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Product Lead, Discovery Services

Digital Research Alliance of Canada
Remote, anywhere in Canada
Full Time
Salary Range
Interested candidates are asked to supply a statement that details salary expectations for the role.


The Digital Research Alliance of Canada (“The Alliance”) provides national-level research data management (RDM) support through its RDM team alongside advanced research computing (ARC) and research software (RS).  The RDM team collaborates and partners with stakeholders from across the research ecosystem to develop and coordinate expertise, platforms, services, technology, and training in support of research data management, with the goal of facilitating adoption of data stewardship best practices by researchers and institutions.

The Alliance is seeking a dynamic, information professional who has strong communication and collaborative skills and is eager to work on a pan-Canadian basis. The ideal candidate will bring prior experience and/or demonstrated interest in academic research and/or library issues, including research data management.

The Product Lead, Discovery Services leads platforms and services that support the discovery of Canadian research data. The Product Lead oversees strategic direction and operations for the FRDR Discovery Service, which aggregates Canadian research data from over 90 data repositories. This service provides a central location for research discovery, ensuring the reuse of data needed to conduct leading-edge research across disciplines. The discovery service indexes research from Canadian university repositories, government data portals, and repositories hosted at subject or discipline-specific research centres.  As part of supporting the FRDR Discovery Service, the Product Lead oversees an ongoing interface redesign project, with the goal of integrating FRDR’s text-based and map-based search capabilities. In addition to working with the FRDR Discovery Service, the Product Lead supports the work of all Research Data Management (RDM) Expert and Working Groups, in particular the work of the Discovery and Metadata Expert Group (DMEG) in its efforts to inform priorities for the FRDR Discovery Service. As a member of the RDM team, the Product Lead, Discovery Services reports to the Director of Research Data Management.



  • In close collaboration with the Alliance RDM Team, The Director of RDM, FRDR team, the FRDR Steering Committee and the Discovery and Metadata Expert Group this role will define the product vision, strategy, and roadmap for the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) Discovery Service.
  • Serve as a liaison between the FRDR technical team, and the Alliance RDM team, Communications & External Relations, and Strategy & Planning.
  • Work with the FRDR Operations Lead to define user stories and prioritize tasks in the development backlog.
  • Engage with users and conduct research to identify and document requirements.
  • Integrate user research and usability testing throughout the development process.
  • Define success metrics for the FRDR Discovery Service.
  • Develop, implement, and document procedures and workflows for operating the FRDR Discovery Service.
  • Consult with prospective and existing repository partners to facilitate inclusion in the FRDR Discovery Service.
  • Assist with development of the metadata harvester and OAI-PMH metadata feed, as needed.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders—including the RDM Network of Experts and the Alliance Federation—to inform priorities for new features.
  • Work with the Alliance and the Network of Experts to promote the FRDR Discovery Service and develop training materials related to data discovery.
  • Advise on RDM initiatives related to data discovery, including the DataCite Canada Consortium, as needed.



  • Masters-level degree in information management, library and information studies, computer science or related field, or equivalent;
  • Significant equivalent experience attained by a minimum of 5 years work experience;
  • Experience in a dynamic product management/coordination role, ideally in open research infrastructure;
  • Experience with data repository software and a working knowledge of data management best practices;
  • Experience overseeing all elements of the product development lifecycle and working with cross-functional teams;
  • Aptitude for complex, analytical work with an attention to detail, and the ability to manage multiple priorities and competing deadlines;
  • Highly developed writing and public speaking skills, particularly the ability to explain complex concepts to a wide variety of audiences;
  • Excellent organizational, time management, collaborative and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to interact with co-workers, project participants, co-workers, staff of other organizations and government with courtesy, discretion and tact.



Candidates with the following qualifications may be preferred. These should be explicitly described in the applicant’s cover letter:

  • Professional experience in an academic, special or research library, or equivalent relevant experience is highly desirable;
  • Experience creating and maintaining metadata, including a solid knowledge of established and emerging metadata standards;
  • Technical skills related to metadata harvesting and transformation (e.g. experience with scripting languages, APIs, and data structures);
  • Familiarity with geospatial data and metadata;
  • Previous experience working with a software development team is highly desirable;
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing in French and English.



In addition to a competitive salary and a rewarding career where you can truly make a difference in the Canadian research community, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that meets the various needs of our diverse team and that spans across Canada, including:

  • Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including:
    • Health 
    • Dental
    • Long-Term Disability
    • Life Insurance
    • Flexible Spending Account
    • Wellness Spending Account
    • Mental Health Supports
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • Paid Vacation 
  • Remote Work – Flex Hours


Please apply here


The Alliance recognizes that challenges remain in achieving the full participation of equity-seeking groups (including women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/​racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+) in research careers and is committed to identifying and eliminating barriers that may exist within its own hiring process, programs, and practices.