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Higher education policy and statistics

  • Master's
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • With scholarship


How many students complete a college certificate after completing a bachelor’s degree? What is the consequence of accumulating education credentials in unrelated fields of study? If these questions are of interest to you, consider joining a team studying the prevalence and impact of non-conventional and transfer pathways in postsecondary education in Canadian provinces.

The team, for which professor St-Denis is the Principal Investigator, is funded by the Ontario Council for Articulation and Transfer. It aims to inform policy-making in the area of student transfers by producing a report providing a statistical portrait of pathways in postsecondary education in Ontario and other Canadian provinces. The project will leverage linked surveyadministrative data from the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults and additional data sources to provide new data on the diversity of trajectories postsecondary students experience in Canada, as well as the outcomes associated with these different pathways. This analysis will be the focus of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The successful applicant would contribute to the analysis of survey and administrative data for this project. This project will include training and mentoring from the principal investigator, direct interaction with various project partners and stakeholders, and may lead to further

This fellowship will take place within a small research team based at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Centre Urbanisation Culture Société (UCS). The Centre is a research-intensive organisation located in Montreal employing 34 professors offering graduate programs in population studies, urban studies and knowledge mobilization. Opportunities for professional networking and career development will be offered.

Work can be conducted remotely from various locations in Canada.

Why should you apply?

  • You will develop cutting-edge data analysis skills under the guidance of a Principal Investigator with work experience in both academia and the federal government.
  • You will participate to the production and dissemination of rigorous, policy-relevant and timely applied research in social sciences that opens the doors for a career as a policy/data analyst or for further studies at the Masters or PhD level.
  • You will develop your knowledge in the sociology of education, economic sociology, stratification, and in postsecondary education policy in Ontario and Canada;.
  • You will gain experience working with administrative datasets and linked surveyadministrative microdata in collaboration with a researcher with several years of experience conducting research with similar datasets.
  • You will develop your skills in longitudinal data analysis techniques.
  • You will gain experience conducting research in collaboration with various partners and stakeholders in the provincial government.


  • Collect historical data on postsecondary education policy and tuition fees across Canadian provinces over the past 20 years.
  • Contribute to the preparation of a report and presentation material on non-conventional and transfer pathways in postsecondary education in Canada.
  • Contribute to the analysis of survey and administrative data on education, skills, employment and income.
  • Conduct literature reviews on inequalities in higher education and non-conventional student pathways.

Research supervisor

Xavier St-Denis, professor

Position details

  • Start date November 16, 2020 or later depending ont yhe availability of applicant
  • End date March 20, 2021 (with possibility of extension)
  • Schedule: Flexible, approximately two days a week to be agreed upon at contract start
  • Compensation : Commensurate with experience


  • A Bachelor’s degree in sociology, economics, education, demography, or another related social science discipline. Strong final year undergraduates clearly demonstrating that they satisfy all the requirements will also be considered.
  • Familiarity with the Canadian education system, higher education policy, and inequalities in education.
  • Experience conducting statistical analyses (coursework, professional or other training).
  • Ability to work in a self-directed way in order to contribute to the success of project objectives.
  • Essential: Ability to physically access Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centers (RDC) on a weekly basis. This must be explicitly mentioned in the cover letter. Candidates who do not meet this requirement will not be considered.

Assets (or skills and knowledge you will acquire over the course of this project)

  • Proficiency in statistical analysis with Stata, R, SAS or another programming language.
  • Advanced quantitative methods training at the undergraduate level, or introductory quantitative methods training at the graduate level, or equivalent experience.
  • Experience with policy-oriented research, stakeholder engagement, and knowledge mobilization.
  • Basic proficiency in French is also an asset.


Centre Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre
385 Sherbrooke E.
Montréal, Quebec H1X 1E3

How to apply

Interested candidates can submit their application to professor Xavier St-Denis by using the online form.

Applications will be reviewed starting on November 10, 2020 and invitations for the first round of interviews will be issued on November 11, 2020 at 4:30pm. The position will remain open until filled.

Your application should include :

  • a résumé highlighting relevant professional experience, qualifications, and credentials;
  • a transcript for your current (or most recent) program of enrollment;
  • a short cover letter (one page maximum) explaining why you would be a good fit for the position;
  • the name and e-mail address of two professional references (no formal reference letters will be required).

The selection process will also include a Zoom or telephone interview.

The Principal Investigator is strongly committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization within the INRS community and the broader academic community. Applications from women, racialized persons / persons of colour, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2+ persons, and other under represented groups are especially encouraged. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

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Xavier St-Denis