Capacity Development Lead (AbSPORU)

SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) is a coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners
comprised of Networks and Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Units.
The SPOR Units are specialized, multidisciplinary research service centres located across Canada working
with provincial or territorial health services that supports the use of research evidence in decision-making
and inform best practices. The goal of SPOR is to help transform the role of patient from a passive
receptor of services to a proactive partner who helps shape health research and, as a result, health care.

This is a contract position with Alberta Innovates.

Responsibilities require a minimum two-year commitment to support stability and continuity as well as an
estimated 1 day/week of dedicated effort to meet AbSPORU expectations. Flexibility is required and the
details can be negotiated with the current employer(s).
Review of performance would occur annually with possibility for a one-term renewal.


• Masters or related degree in Education
• Experience in curriculum development and facilitation experience
• Advanced knowledge of capacity development theories, adult development theory, counseling
processes, career decision making, learning styles, and job search techniques
• Skills in monitoring/assessing people, processes, or services to make improvements; ability to
identify problems and develop original ideas with systems to solve them
• Skilled in project management and balancing multiple high-level priorities
• Effective communication skills and social perceptiveness to be aware of others’ reactions and
understanding why they react as they do
• Strong leadership skills, with the ability to develop consensus in sensitive and confidential situations
• Knowledge of University and departmental principles and procedures involved in risk assessment;
ability to evaluate risk likelihood and consequences
• Client services oriented; has good listening, critical thinking, and analytical skills
• Position requires exceptional political sensitivity, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work
effectively across and outside the organization at all levels in a collaborative manner
• An existing faculty appointment with an Alberta university and knowledge of university policies,
processes, and procedures with regard to hiring and managing staff in a university context, including
relevant collective agreements
• Provide ideas for sustainability of the Unit

If Interested please attach a letter of interest, CV and a one-page proposal.

This competition will remain open until a successful candidate is found.

Interested candidates should highlight the following in their one-page proposal:
• Vision statement for Capacity Development within AbSPORU
• Why is patient oriented research and meaningfully engaging patients and citizens important
• Where you see the needs, future direction and opportunities for a learning health system locally,
nationally, and internationally
• How this opportunity builds upon your existing achievements and will integrate with your current
professional responsibilities
• Your aims and objectives for AbSPORU Capacity Development and how you propose to advance
patient-oriented research and impacts in health system performance
• Identify real and perceived conflicts of interest

As one of the AbSPORU Leads, you will be championing, designing, implementing, evaluating, and
delivering broad and complex career-focused programs, assessments, and experiences to support patientoriented
research, a learning health system and patient care innovation. This is done in collaboration with
patients and caregivers, researchers, clinicians, health system program managers, and health system
decision makers (in keeping with Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness principles and Indigenous paradigms)
to positively impact health policies, health outcomes, health care efficiency, and patient/provider

The Capacity Development (CD) Lead is a thought leader in patient-oriented research, diverse learning
methodologies, and understands delivery of training and gaps in Alberta. The Lead is responsible for direct
training of AbSPORU clients (e.g. researchers, clinicians, patients, industry, decision-makers, policymakers)
working in patient-oriented research (POR) to facilitate the acceleration of positive change and
transformation of the health care system.

The CD Lead is responsible for the strategic and tactical goals for AbSPORU and will:

• Offer a suite of POR training opportunities to trainees, researchers, patients, health care
professionals, health system administrators and others within their jurisdiction. This individual will
leverage and foster relationships across campus provincially, working with the national SPOR Unit
that engages individuals in mentorship and career-related opportunities in POR.
• Design, implement, and evaluate capacity development programming and training that aligns with
industry standards and best practices. Regularly evaluates all programs and systems to ensure they
are support the goals of AbSPORU.
• Measure and tracks career-related benchmarks in POR nationally and internationally.
• Standardize, coordinate, deliver and track training opportunities across the Unit and in alignment
• Develop relationships with external constituents to provide support for capacity development
programming and leverage their capabilities to improve the experience for clients.
• Offer POR training awards, such as graduate studentships or internships, in an equitable,
transparent manner. Awards that focus on embedding trainees and researchers into various
multidisciplinary POR settings within the jurisdiction are encouraged.
• Create an appropriate environment for Indigenous trainees, researchers and patients support and
mentorship. To achieve this goal, community-based approaches are important.
• Work with the SPOR National Training Entity to:
• Share and/or scale up training resources and opportunities;
• Develop and implement a national strategy to prioritize and address capacity gaps, ensuring
diverse and underrepresented perspectives are appropriately sought and integrated; and
• Support career pathways for trainees, early career researchers and implementation
specialists in their jurisdiction, including:
• Developing Individual Development Plans;
• Creating mentoring opportunities for trainees and researchers in different POR
settings; and
• Developing key knowledge and skills for POR SPOR Capacity Development Initiative.
• Continue to develop training resources and/or opportunities for specialized research skill sets
stemming from Alberta’s particular needs or expertise.
• Continue to build capacity for patient engagement by modeling meaningful patient engagement in
SUPPORT Unit governance and within projects conducted and supported by the Unit.
This position works closely with the other AbSPORU Leads in achieving the goals of AbSPORU.

As a recognized outstanding and innovative leader, the successful candidate will bring best practices,
evidence-based rigor for capacity development, health system learning and transformation, and extensive
experience working with key stakeholders in order to:

• Serve as a leader, coach, and expert in curriculum development and delivery that enables patientoriented
research and innovations including digital health being implemented into health systems.
• Provide knowledge of adult learning, patient oriented research - design, its concepts, theories,
methods and appropriate multi-modal applications
• Create and sustain partnerships among the academic, policy, clinical practice, government, and
voluntary and private sectors
• Set and monitor annual performance targets
• Manage teams (people, finances, resources) including performance management and the
development, implementation and evaluation of strategic plans
• Work with the other Leads in AbSPORU - address and cultivates a culture of the patient-oriented
research and sustainability of the Unit
• Participate nationally on SPOR working groups and networks


Provide leadership in the continued and future development of capacity development and the learning
health system within AbSPORU. This position will report to the Scientific Director, AbSPORU.
Create and communicate clarity of purpose as well as a compelling vision of the transformative goals of

Promote meaningful citizen engagement in healthcare delivery model(s); withstand periods of uncertainty;
confront critiques by opponents; seek areas of opportunity for improvement/progress; and adapt skillfully
to change.

Working with others in AbSPORU, develop an internationally recognized Unit and learning health system
within AbSPORU focused on the opportunity to meaningfully engaged patients and citizens, clinicians,
researchers, and policy makers, that will generate evidenced based improvements in clinical performance
to achieve the highest quality health care delivery, best health outcomes within the most cost-efficient
health care system.

Build a collaborative network of researchers, research personnel, health policy makers and health delivery
decision-makers, patient partners, etc. (as necessitated by this Platform’s needs) to support and accelerate
the ability of Alberta researchers, policy makers and health care decision makers to achieve measurable,
citizen incorporated impact on health outcomes and health system performance through the platform

Know and use diverse methods to engage, communicate and mobilize key stakeholders to achieve
AbSPORU results and promote adoption of change. Lead complex multi-party discussions on issues that
may have impact on program level issues or policies.

Establish and maintain bridges to people and constituencies who can enable and facilitate the success of
the platform.

Serve as a leader in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and capacities emanating from
ABSPORU activities.

With Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit partners and with the other Leaders, contribute to the AbSPORU
business plan for the undertakings and sustainability of the Unit.

Ensure accountability for effective resource allocations to Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit platform

Provide oversight, support and direction to platform staff and participants, as well as a workplace culture
that is consistent with AbSPORU’s vision and goals

Establish a financial sustainability plan for the platform services that aligns with the unit.

Advocate and establish adaptive planning within AbSPORU initiatives to act, assess results and utilize
setbacks as learning opportunities. Consistently monitor results and modify assumptions and approaches
accordingly. Identify and communicate success metrics, strategic goals and objectives, and impact.
Build trust, partnerships and capitalize on connections among people, ideas and opportunities.
Demonstrate and promote research excellence, transparency, and integrity in all activities and interactions.
Foster a climate that inspires and enables others to creatively identify and pursue excellence within and
outside AbSPORU, as well as the health care system (e.g., strategic clinical networks).

Apply change management principles and build understanding and consensus within clinical networks;
identify obstacles and support the transformation of health service delivery.

$15,000 per annum