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

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

Study Description:
Making the Shift (MTS) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Lab is a partnership between A Way Home Canada (AWHC) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH). MTS’ mandate is to contribute to the transformation of how we respond to youth homelessness through research and knowledge mobilization specific to youth homelessness prevention and housing stabilization. 

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 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 community-based research and evaluation with the MTS project.  With a high level of responsibility, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will work with the MTS Directors and Research Team, AWHC, COH Team and Executive Council, Demonstration Site partners and stakeholders, and people with lived experiences of marginalization and homelessness. A priority of this Post-Doctoral Fellowship is the publication of manuscripts based upon the quantitative and qualitative data we have collected from the various demonstration projects.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of major research activities and outputs of the lab, including co-planning and organizing data collection, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and technical report writing. Additional duties include database management and supervision of research assistants, practicum students, and volunteers. The successful candidate will demonstrate strong quantitative and qualitative research design and analytic skills, as well as an emerging record of scholarship. 

At the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), we believe anti-racism and anti-oppression must be at the center of our work. Indigenous, Black and racialized communities are disproportionately represented among people experiencing homelessness as a result of social, political and economic inequities that create pathways to homelessness, and mainstream systems that keep these communities on the margins. Therefore, to address homelessness, we need to speak to the root of racial disparities, proactively engage in courageous conversations about power, privilege, and whiteness (including white supremacy and fragility); and follow through with meaningful action.


  • PhD or equivalent in the social sciences and health sciences (e.g., Anthropology, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, etc.)
  • Strong quantitative research design and analytic skills a must
  • Strong qualitative research design and analysis skills
  • Experience working with marginalized and vulnerable populations of adolescents and emerging adults, including youth who experience homelessness
  • Experience conducting community-based research and evaluation
  • Experience managing staff, students, volunteers. 
  • Effective organizational and time management skills
  • Outstanding writing and interpersonal skills

Our Commitment to a Diverse Culture & Reconciliation 
Authentic Reconciliation benefits everyone; we believe in a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. We ensure equal opportunity for all applicants and encourage people of all visible minorities, including Indigenous applicants, and those of any religion, sex, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression to apply for our job opportunities.

How to Apply:
Applicants should submit an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae, a letter of interest, their top three publications (published or in press), and up to three references by email to: Ahmad Bonakdar, Managing Director of Research, DEMS, at your earliest possible convenience. Please ensure that “PDF Making the Shift DEMS” 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. 

Application Deadline:
Applications will be processed as they come in and the posting will close as soon as the position is filled.

$65,000 annually