Contracts Specialist, Office of Research Services, VP Research
University of Calgary
Calgary, Canada
5d ago

The Office of Research Services in VP Research is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Contracts Specialist .

The Legal & Intellectual Property (IP) Division in Research Services plays a vital role in the research process at the University, helping University faculty members prepare, negotiate and finalize research agreements with industry, governments, and other funding agencies.

With over 200 active files at any given time, the Legal Unit is under constant pressure to provide a high level of customer service and to complete work in a timely and professional manner.

As a Contract Specialist, reporting to the Agreements Manager, you will play a central role in the Legal & IP Division -

managing a portfolio of files, drafting agreements, negotiating changes and communicating with faculty members, external funders, external counsel and other internal units, as part of a high-

energy team that is expected to produce top-quality results. Contract Specialists will be required to develop a strong understanding of the University's mission / goals and how this role supports the mission and goals.

The purpose of this position is to negotiate the creation of new agreements with external partners to facilitate the establishment of new research projects for University faculty members.

With a high degree of independence and minimal supervision, this role will formulate the best structure for each transaction between the Governors of the University of Calgary and an external entity, develop a negotiation strategy and finalize the agreement to meet both near-

and long-term objectives of the University, its faculty members and the external partners.

Position Description

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

Agreements and Negotiations

  • Manage all steps in the research agreement process, from information gathering, strategy development, drafting agreements, revising, negotiation, communication with external counsel and obtaining signatures with minimal supervision.
  • Accountable for the content in agreement, and will interpret content, propose alternate language, and determine when necessary to engage Agreements Manager or internal Legal Counsel.
  • Review agreements from external partners and determine if content is appropriate, escalating to Agreements Manager or internal Legal Counsel as necessary.
  • Identify and work to minimize legal and reputational risks to the University and its staff / faculty members.
  • Conflict Management

  • Independently manage conflict and balance the competing interests of faculty members, external partners and the University under constant time pressure.
  • Direct faculty members on the most suitable strategy and persuading external partners to follow such strategy for completing transactions.
  • Communication

  • Develop and maintain long-term, trustworthy and productive working relationships with all stakeholders, including University faculty members, University departments, and external sponsors.
  • Actively share details and acquired knowledge with other team members to strengthen the team and advance the progression of legal files.
  • Mentorship and guidance of students and new members of the team will be expected.
  • Exchange information with the Agreements Manager on the status of files and expected time lines for completion.
  • Participate in long-range planning for the Legal Unit, taking an active role in improvement of workflow and internal procedures.
  • Workflow Management

  • Manage and finalize a diverse portfolio of active legal files to ensure both individual and unit through-put goals are achieved.
  • Ensure agreements are completed in a timely fashion within unit standards.
  • Maintain highly-organized records in both electronic and paper format.
  • Independently establish priorities for completion of work.
  • Perform all necessary steps required to manage legal files.
  • Policy and Program Interpretation

  • Develop a strong understanding and ability to interpret and apply University policies governing research and commercialization.
  • Act as information resource on University policies to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Understand, interpret, and help faculty members comply with operating procedures for a wide array of government grant programs.
  • Qualifications / Requirements :

  • An undergraduate degree will be preferred, but will consider a combination of extensive work experience demonstrating the core abilities above and education.
  • Specialized training in contract management or negotiation will be considered an asset.
  • 4 - 7 years of specialized work experience in a professional environment supporting legal transactions or in a contract management role, but a combination of education and work experience drawing upon negotiation and problem-
  • solving skills will be considered.

  • Experience working in a major University will be an asset.
  • Exhibits a professional, client-oriented attitude combined with proven ability to work as part of a team will be considered extremely valuable.
  • Strong working knowledge of MSOffice Suite and comfort with database use is required.
  • The following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities are required to be successful in this position : Negotiation - Ability to manage and resolve conflicting points of view regarding terms of agreement under constant time pressure and with minimal supervision.
  • Diplomacy - Ability to independently assert and defend a position on behalf of the University to faculty members and external partners without compromising relationships or undermining the long-

    term interests. Initiative - Self starter, with an ability to formulate the key elements of a problem or a challenge in a transaction, independently gather the necessary information, develop a position / strategy on the proposed transaction and then implement the strategy with minimal direction or supervision.

    Resilience - Ability to maintain personal composure in a role which is exposed to continuing conflict, uncertainty and ambiguity.

    Legal Basics - General understanding of the purpose of legal agreements and interpretation of legal language. Communication -

    Professional, energetic and highly polished communication skills, including the ability to confidently explain complex matters and persuade others to accept an interpretation or point of view either in person, over the telephone or by email.

    Discretion - Being a trusted recipient of sensitive personal, financial, technical, and business information from third party collaborators as well as University administrators and faculty members.

    Organization - Ability to independently prioritize workload and maintain concise, accurate records of workflow with minimal supervision Team Engagement -

    Ability to mentor and coach other members of a team facing similar similar challenges, fostering a cohesive team environment.

    Application Deadline : June 20, 2019

    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 / Advisor Job Family, Phase III .

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