Grand Challenges Canada

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Program Officer, Development Innovation (in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health)

Dec 21, 2018
Toronto, Ontario

Grand Challenges Canada is seeking a Program Officer (PO) to play a critical role in supporting its Transition to Scale funding of development innovation to improve Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. We are funded primarily by the Government of Canada and we fund innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – we call this Integrated Innovation®. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and a global network of partners to bring successful innovation to scale, catalyzing sustainability and impact.

With close to $160 million in funding from the Government of Canada, GCC uses a feminist investment approach to enabling innovations to address persistent reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health challenges and bring about improved outcomes for women and children in LMICs. GCC funds innovation at two phases of development:

• Phase I – Seed: to test that innovations can function as designed (i.e. proof-of-concept).
• Phase II – Transition-to-Scale (TTS): to catalyze the scale and sustainability of tested innovations.

Tapping into its maturing pipeline of innovations and pipelines of other trusted partners, GCC is increasingly focusing its efforts on funding innovations at TTS, using a combination of grant and non-grant financing. This position will focus on sourcing and supporting Transition to Scale investments.

Description of responsibilities

Formally reporting to the Director of Programs and working closely with other Program Officers, Investment Managers, TTS Program Coordinator, and Knowledge Management & Translation team, the PO’s responsibilities will include but are not limited to:
• Shape and manage a growing portfolio of investments in innovative products, services and implementation models in RMNCH at transition to scale (i.e., sourcing, developing, negotiating, managing and exiting TTS investments in the best, most potentially impactful RMNCH innovations).
• Develop, refine and/or implement processes for sourcing, selection and negotiation of new innovations, and analysis of portfolio progress, results and lessons on a continual basis.
• Engage with innovators before (including conducting due diligence and forming investment strategies) and after (e.g., post-deal execution support for TTS projects) receiving funding.
• Act as a brand ambassador for and thought leader to GCC, represent GCC and Canada's strategic interests and promote its activities and opportunities through external collaborations, presentations and communications with potential partners, innovators, external thought leaders, and Canadian government representatives.

Competencies and qualities

• Doctoral level degree in a discipline relevant to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and/or child health (e.g., biomedical or health sciences, public health, medicine)
• Outstanding scientific judgement is a must
• Excellent knowledge and understanding of at least some areas of RMNCH (includes sexual and reproductive health and rights) and development programs in LMICs
• Experience working in international development or other relevant work in LMIC contexts a significant asset
• Knowledge and experience in project-level results reporting, data management and analysis, ideally for global health and development initiatives
• Highly developed interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work well independently and within a multidisciplinary team
• Demonstrated problem solving skills
• Excellent organizational and time management skills
• Excellent verbal and written communications skills
• The ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential
• Some international travel will be required


• Start date: December 1, 2018

If you are interested in making your contribution at UHN, please apply on-line HERE. You will be asked to copy and paste as well as attach your resume and covering letter with 3 references. You will also be required to complete some initial screening questions. Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.

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