Head of Chemistry

UBC Okanagan
Salary Not specified
May 16, 2021
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus

Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science 

Head of Chemistry – Associate or Full Professor Competition  (JR2242)


The Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Okanagan Campus, invites applications for the position of Head of Chemistry and Tier 1 Principal’s Research Chair in Computational Chemistry (broadly defined).

UBC Okanagan offers a globally recognized degree at a rapidly growing campus beautifully situated in the interior of British Columbia. Chemistry https://chemistry.ok.ubc.ca/ is one of four administrative units and 7 departments within the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science. Fifteen Chemistry faculty are actively engaged in mentoring >940 undergraduate and graduate students. Our faculty have attracted more than $15 million in research funding for >355 chemistry research projects since 2005. Undergraduate programs include majors and minors in Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Biochemistry. Two graduate programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology attract talented graduate students from both national and international institutions. Research in the Department spans the traditional fields of chemistry and biochemistry, with particular emphasis on chemical biology and biophysics, catalysis, natural products, metabolomics, computational chemistry, analytical glycobiology, multi-omics, and biochemical structure and mechanism.


The Head will join Chemistry at the most exciting time in our history.  The Department of Chemistry takes pride in being a highly collaborative, collegial, supportive and multidisciplinary group. We have national leaders in research and chemical education and have recruited a cohort of young, energetic, emerging leaders at the frontiers of chemistry and biochemistry, including Canada Research Chair and Michael Smith Scholars. The next Head will have a growth vision and innovative action plan to shape the research and teaching strategies for the Department of Chemistry during their term. In the ambassador role, the Head will strengthen the Department’s position and reputation nationally and internationally.


The Head’s position is a senior faculty appointment at the Full Professor or senior Associate Professor level. We seek a candidate with demonstrated excellence in research, teaching, leadership and administration skills, with a proven ability to lead and energize faculty, staff, and students. The Head will also be appointed as a Principal’s Research Chair under the broad umbrella of Computational Chemistry. Individuals with research strength in areas related to application of computers and/or theory development in chemistry, including but not limited to chemoinformatics; biophysics; chemical physics; machine learning; applied artificial intelligence; retrosynthesis; drug design and discovery; modeling and visualization; green energy initiatives; environmental and sustainable chemistry; electronic structure; molecular dynamics; complex system modelling; quantum chemistry; are encouraged to apply. Desirable attributes include a strong record of leadership experience, mentorship, published research, external funding, excellent interpersonal skills, and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Evidence of strong commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is required. As a Principal’s Research Chairholder, the successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate excellence in research and scholarship and make substantive contributions to research leadership within the Department and Faculty.


The Head will provide administrative, intellectual, and academic leadership of the Department and will serve on the Faculty of Science’s Leadership Team.  Responsibilities of the Head include overseeing the overall operation of the Chemistry department including mentoring and advocating for faculty and staff within the Faculty and the University. Direct experience with managing reappointment, tenure and promotion processes and familiarity with budget processes are considered assets. The Head will also work collaboratively with the Dean’s office and Leadership team to shape the directions and strengths of the newly created IK Barber Faculty of Science. The Head reports directly to the Dean of Science. 


The ideal candidate will also have a strong commitment to Indigenous engagement. As part of the University’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, UBC Okanagan has committed to supporting and implementing five key commitments, which can be found at https://ok.ubc.ca/about/indigenous-engagement/


The anticipated start date for the position is January 1, 2022.

UBC is one of the world’s leading universities, and is consistently ranked in the top 40. The university has two distinct campuses. At UBC’s Okanagan campus we embrace bold new ways of thinking. We welcome and celebrate people with passion, who need to make a difference. With 9,643 undergraduates and 1,065 graduate students, UBC Okanagan has grown to be a diverse and vibrant part of the Okanagan community.  Kelowna is connected by direct flights to major Canadian and USA cities and the region is considered one of the most desirable regions to live in Canada. For more information about the Okanagan Campus, see https://ok.ubc.ca. For more information about the Faculty of Science, see https://science.ok.ubc.ca.


For more information about UBC resources and opportunities, please visit http://www.hr.ubc.ca/faculty-staff-resources/. Information about the surrounding community can be found at: http://www.hr.ubc.ca/worklife-relocation/.



How to Apply

Applications are submitted online at https://hr.ubc.ca/careers-and-job-postings/faculty-careers (JR 2242)  Applications should include the following, compiled as a single continuous PDF file:


  • a cover letter that clearly identifies administrative experience, including a statement of the candidate’s philosophy or approach to leadership;
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • statement of a program of research and any related infrastructure needs;
  • statement of teaching interests and evidence of excellence in teaching;
  • a 1-page diversity statement (i.e., experience working within a diverse environment and your contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion on campus);
  • the name, title, and contact information of three referees.

Following a preliminary review of all applications, a short list of candidates selected for further consideration will be asked to provide letters from the referees.  Please state in your cover letter whether you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.  The deadline for application is June 15, 2021.


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.


The Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science at UBC Okanagan is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of our community. We ask that all applicants complete a voluntary survey at https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7UOT8mt1AI4giZD that will help us to assess the effectiveness of our efforts to reach a broad group of potential applicants.


Please direct inquiries to: 

Dr. Gino DiLabio


Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science 

e-mail: gino.dilabio@ubc.ca