Research Associate (Data Management)

Wilfrid Laurier University

Waterloo, ON, Canada 🇨🇦

Date: Jun 24, 2022

Location: Waterloo, CA

Company: Wilfrid Laurier University

Department: Library 

Job Type: Limited Term

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time (>=1249 hrs/year) 

Campus: Waterloo 

Employee Group: Other 

Application Deadline: July 10, 2022

Requisition ID: 4466 

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact. With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.

Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well locations in Kitchener and Milton. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace, a flexible work policy and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.

Position Summary

Global Water Futures (GWF) is a multi-institutional research program that is funded in part by a $77.8-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). The overarching goal of the program is to deliver risk management solutions – informed by leading-edge water science and supported by innovative decision-making tools – to manage water futures in Canada and other cold regions where global warming is changing landscapes, ecosystems, and the water environment. As a core GWF partner, Laurier researchers lead several multi-year research projects situated throughout the Northwest Territories; the institution employs several Research Associates to support the research goals and commitments.

Reporting to the Data Librarian, the Research Associate, Data Management will be part of a highly productive team of university researchers, technicians and partners involved in Global Water Futures (GWF). The incumbent will participate in the stewardship of the project’s research data by implementing key curation activities including timely data and metadata collection, description, quality control, archiving and dissemination from a variety of research programs, in accordance with the FAIR Data Principles, GWF Data Policy, Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy, and the Principles of OCAP©. Data management responsibilities will also include outreach, training, and consultation on research data management (RDM) policy and best practices, and well as metadata analysis and project reporting.

The incumbent will collaborate with Laurier research teams, project officers and research administrators, as well as their data management counterparts across the GWF network. They will interface with GWF knowledge mobilization officers and investigate novel tools and methods to index and make available the research outputs of Laurier’s GWF programs through database-driven search and discovery platforms. The incumbent is expected to participate in the GWF community at Laurier and across Canada, the Canadian RDM community and partners such as the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and Scholars Portal, as well as with stakeholders in Canada’s north, including Indigenous communities, government, and industry partners.

The incumbent will work primarily with GWF and secondary data sources, including real-time hydrometeorological data from large-scale observatories, large datasets from drone and satellite remote sensing, data from chemical, social, cultural, economic and ecological observations, historical archives from multiple sources, very large output fields from high resolution atmospheric and earth system models, and crowd-sourced data. A significant amount of these research data are subject to data sharing agreements with Indigenous, government, and industry partners, requiring an understanding not only of data formats, metadata schemas, and handling best practices but also data ethics, Indigenous data sovereignty, TCPS2, and federal research data policy. A core requirement of the role is the ability to positively interact and collaborate with a diverse and distributed team of researchers, community members, and partner organizations to secure the data legacy of GWF.


Researcher Engagement

  • Engage with research teams to develop and operationalize research data collection policies, procedures, and data management plans that enable efficient data curation, preservation, and access by researcher and stakeholder communities
  • Conduct researcher consultation on research data management (RDM) practices and services at Laurier and within the GWF network to improve service delivery
  • Provide RDM training to GWF highly qualified personnel (HQP) on topics such as data management planning, metadata management, data management in the field, data security and data ethics
  • Develop and offer RDM resources (e.g., documentation, reference material, guides, templates, etc.) for Laurier and GWF researchers

Data Curation and Archiving

  • Define, implement, and maintain project and data-level metadata schemas according to Laurier, GWF, and discipline-specific standards, including DDI, ISO 19115, and NetCDF
  • Collaborate with research teams and other GWF project stakeholders to develop processes that secure research outputs for access and use
  • Prepare datasets and other research outputs (e.g., files, data, metadata, technical and supporting documentation) for archives and repositories, as well as for publication and public platforms as required
  • Consult and advise on open access archiving benefits and requirements
  • Recommend best-fit repositories for research teams based on field of work, data type, and publishing requirements

Data Discovery and Data Legacy

  • Collaborate with researchers, HQP, research administrators and other stakeholders to identify data mobilization priorities
  • Develop a strategic plan to steward the data legacy of Laurier’s GWF data outputs, including metadata collation, discovery, and access, with intersections to scholarly communication and knowledge mobilization
  • Maintain a database of research outputs according to associated subject domains, sites, and HQP for internal reporting and potential metasynthesis opportunities

Strategy and Reporting

  • Collaborate with Laurier and GWF partners on annual reports, presentations, manuscripts for peer review, proposals and budgets relating to project;
  • Analyze and operationalize stakeholder RDM policies and protocols (e.g., Tri-Agency RDM Policy, Principles of OCAP©, FAIR Principles, etc.) at Laurier and in the GWF Network
  • Collect, analyze, and report on data outputs from research teams



  • Post-secondary degree in information management, library science, or GWF-related field (e.g, water science, environmental science)
  • Experience in the curation of research data (e.g., data organization and description, metadata management and enrichment, version control, rights management, developing supporting documentation and README’s)
  • Knowledge of common metadata schemas such as DDI, ISO 19115, NetCDF, Dublin Core
  • Knowledge of the Canadian research data management policy landscape, including The Tri-Agency RDM policy, Open Access policy, and the Principles of OCAP©
  • Familiarity with bibliometrics for the analysis of research data outputs
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to work in distributed and diverse work environments


  • Subject expertise in water science or environmental sciences
  • Knowledge of field data collection and monitoring procedures, data processing, QA/QC concepts and statistical / analytical tools
  • Knowledge of common data types, formats, and tools in environmental and biological sciences (e.g., hydrometeorological sensor data, aerial imagery, GIS)  
  • Experience with data visualization
  • Familiarity with statistical analysis software (e.g., R, SPSS, Stata)
  • Knowledge of relational database design and scripting languages
  • Experience on scholarly communication or knowledge mobilization projects
  • Experience with DDI and Dataverse
  • Experience with the operationalization of RDM policy

Hours of Work:  The normal hours of work are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.  Flexibility in hours will be required, including evening and/or weekend work due to periods of high volume.  When possible, the manager will adjust the work schedule so that no more than 35 hours are worked in a week.

Compensation: $67,000 – $72,000 

All Laurier employees and students are required to comply with the University’s Covid-19 mandatory vaccination policyEffective May 1st, Wilfrid Laurier University will pause its proof of vaccination requirements. Should these recommendations change, vaccination requirements can be reinstated on short notice. Community members should remain up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier’s Employee Success Factors.

Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Candidates from other equity deserving groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility. We have strived to make our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources. Contact information can be found at

Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a resume and cover letter will be required in electronic form.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development