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Research Assistant, Knowledge Synthesis and Evaluation Services, Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Public Health Ontario

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline September 16, 2015

Nine month contract
Job ID 15-0321

Organizational Overview

Public Health Ontario (PHO) is a Crown Corporation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, PHO links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.

PHO provides expert scientific and technical support relating to infection prevention and control; surveillance and epidemiology; health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental and occupational health; health emergency preparedness; and public health laboratory services to support health providers, the public health system and partner ministries in making informed decisions and taking informed action to improve the health and security of Ontarians.

For more information about PHO, visit

Position Details    

Position Title: Research Assistant, Knowledge Synthesis and Evaluation Services
Department: Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
Duration: Full-time temporary (nine month contract)
Location: 480 University Avenue, Toronto
Compensation Group: AMAPCEO
Position Status: Open
Job Code: Group 2
Salary: $43,980 - $57,330 annual
Posting Date: September 1, 2015
Closing Date: September 16, 2015

Reporting to the Public Health Physician, Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (HPCDIP), the Manager, Knowledge Synthesis, the Manager, Evaluation Services and working closely with the Chief, Scientists and other members of the HPCDIP team, the Research Assistant will provide support to implement research projects according to established protocols.

The Research Assistant will contribute to the development of data collection tools to support a pilot evaluation of public health parenting programs using PhotoVoice methodology and will also contribute to the organization and implementation of data collection activities, data analysis, and report writing.

Key Responsibilities    

  • Assists with literature reviews of all types by creating and running search strategies for web-based search tools, selecting relevant documents by reviewing abstracts for inclusion/exclusion criteria, and drafting summary reviews of key articles.
  • Create and maintain a reference management file (Refworks, Endnote, Refman) required for literature reviews, manuscripts and reports.
  • Contributes to the development and pilot testing of primary data collection tools (e.g. surveys, interviews, and focus group guides); administer data collection protocols.
  • Screens participants for inclusion criteria, recruits study participants (i.e. sends invitations to participate, telephone follow-up) and schedules data collection tasks; facilitates informed consent procedures (i.e. administration of consent forms, documenting verbal consent) and communicates study benefits and risks.
  • Administers questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations, focus groups following protocols established for data collection.
  • Extracts data from existing sources according to a defined protocol or coding scheme.
  • Assists with qualitative data collection (maintaining field notes, transcribing audio tapes) and qualitative data analysis (applying thematic coding schemes to transcribed data and validating coding by applying inter-rater methodology.
  • Completes data entry and data cleaning, and performs quality checks.
  • Performs basic quantitative data analysis including descriptive analyses; summarizes results in tabular and graphical form for use in presentations, manuscripts, and other reporting formats.
  • Prepares for and supports Advisory Committees by coordinating logistics, preparing materials such as agendas, and providing on-site supports such as taking minutes.
  • Assists HPCDIP team with additional tasks such as contributing to the development of Research Review Board and Ethics Reviews Board applications, abstract submissions, poster preparations, and manuscript and grant applications.
  • Schedule team meetings, maintain minutes and agendas as well as contribute to research team updates.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills    

  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodology (data collection and analysis) as well as related software applications (SPSS, SAS, NVivo).
  • Demonstrated computer and data management skills including proficiency in MS Office (e.g. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
  • Proven skill and expertise in conducting literature searches.
  • Proven skill and experience in data extraction and critical appraisal.
  • Skill and ability to classify and map literature to research objectives and to identify gaps in research evidence.
  • Skill and ability to complete summaries of information across multiple disciplines, including contextual information from stakeholders.
  • Skill and expertise in maintaining reference management files (e.g. Refworks, Endnote, and Refman) for peer-reviewed and grey literature to inform literature reviews, manuscripts and reports.
  • Skill and ability to work in a matrix management structure and within cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Planning, organizing, project management skills, and initiative in order to work effectively and efficiently under conditions of multiple deadlines and changing priorities with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Ability to approach and manage assignments in a fast-paced environment;
  • Clear understanding of the research process acquired through both practical and academic experience.
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with both internal and external colleagues and clients.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to work collaboratively, and ability to organize work efficiently.

Education and Experience    

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, social sciences or related discipline, in order to provide support to study investigators to implement research projects.
  • Master’s degree would be considered an asset.
  • One to three (1-3) years of experience supporting applied research at an academic department, research institute, public health unit or organization related to health promotion and the primary prevention of chronic diseases and injuries and health equity.
  • Knowledge of behaviour change theory, reproductive and child health interventions and qualitative methodologies would be considered an asset.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please visit and click on the job title.  Your cover letter and resume must clearly indicate how you meet the qualifications/competencies.

Thank you for your interest in this position, however, only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.