IDEA Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Associate

Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) is a social innovation lab at McMaster University that focuses on the employment of persons with disabilities. It was recently funded for six years by the New Frontiers in Research Fund Transformation Stream, administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Co-led by Institute for Work & Health (IWH) Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa and McMaster Associate Professor Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz, IDEA follows from our longstanding Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (, housed at IWH. The activities of the IDEA laboratory are focused on advancing knowledge and practice on how workplaces and related systems can be better designed to support full inclusion of persons with disabilities, including the social aspects of employment.

IDEA is currently seeking a qualified person to fill the position of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Associate.

About the position

The Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Associate will provide broad communications services, as well as stakeholder engagement support, for the laboratory. They will work closely with the two leads of IDEA, the Web Master, the National Manager and the National Coordinator to plan, initiate and coordinate a wide range of products, services and initiatives to fulfill the laboratory’s communications and stakeholder engagement objectives. The position will be primarily remote, with approximately 25 per cent of time on-site in Hamilton and/or Toronto.

Core duties and responsibilities

  • Coordinate, write and post content for the launch of the laboratory’s website, and continue to write and post web content throughout the life of the initiative (e.g. articles on IDEA activities, resources, events and outcomes).
  • Coordinate, write, edit and produce an e-newsletter according to schedule (to be determined).
  • Pitch and write articles on IDEA activities and outcomes for stakeholder publications, ghost-writing articles for IDEA participants and partners as needed.
  • Edit and proofread initiative reports, policy briefs, guides and other resources, as required.
  • Oversee media relations activities for the laboratory, including handling inquiries from media, arranging interviews where appropriate, preparing media advisories and releases, conducting media analysis, and tracking media uptake.
  • Oversee social media for IDEA, including regularly tweeting, posting on LinkedIn, and posting on other social media platforms as required (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) to keep stakeholders up to date on IDEA activities and outcomes.
  • Coordinate production of project-related videos, including writing and approving scripts, approving story boards and final videos.
  • Coordinate, run and promote IDEA webinar series, and help coordinate other events such as workshops and conferences, as needed.
  • Ensure all communications products and dissemination methods are accessible and meet accessibility standards.

Education and experience

  • Strong people and interpersonal skills, with the ability to engage and coordinate stakeholders in a range of online and in-person formats, as well as the ability to work both in a team and independently
  • Demonstrated ability to link communications with effective relationship-building in order to mobilize knowledge 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of communication accessibility standards and how to meet them
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, work and disability issues an asset
  • Demonstrated ability to support research, conduct interviews, and write and edit various types of public relations materials, especially newsletters, websites, media releases and video scripts
  • Strong writing, editing and proofing skills, as well as a general knowledge of production processes
  • Savvy and strong web content and social media skills; video production skills an asset
  • Sound working knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel), Adobe Suite (InDesign, Acrobat) and html
  • Formal education in public relations, communications and/or journalism and/or more than five years of related job experience an asset
  • Experience in a research or academic organization, and/or in an organization serving people with disabilities, an asset

Salary range

This is a full-time position for one year, with a possibility of extension, and is based on a full-time salary range of $65,000-$75,000, plus benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience. The position will be assessed after three months.

Working conditions

Much of this job can be done remotely. The job requires coming into the office as needed, approximately 25 per cent of the time, in Hamilton and/or Toronto. The physical environment of the office is an accessible modern building. There is no unusual physical effort involved in the duties. There are many periods of focused concentration at a computer terminal.

Application details

We strongly encourage candidates who identify as a person with a disability to apply. We are open to the possibility of job-sharing in cases where a candidate has strong skills in key areas of the position.

If you are interested in this position, please submit a cover letter and resumé by email to Ms Sabrina Chaudhry at

Your cover letter should clearly state how you meet the qualifications for this position.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 17, 2023.

IDEA is an equal-opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates. We thank all applicants, but only those considered for the position will be contacted.

We thank all applicants, but only those considered for the position will be contacted.

Application deadline:

This opportunity is now closed.