Research Analyst
Open North
Montréal, QC

Do you want to put your academic training into practice and support public sector transformation? Are you passionate about digital technology and the future of digital government? Want to be part of a dynamic and growing team of social scientists engaging in interdisciplinary research on citizen-government interaction?

OpenNorth is looking for one Research Analystwith advanced analysis and policy experience and a background in political science or a related field.

Open North

Founded in 2011, OpenNorth is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization specialized in open data, open government, community engagement, open smart cities and civic technology. We work with Canada’s largest, most innovative, and connected cities. Our network extends across the country and globally through communities of practice and open government partners. Our work promotes the effective use of data as infrastructure facilitating sustained engagement between government, civil society, and the public.

Open North Applied Research Lab

Applied research has a key role at OpenNorth. Research is a foundational element to all projects and programs at OpenNorth and covers everything from planning and design, to implementation and evaluation of a project. The Applied Research Lab brings together all OpenNorth knowledge into a single, multidisciplinary unit. The Lab is comprised of researchers with backgrounds in the social sciences, such as geography and economics, and is working towards an interdisciplinary approach to data-related problems including mapping data ecosystems, choices of technologies, data management, standardization, and analysis.

OpenNorth recently received funding from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation to support the growth of the Applied Research Lab.

Job Description

OpenNorth is seeking one (1) individual with a strong social science background, inclined towards both theory and practice.

The successful candidate will have a background related to political science and text analysis. They will have completed research at the Master's level in political science or a related field, and will have experience authoring or co-authoring peer-reviewed publications. They will apply their knowledge to issues such as data management, policy and strategy, data literacy, and the design of approaches to citizen-government interaction.

The analyst will assume a hands-on role in a research team and be responsible for supporting and delivering a variety of research projects. These projects pertain to issues of citizen engagement, public policy, spatial data, and data standardization, at the municipal level. Projects are both local and international.

Specific to this position, the analyst will engage in supporting OpenNorth’s existing subgrant with the National Democratic Institute. The focus of this subgrant is to build capacity in public consultation, which requires experience with both automated and manual approaches to content analysis.

The analyst may collect data through methods such as online surveys, in-person interviews, focus groups, documentation or archive research, and more. The analysis may require both quantitative and qualitative methods, with the potential need for the development of scripts to automate data collection, data processing, and analysis. Analysts will also be required to apply their own critical thinking to synthesize information from multiple sources and domains.

Since the Applied Research Lab is a multidisciplinary team, analysts are required to be able to interact with and learn from other disciplines and their scholarly output, keep up with the latest developments in a number of domains, and broad make connections to domains outside of their work at OpenNorth. A strong affinity for reading and critical thought is a must at the OpenNorth Applied Research Lab.


This position will be situated under the Applied Research Lab and report to the Applied Research Lead.

This position involves working as part of our NDI subgrant - responsibilities will be split between the NDI and ARL streams of work.

  • Keep up-to-date with mainstream and academic discourse in fields related to OpenNorth’s work - engagement in (academic) discourse is a requirement at the Applied Research Lab
  • Plan and conduct literature reviews

- Perform environmental scans on select topics to monitor trends and cutting edge developments
-Provide written, comprehensive summaries on select topics for technical and non-technical audiences

  • Provide critical analysis on current and future developments in given topics and draw links to topical issues
  • Collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data by applying quantitative and qualitative research methods

- Conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis of text data;

  • Research and report on methods for processing and analyzing public consultation data (quantitative and qualitative) at large scales:

- Note: this will include analysis of Latin and Cyrillic alphabet texts

  • Document and report on analytical methods and processes, with a focus on replicability;

- Plan, design, create content and deliver workshops and webinars

  • Contribute to OpenNorth reports and presentations including writing, review, editing
  • Design and deliver the capacity building in a low-data literacy, low-numerical skills environment with government partners, local civil society organizations, and international donors and organizations;
  • Field travel abroad for periods of two weeks to three weeks at a time;
  • Learn new skills as needed and work with colleagues across disciplines.


  • Strong verbal and written communication, and interpersonal skills

- Strong reporting abilities, experience writing concise and comprehensive summaries

  • Graduate level degree in Political Science or an equivalent field related to political theory

OR graduate-level degree in Computer Science/Statistics with demonstrable research or work in Political Science or equivalent field in the social sciences

  • Demonstrable experience conducting social science research at the graduate level
  • Strong interest in open government, public participation, open data, government transparency and democratic processes
  • Strong quantitative data analysis skills

- Experience with computational and statistical methods for data analysis

  • Experience with qualitative data analysis, including content/text analysis

- Experience with manual approaches to content analysis

  • 3+ years experience with an object-oriented programming language

- Experience with R and/or Python

  • Bilingual English and French (this is an absolute requirement.Please do not apply if you are not bilingual)

- Speak, write English (native/fluent proficiency)
- Speak, write French (native/fluent proficiency)

  • Experience in didactic methods of teaching technical and numerical subjects to non-technical stakeholders
  • Experience in adult education methods
  • Experience/interest in non-latin language syntactic analysis and semantic analysis
  • Experience with Natural Language Processing and semantic analysis
  • Experience with sentiment analysis and network analysis
  • Experience with data modeling and data standardization
  • Experience/interest in data-driven policy and decision making
  • Experience in international and uncertain contexts


  • A passion for documenting and explicating methods
  • Attention to detail - you care about the individual words you use
  • You care about scale and scope, define your unit of analysis, and prefer causality to the circumstance
  • Critical thinking - understanding, and appreciation for a variety of modes of governance, government, and democratic institutions
  • Research interests and demonstrable record of thinking on open data, open government, data standards, or issues related to OpenNorth's work
  • Social science - deductive thinking
  • Independent thinker and worker - ability to distill client and supervisor feedback/direction into concrete problem definitions and solutions. Goes beyond minimum requirements to investigate and identify unstated needs and challenges of clients
  • Comfortable working in cross-cultural environments and teams across different time zones. Ability to cope with uncertainty and rapidly changing situations.

What we offer

  • Opportunity to travel to conduct field research in Canada and internationally, with a wide variety of organizations and partners
  • Opportunity to work with leading researchers across Canada and internationally
  • A stimulating and fast-paced work environment
  • A sunny office full of plants located in Mile-End, and a desk to call your own

Terms of the Position

  • This is a permanent position to be filled by early September 2019.
  • Regular hours, Monday to Friday, with occasional evening and weekend work.
  • This position is located in Montréal in OpenNorth’s office in the Mile-End.

How do I apply?

Submit your resume(maximum 2 pages), a cover letter, 1 code sample, and a minimum of 1 English and 1 French writing samples.

Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

(Note: incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applicants considered for an interview will be contacted)

Type d'emploi : Temps Plein, Permanent


  • Baccalauréat (Requis)


  • Anglais (Requis)
  • Français (Requis)