Senior Knowledge and Research Advisor

Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST)
Calgary, AB, Canada
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
8-9 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Do you want to support with other WASH practitioners to start, strengthen, and grow their WASH programs? We are looking for an enterprising and motivated individual to join our team. Your specialized expertise in WASH, ability to think critically, and experience in practical research and knowledge management will help WASH practitioners to increase the relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of their programs.  You enjoy learning with colleagues and clients, exploring innovative solutions to complex problems, and will become an integral part of our fast-paced and vibrant organization.

The Position: Senior Knowledge & Research Advisor

Reports to: Senior Director, Research Learning

Type: Full time, permanent

Location: The position is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Up to 30% travel overseas is required.

Position start date: Flexible; ideally September 2019

Application Due Date: 31 July 2019

Position Summary

The Senior Knowledge & Research Advisor is part of CAWST’s Research & Learning (R&L) team.  This position provides expert advice and mentors others to use best practice principles in practical research, knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation, for the ultimate goal of supporting WASH practitioners to implement relevant, effective, and sustainable programs.  The Senior Knowledge & Research Advisor also handles more complex assignments, co-develops new initiatives of strategic importance, and identifies opportunities to fund the operations of the department and of CAWST.

The Senior Knowledge & Research Advisor works closely with all CAWST departments, a multi-disciplinary team comprised of engineers, educators, and other professionals.

Specific Areas of Responsibilities

  1. Provide deep expertise and authority in non-networked WASH
  • Act as leading authority in one or more significant topic in the sector, or within own function for the R&L team, other staff and clients
  • Handle highly specialized, unusual, and complex assignments of strategic importance to the organization; resolve complex issues in practical and imaginative ways
  • As required, effectively manage or lead large or strategically significant projects, involving staff from various departments and/or multiple external stakeholders
  • Co-initiate and develop new initiatives of organizational and strategic importance
  • Coach and mentor other members of the R&L and across the CAWST team, act as internal reviewer, and support them to successfully fulfil their roles
  • Actively identify and follow-up on opportunities to fund the operations of R&L and CAWST.
  1. Support individuals and organizations working in WASH through research, measurement, evaluation, and knowledge management
  • Provide direct (in-person and remote) support to individuals and organizations to meet their WASH knowledge and research needs, and to develop monitoring and evaluation systems for learning and improvement, while also building our knowledge
  • Capture, curate, and share up-to-date, pertinent WASH knowledge to a broad range of WASH practitioners through the innovative use of digital tools such as knowledge bases and micro-learning videos
  • Liaise between researchers and practitioners to facilitate practical research that addresses knowledge gaps and needs
  • Act as a subject matter expert to support the development and delivery of education and training resources and services
  • Contribute to the evidence base through applied research, landscape analysis, and literature review
  1. Strengthen CAWST as a Centre of Expertise in non-networked WASH and capacity building
  • Strengthen CAWST staff competency by compiling, distilling, synthesizing, and transferring relevant knowledge to staff
  • Improve and execute on internal monitoring and evaluation systems and processes to support decision-making and communications
  • Influence and learn from relevant sectors (e.g., research, education, and international development) through participation in conferences, networks, and working groups
  1. Business & Development Services
  • Contribute to CAWST’s operations and business services cycle (e.g., department operations planning, monthly operations reports, and project reporting)
  • Develop Theory of Change and monitoring frameworks for funding proposals
  • Assist with donor reporting, public campaigns, and communication materials as required

Any other duties and responsibilities as directed by the Senior Director of Research & Learning or designate.

Person Profile

The ideal candidate is a WASH professional with considerable practical experience in international development context, excels in applied research, is curious and continually learning, and wants to contribute in an entrepreneurial and vibrant organization.


  • Graduate degree in science, engineering, public health, or related fields.


  • 8 years of relevant experience in water, sanitation, hygiene, environment, or health in international development context.
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas would be highly desirable:
    • Household water treatment and safe storage
    • Behaviour change interventions
    • Knowledge management theory and practice
    • Library and information science
    • Qualitative and quantitative research design
    • Capacity development theory and practice

Skills and Attributes

  • Leadership: A thought leader who inspire and move people with innovative ideas, turn the ideas into reality, and demonstrate integrity and commitment to quality work.
  • Project management: Able to define a scope of work, outline what it will take to complete the project, and engage others as needed in the process to achieve project objectives on-time, while handling multiple tasks and balancing priorities.
  • Critical thinking: Able to navigate complexity.  Make good judgement based on logic, objective analysis, experience and common sense.
  • Analysis: Effectively analyze and synthesize incomplete data and information to generate strategic recommendations and practical actions.
  • Communication: Ability to present complex information in a way easily accessible and understood by diverse and cross-cultural audiences.
  • Entrepreneurial: Enjoy working in a dynamic, constantly changing environment. Able to identify opportunities, think creatively about challenges, resolve issues, make recommendations, and seek support when necessary.
  • Meticulous: Exercise great care in ensuring data and information is collected and managed with high degree of accuracy, consistency, and rigour, down to the last detail.
  • Languages: Fluency in French and Spanish (verbal and written) is desired. Other languages an asset.


You must be legally able to work in Canada.

CAWST values equitable opportunities, sustainable solutions, and collaborative and inclusive processes. We recognize and accept differences in cultural, religious and political processes.

To Apply

Please apply by sending your cover letter, resume, and completed questionnaire through our posting on LinkedIn by 31 July 2019.

Please note: Only resumes from candidates eligible to work in Canada will be reviewed; and only those applicants granted an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.


Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. Be as specific as possible and try to keep each answer under half a page.

  1. What is appealing to you about this particular role at CAWST? What is unappealing?
  2. What was one of the most difficult problems you have faced in program evaluation? How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?
  3. What are your long-term career goals and aspirations? Where do you see yourself in five years?