Project Overview

The Citizen Lab conducts research on targeted digital threats against civil society, digital authoritarianism, and digital transnational repression and is seeking a research assistant. Their groundbreaking report published in 2022, “Psychological and Emotional War: Digital Transnational Repression in Canada,” brought attention to the various methods of digital transnational repression employed by authoritarian states to silence, persecute, control, coerce, or otherwise intimidate their nationals abroad into refraining from transnational political or social activities, or expressing their opinions, in ways that may undermine or threaten the state and power within its border. Digital transnational repression can include online intimidation or surveillance and coercion by proxy, in which a person’s family, loved one, or business partner is threatened, imprisoned, or otherwise targeted. The psychological impacts that result from this type of coercion are chilling, ranging from paranoia to complete isolation. The risks to freedom of expression from digital transnational repression are thus extremely acute.

The Lab is now focusing on the gender dimensions of digital transnational repression and is seeking a research assistant with the skills listed below to support the project by carrying out the responsibilities listed below.

Skills and Qualifications

  • A current graduate student preferably in political science or related field
  • Academic research experience
  • Analytical
  • Writing
  • Presentation skills


  • Assist in data collection, survey distribution, and interviews.
  • Develop or assist in the development of interview schedules; contact potential subjects to introduce and explain study objectives and protocol and to arrange interviews.
  • Identify and compile lists of potential research subjects in accordance with study objectives and criteria.
  • Transcribe audio recordings of research interviews accurately.
  • Edit transcripts for clarity, removing filler words or non-verbal expressions.
  • Assist researchers in data analysis, and summarize results.
  • Conduct literature reviews.
  • Summarize research results.
  • Help draft research reports, papers, and manuscripts.
  • Fact-check and proofread manuscripts.
  • Maintain a comprehensive bibliography.
  • Ensure proper citation and referencing in research papers.
  • Ensure compliance with research ethics and protocols.
  • Handle sensitive data and maintain confidentiality.
  • Maintain organized records of research activities, data, and results.
  • Assist with any other tasks that may arise during the course of the research project.

The Citizen Lab

The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, focusing on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security.

We use a “mixed methods” approach to research combining practices from political science, law, computer science, and area studies. Our research includes: investigating digital espionage against civil society, documenting Internet filtering and other technologies and practices that impact freedom of expression online, analyzing privacy, security, and information controls of popular applications, and examining transparency and accountability mechanisms relevant to the relationship between corporations and state agencies regarding personal data and other surveillance activities.


  • Six month hourly contract at a maximum of 13 hours per week
  • Compensation: $28.57 per hour
  • Successful applicants must meet the legal requirements to work in Canada, and reside in Ontario for the employment to take place

Application Process


The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. As such, we strive to make our processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants.

If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact