Job was posted on:
March 10, 2023

Research Lead

full-time | remote


please cite PCDN as the source of the posting in your application

Full-time, permanent position. Potential option to be a 18-month post-doctoral contract with the opportunity to move into a permanent position. If you’re motivated and experienced but don’t meet all requirements, we encourage you to apply anyway.

About New Power Labs

COVID-19 has brought to light society’s growing inequalities, systemic discrimination, and disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. With bias and discrimination from capital flows in philanthropy to impact investing, we have the opportunity and the obligation to do better.

In response to this challenge, New Power Labs (“NPL”) was formed as a ‘think and do tank’ that acts as an inclusive, collaborative platform to inform, empower, and mobilize new approaches and practices to flow capital more equitably.

NPL aggregates and synthesizes knowledge and resources and leads research to uncover and share actionable tools and best practices transforming how equity, diversity and inclusion are applied by practitioners. We work in partnership across the capital spectrum, from philanthropy to impact investing to venture capital and bank financing.

NPL is a movement with a growing set of partners working to increase access to and allocate capital for excluded communities. Our growing group of founding partners includes Coast Capital, Community Foundations of Canada, DUCA Impact Lab, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and WES Mariam Assefa Fund.

For more information, please visit our website:

The Opportunity

New Power Labs is hiring a Research Lead - an executive position within the organization - to lead, execute and refine New Power Lab's research agenda described below. This role includes leading a research team, owning individual and team research processes, refining the research agenda as needs emerge, participating in executive organizational meetings and collaborating with colleagues and external stakeholders such as universities and professional networks.

This position could also be a fit for a post-doctoral fellow and is an opportunity to develop and lead an impactful research agenda which could transform the lives of Canadians by supporting more inclusive capital flows in Canada.

The project that this position will be primarily responsible for comprises four parts, with part two as a key focus and priority. In this part of our research, New Power Labs is launching a new data service to collect self-reported disaggregated socio-demographic data, and capital flow datato understand who holds power over capital flows, who receives capital, and who are left out.

Part 1: Power Structures

This research project consists of understanding holds power and building a visual representation of power structures within entities that deploy capital in Canada. This research will be descriptive and requires a deep knowledge of organizations that flow capital, namely impact investment funds and venture capital funds as our priority, philanthropy foundations as a second step, and credit unions and other capital deploying organizations as a third step.

This project will enable stakeholders to create a clear and shared view of organizations that flow capital and build a common frame of reference for all our stakeholders. We will use interviews with sector leaders and secondary research to achieve this project. The output from this first part of this research should include a report that clearly describes and depicts organizational charts and power dynamics within organizations that flow capital.

Part 2: Industry Statistics on Diversity

This research aims to build a disaggregated view of who holds power (demographic representation) in institutions that deploy capital across their different structures (partners, boards, Investment Committees, etc.) and to draw a socio-demographic portrait of the recipients of the flow of capital distributed by Canadian financing organizations.

The acquisition of this data will be an ongoing process. This research will present a map which will superimpose the average regional Canadian sociodemographic data with the data collected during the research for organizations that flow capital. This map will show disparities, and how far or close organizations that flow capital are from representing the Canadian population in sociodemographic profiles – among individuals who flow capital and individuals who receive it.

This project will draw a portrait of the performance of organizations that flow capital in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion and will equip managers with comparison tools to help them assess their performance in their industry and empower them to set targets for their organizations.

This research will require building a survey platform, comparing data, and interacting with numerous stakeholders to give them the proper methods to collect data. The outcome will be a professional report summarizing the survey results and the previously described map.

This research may involve partnerships with several external organizations that become involved in the project; therefore, the Research Lead should be able to coordinate research efforts with multiple partners.

Through this, we will also develop a sector-wide view of how funding/granting flows to equity-deserving groups.

Part 3: Understanding the dynamics behind who controls the flow of capital

This research aims at understanding what factors slow down or hinder people of diverse backgrounds from gaining or accessing power within Canadian financial organizations.

The goal is to track best practices and room for improvement within organizations that flow capital in terms of distributing organizational power with individuals from equity-deserving backgrounds, and to understand the causes of slow progress on equity, diversity and inclusion.

Building on the first and second research project components, this new research will be analytical and requires further secondary research and interviews. The outcome should be a professional report sharing best practices within organizations that flow capital and tools and benchmarks to improve equity, diversity and inclusion practices at the organizational level.

Part 4: Understanding the dynamics behind who gets access to the flow of capital

This research aims at discovering the barriers that diverse populations face in getting access to capital when dealing with Canadian financial organizations. The research component would build on past research conducted at New Power Labs, using an action research methodology. This action research will involve working with practitioners towards implementing best equity, diversity and inclusion practices when dealing with capital flows, quantifying results, and going through iteration loops to capture insights and improve outcomes.

This research will have a robust multidisciplinary component, mobilizing disciplines such as finance, business, psychology, and sociology and will require strong project management skills.

This position provides an opportunity to develop and lead an impactful research agenda that could transform Canadians' lives by supporting more inclusive capital flows.


To help us learn more about you, please provide a cover letter and resume/CV outlining how you meet the following specific qualifications:

Required skills/expertise:

  • Quantitative research methods:A solid understanding of data and statistical/econometric models, including the ability to evaluate the work of team members or third parties, is required. Considering the significant amount of quantitative data we will collect throughout the project, a knowledge of quantitative methods and software such as Qualtrics or R would be an asset.
  • Minimum 5 to 10 years of research experience in public policy, economics, sociology, finance, or related fields, in either an academic or applied research capacity.
  • Specific knowledge on access to capital: Considering that our research agenda targets Canadian organizations that flow capital, the Research Lead must have knowledge of how capital-deploying organizations, across philanthropy, impact investing, venture capital, banks/credit unions, deploy capital and be able to describe processes within these kinds of organizations. (However, we do not require experience working in all types of capital-deploying organizations.)
  • Knowledge of and passion for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI): Considering the importance of EDI in our research agenda, the ideal candidate will have an awareness of and passion for EDI-related topics and will be sympathetic to the kind of changes that NPL aims at accelerating within Canadian society.
  • Strong leadership skills: As this is a managerial position within NPL, soft skills such as communication abilities, patience, and ability to manage and follow up on tasks with team members are required.
  • Qualitative research methods: Experience in: Interviews, to elicit people’s view and perspectives in a detailed and comprehensive manner, Case studies or detailed investigations to analyze the variables relevant to the subject under study in its own natural settings, Participant observation or collecting data by observing the sample in their natural environment, Action research, or collaborative inquiry that entails interactive inquiry about the subject including review of records and data driven analysis and identification of underlying causes of the phenomenon by active inquiry
  • Ability to manage multiple complex research projects, along with solid general project management skills, managing remote/distributed teams, is required.
  • Connect and work with researchers working in related areas
  • Familiarity with basic Google Suite products (Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Drive).

Desirable assets:

  • Strong understanding of the barriers to financial inclusion.

For full posting and application instructions, please go to Applications must submit a cover letter and resume to be considered.  Please cite PCDN as the source of the posting in your application.

To apply for this job please email your details
About Company
New Power Labs
New Power Labs is a collaborative platform to inform, co-create, and mobilize new approaches and practices to flow capital more equitably.
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