Apply Now

Legal Counsel - Research Contracts

Job IDCE-E7-F1-F8-0D-E3
CompanyUniversity Of Guelph
Date Posted2022-09-21
Posted Until2022-11-20
Job TypeFull-time
Job CategoryLaw
Temporary, full-time position (until December 2025) - Guelph, ON

The Office of Research Services (ORS) at the University of Guelph (U of G) oversees a $163-million research enterprise across seven colleges, our regional campus at Ridgetown, 15 research stations and the University of Guelph/Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs partnership. Committed to supporting research programs across all disciplines, the University is dedicated to making communities, environment, food and health better. Our shared purpose is to: To Improve Life. Join our campus in the exciting new role of Legal Counsel - Research Contracts, and use your expertise to support our academic teams in carrying out research initiatives and activities that support this mission.

ORS is a collaborative partner to faculty, department and college representatives as well as to senior management on legal matters arising from research. Specifically, ORS is responsible for the promotion and management of applications to research sponsors (proposals/research grants), research contracts, and numerous types of award agreements to enable the completion of research projects carried out by U of G faculty, staff and students.
Reporting to the Managing Director, Research Operations, you will be primarily responsible for providing general legal review of research proposals, applications and research agreements to be approved and/or signed on behalf of the University, and which present higher than normal risk to the University. As Legal Counsel - Research Contracts, you will work on a wide range of agreements beyond research agreements pertaining to a particular principal investigator, project and sponsor (e.g., master agreements, inter-institutional agreements, international MOUs). Your role will complement existing review and approval activities currently completed by the ORS, and you will bring much-needed capacity and qualifications necessary for reviewing the wide range of research activities undertaken by the University.

More specifically, as Legal Counsel - Research Contracts, you will:
- Prepare, review, negotiate and manage research proposals and/or agreements for conformity with University of Guelph policies and procedures as well as Ontario and Canadian law;
- Seek to protect the University and researchers from legal liabilities as a result of research activities conducted by University faculty members, staff and students, and to ensure that research agreements are signed in accordance with University, sponsor and government research policies;
- Act as the sole legal contact in the Office of Research Services during absences of the Manager, Legal Review;
- Work with a wide range of stakeholders across the University (e.g., faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, Associate Deans Research, College Research Managers, etc.);
- Consult and coordinate research legal services with the Managing Director, Research Operations, Manager, Legal Review, Director, Research Support Services and, at times, the University's General Legal Counsel, to maintain consistency in standards, risks assessments and legal advice;
- Liaise effectively with outside organizations such as research sponsors, other universities within and outside Canada, etc., and maintain positive, productive relationships with these stakeholders to effectively support, enhance and advance research at the University.
You may also, at times, provide strategic legal advice on research issues and matters to the Vice-President Research or Associate Vice-Presidents Research, provide mentorship support to other grants and contracts staff, and lead, or assist with, special projects, resource development and policy-related work.

To be considered for this unique opportunity as Legal Counsel - Research Contracts, you must be a skilled relationship builder and persuasive negotiator with knowledge of research agreements, and have:
- A Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent, coupled with active membership in the Law Society of Ontario, and a licence to practise in Ontario;
- At least five (5) years of experience in industry or in a university research administration/technology transfer office, negotiating, preparing and reviewing legal agreements;
- Demonstrated knowledge of legislation and case law relevant to sponsored research, including intellectual property, confidentiality, privacy, and contracts;
- Experience as a negotiator, with proven contract negotiation and influencing skills;
- Proven experience in drafting and interpreting legal agreements, and knowledge of standard government and industry terms for research agreements;
- Proven ability to develop creative solutions and provide effective legal advice across a wide range of legal matters with significant complexity and risk exposure;
- Advanced communication skills, with the ability to effectively present legal opinions, arguments and information clearly in a manner relevant to the audience;
- Demonstrated commitment to professional ethics and integrity;
- Strong interpersonal skills, diplomacy and tact, with demonstrated ability to establish and maintain collegial, collaborative and service-oriented relationships with people from different backgrounds in a complex and multi-stakeholder environment;
- Strong computer skills, including experience and aptitude with electronic research administration tools like online databases, proposal submission portals, internet resources, spreadsheets and complex databases.
- Working knowledge of science, and the research process, and the ability to read primary scientific documents (e.g., grant proposals) are assets.

The University of Guelph ( is one of Canada's leading research-intensive comprehensive institutions, with a record of outstanding scholarship in the arts, humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical and engineering sciences, agriculture and veterinary sciences. This is your chance to join us in our endeavour to improve life.
How To ApplyClick "Apply Now"

To view a detailed posting for the role of Legal Counsel - Research Contracts, including application instructions, please go to our website at Applications, including a cover letter and a resume/CV, and quoting Hiring #2022-0647, must be sent to:

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.