Associate Professor or Professor (Tenure), Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neuroprosthetics
University of British Columbia
The School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME) and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver campus, are recruiting an outstanding researcher to be nominated for the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Neuroprosthetics at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor with tenure. The CERC program, Canada’s highest research chair appointment, is designed to attract and support world-renowned researchers and their teams to Canada. The CERC nomination is subject to review and final approval by the CERC Secretariat. The CERC award, if successful, will be for $1 million per year for eight years. World-class researchers are invited to express their interest as soon as possible to meet the program deadline of October 13, 2022.
The School of Biomedical Engineering is a partnership between the Faculties of Medicine and Applied Science. The School is a nucleus for education and training, research, and innovation in biomedical engineering; creating new knowledge, new academic and training programs, and fostering translation and innovation. The School is currently responsible for 350+ undergraduate students, 140+ graduate students and 30+ faculty. Over time, the School will be responsible for 400+ undergraduate students, 200+ graduate students and 40+ faculty. For more information about the School of Biomedical Engineering, please visit https://www.bme.ubc.ca/.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is one of the largest academic units at UBC, with approximately 400 graduate students and 1,000 undergraduate students. Areas of strength include micro/nanotechnologies, medical imaging, wearable devices, low power electronics, communications and artificial intelligence. For more information about the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering please see https://www.ece.ubc.ca/.
The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neuroprosthetics provides a unique opportunity for a researcher focused on the development and demonstration of neural interface technologies to engage with an extraordinary group of interdisciplinary colleagues. Neuroprosthetics, including brain-machine interfaces, involves: neural recording and/or stimulation electrodes, including materials and fabrication; electronic hardware and software for signal conditioning, analysis and control; bio-inspired approaches, and coupled electromechanical devices. Key to success is chairholder expertise in some or all of these areas. Their expertise will be complementary to the deep knowledge and experience UBC currently offers in neurosurgery, spinal cord rehabilitation and repair, stroke, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, traumatic brain injury, neural circuits, Alzheimer’s, electronics, microfabrication and artificial intelligence. Partnership opportunities include:
• SBME, ECE and UBC’s International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD), which leads and participates in major international efforts in spinal cord regeneration and rehabilitation, including Mend the Gap (funded by Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund), and numerous projects funded by the Department of Defense;
• The Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL), which is home to research strength in flexible electronics, nanofabrication, biomaterials, and nanomaterials;
• The Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS), which provides expertise in artificial intelligence, machine vision, human computer interfaces, robotics, medical imaging, sensing and data science;
• UBC also has strength in brain circuits, cognition, and motor systems and control, with many national and international collaborations run through the Dynamic Brain Circuits Research Cluster of Excellence.
The CERC holder will have a vision and track record for demonstrating aspects of practical neuroprosthestics in animal, pre-clinical and/or clinical applications. The CERC will also work with and complement the excellence at UBC in engineering and neuroscience.
Reporting to the Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering and the Head of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the successful candidate will lead a strong, externally-funded research program, participate in teaching in both Biomedical Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering, with a reduced teaching load during their term as the CERC holder, participate in leadership roles in these units and provide service and leadership within these units, the University, and the broader community.
The successful candidate will:
• have a PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline;
• be an internationally recognized leader of a multi- and inter-disciplinary research program with at least 8 years of internationally competitive research experience in neuroprosthetics or related areas;
• have made a major societal impact, as appropriate based on career stage (in cases where the nominee is a Canadian Indigenous - First Nations, Inuit or Métis - researcher based in Canada, the impact can be at the international level and/or at the community, regional or national level); and
• have demonstrated leadership in research and teaching that is creative, innovative, and collaboration-based.
Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for a CERC position. It is expected that the successful candidate will qualify for a full-time appointment at UBC School of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor and expected to be promoted to full Professor within one or two years of the nomination. Nominees from outside the academic sector must possess the qualifications necessary to be appointed at these levels.
If appointed at the rank of Associate Professor, the successful candidate will have demonstrated evidence of successful teaching and ability to direct graduate students, evidence of sustained and productive scholarly activity with a reputation well beyond their institution with at least a national recognition and at the initial stage of gaining international recognition as an Associate Professor of a senior stature, and must be willing to participate in the affairs of the School and the University. The successful candidate will have demonstrated ability to effectively communicate and interact with empathy, understanding and respect of diverse and divergent perspectives and behaviours.
If appointed at the rank of Professor, the successful candidate will have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and a demonstrated track record in both creating and sustaining an independent research program with international recognition, as well as being an effective and accomplished educator. The successful candidate must be able to establish and maintain high-quality, productive relationships across cultural differences and work in a collaborative and inclusive manner, fostering equitable experiences and a respectful environment for all staff, faculty, and students. The successful candidate will have demonstrated evidence of ability to excel in teaching and will be expected to provide service to the University and the broader academic professional community.
Applicants must be registered, or be eligible to register, with Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC).
CERC holders will have strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and a commitment to creating a welcoming community where those who are historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized are treated equitably, feel respected, and belong. UBC recognizes that inclusion is built by individual and institutional responsibility through continuous engagement with diversity to inspire people, ideas, and actions for a better world. As Canada’s highest research chair appointees, UBC CERCs will have a unique and profound impact on our commitments to these values.
The anticipated start date will be July 1st, 2023, or a date to be mutually agreed, within 12 months after the notice of the award in Spring 2023 and once acceptance has been signed by all parties. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to final budgetary approval. Competitive start-up packages, relocation, housing assistance and infrastructure development funds will be provided.
The CERC nomination is subject to review and final approval by the CERC Secretariat. The position is conditional on the award of the CERC to the selected candidate and the successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the CERC application.
Program nominees are not restricted by their nationality or their country of residence. Non-Canadian Chairholders may work in Canada under the procedures by Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In some cases, a work permit may be expedited. If an institution nominates a researcher who is currently at a Canadian institution, the institution must demonstrate the net benefit to the country in moving the researcher from one Canadian institution to another.
Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.
UBC is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive, non-discriminatory and accessible work environment for all members of its workforce. UBC is also committed to ensuring that the application and interview process is accessible to all applicants. If you require accommodations or have questions about UBC benefits, services or accommodations policies, please contact Sue Lebrun at email@example.com in Workplace Health Services.
UBC recognizes the legitimate impact that leaves (e.g., parental leaves, illness or disability, COVID-19 impacts) can have on research achievement and commits to ensuring that leaves are taken into careful consideration. Candidates are encouraged to highlight in their application how interruptions have had an impact on their career.
This position may be located within a health-care facility. Therefore, the successful candidate will be required to provide verification of full vaccination against Covid-19 provided prior to the start date, as required by the provincial health mandate.
To apply: Interested candidates must apply via https://apply.ece.ubc.ca. Complete applications will include a detailed curriculum vitae, a statement of teaching interests and accomplishments (up to 2 pages), a research statement, an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) statement describing experience working with a diverse student body and contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion on campus within their discipline, and the names and contact information of four arm’s length references, external to UBC and to the candidate’s previous institution. Only references of shortlisted candidates will be contacted, once confirmation is received from the candidate. Incomplete applications will be reviewed, but formal consideration requires a complete application. As part of the application process, applicants will be asked to complete a voluntary employment equity survey for which the link will be emailed to applicants upon receipt of applications.
Review of applications will begin on May 23, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. All applications received by June 15, 2022 will receive full consideration and we will not finalize the long list until June 15, 2022. Inquiries about the position may be sent to Professor Steve Wilton, Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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