Research Assistant at ESSA Technologies Ltd. (ESSA)

November 15 2017

Research Assistant

Vancouver, BC

1-year contract

ESSA Technologies Ltd. (ESSA) is an employee-owned Canadian environmental consulting company with offices in British Columbia and Ontario. We envision a world where creativity, a focus on learning, and systems thinking are the foundation of solutions to environmental challenges. Our corporate mission is to “bring together people, science and analytical tools to sustain healthy ecosystems and human communities”. We achieve this mission by helping clients deal with tough, emerging problems, by applying a thorough evaluation of evidence, and by exploring innovative solutions for a more sustainable world. Learn more about us

At ESSA, we are passionate about what we do and enjoy working with professionals who share our values and mission. ESSA’s staff are problem solvers, big-picture thinkers, evidence driven, creative, and innovative, motivated by an aspiration to become trusted advisors to our clients and make a difference in the world. Does this describe you?

The Opportunity

We are seeking a motivated, service-oriented, resourceful, independent and highly skilled Research Assistant to support our domestic and international teams based on a 12-month contract.  This is a support-level position with an opportunity for permanent placement and room for advancement. The successful candidate will work closely with senior staff to support a variety of challenging projects across numerous domains and geographies. Our projects address a wide range of environmental issues including: fisheries management, aquatic and terrestrial habitat assessment and restoration, environmental impact assessment, environmental flows and other water-related issues, and climate change adaptation.

The scope of responsibilities includes: research and information synthesis (e.g., literature review); reference management; assistance with proposal development; contributing to project reports; facilitation support; and assisting with the development of marketing materials. The position also involves providing analytical support such as data entry, summarizing data with formulas in Excel, extracting data from relational databases, working with scripts in R, and graphing data in Excel and R.

The role requires excellent research and writing skills and advanced computer skills in document mastering (e.g., Word, Excel, Google docs).


A Master’s degree in the natural/life or social sciences is preferred, although exceptional candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in the natural/life or social sciences plus a minimum of 2 years’ recent experience fulfilling a similar role, will be considered. The successful candidate’s prior training will afford them a strong ability to understand the topics central to ESSA’s business (aquatic ecology, trade-off evaluation, climate change and development, environmental assessment and management, etc.). The skills and abilities required are:


  • Excellent English writing and communication skills; familiarity with scientific / technical writing and plain-language styles.
  • Personable, with a flexible demeanor, comfortable in small group facilitation settings
  • Strong research skills and familiarity with using on-line libraries, journals, and reports.
  • Highly versatile with strong time-management, organizational skills and ability to multi-task.
  • Proactive and results oriented, with strong problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work with little instruction/supervision and to work effectively and collaboratively in interdisciplinary and remote teams.
  • Computer Skills:

o    Advanced skill with Word 2010+, e.g., automated TOC and lists of tables/figures, captions, cross-references, columns and tables, graphics, pagination, section breaks, formatting styles, etc.

o    Intermediate+ Excel skills, i.e., data manipulation/summary with formulas, pivot tables, graphing.


Assets include:

  • Spanish-language or French-language skills
  • Experience working with graphic design software including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
  • Familiarity with updating WordPress web pages.
  • Experience with the R programming language for statistical analysis.



We look forward to welcoming the successful candidate to our team. We offer a welcoming, inclusive workplace and commit to working with staff to help them thrive and prosper.  Our total rewards program for contract employees provides competitive compensation, medical benefits, and vacation, plus support for professional development.


Please email a cover letter and résumé to by December 2, 2017 with “Research Assistant” in the subject line. We will review applications and contact selected candidates in December. Interviews will be conducted between January 3-5, 8 2018. The expected start is January 22, 2018.


All applicants must be eligible to legally work in British Columbia at the time of applying through the full duration of the contract.