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Career Opportunities

​​The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction addresses issues of substance use in Canada by providing national leadership and harnessing the power of evidence to generate coordinated action. We bring people and knowledge together to improve the health and safety of Canadians, families and communities.

CCSA welcomes applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates during all aspects of the selection process.

CCSA has the following exciting and rewarding career opportunities in Ottawa:

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Position Title: Communications Advisor

Reports to: Director, Public Affairs and Communications

The Communications Advisor, reporting to the Director, Public Affairs and Communications (PAC), is responsible for providing strategic communication advice, applying knowledge and skills to CCSA’s day-to-day operations to increase the reach and impact of the organization’s work, and contributing to CCSA’s public affairs and stakeholder engagement functions.


Strategic Communications

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of CCSA’s overall strategic communications plan, including supporting outreach strategies, specific projects, and events and activities, through the use of both traditional and new media

  • Actively participate in cross-functional project teams to provide communications advice, skills and expertise to drive forward corporate priorities

Brand and Thought Leadership Management

  • Develop, implement and distribute communication materials to support CCSA research and knowledge products, solidifying CCSA’s reputation as a national and international thought leader

  • Working closely with subject-matter experts, proactively seek out opportunities to demonstrate CCSA’s knowledge and leadership through outreach to government officials, as well as the media by way of opinion pieces and contributions to targeted platforms and publications

  • Provide support and advice to ensure that all communications reinforce and leverage CCSA’s positioning and brand

Public Affairs and Media Relations

  • Proactively analyze the broader public environment and factor this into appropriate communications, issues management and media responses

  • Create specific communications, media relations and outreach strategies so that CCSA’s issues are linked with government priorities at the federal, provincial and territorial levels

  • Contribute to the development of media messaging and liaise with journalists to provide information and arrange interviews with CCSA subject-matter experts

Social and Digital Media

  • Contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of CCSA’s social media strategy

  • Actively monitor and contribute to communications and engagement activities on key platforms

Event Management

  • Assist with marketing and communication activities for public and professional events and meetings

Measuring Success

  • Assist with gathering and reporting on key public affairs and communications metrics

Qualifications and Experience

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree or college certificate in public relations, journalism or communications plus three to five years of relevant experience

  • Exceptional writing skills with experience conceptualizing and producing a variety of documents and multi-media materials, including news releases, backgrounders, articles, Op-eds, web content, PowerPoint presentations, videos and speeches

  • Proven experience in contributing to and delivering on strategic communications plans

  • Awareness of, and ability to respond to, political, governmental, media and research priorities in the area of substance use disorders

  • Knowledge of communications tools and techniques, including the practical application of new technologies and social media

  • Well-developed analytical, reasoning and problem-solving skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills, client orientation and focus on solutions

  • Ability to take initiative and work in a fast-paced environment while exercising flexibility and sound judgement

  • Ability to establish priorities and manage deadlines


  • Bilingualism English/French (spoken)

  • Experience working with senior Government of Canada officials, including staff in ministerial offices

  • Experience working directly with elected officials at the federal or provincial/territorial levels

  • Experience working in or with science- and research-based organizations

Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Interested candidates should submit a résumé and covering letter by email to We thank all respondents; however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Position Title: Director, Public Affairs and Communications (interim, 9–12 months)

Reports to: Vice-President, Operations and Strategies

Reporting to the Vice-President, Operations and Strategies, the Director, Public Affairs and Communications (PAC) is accountable for providing leadership and strategic direction for all communications to CCSA’s partners and stakeholders, as well as to the media and other relevant audiences. The Director is responsible for developing a strategic overarching vision for communications within CCSA that is aligned with the organization’s values, mission and mandate, and for managing the creation and implementation of communications strategies. The Director also leads the team responsible for internal production, graphic design and translation services.


  • Anticipates and manages communications opportunities and risks by monitoring trends in public opinion and media coverage, and analyzing internal and external environments in order to nurture and protect CCSA’s corporate image

  • Provides advice and guidance to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) on communications issues impacting the organization, on strategic opportunities related to CCSA’s products, and on strategic SLT discussions that set policies and overall direction for CCSA

  • Manages and directs media relations activities for CCSA (such as interview opportunities in print and electronic media) by initiating media contact, responding to requests for information, and engaging and preparing the appropriate CCSA spokespeople

  • Manages and directs the organization’s social media activities by embracing innovative new technologies to tell CCSA’s story across relevant platforms

  • Provides leadership, support and advice to ensure that all communications (statements, speeches, presentations, releases) reinforce and leverage CCSA’s organizational positioning and brand

  • Ensures that communications and production best practices and processes are established and followed to effectively meet internal client deadlines and deliverables

  • Evaluates the effectiveness and results of the communications activities, and makes recommendations for improvements as required

  • Determines editorial direction and content of CCSA publications, including the annual report

  • Makes both proactive and reactive recommendations related to short- and long-term issues that affect CCSA’s reputation and corporate image

  • Establishes a strong network of contacts among bureaucratic and elected officials to enhance CCSA’s public profile and increase understanding of issues related to addiction, treatment and recovery

  • Liaises with representatives of federal and provincial governments, addictions agencies and non-government organizations to coordinate activities related to shared communications issues and interests

  • Leads planning initiatives related to major events and product launches

  • Sets the strategic direction for the division and ensures the team successfully achieves the agreed-upon deliverables and results on time and on budget

  • Undertakes the financial and human resources management of the PAC division by establishing and overseeing the divisional budget, and supervising and coaching of staff, including performance management and development

  • Negotiates contracts with suppliers

  • Develops and maintains a strong network of contacts in the media, marketing and communications fields, including government officials and ministerial press advisors

  • Coordinates communications efforts around various partnership initiatives with multiple stakeholders who could have competing priorities

  • Advises the Board of Directors through the CEO of opportunities and strategies for communications and outreach

  • Works collaboratively with other CCSA divisions to ensure coordinated planning and implementation of cross-divisional initiatives


  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, business administration or equivalent.

  • 10+ years of relevant experience at a senior communications level

  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the workings of the Canadian federal government

  • Proven ability to lead and manage teams, and gain credibility across the organization and with key partners

  • Experienced public speaker, strong written and oral communications skills

  • Experience leading and managing complex and multiple projects


  • Bilingualism

Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Interested candidates should submit a résumé and covering letter by email to We thank all respondents; however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Position Title: Knowledge Broker

Reports to: Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harms of alcohol and other drugs on society. It is the only organization with a legislated mandate to undertake this work at a national level. We partner with public, private and non-governmental organizations to improve the health and safety of Canadians. CCSA's vision is for a healthier Canadian society where evidence transforms approaches to substance use.

It is the mandate of the Strategic Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization (SPKM) division to facilitate, lead and participate in gathering, connecting and mobilizing people, knowledge and other resources for collective action and change toward shared goals. The Knowledge Broker reports to and works under the direction of the Associate Director, Knowledge Mobilization, within the SPKM division. The Knowledge Broker is responsible for developing relationships with partners to get the right information into the right hands at the right time, and for supporting the delivery, uptake, use and impact of evidence-informed practices, tools, programs and products for those working in the field of substance abuse.

The Knowledge Broker, working with research and policy analysts, national priority advisors, and communications advisors, draws on the existing body of knowledge or evidence from research and other sources, and works with key stakeholders to provide tailored, evidence-informed guidance and practical tools to facilitate desired changes in practice, programs or policies. Through facilitating collaborative efforts of stakeholders and partners, the Knowledge Broker encourages the application of this evidence in practice, program and policy development and implementation, using effective knowledge mobilization approaches.


  • Lead the development and implementation of knowledge mobilization plans on assigned national priorities.

  • Work with colleagues in research and partnerships to interpret and summarize research findings to form the basis of knowledge mobilization plans, products, tools or activities to inform practice, policy and program development in the field of substance abuse.

  • Identify and bring together key partners, subject-matter experts, influential knowledge users and other key stakeholders to share evidence or knowledge to build the foundation for solutions in the substance abuse field.

  • Lead consultations with stakeholders to identify their needs in accessing, interpreting and using evidence from research and other sources, and help build their capacity through the provision of resources, training and mentoring.

  • Lead collaboration efforts with a variety of stakeholders to negotiate creative, practical and relevant approaches to knowledge mobilization for sustainable solutions and change.

  • Work closely with national priority advisors and communications advisors to identify partners and stakeholders across Canada, and ensure they have access to the CCSA products and services to address their needs and issues.

  • Continuously establish and maintain networks of stakeholders and partners that can both benefit from and contribute to the collective efforts to reduce the harms and improve the care for those affected by substance abuse.


  • Masters or doctoral degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., science, arts and humanities, health administration, adult education).

  • Three to five years of related experience.

  • Experience negotiating with and facilitating multi-stakeholder groups (e.g., health professionals, the public, healthcare managers and other decision makers, private industry).

  • Understanding of all aspects of knowledge mobilization (e.g., generation, synthesis, product development, knowledge translation and exchange, dissemination, management, evaluation).

  • Experience in developing and implementing knowledge mobilization plans, activities and products.

  • Experience building relationships with partners at regional, provincial and federal levels to inform or implement effective practices, programs or policies.

  • Ability to interpret and identify key results from health and other research, and to summarize research findings in plain language.

  • Experience in stakeholder engagement, consultation and related data collection through a variety of mechanisms, including surveys, focus groups and social media.

  • Ability to develop or inform the development of knowledge mobilization products, such as toolkits, learning modules, lay and research publications, and policy briefs, using feedback from knowledge users.

  • Demonstrated experience in identifying and applying effective practices in knowledge mobilization (e.g., communications, education, training, resource development, stakeholder engagement) and evaluating the uptake, use and impact of this knowledge.

  • Ability to engage diverse audiences and build partnerships and collaborations between diverse groups from a variety of sectors.

  • Ability to develop understanding of system-wide issues (i.e., a "systems thinker").

  • Strong analytical skills; process and results-oriented.

  • Enthusiastic and high-energy team player with a passion for engaging partners.

  • Strong focus on critical thinking and strategic problem resolution.

  • Excellent communication skills.


  • Experience or expertise in the field of workplace health and safety or alcohol and substance abuse.

  • Bilingual English–French.

Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Interested candidates should submit a résumé and covering letter by email to We thank all respondents; however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Position Title: Research and Policy Analyst

Reports to: ​Associate Director, Research and Policy

Reporting to the Associate Director, Research and Policy, the Research & Policy Analyst (RPA) is a subject matter expert who conducts research and responds to research requests (both internal to CCSA and external), and provides research-based policy analysis relevant to CCSA's priorities. The RPA may represent CCSA on various expert committees and working groups and provide advice on research initiatives and their impact on public policy. The RPA works in collaboration with CCSA's external facing divisions to communicate key messages and aid in the knowledge mobilization of research findings.


  • Facilitates and initiates national research initiatives in addiction

  • Collaborates with researchers within CCSA and with those of other agencies to determine the nature and scope of studies required

  • Contributes to the strategic development of CCSA's research program

  • Plans and conducts research studies on specific aspects of substance use and addiction relevant to the organization's strategic directions and priorities

  • Performs internal quality peer reviews of research proposals, analyses, results and reports

  • Implements processes to help CCSA identify and promote important emerging areas of research

  • Contributes to research grant proposals to gain additional research funding for CCSA

  • Represents CCSA on expert committees and working groups and liaises with external scientific and clinical advisors

  • Provides functional advice to other RPAs in conducting specific studies

  • Determines the appropriate research methodologies, analytical techniques, designs, models, scope, timelines and costs of research projects

  • Determines data or information requirements and negotiates agreements with other organizations or government bodies to obtain data

  • Prepares ethics applications for review by Research Ethics Boards

  • Gathers information and performs appropriate quantitative and qualitative analyses.

  • Conducts or identifies existing research knowledge syntheses to inform policy and practice

  • Prepares reports with conclusions and recommendations or proposals for further study

  • Reviews research proposals from other analysts and kindred agencies

  • Responds to requests for information and advice from other research analysts

  • Conducts media interviews, webinars and workshops, and obtains and provides expert opinions on relevant issues

  • Publishes in peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed journals

  • Presents finding of research at conferences, workshops and symposia

  • Conducts research-based policy analyses on topical matters related to substance use

  • Incorporates new and emerging research knowledge into policy position papers

  • Conducts impact analyses of new research directions vis-à-vis existing policies and practices in the addiction field


  • Masters or Ph.D. in an addiction-related field or post-doctoral training in an addiction-related field

  • 3-5 years' research experience in the social sciences, population health, epidemiology, psychology or clinical sciences related to the addiction field

  • Experience working with SAS and/or SPSS

  • Fully developed analytical and reasoning skills

  • Ability to understand, express and apply complex quantitative and/or qualitative analyses, concepts, methods and procedures

  • Ability to perform knowledge syntheses and critically appraise and evaluate research.

  • Strong knowledge base of the addiction literature

  • Strong written and oral communications skills

  • Evidence of peer-reviewed publications and presentations at conferences

  • Experience effectively liaising with local, national and international stakeholders from various sectors

  • Strong time management skills

  • Ability to work independently


  • Research background and experience related to prescription drug use and abuse, and substance use among older adults,

  • Experience in preparing successful grant proposals and reviewing grant proposals, particularly with federal research granting bodies (e.g., CIHR, SSHRC and federal departments and agencies such as Health Canada and Public Safety Canada)

  • Experience analyzing public policy and determining the implications of new research knowledge for application by policy makers

  • Experience with research project management, including budget management

  • Experience mentoring researchers

  • Bilingualism (French/English)

Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Interested candidates should submit a résumé and covering letter by email to We thank all respondents; however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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Future Opportunities​​​​​

​We are always interested in receiving resumes from qualified and committed candidates, particularly in the following areas:

  • Knowledge exchange and partnership development

  • Research and Policy Analyst​​

Please submit your resume to Thank you!​​​