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Research Associate, National Security and Public Safety

The National Security and Public Safety team, within Public Policy, provides insights to senior decision makers in the private and public sectors across a wide range of knowledge areas linked to national security and public safety. This includes insights related to terrorism and counter-terrorism; corruption and organized crime; cyber-security and social media; emergency management and business continuity management; organizational and community resiliency; integrated and enterprise risk management; health and safety; legal processes and structures; critical infrastructure; public-private partnerships; and information sharing. The work of this group is recognized globally and provides the depth necessary to develop sound public policy, inform decision-makers, and enable the public and private sectors to work together more effectively.

Reporting to the Director, National Security and Strategic Foresight, the successful candidate will bring exceptional writing skills, intellectual curiosity, passion, professionalism and commitment to a culture that values quality, creativity and thought leadership. The successful candidate will be part of a professional research team and will design and undertake non-partisan, applied research for public policy and private sector decision-makers.

This is a permanent full-time position located in Ottawa and is available immediately.


The successful candidate will have the ability to think critically and respond quickly to multiple priorities and deadlines. As a Research Associate, you will be expected to conceptualize and conduct major research projects, on both strategic and operational security and safety issues, utilizing your experience with qualitative and quantitative research methodologies combined with your professional experience in the appropriate fields to produce high quality written work. Advanced written communication skills and strong project management skills, in addition to a strong customer service orientation and an inquisitive mind, are essential.

Principal Duties

  • Conduct and contribute to research projects in the areas of national security, public safety and if necessary, other areas of public policy, utilizing various qualitative and quantitative research methodologies (e.g., literature reviews, interviews, case studies, surveys, data analysis).
  • Write reports and articles (or sections thereof) on complex issues.
  • Design and implement surveys, and analyze results.
  • Produce high quality work and deliver on customer expectations.
  • Lead the delivery of research projects.
  • Deliver external presentations and webinars on relevant research topics.
  • Contribute to the group’s social media presence and outreach.
  • Work with the team to develop meeting agendas and content as well as research plans.
  • Effectively contribute to the development of a variety of research proposals.
  • Participate in and contribute to the facilitation of internal and external meetings.

Skills & Qualifications

  • A Masters degree or equivalent experience in a related field, such as political science, public policy, criminology, or security studies—with a qualitative or quantitative research focus.
  • A minimum of four years of research or equivalent experience in a professional, customer-oriented environment with responsibility for undertaking research and managing projects from inception to completion.
  • Advanced writing skills and proficiency in synthesizing complex concepts and information from a variety of sources.
  • Demonstrated success in handling multiple responsibilities.
  • Proven project management skills (establishing goals, priorities, deadlines and managing towards expected outcomes).
  • Strong content knowledge and/or experience in a range of security and public safety issues, including cyber security, emergency management, national security and terrorism would be an asset.
  • Ability to make recommendations or decisions based on a wide range of criteria and information.
  • Natural ability and willingness to share ideas with colleagues.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to effectively use social media channels to communicate with a broad audience.
  • A strong sense of teamwork, professionalism and customer focus.
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications.
  • Proficiency with SPSS or other statistical software is an asset.
  • Bilingualism is a definite asset.
  • Ability to travel within Canada/U.S. is a requirement.
  • Willingness to obtain a government security clearance.


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