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Position Overview

The Office of Research Services invites applications for a Communications Specialist. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

This position reports to the Manager, Knowledge Engagement and is responsible for promoting the overall priorities and objectives of knowledge engagement portfolio and leading effective communication strategies for the Knowledge Engagement team. Knowledge engagement, which includes work in community-engaged scholarship, knowledge translation, knowledge mobilization, and experiential learning, among others, is tied to the foundational commitments of University of Calgary's Eyes High vision. Knowledge engagement is a dynamic and reciprocal process in which multiple stakeholders come together to address mutually identified problems. The purpose of this deliberate engagement is for the co-creation, synthesis, and application of knowledge and evidence to benefit the community at large. A central tenet of Knowledge Engagement is the notion of "impact" i.e., making a difference in the communities we serve. The Communications Specialist will design and implement communication strategies and services to support the work of the Knowledge Engagement team. This position will work closely with communications professionals in the Vice-President (Research) portfolio, the Office of Advancement and other campus and Faculty communicators as well as communicators from key stakeholder and community based organizations to promote research and knowledge engagement activities and ensure alignment of initiatives and coordination of service.

The role works in a fast-paced environment and is responsible for managing high-profile, complex projects, competing priorities and implementing a wide-range of marketing and communications tactics. These include developing marketing and communications plans and strategies, content development, publications, programs and initiatives, virtual and in-person events, website management and content development, coordinating key files with internal and external stakeholders as well as providing expertise on knowledge mobilization and translation of research impact to non-academic audiences. This position applies specialized expertise in the application of marketing and communications, research communications, creative copy writing, web and visual design, and coaching of others on how best to communicate knowledge engagement and research impact.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Develop and implement high-quality and timely communication and marketing strategies, plans and content.
  • Lead and implement a broad range of campaigns, publications, community events and other communication and marketing initiatives to build a positive reputation for knowledge engagement portfolio and the University.
  • Improve and broaden the knowledge engagement and research reputation of the University of Calgary locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Plan and executive events for campus and community stakeholders. Provide logistic support for events and information sessions including: sourcing and booking venues, booking speakers, ordering catering, and coordinating event set up and staging.
  • Prepare collateral material for distribution at events and information sessions.
  • Responsible for the writing and editing (including gathering facts, planning, researching) of internal and external communication pieces.
  • Prepare plain-language summaries of research to help amplify work of researchers and research teams, including for publishing on the website.
  • Design and launch an engaging website that advertises services of the Knowledge Engagement team, communicates news and events, and acts as a clearinghouse for Knowledge Engagement activity on campus. This site will include an interactive web portal that will allow community organizations to connect with the Knowledge Engagement team to discuss research needs and connect with expertise on campus.
  • Design graphics and flow diagrams to direct people to information and services.
  • Collect relevant news and resources and post in a timely manner.
  • Develop resources such as training modules, templates, promotional materials, webinars, presentations, and brochures and newsletters.
  • Work with other members of the Knowledge Engagement team to design toolkits and collateral material for knowledge engagement activity.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • An post-secondary degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Relations or related fields as well as practical work experience. Candidates with an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.
  • Five to eight years of experience working as a communications or marketing professional, preferably in an academic environment, community organization, or government setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in planning and producing a variety of communication programs, which include effective creation and execution of projects aimed at various internal and external audiences.
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing, editing, visual design and production as well as project management.
  • Proven experience in producing a variety of communication vehicles, including with a web content management system (CMS) such as Drupal, for various audiences required.
  • Experience planning and executing events for internal and external audiences.
  • Subject matter expertise in research communications and knowledge engagement activities such as translation and mobilization practices.
  • Ability to distill complex information, listen effectively and deliver messages that have the desired impact.
  • Graphic design skills and experience with Adobe Creative Suite or similar would be an asset.
  • Demonstrated facility with social media platforms and how to leverage social media for strategic advantage.
  • Superior interpersonal skills, flexibility, tact and perseverance. Proven ability to build and maintain effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, with constantly shifting priorities, and to work to deadlines while managing multiple tasks and providing a consistently high level of service.
  • Strong attention to detail, organization and project management skills.

Application Deadline: August 11, 2021

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisr Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

  • a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation's most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada's top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

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