CIHR-IPPH hiring a Communications Specialist - apply now!

June 9, 2017
CIHR-IPPH hiring a Communications Specialist - apply now!

IPPH is looking for a team-player who thrives in a fast-paced environment and is a doer! You should be a critical thinker who is always asking yourself ‘how can this be done better?’

JOB TITLE   Communications Specialist

SUPERVISOR   Marisa Creatore, Assistant Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health

LOCATION York University, Toronto, Ontario

APPLICATION DEADLINE   Friday June 30, 2017


The Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH) is one of 13 institutes that make up the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of Canada’s health research funding agency. IPPH’s mission aims to improve the health of populations and promote health equity in Canada and globally through research and its application to policies, programs, and practice in public health and other sectors. The Institute is led by Dr. Steven J. Hoffman, Scientific Director.


The purpose of this position is to provide communications leadership, strategic advice, and expert level writing support to the IPPH team by ensuring consistency with the strategic direction, mandate and vision of the Institution. In addition, the incumbent also provides a high level of responsiveness and sensitivity in managing communications relationships with various stakeholders, including the Minister of Health’s Office, government representatives, internal and external partners and media.


Apart from a can-do attitude, a passion for learning, and exceptional judgement, you’ll also need to be:

  • A clear communicator: You can quickly learn complex ideas, break them down, and explain them in a way that is easy to understand, in as few words as possible, while being comfortable conversing with scientists and policymakers from diverse fields. You can write snappy key messages, are always coming up with creative new ways to communicate your message, and are a master at creating great presentations with impactful images and clear language.
  • A very strong writer: You are able to review and synthesize information from a range of sources to get to the critical issues at hand. An expert in writing for different audiences, you are able to identify and match your style to the needs of the situation. Do you cringe when someone says ‘irregardless’? Do you have a strong opinion about the Oxford comma? Good, because attention to detail is also key.
  • A quick learner: Does the thought of numerous opportunities to develop functional knowledge in a range of new and complex topics get you excited or give you the shivers? Now how quickly can you get up to speed? This job is for you if quickly learning new files is old hat and key for your motivation.
  • An organized person: We are passionate about our mission and take our responsibility to improve the health of Canadians seriously—which means we rarely say no to great opportunities…which also means we’re busy. You don’t have to be the kind of person whose entire life is colour-coded (though fine if you are—no judgement), you just have to have a system that works for you and be able to handle last-minute requests.
  • Design and layout skills: You need to have some experience using the Adobe Creative Suite, especially Adobe Illustrator.
  • A team player: Our team is small, but agile. Getting things done relies on strong team-work. While we promise to give you many challenging, strategic and exciting projects, you also have to be able to cope with the mundane (looking after a conference booth, ordering print materials, updating a resource database, wax on, wax off) and do it with a smile! J
  • Administrative ninja: Can you negotiate contracts with the best of them? Can you handle dozens of invitations in the blink of an eye? Does scheduling meetings with a group of way-too-busy people sound easy to you? I don’t know how you do it, but we want you working on our side.
  • A master at dialogue: Our team is very much into knowledge translation, and trying to figure out new and innovative ways to engage a range of audiences in the discussion and application of research. You have to be open to experimenting with different modalities and figuring out what kinds of engagement and dialogue best fit the goals of the situation at hand. Can you get people to open up? Can you help plan a great event that brings people together?

education & work experience

  • Post-secondary education is a requirement for this position. If you have a degree/diploma in a field that relates to communications, knowledge translation, or public relations, that’s a bonus.
  • Background (either formal education or work experience) in a health-related field.
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ work experience


  • Work experience in a government, university, or research environment
  • Work experience in the field of population and public health


•  Fluency in English (written and spoken) is required. Fluency in French would be a big asset.


  • We are a small team working in Ottawa and Toronto, with an expanded team at CIHR headquarters.
  • The Communications Specialist position will be based at the Toronto office located at York University.
  • Everyone on our team is required to do some travel.
  • Note: Institute staff are not employees of the federal government. We are employed by the Institute’s administrative host. For this position, that means York University.

Compensation and Term of Employment

This Communications Specialist position is based in Toronto with office space at York University. Annual salary ranges between $50,000 to $60,000 depending on the successful candidate’s qualifications and years of relevant work experience. The successful candidate is expected to work approximately 37.5 hours per week. There is one position available.

How to Apply

Please send a brief cover letter, CV and 2 writing samples to Annie Jones, GSL Administrative Assistant, at  Please quote “IPPH Communications Specialist” in the email subject line.  Applicants should consult the IPPH website: Only successful candidates will be contacted for interviews.

Thank you in advance for your interest.


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