Making the Shift: A Youth Homelessness Demonstration Lab, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Application Deadline: Ongoing until the position is filled

Salary: $55,000 annually plus benefits


Dr. Stephen Gaetz, Professor,  Faculty of Education at York University, President of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, and Scientific Director of Making the Shift – Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab

Study Description:

Making the Shift funds, conducts, prototypes, and mobilizes cutting-edge research to prevent and end youth homelessness in Canada. As a social innovation lab, MtS uses the principles of co-creation, co-ownership, and deep collaboration between researchers, policymakers, service providers, and people with lived experience of youth homelessness to identify what works and for whom. Making the Shift (MtS) is a partnership between A Way Home Canada (AWHC) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH). 

As part of our work, we are implementing demonstration projects on Housing First for Youth (including a Randomized-Controlled Trial), Youth Reconnect, Enhancing Family and Natural Supports, and the Upstream Project as well as other prevention focused interventions in communities across Canada.  To test the different interventions, we are conducting outcomes and process evaluation of all the projects with a focus on mixed methods approaches. This includes longitudinal quantitative and qualitative data collection, as well as reviews of program fidelity. The project is intended to help build an evidence base for youth homelessness prevention in Canada and to inform work on youth homelessness internationally.

Fellowship description:

The COH is offering a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship (with possibility of renewal) in research, content development and knowledge mobilization within MtS, with a specific focus on facilitating the development of toolkits, frameworks, and other knowledge mobilization products arising from the community-engaged research. Knowledge mobilization is an essential part of research. The focus of this Fellowship is on supporting the dissemination of research knowledge on interventions that end or prevent the experience of homelessness for young people to policy makers in government, and service providers.  Making the Shift also produces peer reviewed scientific research articles. Writing manuscripts (both as lead and co-author)  among a wide variety of writing products, and applying for independent grants and fellowships will be required. The successful candidate will demonstrate remarkably strong writing and editing skills, an understanding of research methodologies as well as exceptional critical thinking and time management abilities. As the audience for our publications is varied, ranging from researchers, to service providers, to the general public, we are looking for someone who has strong and engaging plain language writing skills.  Additional duties include completing literature reviews on relevant subject matter and developing robust knowledge mobilization strategies. The successful candidate will be based out of Ontario, with a preference for Toronto.


  • PhD or equivalent in a related social science or health science research field
  • Experience writing and developing content products for different audiences, including: policymakers; service providers; youth; communities; and academics 
  • Effective organizational and time management skills
  • Outstanding writing and interpersonal skills

The following will be considered assets:

  • Experience working with marginalized and vulnerable populations of adolescents and emerging adults, including youth who experience homelessness
  • In-depth knowledge of issues relating to homelessness

How to Apply:

Applicants should submit an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae, a letter of interest, their top three publications (published or in press), plain language writing samples, and up to three references by email to Allyson Marsolais, COO, Please ensure that “Post-Doctoral Fellow - Content” is quoted in the email subject line.

We thank all applicants for their time and interest, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted. 

We are committed to employment equity and encourage applications from all qualified candidates.