New Research Commons to be established by Vice-President Research & Innovation

wrd art for new grant recipients

The Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) is in the process of creating the Research Commons: a formal research grant development and mentorship system to prepare faculty for research granting success. The VPRI is also now advertising for a candidate who will become the Research Commons’ inaugural academic director.

Rebecca Pillai Riddell

“As we mature in our 60th year, it’s imperative to invest our faculty with the real-world intelligence to face a competitive funding landscape. Research Commons is an ambitious move to synergize the many talents of existing research leaders at York to support the research community,” said Professor Rebecca Pillai Riddell, associate vice-president research, VPRI, as she explained the larger context of Research Commons.

Research Commons will comprise of a group of seasoned researchers and sector-leading research staff members that will collaborate to support research intensity across campus. The major emphases in the first year will be to increase tri-council grant applications and success through a supportive skills and mentoring program for new faculty members to York University. Over time, the offerings of the Research Commons will evolve under the vision of the academic director and their team of academic and staff leaders. The ultimate goal will be to build supports for other key junctures in research grant development cycle.

About the Research Commons Academic Director role

The academic director will lead the creation of the Research Commons and help evolve its mission and mandate. Through strategic communication and consultation this research leader will work with VPRI to create the structure of the program. The academic director will oversee the evolution of the offerings to initially provide support to early career scholars and then additional groups across the University.

“This is a vital and exciting new leadership role within VPRI. This person will work collaboratively with an administrative director and an AVPRI and lead a group of 10 to 12 mentors and a program that reaches out to 150 to 200 faculty members,” said Pillai Riddell. “The ideal candidate will be someone who has naturally gravitated to mentorship and training of colleagues and highly qualified personnel throughout their career.

“An individual with a strong tri-council funding history and scholarly track record exemplifying interest in the pedagogy of building a research program (i.e. the best methods on how to teach someone to be as successful researcher),” she added.

Candidates should forward a complete CV and a 1 to 2-page letter detailing his/her thoughts on the vision of Research Commons. Applications must be submitted by Monday, June 17 by 9 a.m.

Forward all documentation to Barbara Edwards, senior policy adviser, research, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, 5th Floor Kaneff Tower or electronically to  All information received regarding this position will be treated in strict confidence.

To see the job advertisement for the Academic Director role, visit the website for the full position description.