The Research Security Officer reports to the Director, Research Security Risk, within the Office of the Vice President, Research. The Director is responsible for providing strategic guidance to ensure that research security risks at the institution are proactively managed as it relates to research funding opportunities, collaborations with international partners and commercialization activities. The Director engages with their peers in various levels of government and other institutions, and coordinates with McMaster leadership in research security on the identification and mitigation of research security risks. The Director serves as a resource to senior leadership for best practices regarding research security.
The Research Security Officer reports to the Director, Research Security Risk, within the Office of the Vice President, Research. This position will further McMaster’s response to the Federal Government’s February 2023 - Ministerial statement on research security.
The Officer will support the Director, and more broadly, the Office of the VP Research mission by implementing and advancing the university’s research security program and building capacity to address the requirements from the provincial and federal government. This role will utilize its subject matter expertise to facilitate, review and process research security risk assessments for researchers, faculty and other leaders across the University.
The Officer will interpret and provide advice on policy and procedure as it relates to the development of security components of research and innovation applications, proposals and partnerships, including advising faculty members on relevant security risks, processes and approvals, working in close coordination with other units.
The role of the Officer will involve supporting research grant applications and partnership opportunities, by ensuring compliance to government standards and policies through the identification and mitigation of risks to research security. The Officer will be involved in advising senior leadership to help make informed decisions related to research security and other related institutional strategies.
- Develop recommendations for internal research security policies, processes, risk mitigation strategies and practices.Operationalize the research security program through implementing control measures and best practices.
- Monitor compliance of grant submissions and funding bodies, particularly for high-risk projects.
- Build and maintain relationships with university and government colleagues e.g Innovation Science Economic Development Canada (ISED), Public Safety Canada’s Research Security Centre and representatives of federal and provincial funding agencies.
- Write reports and briefs to a variety of audiences including academic and research leadership on emerging issues and key themes.
- Plan, develop, implement, provide and/or coordinate education, awareness and outreach opportunities.
- Promote overall research safeguarding and security within the university.
- Recommend, review, and maintain appropriate control measures to minimize research security risks.
- Gather and evaluate relevant information to develop background material or reports and provide recommendations on appropriate course of action as it relates to risks to research security.
- Review and assess potential risks to research projects and partnerships by conducting due diligence using open-source research techniques.
- Organize and analyze a wide variety of information to identify, monitor and map trends, and developments related to research security in Canada and internationally. Based on these findings, prepare strategic assessments and recommendations as required.
- Keep abreast of relevant international, national and provincial news, policies, initiatives and legislative frameworks related to research security and advance knowledge in the field of research security through continuous learning.
- Develop and maintain a sound understanding of threats facing universities and research security, including issues related to national security and geopolitics.
- Provide information on complex and confidential issues using open-source research-gathering techniques to allow senior leadership to make informed decisions.
- Liaise across the university, with faculty, staff and researchers on matters related to the Officer’s role. This could include providing consultation, resolving problems, exchanging information, discussing findings, coordinating materials and presenting recommendations.
- Liaise with various internal units that work closely in supporting researchers such as McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO), Research Office for Administration, Development and Support (ROADS), Health Research Services (HRS) and Information Security Services (ISS), among others.
- Communicate findings and conclusions related to research security to faculty, staff and researchers.
- Engage with leadership and stakeholders to present an/or discuss confidential information in a discrete manner.
- Exercise tact and diplomacy ensuring appropriate management of sensitive and complex issues.
- Strong research, analysis, writing, and presentation skills.
- Ability to effectively apply high level critical thinking skills.
- Strong knowledge of research security and Canadian Safeguarding Research standards.
- Experience in open-source information gathering.
- Proven ability to utilize various open-source platforms and conduct a range of searching is an asset.
- Proven knowledge of corporate/financial analysis or due diligence is an asset.
- Knowledge of sound research and analytical methodologies with a demonstrated ability to compile and analyze data through well-structured reports.
- Excellent analytic skills and a detail-oriented approach to issues and analyses.
- Proficiency in a Foreign language in a critical area is an asset.
- Knowledge of privacy, confidentiality, and compliance environment.
- Knowledge of the academic environment and working with researchers.
- Ability to identify issues and take proactive action including adjusting to changing priorities as necessary.
- Experience advising and briefing senior managers, especially academic leadership.
- Proven ability to engage in difficult conversations in an appropriate manner.
- Judgement to assess and balance institutional, individual, and national needs.
- Strong communication skills, both oral and written.
- Ability to work in a flexible, on and off-campus hybrid environment.
- Ability to work independently or in a team setting, with diverse individuals.
- Working knowledge of Microsoft 365 products.