Platform Lead, Data Management & Analytics
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK, Canada
4d ago

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food .

GIFS strives to achieve this bold vision by investing in our talent and collaborating with others. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners, and stakeholders to discover, develop, and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of : Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Primary Purpose : The Platform Lead is a critical position for advancing sustainable food security and is responsible for the design, growth, and leadership of a Data Management & Analytics (DMA) Platform that will transform our scientific competencies and capabilities into value for our stakeholders, providing a catalyst for our partnerships and innovation world-wide.

Nature of the Work : Reporting to the GIFS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, you will be responsible for leading, growing, and guiding the DMA Platform by developing innovative approaches to coordinating with USask Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and GIFS’ platforms and programs to create a holistic design that incorporates all the hardware, software, interfaces, and data management structures to capture, analyze and share data research.

You will be a visionary leader and help position GIFS as a global leader in DMA and contribute to advancing food security.

Responsibilities include establishing and maintaining relationships with researchers, collaborators, stakeholders (government and industry), communities, external clients, and other end-users to ensure that DMA at GIFS is aligned with GIFS strategy and is targeting areas of research that create value.

You will develop and grow the DMA team and be responsible for the full career cycle of the employees. The Platform Lead will present to senior leadership, including but not limited to the GIFS Board, International Sciences Advisory Panel, and the Institute Management Team.

Your success requires you understand the interconnectedness of GIFS and the impact that changes and operations have on all the platforms, programs, clients, and the reputation of GIFS.

Key characteristics of the role include a strong commitment to safety, support of change management, and team leadership through exemplification of GIFS values.

Other characteristics include well-developed organizational and project management skills, the ability to establish and maintain relationships as well as to influence others while implementing difficult and challenging decisions.

Agility, speed, and focus are essential to achieving milestones, deliverables, and outcomes.


  • Partner with the Business Lead to develop and promote the DMA research services and innovation capabilities to support business development activities with established and prospective academic and industry partners;
  • encourage and facilitate industry interactions, including research engagements.

  • Promote engagement of services provincially, nationally, and internationally across the bioscience community with institutional partners, collaborators, and external clients.
  • Lead the Data Management and Analytic team by managing the employee career cycle through activities such as : recruitment, retention and separations, orientation, and onboarding, coaching and performance feedback, supporting professional growth, training, and development, managing performance, and addressing disciplinary matters.
  • Manage the implementation of programs, activities, and systems to support the delivery of optimal services to both internal and external researchers, partner organizations, collaborators, and clients.
  • Define and implement consistent data capture, management and access policies across GIFS and subsidiary programs and platforms (e.
  • g., OPAL, Engineering Biology, Cell Biology, Plant Growth Facilities) to ensure long-term stewardship and data integration and enable data analytics and data repurposing across GIFS.

  • Define and implement Machine Learning to accelerate the Design-Build-Test- and Learn cycle at GIFS.
  • Define and implement consistent data capture, management and access policies across programs GIFS leads such as P2RIC, CERC and Bangladesh.
  • Define the opportunity and establish cloud-computing resources to support computational needs for GIFS data analytic pipelines.
  • Exploit economies of scale in hardware acquisitions, software licensing, and systems administration by consolidating data and computational resources across GIFS.
  • Create, optimize, and manage workflows to meet internal and external requests, focusing on high-quality, high throughput.
  • As the subject matter expert in bioinformatics lead the interdisciplinary application of information technology tools for collecting, analyzing, storing, and visualizing biological data applied to agriculture.
  • Lead by example with a commitment to continuous improvement and GIFS values.
  • Establish and manage lab processes, including but not limited to, electronic lab notebook, data and metadata management, data analytics and large-scale data warehousing infrastructure such as a laboratory-information-management-system.
  • Negotiate and monitor fee for service agreements in partnership with the GIFS Business Development Office.
  • Work with the Business Development team in identifying funding opportunities; provide technical review and support for developing co-funding for industry-sponsored research, grant submissions and funding opportunities to support the growth of the Platform and GIFS.
  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize data related to overall performance.
  • Facilitate communication among clients, the research community, and key stakeholders.
  • Identify strategic alliance partners and develop long-term, sustainable relationships.
  • Foster and promote a culture of innovation by dedicating time for innovation within the platform.
  • Participate in the Scientific Executive Committee (SEC) and help in defining, supporting, and implementing scientific and strategic direction for the Institute.
  • Other accountabilities as assigned.
  • Education : PhD or master’s degree in biology, biochemistry and computer science or equivalent. together with significant experience in research leadership excellence management.


  • Minimum of five (5) years of hands-on experience in bioinformatics and machine learning applied to next-generation sequencing data, engineering biology and cloud computing.
  • Minimum three (3) years of experience in the technical management of operations in a life sciences laboratory.
  • Experience in using advanced genomic, computational and / or data science approaches to study biological phenomena in a range of eukaryotic organisms.
  • Research leadership in areas at the intersection of genome biology, computational biology, biostatistics, data management and cloud computing will be prioritized.
  • Experience with project management, product development, and / or innovation projects, ideally in the ag biotechnology ecosystem.
  • Experience leading and developing teams.
  • Experience with research funding models and processes.
  • Industry-focused business development and / or marketing experience along with a strong understanding of both academic and industry environments is highly desired.
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in building relationships with diverse constituencies and negotiating commercial agreements.
  • The ideal candidate will have direct experience in the bridging research to industry and the ability to bring the results of scientific research to the marketplace.
  • Skills

  • Innovative problem solver capable of overcoming challenging and complex issues in a fast-paced environment and growing market.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, including the ability to convey complex technical ideas to non-specialist audiences.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and work effectively within a high achieving team environment.
  • Sound judgment, discretion, diplomacy, and professional integrity.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to establish and maintain professional relationships that support exceptional collaboration.
  • Ability to gather, analyze, and present information with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse working environment.
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