Job: Research Director

This role is a unique opportunity to investigate some of the most important questions around decarbonizing Canada’s economy.

As our Research Director, you will lead our policy research on a variety of topics including overseeing energy-economy modelling of net-zero pathways, pursuing questions around the cost impacts of carbon pricing, and assessing specific global climate policies to determine their suitability for Canada. All the research you lead will contribute to our ambitious public policy agenda.

At Clean Prosperity, our mission is to help Canada transition to a net-zero emissions economy in a way that is affordable for Canadians and generates economic growth all across the country. We believe the foundation of all climate policy is a steadily rising carbon price implemented fairly. We have been strong advocates for revenue-neutral carbon pricing and continue to advocate for improvements to the policy. Going forward we believe that governments must complement pricing with clear transition plans (based on open economic modelling), coordinate infrastructure build-outs (such as hydrogen and CO2 pipelines) and kick-start negative emission technologies so they can affordably scale up in the 2030s and 2040s.

We are passionate about what we do and we are looking for an equally passionate Research Director. We offer a fun, flexible, inspiring, creative, and collaborative work environment. Truly!

The Role

The Research Director will oversee all of our research programs, ranging from large ongoing modelling projects to discrete policy research to inform a briefing on a specific policy.

This is a senior role within the organization where you will be expected to lead major research programs, but you will also be rolling up your sleeves to do research yourself.

Your research responsibilities will include:

  • Identifying research questions to help advance the organization’s policy goals.
  • Conducting qualitative and quantitative research on key policy questions.
  • Overseeing the work of third-party researchers, such as modelling firms or subject matter experts.
  • Drafting reports of various lengths/formats to convey research findings, with a focus on policy recommendations.

A large share of your time, at least over the first year, will be dedicated to a major new research project that Clean Prosperity is developing on pathways to net-zero for Canada. The project will involve modelling several illustrative pathways in extensive detail, working with a third-party modelling firm, as well as undertaking a bottom-up analysis of the infrastructure required to achieve net-zero under different modelling scenarios. You will lead the study, including project-managing third-party experts/consultants, conducting your own research to inform the questions investigated and assumptions made, and helping write the reports that explain the key insights and implications.

Other projects you would contribute to and/or lead in your first 12 months might include: options for Canada to address carbon leakage concerns through mechanisms like a border carbon adjustment (BCA), and the potential opportunities and risks associated with scaling up carbon dioxide removal technologies in Canada.

In addition to large projects, you will provide research support to our Executive Director and policy team when specific questions emerge. This could include anything from writing a two-page memo on the industrial carbon pricing system in Ontario, to understanding policy options that incentivize heavy-duty vehicle decarbonization.

All of your work will be focused on helping influence climate policy, especially federally. That means your research products will heavily focus on policy recommendations. This is not academic research — it is squarely aimed at policymakers.

As part of a small team focused on policy impact, you will also inevitably be exposed to and, in some cases, participate in other areas related to your research. For example, you will be involved in communicating key findings of your research via written products such as op-eds, or presenting at relevant events including policymaker briefings. You’ll have the part-time research support of our fantastic Communications Manager to assist across your work.

Skills/Experience Needed

The below list represents our ideal set of qualifications. We encourage you to apply if most of these are a fit, even if there’s one or two that aren’t:

  • Masters degree or higher in a related field such as economics, engineering, energy systems, computer science, or commensurate experience that would provide equivalent training.
  • Background understanding of Canada’s energy system and climate policy environment including carbon pricing is a strong asset, but we are open to candidates who feel they could transition to this work with facility.
  • Clear comfort with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. You should be able to review and interpret quantitative research including detailed spreadsheets from energy-economy modelling. You should also be highly comfortable with analysis using Microsoft Excel, including using pivot tables and running regressions. Experience in modelling or computer programming would be an asset but is not required.
  • Strong manager with a proven ability to lead research assignments, including motivating a team of internal/external colleagues towards a common goal, and staying on top of competing priorities.
  • Deeply strategic thinker who can identify the priority issues that matter to policymakers within a large/complex research dataset.
  • Skilled writer who is able to produce compelling written briefs and reports.
  • Ability to make engaging presentations to small and large groups.
  • Willingness to travel occasionally (likely not more than once per quarter) anywhere in Canada.
  • Fun to work with!

Clean Prosperity is committed to diversity in its hiring processes. As such, we highly encourage applications from members of visible minorities, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to help provide a diverse range of perspectives.

The Team

We are a relatively small organization that includes our Executive Director, VP of Marketing, Director of Policy & Government Relations, Communications Manager, and Operations Manager. We are also in the process of hiring a Director of Public Affairs in Western Canada.

You will report to the Executive Director but will work closely with all members of our team. You will receive support from our Communications Manager.

Location + Hours

Since the COVID pandemic, we’ve moved to a remote work environment. Our main office was formerly in Toronto, so we still have three staff in the Toronto area, but also have team members in Ottawa and soon in Western Canada.

As our Research Director, we are comfortable with you being based anywhere in Canada as long as you have access to strong wi-fi and are willing to travel on occasion for in-person meetings (when it is safe to do so).

We will arrange for you to have a workspace at a co-working facility or you can work remotely from home if that is your preference. We offer a generous annual allowance to help you set up your office comfortably.

We typically work a standard 7.5-hour workday but are much more concerned about results and getting things done effectively than when you’re working. We’re open to the work schedule that works best for you.

Compensation

We’re seeking a candidate who can fill a senior role in our organization. While we are a nonprofit, most of our staff come from the private sector and we intend to pay a competitive salary. In addition to your salary, you will also be entitled to benefits, generous time off, and professional development support.

How to apply

If interested, please send an email to careers@cleanprosperity.ca with the subject “Application for Research Director” that includes:

  1. Your resume
  2. A cover letter that explains why you want to work with us, why you’d be a good fit, and where you’d like to physically be located when working for us.