Director, Agri-Food Data Strategy

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Professional and Managerial Group

Director, Agri-Food Data Strategy

Office of Research

Hiring #: 2021-0717

Please read the Application Instructions before applying

Co-reporting to the Associate Vice-President, Research (Agri-Food Partnership) and the Project Director, Food from Thought, the Director, Agri-Food Data Strategy will lead the strategic design, development, and management of the University of Guelph’s vision for a cross-sectoral online platform for research data and analytics, Agri-Food Data Canada, that enables transformative innovation in agriculture and food in Canada.

The Director will be the main architect in developing an integrated, cross-university strategy and platform for big data management to underpin and accelerate agri-food focused research activities. This will include an integrated approach to governance, security, sharing, and curation of big research data generated by University of Guelph, and establishing a platform for leading-edge, advanced analytics and modelling. Ultimately, the aim is to enable large-scale research innovation through better coordination and access to internal and external data, computing capacity and expertise, and stronger and better-supported partnerships with government and industry. One of the main deliverables and responsibilities of this position include leading the design, development, and management of a new data and analytics portal entitled Agri-Food Data Canada (ADC) with the goal of enabling transformative research and innovation in agri-food.

The Director will:

  • work closely with University of Guelph data science faculty, principal investigators, and research staff to integrate and strengthen the University’s data management and analysis capabilities across research teams and university facilities, including the Ontario Agri-Food Research Centres
  • identify and develop effective partnerships to establish ADC and extend its scope, usefulness, and the University of Guelph’s influence on the application of big data for research and innovation in agri-food
  • represent the University of Guelph on committees and organizations focused on coordinating big data management needs and approaches, including the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, SOSCIP, Compute Ontario and Compute Canada, and related independent research institutes
  • advise senior university leaders, including the Vice President (Research) and College Deans on investments in computing infrastructure to support food-related big data research needs, while increasing overall capacity in a coordinated and strategic manner

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in data science, computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, or related field, and ten (10) years of strategic data governance or management related experience. The incumbent will be expected to have significant experience in a research environment within the private sector, or academia, managing very large datasets and leading development of data governance, security, and utilization strategies across research projects and across disciplines. The incumbent will also have experience developing and negotiating partnerships and data sharing and access agreements. Ideally, the incumbent will also have educational and research experience in food, agricultural and/or environmental science.

In addition, the incumbent will possess:

  • Demonstrable information management and quantitative analysis skills, including working knowledge of IT infrastructure, technologies/platforms, and alignment of vendor solutions with strategic priorities.
  • Deep familiarity with data management, predictive analytics, data visualization, applied statistical analysis, and modelling.
  • Experience in integrating, manipulating, and analyzing complex, high-volume, multi-dimensional data from varying sources.
  • Familiarity with contemporary big data solutions and statistical analysis packages.
  • Knowledge of best practices in governance, security, sharing, and curation of research data.

Position Number         544-037
Classification               P10*
Professional/Managerial Salary Bands

*Tentative evaluation; subject to committee review.

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.

Posting Date: 2021 12 21  
Closing Date: 2022 01 31 (extended)

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