and about Indigenous peoples, or with animals on Indigenous lands
  • Identify opportunities and deliver professional development for the ORE, REB/ACC members, and researchers on the conduct of culturally sensitive research with Indigenous peoples, or with animals on Indigenous lands
  • Identify areas which may create research participant or animal harm, including liability, and bring these to the attention of the Director to develop solutions
  • Monitor assigned review schedules and timelines, and account for timely completion of delegated reviews
  • From time to time, review Indigenous research sections of research grants and contracts for alignment with research ethics principles, and with an eye to best practices in Indigenous research ethics
  • Maintain a strong understanding of the literature and the requirements of Indigenous Research frameworks (e.g., Indigenous Data Sovereignty principles, CARE and FAIR principles, OCAP®)
  • Develop communications, reports, presentations, and other project documents, as requested by the REB/ACC, Director, Senate Graduate and Research Council (SGRC), senior leadership team or other committees
  • Work with Director to initiate discussions and prepare a proposal for the establishment of an Indigenous Research Ethics Committee (or sub-committee) for delegated or coordinated ethics review of research with, for, and about Indigenous peoples and communities, and research using animals on Indigenous lands

Research Ethics Training and Outreach

  • Represent the ORE at internal seminars, webinars, and informal networking events designed to improve researchers’ knowledge of Indigenous research ethics
  • Initiate training and/or facilitate training activities to enhance the skill set of Waterloo researchers
  • Provide seminars and speaking engagements to internal and external audiences which focus on improving the knowledge of the broader community about Indigenous research ethics
  • Develop effective working relationships with relevant bodies and associations at Waterloo (e.g., Office of Indigenous Relations)
  • Work with the other Research Ethics Managers on internal communications and the research ethics website to support Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers
  • Initiate discussions with researchers and the REB/ACC to provide training and networking opportunities on Indigenous research ethics topics
  • Work with the ORE, REB/ACC, and researchers to identify skill or knowledge gaps and improve competencies and develop a plan to conduct training initiatives as appropriate
  • Regularly monitor training available from other sources and communicate these opportunities to ORE staff, REB/ACC, and researchers as appropriate
  • Evaluate and monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of various training initiatives and make recommendations for change to the Director, REB/ACC, and ORE team.
  • Work with researchers, ORE, and the REB/ACC to assess, recommend, and develop new strategies, initiatives, events, and training modules to improve research and research ethics with, for, and about Indigenous peoples, or on Indigenous lands
  • Provide seminars, workshops, and speaking engagements to both internal and external audiences (e.g., CAREB-ACCER)

Engagement and Relationship-Building

  • Work collaboratively with key partners within the Office of Research (OR) and across the University, including the Office of Indigenous Relations, Graduate Studies and Post-doctoral Affairs, VPRI Inclusive Research Team, the faculties, and others as determined
  • Collaborate and build partnerships with relevant partners and faculties/units on campus, including: the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Office, the Faculty Association (including the Indigenous Priorities Action Committee), Shatitsirótha’ the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC), and others as determined
  • Build relationships with Indigenous Research Ethics Support teams and professionals across Turtle Island, with an eye to understanding and implementing evolving best practices in Indigenous research ethics support
  • Represent Waterloo professionally at regional and provincial research ethics conferences and networking events
  • Organize, administer, and participate in ad hoc committees as needed for research ethics activities
  • Engage with and contribute to the Indigenous employee community at the University of Waterloo
  • Undertake special projects from time to time, in collaboration with the Director or REB/ACC, as needed, including providing support for other OR and ORE strategic initiatives to embed Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and doing across the research environment


  • Completion of a graduate degree or undergraduate degree with equivalent related experience which provides strong knowledge of research and research ethics
  • 5 to 7 years of research ethics experience or research in varied settings, or equivalent experience in community-based initiatives or participatory research
  • Lived experience of Indigenous world views, cultures, and values, with strong ties to First Nations, Metis and/or Inuit communities is preferred
  • Independent, proactive individual with exceptional communication (oral and written), organizational and presentation skills, ensuring effective interaction broadly within a university environment and other organizations
  • Experience in a role related to the implementation of reconciliation, Indigenization, or decolonization initiatives and/or equity, diversity, inclusion initiatives is a strong asset
  • Experience in an academic research environment with REB and/or ACC members or other organization-wide committees and engaging collaboratively with multiple partners is a strong asset
  • Project management and/or other experience with a proven track-record including simultaneous management of multiple projects is a strong asset
  • Experience with the direct delivery of training material is an asset
  • Must have initiative, the ability to be flexible, and strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong analytical skills, be able to interpret, and apply agency, community, and institutional regulations, policies, and/or guidelines
  • Ability to work with confidential information, to work independently and as part of a team, and the capacity to work effectively and efficiently in a complex, fast-paced and changing environment with numerous deadlines and priorities is essential
  • Knowledge of cultural protocols to appropriately engage and foster respectful, reciprocal, ongoing relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty, staff, and students (including urban) First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in a large, decentralized, and complex university or similar institution
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Indigenous research practices and principles, culturally- sensitive partnership engagement methods, and research ethics
  • Strong mediation and facilitation skills grounded in Indigenous practices
  • Demonstrated ability to:
    • Manage multiple concurrent projects with different groups
    • Lead meetings effectively with internal and external partners
    • Work on confidential and sensitive matters with tact and discretion
    • Provide effective workshop facilitation
    • Handle potentially emotionally charged and challenging situations
    • Take a proactive approach in service delivery
    • Communicate effectively with students, faculty, staff, and other internal and external partners
  • Exceptional communication (oral and written), interpersonal, relationship-building, customer service, negotiation, conflict resolution, persuasion, consultation, presentation, analytical, leadership, and organizational skills
  • Excellent working knowledge of the TCPS2 and OCAP®
  • Strong proficiency with a variety of computer software applications including word processing, spreadsheet management, and database management is required

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.