Paid Research Assistant Opportunity | Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

1453496536_resolutions-19The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), centered at York University, is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that is committed to conducting and mobilizing research so as to contribute to real and sustainable solutions to homelessness.

Full Posting Available Here >

NOTE: this is an external posting

Type of Position: Contract – 1 year with possibility of renewal

Salary Range: $45,000 – $55,000

Closing Date : 16 April 2017


The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), centered at York University, is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that is committed to conducting and mobilizing research so as to contribute to real and sustainable solutions to homelessness.

The Research Assistant (RA) is responsible for providing assistance in the oversight and coordination of the COH’s research and evaluation activities and outputs, related to both the COH and the new Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab (YHSIL), including planning, organizing, and conducting data collection and analysis. The RA should have advanced skills in quantitative methods and analysis.

The RA works closely with the Directors of the COH and Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab, including Director of Evaluation, the COH staff, the COH Council, project teams, regional and national partner organizations, as well as people with lived experience of homelessness.


Project Implementation

  • Assist in the monitoring of the day-to-day research and evaluation activities.
  • Assist in the operational and methodological management of research and evaluation activities.
  • Maintain effective consultative and collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Participate in meetings and prepare necessary meeting materials. Serve as the note taker during these meetings when asked.

Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting

  • Conduct literature reviews.
  • Provide assistance in the development of quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methods.
  • Provide assistance in the development of quantitative and qualitative data analysis strategies.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative data analyses.
  • Provide assistance in the interpretation of the quantitative and qualitative results and in the presentation of results.
  • Assist in the development of technical reports, journal articles, and other necessary documents.


  • Communicate with stakeholders to keep them informed of the research and evaluation activities.
  • Establish good working relationships with partners and other stakeholders.

Knowledge Mobilization

  • Distill research findings into plain language documents that are easily accessible to a non-academic audience.
  • Prepare content for publication, including researching, writing, editing, reports, toolkits, case studies, executive summaries, policy and media relations documents, etc.

Other responsibilities as delegated by the Director

  • Carry out other responsibilities as assigned by and agreed with the Directors of the COH and YHSIL.


Educational Requirements

Graduate degree preferred, or a B.A. (Honours) with 2+ years of experience.

Experience Requirements

2+ years of recent related experience, preferably in an academic or NGO environment. This includes experience with research project development, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, and knowledge mobilization. Candidates with strong skills in quantitative methodologies are preferred. Candidates should also be familiar with qualitative methodologies and homelessness and social justice issues.

Skills and Competencies

  • Advanced skills in quantitative data methodology and analysis. Significant experience working with relevant software (e.g., SPSS). The completion of graduate-level courses on statistics is an asset.
  • Strong skills in qualitative data methodology and analysis, including working with relevant software (e.g., NVivo).
  • Experience with data collection (e.g., surveys, key informant interviews, focus groups, etc.).
  • Knowledge of homelessness and social justice issues, particularly Housing First.
  • Knowledge of evaluation theory and practice.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; excellent organizational, planning, coordination and analytical skills.
  • Excellent teamwork skills.

The Research Assistant should demonstrate competence in the following areas:

  • Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behaviour and business practices, and ensure that own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the COH.
  • Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the COH.
  • Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Organize: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
  • Think Strategically: Assesses options and actions based on trends and conditions in the environment, and the vision and values of the COH.


Your complete application package must include a cover letter, resume, and the names of at least 3 work related references. Please ensure that “COH Research Assistant” is quoted in the email subject line. Submit applications to thehub[at]

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Priority consideration is given to Canadian Citizens and permanent residents in Canada. We are committed to Employment Equity and encourage applications from all qualified candidates.