Associate, Research and Policy

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An opportunity to be part of something truly emerging

From persistent poverty to climate change, we face entrenched social and environmental problems. Fortunately, a growing number of charities, non-profits, co-ops and for-profit companies are building business models to tackle these problems. They are turning to investors for the financing to launch and grow innovative new programs in order to become sustainable and stimulate economic growth.

As a result, new investment opportunities are emerging to offer investors positive financial returns in addition to social and environmental impacts. And an expanding base of interested and talented young professionals and mainstream finance leaders are seeking to support this work. At the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, we aim to strengthen this emerging movement.

About the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (MCII)

The Centre for Impact Investing is a leading national hub dedicated to advancing impact investing in Canada. The Centre seeks to foster the effective application of social finance through Venture and Capital Advisory Services and build awareness by sharing knowledge and research through various platforms.

The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing is currently searching for a creative and open-minded professional with an inclination towards social innovation and a new model of capitalism.

About this Opportunity

The Associate, Research and Policy will carry out research and analysis based on client and stakeholder interests, the team’s strategic goals, and public policy priorities, with a view to advancing market growth. A significant portion of this work will be focused on producing reports, whitepapers and other public and client products.

Candidate Profile

MaRS is searching for a motivated research and writing professional, looking to develop expertise in the impact investment field and contribute to the research and policy efforts of our small, entrepreneurial team. This person will report to the Senior Manager, Policy & Research and will have the following attributes and qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Economics or similar, or equivalent work experience
  • Exceptional writing skills
  • Experience in designing and conducting research
  • Previous experience as a lead author or contributor to publications considered an asset
  • Proposal or grant writing experience considered an asset
  • Knowledge of or experience with social finance considered an asset
  • Leadership skills (e.g., ability to manage multiple projects on tight timelines, to self-direct, to manage partner relationships, and to collaborate effectively within a team)
  • Flexibility; ability to multi-task; ability to work in an open-concept, dynamic environment
  • Intellectual curiosity; results-oriented approach; commitment to a high standard of excellence
  • A desire to learn and grow in this new field
  • Interest in supporting the development of new solutions to major social challenges (e.g., homelessness, chronic disease, unemployment, etc.); interest in public policy


The Associate will be responsible for the following activities:

Design and conduct research projects that:

  • Deepen clients’ and other key stakeholders’ understanding of key impact investment market opportunities and barriers; e.g. market research, sector analysis, feasibility studies, lessons learned summaries, policy analysis and advice, systems mapping, interviews, data collection and analysis, environmental scans, and trends analysis
  • Advance critical public policy change
  • Build on colleagues’ and partners’ expertise and experience
  • Draw on national and global developments in impact investment 

Engage partners in research and policy work, e.g.:

  • Convene and work with multiple partners to understand an issue, develop new understanding, or build sector support for policy recommendations or other activities
  • Develop strategic partnerships
  • Identify funding opportunities to support research and policy work

Share insights with clients and the broader public, e.g.:

  • Write reports and whitepapers
  • Support the development of communications (e.g., blogs, op-eds, conference presentations, and webinars) and policy advisory strategies related to research projects

Support the work of the Global Steering Group on Impact Investment, e.g.:

  • Help to develop and populate frameworks for tracking progress against the recommendations in the final report of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, launched under the United Kingdom’s G8 presidency
  • Compile and share best practices from Canada
  • Support international meetings

Support broader strategic priorities, administration and reporting, as needed, e.g.:

  • Support capital and venture advisory projects
  • Report to clients and/or funders
  • Set meeting agendas and manage meetings
  • Support marketing efforts and the development of presentations
  • Write grant proposals
  • Manage Salesforce


This position is based at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Although most of the work will be based in Toronto, there will be some travel required.


This is a full-time, salaried position.  Compensation will be competitive within the field of impact investment and be commensurate with experience.

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter and writing sample. Writing samples should be analytical in style, and should answer both of the following questions:

a) What should the Government of Canada do to implement one of the eight high-level recommendations of the 2014 report of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets? Please explain why this recommendation is important, include key considerations, and propose next steps for the Government. (Select one of the eight high-level recommendations provided on pages six and seven of the report; maximum 400 words; must be provided in full prose)

b) In order to elaborate and advance your recommended next steps, what additional information would be needed, and how would you structure a research plan to gather this information? Please outline a plan that identifies a clear research question, strategies for answering this question, sources of information, and a timeline for research activities. (If there is more than one relevant research question, please select only one to focus on in your research plan; maximum 300 words; can be provided in bullet form)

MaRS thanks all candidates; however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

About MaRS

Toronto's MaRS Discovery District is one of the world's largest urban innovation centres, cultivating high-impact ventures and equipping innovators to drive economic and social prosperity in Canada. MaRS supports entrepreneurs in the sectors of media and technology, cleantech and healthcare by providing them with advice, education and market research, and connecting them to talent, customers and capital. An independent registered charity, MaRS also works with private and public sector partners to create solutions that open market access for ventures and generate social impact.

Applications are due by 6:59 PM Eastern Time on the Close Date indicated at the top of this job posting.

Applicants must be legally eligible to work in Canada.

MaRS Discovery District is committed to diversity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates, including aboriginal persons, francophones, members of sexual minority groups, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and women. We will provide any requested accommodation to candidates with disabilities throughout the recruitment process.

Apply now

SOURCE: MaRS Centre for Impact Investing

1 Oct 2015
MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
Toronto  Ontario
Policy Development & Advocacy
Research & Development