Hiring announcement: Senior Research Partners

Aminah Robinson Fayek and Julie Stephens - 17 February 2022

Since the new operating model was approved last October, several new entities and roles have been introduced to the university community including the Senior Partner and Partner positions. Partners are integral to the new model; they provide strategic support, ensure that policy and strategy is applied appropriately, and facilitate connection to services in the central functions. Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) and the SET research administration workstream are pleased to announce the appointments of the three Senior Research Partners. With all three appointments being internal hires, we're pleased to be advancing our existing, key talent within the organization. 

  • Kelly Maher, MSc — Senior Research Partner, College of Natural and Applied Sciences
    Kelly has more than 15 years of research and innovation experience where much of her work has been focused on developing strategies to enhance research and innovation capacity. Kelly has worked with industry, government, and academia, and most recently in the Faculty of Engineering where she was the Director of Research and Internationalization. Kelly has a BSc in Chemical Engineering and an MSc in Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science, both from the University of Alberta.
  • Mark Taylor, MSc — Senior Research Partner, College of Health Sciences
    Mark has more than 30 years of experience supporting health research in Canada. He has worked at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, and as the Senior Director of Research in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry since 2008. Mark has a BSc and MSc in Biology, both from the University of Waterloo.
  • Heather Young-Leslie, PhD — Senior Research Partner, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
    Heather brings an intimate knowledge of the research ecosystem to the Research Partner Network. She has held faculty positions at the Universities of Alberta and Hawai'i, as well as capacity-building roles on humanitarian aid projects in Papua New Guinea and the wider south Pacific region. She currently holds an adjunct appointment in Anthropology and has been with the VPRI portfolio since 2014 (as a Director, Grant Assist Program and Senior Advisor, Research Development). Heather holds a PhD from York University and a MA from McMaster University.

Reporting to Julie Stephens, Director, Research Partners, and working in collaboration with academic leaders and administrative professionals in the colleges and faculties, the Senior Research Partners will lead a team of research partners providing researcher-focused support, programs, and services. The Research Partners Network will be the first point of contact and go-to resource for researchers, senior academic leaders, and administrative professionals to provide strategic advice and hands-on support to more than 2,600 researchers across the university. Working with the Centres of Expertise in the VPRI portfolio, the Research Partners Network will help faculty members save time and energy by streamlining research administration via one-stop-shop access to the VPRI portfolio services and resources, as well as leading proactive and responsive activities to address our research community's emerging needs.

We are currently engaged in conversations to determine how the VPRI portfolio will interface and work with Shared Services and any research administration functions that are located in the faculties and colleges. We expect the next phase of the Research Partner Network, which involves transitioning five research facilitators into the network, to be in place by the end of March. Additional information will be shared as soon as it becomes available. In the interim, please continue to rely on your current contacts and services, and we will  provide information and updates on when and how to access new services as they are available.

Aminah Robinson Fayek, PhD, PEng, FCSCE, NAC
Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

Julie Stephens, MSc
Director, Research Partners



2020 updates  2021 updates  2022 updates