Are you passionate about economics, the environment, and building a low-carbon, circular economy? Are you a self-starter who wants to have an impact? Are you an excellent researcher, with experience in energy or natural resource sectors?


Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI) is hiring a new Research Associate (RA) in Circular Economy Policy, with a specific focus on Canada’s natural resource sectors. SPI is Canada’s leading green economy research institute and think tank, based at the University of Ottawa.  SPI turns world-class research into a high impact policy change for clean growth and innovation.  Our Research Associates work with SPI’s research team, its global network of academic experts (see the Research Network tab here), and its business leaders group on a range of environment-economy research issues, such as: clean innovation, circular economy, low-carbon economy, and how smart policies can drive clean growth in different sectors (agriculture, mining, manufacturing, bio-economy, energy, etc).

The open position will support SPI’s Director of Research and Circular Economy Director in SPI’s growing research stream on public policy options to meet the requirements of a circular, low-carbon transition in Canada’s primary resource sectors.  In addition to circular economy policy research, this position will also be involved in SPI’s events, communications and policy change work, to support broad mobilization and translation of knowledge from Canadian and international academics and researchers, and to enable the adoption of innovative research findings in public policies to drive low-carbon, circular innovation. 


Title: Research Associate – Circular Economy Policy*

LocationSmart Prosperity Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada**

Number of Positions: Up to 2 positions may be offered, depending on suitability of candidates

Start dateas soon as possible


*Note that for interested candidates with a Ph.D., it is possible to explore a Post-Doc position with SPI at the University of Ottawa as opposed to an RA position.  Please indicate in your cover letter if this is an option you would like to explore.


** Initially, the position may be remote, as all SPI staff are working from home during the pandemic.  However, the successful candidate would be expected to relocate to Ottawa once normal office activities resume.



Research, writing and strategy

1) Assists the Director of Research and Circular Economy Director in researching, writing, and producing high quality original reports and policy briefs to ensure Smart Prosperity Institute becomes a highly visible, credible and effective voice on circular economy and low-carbon, clean innovation in Canada’s natural resources sectors (energy, mining, forestry, agriculture).

2) Assists in the “translation” of academic research by the SPI Research Network into reports and policy products (e.g. SPI Policy Briefs) that will reach policy makers and inform the development of innovative policy approaches to advance environmental and economic goals – particularly related to circular economy outcomes in resource sectors.

3) Assists as needed in internal and external review processes to ensure high quality research products. 

4) Tracks major research and policy developments in the area of circular economy, in Canada and globally, to inform SPI’s work.  Works with the SPI team to help develop a policy-relevant research agenda.


Communications, outreach and partnerships

5) Assists in the execution of communications strategies for upcoming research products, including, as needed, presenting research findings at SPI events, and writing communications material to achieve high reach and impact.

6) Help write blogs and other content for SPI’s web page.

7) Assists the Director of Research in effectively engaging the members of our Canadian and International economics and environmental policy academic research networks.

8) Helps strengthen SPI’s partnerships (with governments, businesses, and civil society) and fundraising efforts by assisting with background research and proposal writing, etc. 

Knowledge, Experience and Skills

The work requires:

  • Graduate level degree (or 3-5 years equivalent work experience), preferably in environmental or natural resource economics, environmental policy, natural resource management or a related field with sound theoretical and practical knowledge of economics and environmental issues.
  • Very strong written research, writing and analytical thinking skills. 
  • Capacity to work on a number of projects simultaneously, with delivery of high-quality outcomes. 

  • Capacity to initiate and manage projects with minimal supervision.
  • Relevant work experience in the environment, innovation or natural resources areas (e.g. on policy, finance, economic analysis) would be an asset.
  • Prior experience in or direct research experience with Canadian energy or primary resource (mining, forestry, or agriculture) sectors would be an asset.
  • Bilingualism (French/English) would be an asset.



Please send your CV and a cover letter that demonstrates how you meet the competencies above to, including the job title in both the email subject line and cover letter. The deadline for applications is December 22, 2020.  Applications will be reviewed as they arrive and this position may be filled prior to December 22, 2020, if the right candidate is found.



Smart Prosperity Institute (formerly Sustainable Prosperity) is a national research network and policy think tank based at the University of Ottawa. We deliver world-class research and work with public and private partners – all to advance practical policies and market solutions for a stronger, cleaner economy. 


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