Job Posting: Director – Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences

  • Date: 10/07/2020

Applications are invited for the position of DIRECTOR of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) for a term of up to five years, beginning on July 1, 2021. This appointment is renewable.


PIMS is a consortium of universities designed to support the mathematical sciences through its distributed structure that includes sites at Simon Fraser University, the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Manitoba, the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Victoria, and the University of Washington. PIMS is supported by these universities, the Federal Government of Canada through NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council), and Provincial Governments.


The PIMS Director is expected to have a distinguished record of scholarship in the mathematical sciences and possess superior leadership and management skills. The Director provides leadership at all PIMS sites for all components of the Institute's mandate:

  • promotion of research in the mathematical sciences
  • support of education, training and communication in the mathematical sciences
  • creation of links and partnerships between mathematical scientists in the academic community and the private and government sectors
  • enhancement and creation of mathematical partnerships within Canada and with groups throughout the world.

The Director is responsible for the administrative management of the PIMS Central Office in Vancouver, is a member of the PIMS Board and Scientific Review Panel, ensures continued good relations with Canada's federal and provincial governments and their appropriate agencies, and continues to explore new opportunities for growth with these and other agencies. The PIMS Director is expected to play a continued leadership role in PRIMA (the Pacific Rim Mathematical Association) and is also Director of the International Research Laboratory of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at PIMS. Comprehensive information on PIMS may be found at:


The new Director will normally have a faculty position at one of the Canadian PIMS universities. Outstanding external applicants would be considered for a faculty position at one of the PIMS affiliated universities.


A letter of application together with a CV (preferably 10 pages or less in PDF Format) should be emailed to with the subject line containing only “Director Search and last name of the applicant”. The letter of application should describe your interest and qualifications and should include a statement related to equity, diversity and inclusivity (see further details below). Expressions of interest, enquiries, or nominations are welcome and can also be sent to the same address.


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, 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, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. PIMS welcomes applicants with the experiences and competencies that can contribute to our principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. In your application, please include a statement describing your experience working with diverse groups of colleagues and students, and your contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion within your discipline.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, however Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.


The Search Committee will consider dossiers beginning on October 7, 2020. After this date, applications and nominations will be considered until the position is filled.

The Position of PIMS Director

Reports to: PIMS Board of Directors


Start Date: July 1, 2021


Location: PIMS Central Office, University of British Columbia, 4176-2207 Main Mall Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4 Canada

Structure of PIMS

The Pacific Institute for the mathematical sciences (PIMS) was created in 1996. PIMS is a distributed institute with offices located at its ten member universities in western Canada and Washington state. More details of the history of PIMS and its structure can be found at The current PIMS Director, Prof. James Colliander, has served since 2016 and has chosen to not seek renewal of his term when it ends on June 30, 2021. See the Director’s letter of August 4, 2020. Here is a list of past PIMS Directors.


PIMS is primarily supported by its member universities, the federal government of Canada through NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) and provincial governments. The incoming director has a unique opportunity to lead PIMS into its 25th anniversary year and to build on PIMS’ successes in the advancement of its multifaceted mission. This will include the preparation of the November 2021 grant application to NSERC’s new Discovery Institutes Support (DIS) grants program.


The Director is responsible for the broad oversight of all aspects of PIMS’ scientific, training and outreach programs, and for the external relations of the institute with funding sources and other similar organizations. The Director works closely with the Board of Directors, the Deputy Director, the ten Site Directors, supporting individuals/organizations, and PIMS funding agencies to pursue the PIMS mission and seek new opportunities to serve the mathematical community. This is an exceptional opportunity to lead a large network of outstanding mathematical scientists and initiate new collaborations between universities, departments, and individuals.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Demonstrated scientific leadership skills
  • Outstanding record of research accomplishments in the mathematical sciences
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in management of all PIMS activities. Information about PIMS’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee can be found here
  • Successful record in grant proposal development and strong interest in fundraising
  • Enthusiasm for public outreach and training in the mathematical sciences at all levels
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills applicable to the management of distributed resources of PIMS
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills in a wide range of scientific and public contexts
  • Knowledge of and understanding of PIMS’ structure and programs
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a team player
  • PIMS Staff
    • Deputy Director
    • Chief Operating Officer
    • PIMS Program Manager
    • Executive Assistant
    • PIMS Systems and Technology Manager
    • Communications Coordinator

    A full list of PIMS Central Office staff can be found here.