Junior Research Scholar (JRS), Perspective Asia

Research Pillar, Perspective Asia · Vancouver, British Columbia
Department Research Pillar, Perspective Asia
Employment Type Grant
Compensation $18,000 Grant Amount

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Junior Research Scholar, Perspectives Asia

Scholarship Description


The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is committed to fostering the next generation of Asia Pacific researchers and practitioners. To this end, it is offering one full-time, fixed-term six-month contract as a Junior Research Scholar for applicants interested in learning more about public opinion and data analysis relevant to Canada-Asia Relations.


Join the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s Perspectives Asia team (Surveys and Polling). The Perspectives Asia team is a central part of the Foundation’s research unit. It is tasked with researching and analyzing people’s viewpoints and opinions on various issues and topics of interest for Canada-Asia relations. As a part of the Perspectives Asia team, you will help explore and understand public opinions that form an important segment of the government’s decision making process and provide actionable policy advice that benefits Canada-Asia relations and helps Canada grow. As a data specialist, you will be responsible for working in conjunction with the Perspectives Asia team in developing applications and programs to mine publicly available data from social media sites and other web sites to generate intelligence around public opinion on various topics of interest from around the world. Using web scraping and data mining processes, you will support the team to analyze public opinion that is captured within the complex web of the Internet.


The Perspectives Asia team is a small group of experienced researchers who collaborate and support the various research projects that the Foundation undertakes, including the Foundation’s flagship National Opinion Poll. The team consists of individuals with expertise in various research methods (surveys, content analysis, textual analysis, interviews, focus groups, ethnography, cyberethnography), data analysis and data management skills, and finally, knowledge of Canada-Asia relations. An interest in working in a very fast-paced work environment that demands collaborative work to deliver timely reports and public-facing presentations will be highly desirable. Willingness to offer and receive feedback is a beneficial asset.


The application deadline is Sunday, January 31, 2021. Applications are considered on a rolling basis; early submission is encouraged.


Major Responsibilities


The Junior Research Scholar will work under the direct supervision of the Program Manager, Perspectives Asia. The JRS will be expected to collaborate and support Perspectives Asia’s pillars work and will engage in the following activities:

  • Work with the Foundation’s research team on collecting and analyzing data on public perspectives on Canada-Asia relations;
  • Provide support to various ongoing Perspectives Asia research initiatives, such as the National Opinion Poll, social media analysis of public opinion;
  • Contribute regularly to the Asia Watch newsletter;
  • Prepare analytical reports and briefing materials on issues related to public opinion and perspectives stemming from original research conducted at the Foundation;
  • Support the Program Manager, Perspectives Asia, to develop the direction and focus of projects using the methods of web scraping and data mining;
  • Work with the Perspectives Asia Team and the Foundation’s Development Team to foster funding and research partnerships to support research projects and associated deliverables.

Successful applicants will have the following qualifications


  • Excellent demonstrated skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Basic understanding and an interest in public opinion research. Experience in conducting public opinion research work will be an asset.
  • Knowledge of big data analysis, including text mining and topic modeling.
  • Web scraping unstructured data with Python (or other programming languages); gathering and processing the data into a form suitable for analysis (including social media data).
  • Build the infrastructure required for optimal extraction, transformation, and loading of data from a wide variety of data sources.
  • Knowledge in statistical analysis and packages such as R, Stata, SPSS or Python to conduct data analysis.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong teamwork and collaborative skills, ability to adapt, innovate, work in a fast-paced work environment, and good interpersonal skills.
  • Knowledge of Canada-Asia relations, public policy issues related to the Asia Pacific region, or Asian languages will be considered a plus.




Applicants should be eligible to work in Canada. The successful applicant will ideally work out of Vancouver, BC, partly remotely and partly from APF Canada’s head office in downtown Vancouver during regular office hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm). Please note, on-site work expectations will vary due to COVID-19.


Amount of Grant


The amount of the grant will be $18,000 and will be payable in four installments.


Start/End Dates 


The position will run from approximately February 15, 2021, to August 15, 2021, with the possibility of extension.


Application Procedures


Applicants should submit the following in ONE single PDF file:


  • Résumé detailing the applicant’s academic background, skills, and professional experiences relevant to the job description.
  • One to a two-page cover letter detailing the applicant’s research interests, career interests, and why they are interested in working at the Foundation.
  • An original writing sample no more than 10 pages, single-spaced in English (a functioning URL link to a sample is also acceptable); alternatively, a published journal article or book chapter authored by the applicant will also be accepted.
  • Sample work reflecting web scraping and analytical skills (a URL link is also acceptable).
  • Name, title, and contact information (email and phone number) for two academic or professional references. References will only be contacted for short-listed applicants.
  • Applications will be accepted in English only.  
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Optional: a copy of the applicant’s university transcript(s) (scanned or electronic documents are sufficient).


The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 31, 2021. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.  


Applications are considered on a rolling basis, so please submit your application once it is prepared.


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  • Location
    Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Department
    Research Pillar, Perspective Asia
  • Employment Type
  • Compensation
    $18,000 Grant Amount