Manager, Marketing & Communications

Back to Blogs Posted: January 24, 2020
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
January 24, 2020
Vancouver, Canada
Job Type
Level of Experience
Established professional
Membership #


Since its inception in 2001, The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) has been a key participant in BC's health research and life sciences ecosystem. Funded by the province of British Columbia, MSFHR provides funding to researchers through a suite of awards designed to support and retain the talented people whose research improves the health of British Columbians, addressing systemic priorities, creating jobs and adding to the knowledge economy.

The Foundation works as a trusted partner with government, the health research community and the health system to support better health outcomes through research and its translation into new treatments, cures, practices and solutions. Learn more at


Position Summary

Passionate about telling the stories of science and research? Willing to roll up your sleeves to get the work done? Enjoy working in a dynamic organization with a welcoming culture?

We are looking for a Manager, Marketing & Communications to provide strategic and tactical communications advice and support to MSFHR departments and projects, with a focus on supporting the Foundation’s core funding programs. This role leads strategic projects such as website re-design, annual recognition event and, in 2020, an anniversary campaign. The Manager, Marketing & Communications manages a coordinator, including day-to-day direction, and builds collaborative relationships with other MSFHR team members, external consultants and vendors.


Key Responsibilities

Communications planning

  • Develop and execute communications plans for internal and external projects and activities, with a focus on our funding programs, in consultation with relevant staff.
  • Develop and implement clear, consistent messaging for new projects and programs, in line with existing guidelines and brand voice.
  • Collaborate with staff across the Foundation to promote the Foundation’s work and its impact in BC.
  • Build relationships with media outlets, university communications teams and other stakeholders, and proactively look for opportunities to share information and pitch stories showcasing the impact of MSFHR and MSFHR-funded researchers.
  • Support the Director, Marketing and Communications with issues management, conducting research and developing messages in response to emerging issues.

Content strategy and development

  • Work independently and in collaboration with Foundation staff and external experts to develop a wide range of communications materials to promote MSFHR’s brand and value proposition (e.g. newsletter and web copy, blogs, interviews, speeches, marketing materials, social media content, presentations and reports).

 Digital asset management

  • Maintain all functions of MSFHR’s website, including routine updates, ongoing analytics and measurement, and structural changes to improve user experience.
  • Provide day-to-day management of MSFHR’s digital channels including content development, environmental scanning, maintenance and ongoing updates, and evaluation and analytics.
  • Provide strategic direction and recommendations to the Director, Marketing & Communications regarding website and digital channels.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Marketing and Communications, plan and implement MSFHR’s digital communications, such as e-newsletter and online publications, including liaising with graphic designers and content management contractors as required.
  • Recommend and develop online engagement strategies for specific MSFHR programs and departments.

Leadership and operations

  • Manage and motivate direct reports (currently a Marketing Communications & Design Coordinator); includes recruiting, setting direction, mentoring and supporting professional development, and assessing performance.
  • Participate in the development of departmental strategic plans, working closely with all members of the marketing & communications team and stakeholder relations.
  • Support development and monitoring of relevant parts of departmental budget.

Education/Work Experience

  • Undergraduate degree in marketing, communications, journalism, digital media or related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in a communications role including 4 years of hands-on experience working with digital communications including social media.
  • Supervisory or management experience.
  • Project management experience, including responsibility for developing project plans and timelines, and managing external suppliers or contractors.
  • Work experience in a research, academic or health care setting an asset.
  • OR Equivalent combination of education, training and experience.


  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, with a demonstrated ability to write in a variety of styles for a range of audiences, and to translate complicated scientific concepts into lay language.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic and tactical communications plans, coupled with excellent copy-editing and proof-reading skills.
  • Organized, with a proven ability to identify priorities, complete multiple tasks and deliver results on deadline; demonstrated ability to manage projects.
  • Team player with ability to work in a collaborative manner with diverse groups and be flexible in response to evolving organizational needs.
  • Experienced in building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders across various levels and organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, and willing to learn.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in social media, including best practices and tools.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide total website management, including advanced editing skills using a content management system, content strategy, usability and information architecture skills and a search engine optimization and web analytics abilities.
  • Solid understanding of HTML, content management systems (e.g. Drupal, WordPress or Joomla), knowledge of CSS, and Flash.
  • Comprehensive computer literacy including demonstrated intermediate level skills with Microsoft Office programs.
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and multimedia practices (online video, podcasts, animation, music, online forums, chat, etc.) are assets.

How to Apply

If this sounds like you and you would like to play a role in maximizing the impact of health research in BC, please submit your resume, cover letter and portfolio online at We thank everyone for their interest but only suitable candidates will be contacted.

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