Legal Advisor

Position Type Regular, On-Going

Employment Type Full Time

Salary Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

About Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university and a driver of the region’s intellectual, social and economic development. Located in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with an Agricultural Campus in Truro/Bible Hill, Dalhousie is a truly national and international university, with more than half of our almost 21,000 students coming from outside of the province. Our 6,000 faculty and staff foster a vibrant, purpose-driven community, that celebrated 200 years of academic excellence in 2018.

Job Summary

The Office of Research Services (ORS) administers more than $214M annually in research funding. Reporting to the Vice-President Research and Innovation, the Legal Advisor will oversee all legal issues arising in the ORS concerning research applications, contracts/agreements and awards and maintains a close working relationship with the University’s Legal Counsel Office.

Key Responsibilities

Draft, negotiate and provide counsel on contracts and agreements concerning research under Dalhousie University. Prepare, review and negotiate research contracts/agreements that are consistent with Dalhousie’s and sponsor’s policies, and in particular review and advise on intellectual property rights, university indirect/overhead costs, university publication rights, legal liabilities, and indemnities. Review, approve and recommend for signature research contracts/agreements by the Vice-President Research and Innovation.
Analyze potential liabilities, insurance coverage, regulatory requirements, and commitment of resources (short and long term) associated with the proposed contractual arrangement and devise strategies to eliminate or minimize risks and costs.
Evaluate, interpret and negotiate costs, terms, and conditions of research contracts/agreements undertaken by the University that are proposed by external clients. Review work proposals for ethical, financial, and legal conformity to the University and sponsor’s policies. For clinical trials, ensure proposed contracts are consistent with policies and procedures of the affiliated hospital and relevant Faculty.
Authorize the opening of research contract accounts. Consult with the Manager, Research & Special Purpose Funds in Financial Services to ensure contracts remain within the allocated budget; discuss appropriate action should spending issues occur.
Propose, develop, implement, oversee, review and advise on University research policies related to the research and innovation enterprise.
Interpret legal documents and provide advice to the VPRI, senior officials, ORS and other administrative units, and academic units regarding research at the University. Act as one of two designated officials for Controlled Goods at the University. Respond to requests from external sponsors regarding University policies and guidelines and sponsor requirements.


The successful applicant will be eligible for hybrid work (combination of in-person work on campus and remote work) as agreed by all parties based on operational requirements and university guidelines.

Dalhousie’s vaccine mandate has been suspended at this time, and employees no longer need to provide proof of full vaccination. However, health and safety risks to our community will continue to be monitored and a vaccine mandate may be reinstated if necessary.

Required Qualifications

Undergraduate degree plus a Bachelor of Laws degree with a minimum of 5 years experience as a practicing lawyer in the areas of negotiation and contract law (or equivalent combination of training and experience).
Practicing member in good standing of the Barrister’s Society of Nova Scotia, or eligible to become a practicing member.
Working knowledge of intellectual property issues, copyrights, and patents.
Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Exceptional communication skills (written and oral).
Proven ability to work efficiently and effectively in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.


Familiarity with university research, issues, culture and organization.

Job Competencies

The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate proficiency in Dalhousie’s core and leadership competencies (, in particular:

– Integrity
– Respect & Inclusion
– Communication
– Service
– Change & Innovation

Additional Information

Dalhousie University supports a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Our total compensation package includes a defined benefit pension plan, health and dental plans, a health spending account, an employee and family assistance program and a tuition assistance program.

Application Consideration

Applications from current university employees and external candidates are assessed concurrently. Current university employees will be given special consideration.

We sincerely appreciate all applications and note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted directly by the hiring department or Human Resources.

Diversity Statement

Dalhousie University commits to achieving inclusive excellence through continually championing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. The university encourages applications from Indigenous persons (especially Mi’kmaq), persons of Black/African descent (especially African Nova Scotians), and members of other racialized groups, persons with disabilities, women, persons identifying as members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. For more information, please visit

Link to Job Posting:

Job Deadline/Expiry Date: 01/04/2023