Recognized as one of Waterloo Area's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 23, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Centre for International Governance Innovation was selected as one of Waterloo Area's Top Employers (2019):
- The Centre for International Governance Innovation cultivates its fun side through an employee-led social committee that hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as the annual Pi Day, a viewing party for last year's solar eclipse, monthly pub nights, an annual holiday party with live music, and ice cream and popsicles before every summer long weekend
- The Centre for International Governance Innovation supports employees who are new mothers and fathers (including adoptive parents) with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 75% of salary for up to 11 weeks
- In addition to 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, the Centre for International Governance Innovation offers paid time off during the winter holidays, as well as up to 3 paid personal days off, which can be scheduled at the employees' discretion
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Centre for International Governance Innovation was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- In the past year, the Centre for International Governance Innovation awarded 32 graduate scholarships to students interested in conducting research related to its International Law Research Program -- the generous scholarships range from $16,000 to $24,000 in value, depending on the student's field of study, and includes a flexible period of residency at the organization's facility, offering opportunities for students to pursue academic research in a think-tank environment with experienced researchers and senior fellows
- The Centre for International Governance Innovation hosted a "Model United Nations" for Waterloo Region High School, a 1-day conference for senior high school students featuring three innovative mock UN Committees -- the unique initiative encouraged participating students to develop negotiation, speech-making and research skills
- In partnership with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Centre for International Governance Innovation offers a unique scholarship opportunity to allow law students to advance their own research as well as contribute to research areas the Centre is advancing, such as international economic law, property law, environmental law and indigenous law
- In the past year, the Centre for International Governance Innovation hired 17 student Research Assistants from across Canada for 3- to 6-month terms -- students had the unique opportunity to assist fellows in conducting research, participating in data collection and literature reviews
CIGI offers thoughtful work toward a better tomorrow
Samantha St. Amand, a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont., has crossed the Atlantic twice in the last year. She spent two weeks doing research at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Then she headed off to Rome for an annual conference on financial regulations for central banks.
The conference featured presenters including the former Italian prime minister and a European Central Bank vice president. "It's really valuable and fascinating to meet with such high-calibre experts and specialists," says St. Amand, who joined CIGI straight out of graduate school. "If I were an economist or junior economist in the public sector I probably wouldn't get opportunities like that."
CIGI is an independent research organization supported by private donors as well as funding from the Ontario and federal governments. Susan Hirst, Director of Human Resources, says CIGI's mandate is to focus on three areas -- the global economy, global security and politics, and international law.
"We work on a vast array of topics," says Hirst. "From NAFTA renegotiations to the global refugee crisis to moving forward the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the world. The wide scope of our research and analysis is a point of pride for us." CIGI supports employees in their pursuit of inspiring research work that is focused on making the world a better place.
CIGI manages all this with a relatively small staff of 84 resident employees and an international network of experts and scholars. CIGI also funds 32 scholarships for students pursuing graduate law degrees. Masters students are eligible for up to $16,000, doctoral students $32,000.
CIGI's staff researchers are generally recent graduates with master's or doctoral degrees in disciplines such as economics, international law, communications, international relations, public policy and political science. "We're looking for people who are great thinkers," says Hirst. "We let them come up with ideas about possible topics of research and provide them with access to the world's best experts in their field."
Staff researchers perform a variety of roles. They collaborate with other CIGI experts, publish articles in academic journals and write policy papers for a national and international audience. On top of their research, staff researchers also contribute opinion content for CIGI's website, write op-eds for influential publications and are featured in videos and podcasts.
"Because CIGI is a small organization you're an important piece of the puzzle," says St. Amand. Over time, CIGI has proved to be a pathway to careers in academia, government and international institutions. "We're a launching pad for many young people," says Hirst. "We don't expect people to stay forever. They meet people, they get their research out in the public domain and they move on but never give up their ties to CIGI."
Apart from all that, CIGI provides other benefits. "Besides the work, we offer a fabulous environment," says Hirst. "We have top-notch facilities and we're in a great location in Uptown Waterloo."
The building surrounds a large courtyard, complete with terraces and common areas that can double as workspaces. In addition, the CIGI building includes a meditation room, change rooms with showers and lockers and holds weekly yoga classes. Employees also have flexible work hours and working from home is an option one day per week.
"We're small, but offer many of the same benefits as large corporations," says Hirst.