Director of Research and Innovation

The Atmospheric Fund

  • Salary: $90,000 (annual salary, prorated for actual time worked)
  • Location: Toronto; remote office during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 30th Sep 2021 EDT

Job Description

We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and encourage candidates to apply early!

What we’re looking for

TAF is seeking an interim Director of Research and Innovation to provide strategic direction and quality control for a wide range of in-house and collaborative research, evaluation, knowledge gathering and knowledge dissemination initiatives that advance TAF’S mandate.

This is a full-time, eight month contract reporting to the VP of Programs and Policy. Estimated start date October 15, 2021.

About The Atmospheric Fund (TAF)

TAF is a regional climate agency with a $90 million endowment fund to invest in innovative low-carbon solutions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and we collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors. We advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. We’re particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits in addition to carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating local jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society.

We are a registered non-profit, with a Board of Directors appointed by the City of Toronto, made up of City councillors and citizens. Learn more at

Working at TAF

Talk to our staff and they will tell you that working at TAF comes with amazing advantages. We’re on the leading edge of urban climate change solutions and our work makes a tangible difference. We build meaningful relationships with all kinds of stakeholders – from thought leaders advancing new concepts and approaches to the people who implement change on the ground. Join our dedicated and collaborative team to contribute to the value and impact of our work.

Building an inclusive community with a shared purpose is critical to our work and mandate. We are EqualX30 signatories and believe that teams work best when the people within them are diverse in background and approach, including diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, and all the other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

Virtual Office Update: TAF staff are currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we have no way of knowing when we’ll return to our downtown Toronto location.  We are open to hiring candidates from different locations across the GTHA. We expect that all staff will need to meet in person on occasion when we can safely return to our office.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Update: As an agency of the City of Toronto, TAF has adopted the City’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy, and will require proof of vaccination from all new employees, unless they are unable to obtain a vaccine for a reason related to a protected ground set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

Position Responsibilities

As Director of Research and Innovation, you’ll contribute to TAF strategy and work by capturing, articulating insights and learnings, and creates and champions processes that enable innovation, to accelerate and scale climate outcomes.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll do:

  • Provide leadership and oversight to all research projects both TAF-led, as well as TAF-funded, to ensure fit with strategic priorities, synergy with other initiatives, avoid duplication, and contribute to a growing knowledge base.

  • Create and manage TAF’s research agenda, identifying areas of priority and need for research and innovation as it relates to TAF’s mandate and urban climate action, recommending approaches and methodologies, allocating resources, providing project sponsorship and support, and ensuring progress and outcomes are communicated.

  • Create processes to enable greater innovation across TAF and among TAF stakeholders to push scale, multi-solving and positive co-benefits of climate action in the GTHA.

  • Provide direction, methodological support, and quality control for all TAF-led research projects, and collaborative research with external partners, such as academic institutions.

  • Oversee and track TAF’s involvement in advisory and stakeholder committees by reviewing strategy, research proposals and reports; identifying areas of synergy and avoiding duplication; supporting participating staff with insights and ensuring optimal use of TAF resources.

  • Knowledge dissemination (external) – Distill findings, articulate learnings and outcomes; and collaborate with TAF’s Communications team to ensure rapid and regular knowledge dissemination; research and insights publication, and knowledge transfer in support of TAF objectives.

  • Knowledge integration (internal) – Champion and lead internal data, information and knowledge management and sharing to ensure that all TAF teams are aware of and benefit from TAF-supported research.

  • Planning and fundraising – Define resource needs, prepare budgets and proposals for TAF research, including supporting fundraising activities for internally managed research projects or project components, in collaboration with project teams.

  • Team management and coordination – Provide leadership and direction to TAF’s Carbon & Co-Benefits Quantification Team, including coaching, supervision, and development of team members; actively participate and engage with teams across TAF.

 The kind of candidate we’re looking for

This is a short-term contract and we’re looking for someone who can really hit the ground running. You’ll be the right person for the job if you have knowledge, understanding and strong curiosity on topics of climate change and related and intersecting issues including social impacts, poverty and inequality, racism and justice, health outcomes, economics, technologies, trends, and more.

We require the following qualifications:

  • Doctorate degree in a relevant field, or relative equivalent of research and innovation experience.

  • Demonstrated success in identifying and framing project-related fundraising opportunities, drafting and submitting proposals, and stewarding writing and funder relationship management.

  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

  • Experience leading research projects of all scales, resulting in published research reports, journal articles, conference presentations, and other outward-facing efforts.

  • Strong written and spoken communications skills, especially related to distilling complex topics into key messages, presenting data in useful ways, reaching and influencing audiences.

  • Aptitude and experience leading strategy; managing, developing, and coaching a high-performing, technical team; and creating a culture of learning, innovation, and creative thinking.


In addition to your salary, you'll benefit from:

  • Paid time off:

    • 15 vacation days per calendar year, pro-rated for partial years of employment.

    • A generous and compassionate personal leave policy.

    • TAF-wide office closures on 13 City designated and statutory holidays, as well as the three business days between Boxing Day and New Years’ Day.

    • Support for your virtual office during pandemic, including hardware and stipend for internet and other expenses.

    • Access to financial support and time off to pursue relevant professional development.

  • The Intangible Stuff:

    • In consultation with your supervisor, flexible work hours and work-from-home options (beyond COVID-19).

    • Work that directly helps to reduce carbon emissions and improve people’s health, create new green jobs, boost urban resiliency, and contribute to a more fair and just GTHA.

    • Staff socials and lunches, picnics, and many other activities.

    • Team-wide trainings and learning.

    • Input to and participation in TAF’s strategic planning.

    • A work environment that’s seeking to be open and inclusive, supported by a staff-led Social and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee

Next steps

All you need to do is start the process by clicking on the blue button on the top right.

No CV/resume is required for the process. You’ll answer some questions that are related to your day-to-day job. After the job closes, your answers will go through our sift process: all answers will be anonymised, randomised and then reviewed by a panel of reviewers.

If you are shortlisted, we’ll invite you to the next step, which includes an interview that will be conducted through a videoconference. Also, we love giving and getting feedback, so at the end of the application process we'll share how well you performed and will welcome your comments on the process.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You won't need a CV to apply to this job

Applications closed Fri 1st Oct 2021


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You won't need a CV to apply to this job

Start your de-biased application