Business Development Officer


Reporting to the Associate Director, (External Relations), the Business Development Officer is responsible for providing support to the planning and execution of initiatives within the McDonald Institute (MI). The incumbent will ensure funding agency commitments are achieved (Canada First Research Excellence Fund, etc.) while working with the research community to attract ongoing support for MI initiatives.

The Business Development Officer will provide meaningful assistance to members of the MI network engaging with external innovation partners to create value through knowledge, skills and technologies developed by the astroparticle physics community. The incumbent will also assist the members of the network to acquire public and privately sourced funds that advance the research, training and innovation agendas of the Institute.

The Business Development Officer will facilitate, coordinate, and sustain innovation efforts by member organizations of the Institute by developing partnerships resulting in activities ranging from technology assessments, knowledge-transfer, venture creation and innovation-skills development. The incumbent will work with the associate Director to facilitate tailored engagement opportunities for research faculty, fellows, graduate students, technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, corporate innovation officers and advisors. In addition, the Business Development Officer will collaborate with MI network members to coordinate and provide project management support for the development of competitive funding applications supporting network initiatives in knowledge transfer, research, training and sustainment of operations. The incumbent will require demonstrated cross-cultural competencies, interest in facilitating the success of others and a commitment to career growth in innovation support, communications and relationship management.

Note: The schedule for this position requires the incumbent to work occasional flexible hours, including evening and weekends, according to program or area needs. Some travel may be required.


  • Identifies business cases for technology commercialization, venture creation and research investment. Develops new partnerships between research experts in the McDonald Institute and innovators both external and internal to the network. This involves developing strategies to leverage emerging opportunities in technology and skills development for economic and social benefits. 
  • Supports the Associate Director to identify national and international partnerships necessary to the formation of proof-of-concept technology validation, new for-profit and not-for-profit ventures and skills transfer opportunities for highly qualified personnel (HQP). The goal of this activity is value-added knowledge-transfer-oriented relationships between McDonald Institute researchers, students, technicians, administrators and external parties from both private and public entities.
  • Motivates, organizes and gains commitment from a broad range of partners who will assist in advancing commercially viable opportunities that emerge from intellectual property of the astroparticle physics community.
  • Supports the Associate Director in engaging appropriate university technology transfer and commercial intellectual property offices and patent agents, inventors, technology developers, founders and investors.
  • Works with the Associate Director and with researchers, fund-raisers and founders to develop proposals to fund a wide range of knowledge-generation and knowledge-transfer activities of interest to the McDonald Institute’s membership and network of partners.
  • Develops and maintains sustainable long-term relationships that will help the McDonald Institute meets its objectives for knowledge transfer and operational sustainment. Establishes processes to monitor partner engagements and acts under the Associate Director’s management to monitor and manage relationships developed, or supported by the McDonald Institute’s External Relations portfolio, such that they continue to deliver value as intended.
  • Analyzes data, tracks activity and prepares reports, including up-to-date prospect pipelines and active proposal evaluations required to formulate, execute, evaluate and benchmark strategic and priority driven implementation plans.
  • Meets with the Associate Director on a regular basis to review progress against annual goals. 
  • Carries out special projects, as required. 


  • Undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Computer & Data Science, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Economics, Geography or Sociology, or other relevant area of study. 
  • Minimum of five years' of experience developing complex, multi-stage proposals (e.g., funding grants, executive sales proposals, large-scale procurements, investment prospectuses, major gifts, strategic plans, etc.).  Knowledge of private and/or public sector funding agency standard practices considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience managing multiple concurrent projects with variable scales, success/failure-risk profiles and within short or long-term timelines.
  • Experience in a technology driven environment or in any high-growth venture considered an asset (e.g., research & development, start-up entrepreneurship, or high-risk investment analysis).
  • Knowledge of university and research-facility administrative practices for safety, confidentiality, financial accountability and research integrity. Familiarity with academic workflows and the nature of demands placed on faculty, graduate students, research assistants and fellows engaged in research.
  • Proficiency with word-processing software and task-management tools. 
  • Consideration to an equivalent combination of education and experience may be given.


  • Excellent interpersonal skills, (both verbal and written) to interact with a diverse group of individuals, in a professional manner, using tact, discretion and good judgement.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, with the ability to juggle conflicting priorities from many different sources while working within tight timeframes and a demanding workload. 
  • Skills in fostering diverse relationships across the MI network and advises the Associate Director on leveraging such relationships to maximize opportunities for Institute members in career development, technology demonstration, technology, venture creation, investment and research activity.
  • Proficient computer and office skills including advanced use of word processing software for document formatting, and familiarity with spreadsheet and database applications for information processing and reporting. Ability to adapt to and implement emerging technology.
  • Strong analytical, interpretive, and problem solving skills. Ability to examine several alternative possibilities and arrive at the best possible solution.
  • Adheres to appropriate non-disclosure, material-transfer and data security agreements as required. This includes normal-course referral of legally binding agreements to the Institute’s signing authorities and engagement and communications with legal and administrative officers at various institutions. The incumbent adheres to standard best practices for data security.
  • Strong understanding of technology-driven innovation processes ranging from invention, intellectual property protection, venture formation (start-up), stages of investment and early stages of business development. The incumbent is committed to learning best practices from Institute partners in entrepreneurship training; venture coaching, management and investment.


  • Determines multi-year plans and strategies to meet knowledge transfer and sustainment objectives of the McDonald Institute.    
  • Identifies and engages prospective partners who can contribute to the innovation objectives of the network. Decides when to refer emerging opportunities to the Associate Director and the senior team.  
  • Analyze data, interpret research trends and prepare reports in relation to research opportunities for consideration by senior management.
  • Makes recommendations on the most appropriate funding sources for innovation and sustainment initiatives of the McDonald Institute. 
  • Monitors and mitigates risks in ongoing innovation projects and funding development projects.  
  • Decides when to call on other MI staff members to utilize their expertise.  

Identifies resource requirements to optimize project delivery in a fixed resource environment.