PolicyWise for Children & Families (PolicyWise) is recruiting a Research Director, Data Initiatives.

PolicyWise exists to improve child, family and community well-being through leading, creating and mobilizing research and evaluation for evidence-informed policy and practice. PolicyWise distinguishes itself through our leadership in generating evidence to inform social policy, our collaborative approach and organizational structure: a bridge between government, academia and the community.

PolicyWise partners with multiple provincial Ministries on the Child and Youth Data Laboratory (CYDL) initiative. The CYDL studies issues, policies and practices affecting Alberta’s children and youth by linking and analyzing cross-government administrative data (e.g., Health, Education, Advanced Education, Children’s Services, Community and Social Services, Justice and Solicitor General). The work of the CYDL enables policy makers and service delivery organizations to make better decisions related to services, design of programs, allocation of resources and policy development. The CYDL is one of many data-related initiatives that PolicyWise leads or supports with a broad set of stakeholders including government, community organizations, and academic researchers.

In addition to the CYDL, PolicyWise leads and supports other secondary data use projects such as the SAGE (Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence) collaborative platform.

This is a full-time permanent position reporting to the Chief Analytics Officer. The position starts as soon as possible and is based in Edmonton, AB. An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Analytics Officer, the Research Director, Data Initiatives is responsible for providing leadership and key strategic advice on the scientific direction of the CYDL and other data initiatives. The position will be leading the process of setting research agendas, conducting research, leading knowledge mobilization strategies and completing projects that further the mission of PolicyWise – to improve the well-being of children, their families and communities by creating and mobilizing evidence into policy and practice.

Major Duties

Leadership, Team Building and Management

 - Lead the strategic development of research priorities and research agendas.

- Work with the CYDL research team,  and work with partnering Ministries, community, and other PolicyWise stakeholders to conceptualize, design and implement research projects.

- Develop advanced research designs using appropriate methodologies.

- Work with the Director of Data Operations on effective data collection/acquisition procedures including identifying data sources and appropriate data elements from research partners and evaluating the data quality.

- Lead, inspire, coach and mentor a multidisciplinary team of Research Scientists.

- Develop research proposals, project charters, project-specific work plans, and methods of measuring progress.


Analysis and Reporting

- Lead the analysis planning and process as well as the collaboration with research partners through chairing the Research Working Group.

- Keep abreast with current scientific literature and research methodology in social and public policy related research areas

- Develop a knowledge base for programs, services, and policies of relevant data holdings.

- Manage, analyze, and interpret quantitative data to provide implications for policy and service.

- Generate research and analytics information products including innovative data visualizations to inform policy.


Knowledge Mobilization / Relationship Management

- Lead the process in working with project partners, stakeholders and PolicyWise staff to develop and implement knowledge mobilization strategies for research results to reach broad audiences in a timely and effective manner.

- Work collaboratively within PolicyWise on priority initiatives of cross-sector policy-relevant research and analysis.

- Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with policy-makers, researchers, and community partners.

- Promote and represent PolicyWise across academic, policy and practice communities.

- Work with research project teams on project details, resolve stakeholder concerns, and develop innovative ways to inform policy and practice.


Special Projects

- Provide scientific input into other projects such as SAGE and PolicyWise evaluation projects.

- Participate in the review of incoming competitive grant applications for PolicyWise-administered grant programs.

- Other duties as assigned.


Required Qualifications

- PhD in a relevant field.

- Extensive experience in a research environment, especially in a leadership role.

- Excellent leadership skills and a strategic thinker.

- Strong background in research methodology, including study design, quantitative analysis, and reporting.

- Ability to conduct statistical analysis and create reports and presentations using a variety of software.

- Skilled in managing research and analysis processes.

- Experience in knowledge mobilization and delivery of scientific content and messages to decision makers.

- Able to proactively take initiative, multitask and work well under pressure.

- Effective collaborator with a variety of stakeholders.

- Content expertise in social and health science.

- High degree of technical proficiency and commitment to accuracy.

- Strong problem solving, critical thinking, and communication (oral and written) skills.

- Understanding of policy development in government sectors.



- Knowledge of data privacy and security issues.

- Familiarity or experience working with linked data.

- Experience working with administrative data.

- Experience planning and executing research programs of significant size.

- Skills in data visualization.

To apply for this position please submit your application (resume and cover letter) to Lisa Campbell, Director, Human Resources, PolicyWise for Children & Families at This competition will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

Posted By

PolicyWise for Children & Families

Contact Information


Edmonton, Alberta


Policy development and analysis

Positions For

Research Director

Date Posted

Thursday September 28, 2017