Research Assistant (Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement (SAGE))

Rights and Resources Initiative
Montreal, QC, Canada
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)
Languages Required: 
French or Spanish


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.

Rights and Resources Group is a non-profit organization that serves as coordinating mechanism for the Rights and Resources Initiative, a global coalition to advance forest tenure, policy and market reforms. Rights and Resources Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) seeks a Research Assistant to support the Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement (SAGE) team. We are looking for a hard-working, detail-oriented individual who will take initiative, demonstrate responsibility, and contribute to the effectiveness and capacity of our small and dedicated team.

The Research Assistant will have the unique opportunity to work closely with RRI’s Tenure Tracking Program monitoring Indigenous Peoples’, local communities’, and rural women’s tenure rights to lands, forests, water, and other natural resources in 75+ countries around the world, and at the intersection of SAGE’s Rights and Climate and Gender Justice programs. This research-oriented position involves understanding and documenting community-based tenure in a wide range of countries and contexts, comprehensive data analysis, and effective engagement in sectors related to human rights and international development while contributing to the work of an international coalition advancing these causes.

The individual will report directly to the Senior Tenure Analyst and work closely with other team members, including the Tenure Analyst and the Director of Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement. This position is a full-time position based in Montreal, Canada and is classified as non-exempt under the US Fair Labor Standards Act. The individual will work remotely while based in Montreal, with regular in-person interaction with other Montreal-based staff, as well as frequent travel to RRI’s office in Washington, DC.

Essential Job Functions:

Analytical Support – 80%

  • Support cyclical updates to RRI’s Tenure Tracking databases through the activities outlined below. In 2019-2020, activities will support the update of RRI’s Land Tenure Database:
    • Conduct desk research in English (and potentially Spanish, Portuguese, and/or French) related to community-based land tenure in a wide range of countries;
    • Input data and perform calculations and other functions in existing Excel databases, adhering to established guidelines and paying close attention to detail;
    • Manage long-term written correspondence in English (and potentially Spanish, Portuguese, and/or French) with RRI Partners and Collaborators, as well as outside experts, in a timely, professional, and courteous manner; and
    • Assist in the review of legislation concerning Indigenous Peoples’, local communities’, and rural women’s land and natural resource rights.
  • Develop progressive competency across RRI’s five Tenure Tracking databases on land, forest, freshwater, and women’s tenure rights globally, supporting the Sr. Tenure Analyst/Tenure Analyst in responding to both internal and external information requests in a time-sensitive manner;
  • Support RRI’s cross-thematic research on climate change, private sector engagement, gender justice, and conservation as required (no more than 20% of time); and
  • Provide general program assistance for the SAGE team, and willingly undertake other tasks as requested.

Administrative Support – 20%

  • Assist in ongoing project management for the SAGE team, including consultancy contracts, tracking budgets and expenditures, and drafting donor reporting.

The Research Assistant undertakes these duties in a systematic and precise manner, exhibiting professionalism, analytical rigor, and a capacity to handle details carefully without compromising attention to big‐picture goals. They are flexible to work effectively in a highly dynamic environment with both in-person and remotely-located colleagues, always ensuring that assigned work is completed by established deadlines. The Research Assistant also demonstrates trustworthiness and best ethical practices, exhibiting both transparency and accountability.


  • Bachelor’s degree in geography, environmental science/policy, forestry, economics, anthropology, international development, or related discipline required (graduate studies in one of these fields preferred). At least 1-3 years of experience in a related field highly desired;
  • Knowledge of resource tenure, environmental science/policy, conservation, climate change, women’s land and natural resource rights, and/or international development issues, as demonstrated through coursework and/or previous work experience;
  • Strong and demonstrated research skills, including experience / training in data collection and analysis using both qualitative and quantitative methods. A background in statistical analysis would add value;
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks, performs well under pressure, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines and objectives;
  • Professional fluency in English required. Professional fluency in French and/or Spanish strongly preferred, and fluency in Portuguese would add value;
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, social media and internet savvy; and other digital tools (GIS, large data analytics capabilities will add value).
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, with professional manner and respect for other cultures and ability to maintain interaction with remote staff;
  • Ability to be flexible in a dynamic and fast‐paced environment, while working with both remotely-based and office-based team members;
  • Willingness to travel frequently to RRI office in Washington, DC.

To Apply:

Please send the following application materials to hr [at]  Applications will be accepted immediately and interviews conducted on a rolling basis. The subject line of the email must read: “SAGE Research Assistant”.

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter – At a minimum, cover letters should address how your background, skills, and qualifications align with the position, as well as how this position fits within your broader career goals
  3. Short writing sample in English (1-2 pages maximum)
  4. Short foreign language writing sample (1-2 pages maximum, in French, Spanish, or Portuguese)