Employment Opportunities

Call for Proposal for Research Grant
"Human Capital for Micro, Small, and Medium-size Enterprises (MSMEs) in APEC Developing Economies"
(APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership)

Introduction
The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada's relations with Asia. Our mission is to be Canada's catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia's bridge to Canada. APF Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada's expertise in offering solutions to Asia's climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians' general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

APF Canada is currently implementing the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership (the Project) that is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The ultimate outcome of the Project is to build the potential of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) economies to foster sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. To that end, APF Canada is offering three policy research grants (CAD $18,000 each) for projects that provide original research, using both primary and secondary sources, on the issue of human capital for MSMEs in APEC developing economies.

Background
The Project will take place over four years beginning September 8, 2016 and ending August 30, 2020. The countries supported in this initiative include all APEC developing economies, but specifically target Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam. The focus areas of the Project address key challenges faced by MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs from APEC developing economies in the key areas of human capital, social entrepreneurship, market access and technology and innovation, with the cross-cutting themes of women, youth and the environment. In 2017/18, the Project will be focusing on the key area of human capital and contributing to the advancement of Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy.

APF Canada will be responsible for delivering and disseminating relevant and timely policy research and practical tools based on, where applicable, Canadian best practices that can help beneficiaries – MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs from APEC developing economies – and intermediaries – policy makers from APEC developing economies. This will be achieved through the development of several project outputs, including 12 research reports (three per key area) that will provide content for MSME toolkits and feed into a capstone policy paper that will be presented to high-level policy makers at an APEC Conference in 2020.

Key project deliverable
Grantees will prepare an 8,000 to 10,000 word report on market access in the context of MSMEs in APEC developing economies. We ask that researchers choose one topic area (suggestions below) and address all or most of the following research questions in their research papers:

Topic Areas:
o Best practices in government and private sector support for on-the-job training;
o Diversity programs and quotas for marginalized groups;
o Entrepreneurial and skills training (level of employability), as well as creative and critical thinking skills in education;
o Assessment of mobile training applications and online courses (MOOCs) used by MSMEs;
o Implications of/understanding the "gig economy" and entrepreneurship (i.e.: the future of work);
o The impact of social policy on MSMEs, gender equality and youth employment (i.e.: flexible work, social programs and childcare, as well as minimum wage and universal basic income);
o Evaluating the effectiveness of entrepreneurial support/mentorship programs, especially those targeting youth and women;
o Human resource management and analytics in startups;
o Talent acquisition process for startups;
o Fostering flexible labour markets and immigration policies;
o Impact of the development of e-commerce on MSME labour practices;
o Impact of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and robotics on MSMEs; and
o Human capital and the informal sector.

Research questions:
- Obstacles: What are the obstacles experienced by MSMEs in the four focus economies and APEC developing economies as a whole in obtaining human capital? Obstacles can range from regulation, governance and logistical, competition and business environment, characteristics of the firm, to financial constraints.

- Opportunities: What opportunities and positive economic changes are provided to MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the chosen topic area?

- Best practices and policy recommendations: What are the business/management best practices and policy/regulatory recommendations (especially Canadian ones) that cam facilitate market access for MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the chosen topic area?

In addition, researchers will ideally address the intersectionality of gender equality, youth and the environment with the issue of market access for MSMEs in their research reports.

Eligibility
Individual researchers and/or institutions who are the nationals of APEC economies are eligible to apply.

Schedule and timeline
The successful bidder will have a maximum duration of 150 days beginning on November 1st 2017, with all deliverables and activities completed by March 30th 2018.

Size of the Grant
The research grant is valued at CAD $18,000, which will be given in two installments linked to the final deliverable (the first valued at $7,000 upon signing the contract, the second valued at $11,000 upon submission of the final report). An itemized budget is not required in the proposal.

Selection criteria
Preference will be given to proposals that address new and as yet under-research topics related to MSMEs and market access. The proposals should have the potential to generate findings that have strong policy and business relevance (i.e. the focus is on current issues, solutions-oriented, and generate actionable recommendations).

In addition, preference will be given to researchers and/or institutions that have research/organizational experiences in any of the four focus economies (Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Peru).

Required information
The proposal should be 5 to 10 pages long (single-spaced) and should have the following sections:
- A short abstract with 100 to 250 words;
- An introduction that includes the research questions to be addressed and the significance/policy relevance of the research;
- A brief literature review relevant to the research problem being addressed;
- The methodology: analytical framework, data sources, and methods of analyses;
- A timeline of the research report, milestones and expected outputs
- List of team member(s) with brief CVs and description of capacity to undertake the research;
- References

Instructions for Proposal Submission
a) Proposal must address the requirements listed in the "Required Information" section;
b) Proposals may address additional services and/or considerations not specifically referenced in the RFP and may be of potential benefit to the Project;
c) Questions regarding the RFP are to be submitted by email only to apfcanada-msme@asiapacific.ca. Emails must contain "RFP – Research Paper - Question' in the subject line.
d) Information shared with a vendor for the purpose of this proposal is confidential.
e) The deadline for the submission of the proposal will be on 11.59pm PST October 25th 2017.
f) Only electronic submissions will be accepted via email to: apfcanada-msme@asiapacific.ca with the subject heading: "RFP – Research Paper – Proposal".

Other conditions
- APF Canada reserves the rights to negotiate with selected bidders.
- APF Canada reserves the right to waive irregularities and reject any or all bids.
- APF Canada reserves the right to make no award or announce the cancellation of the process at any times.
- All liabilities for the cost of the proposal preparation is the responsibility of the bidder.

 

Call for Proposal for Research Grant
"Market Access for Micro- Small-, and Medium-size Enterprises (MSMEs) in APEC Developing Economies"
(APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership)

Introduction

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is a not-for-profit organization focused on Canada's relations with Asia. Our mission is to be Canada's catalyst for engagement with Asia and Asia's bridge to Canada. APF Canada is dedicated to strengthening ties between Canada and Asia with a focus on expanding economic relations through trade, investment and innovation; promoting Canada's expertise in offering solutions to Asia's climate change, energy, food security and natural resource management challenges; building Asia skills and competencies among Canadians, including young Canadians; and, improving Canadians' general understanding of Asia and its growing global influence.

APF Canada is currently implementing the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership (the Project) that is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The ultimate outcome of the Project is to build the potential of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) economies to foster sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. To that end, APF Canada is offering three policy research grants (CAD $18,000 each) for projects that provide original research, using both primary and secondary sources, on the issue of market access for MSMEs in APEC developing economies.

Background

The Project will take place over four years beginning September 8, 2016 and ending August 30, 2020. The countries supported in this initiative include all APEC developing economies, but specifically target Indonesia, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam. The focus areas of the Project address key challenges faced by MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs from APEC developing economies in the key areas of human capital, social entrepreneurship, market access and technology and innovation, with the cross-cutting themes of women, youth and the environment. In 2017/18, the Project will be focusing on the key area of market access and contributing to the advancement of Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy.

APF Canada will be responsible for delivering and disseminating relevant and timely policy research and practical tools based on, where applicable, Canadian best practices that can help beneficiaries – MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs from APEC developing economies – and intermediaries – policy makers from APEC developing economies. This will be achieved through the development of several project outputs, including 12 research reports (three per key area) that will provide content for MSME toolkits and feed into a capstone policy paper that will be presented to high-level policy makers at an APEC Conference in 2020.

Key project deliverable

Grantees will prepare an 8,000 to 10,000 word report on market access in the context of MSMEs in APEC developing economies. We ask that researches choose one topic area (suggestions below) and address all or most of the following research questions in their research papers:

Topic Areas:
- Tariff and/ or non-tariff barriers (NTBs);
- Cross-border regulations pertaining to financial market regulations and other regulatory domains;
- Intellectual property (IP);
- SME access to traditional and/or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) systems;
- MSME preparedness to internationalization and national support programs;
- Government trade missions, export support programs, and/or trade representatives abroad;
- The role of business associations and chambers of commerce;
- E-commerce;
- Market intelligence (i.e. marketing, branding, etc.);
- Visa-entry and other related issues;
- Multilateral trade organizations and initiatives (i.e. APEC, WTO, Pacific Alliance etc.);
- Bilateral and free-trade agreements (TPP-11, RCEP, etc.);
- Telecommunication and information technology (IT) infrastructure;
- Transportation and shipping;
- Internationalized infrastructure for financial markets, advisory services, information access; Telecommunication, IP rights, etc.;
- Solutions for women-owned MSMEs to access markets

Research questions:
- Obstacles: What are the obstacles experienced by MSMEs in the four focus economies and APEC developing economies as a whole in accessing markets? Obstacles can range from regulation, governance and logistical, competition and business environment, characteristics of the firm, to financial constraints.

- Opportunities: What opportunities and positive economic changes are provided to MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the chosen topic area?

- Best practices and policy recommendations: What are the business/management best practices and policy/regulatory recommendations (especially Canadian ones) that cam facilitate market access for MSMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the chosen topic area?

In addition, researchers will ideally address the intersectionality of gender equality, youth and the environment with the issue of market access for MSMEs in their research reports.

Eligibility

Individual researchers and/or institutions who are the nationals of APEC economies are eligible to apply.

Schedule and timeline

The successful bidder will have a maximum duration of 150 days beginning on November 1st 2017, with all deliverables and activities completed by March 30th 2018.

Size of the Grant

The research grant is valued at CAD $18,000, which will be given in two installments linked to the final deliverable (the first valued at $7,000 upon signing the contract, the second valued at $11,000 upon submission of the final report). An itemized budget is not required in the proposal.

Selection criteria

Preference will be given to proposals that address new and as yet under-research topics related to MSMEs and market access. The proposals should have the potential to generate findings that have strong policy and business relevance (i.e. the focus is on current issues, solutions-oriented, and generate actionable recommendations).

In addition, preference will be given to researchers and/or institutions that have research/organizational experiences in any of the four focus economies (Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Peru).

Required information

The proposal should be 5 to 10 pages long (single-spaced) and should have the following sections:
- A short abstract with 100 to 250 words;
- An introduction that includes the research questions to be addressed and the significance/policy relevance of the research;
- A brief literature review relevant to the research problem being addressed;
- The methodology: analytical framework, data sources, and methods of analyses;
- A timeline of the research report, milestones and expected outputs
- List of team member(s) with brief CVs and description of capacity to undertake the research;
- References

Instructions for Proposal Submission

a) Proposal must address the requirements listed in the "Required Information" section;
b) Proposals may address additional services and/or considerations not specifically referenced in the RFP and may be of potential benefit to the Project;
c) Questions regarding the RFP are to be submitted by email only to Matthew Yong, Project Specialist for the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership at apfcanada-msme@asiapacific.ca. Emails must contain "RFP – Research Paper - Question' in the subject line.
d) Information shared with a vendor for the purpose of this proposal is confidential.
e) The deadline for the submission of the proposal will be on 11.59pm PST October 25th 2017.
f) Only electronic submissions will be accepted via email to: apfcanada-msme@asiapacific.ca with the subject heading: "RFP – Research Paper – Proposal".

Other conditions

- APF Canada reserves the rights to negotiate with selected bidders.
- APF Canada reserves the right to waive irregularities and reject any or all bids.
- APF Canada reserves the right to make no award or announce the cancellation of the process at any times.
- All liabilities for the cost of the proposal preparation is the responsibility of the bidder.

Junior Research Fellowship
Call for applications: Research on Canada-Asia Investment Relations

Program Description
The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is committed to fostering the next generation of Asia Pacific researchers and practitioners. To this end, it is offering a four-month Junior Research Fellowship for applicants interested in learning more about Canada-Asia investment relations. Applicants should be Canadians or permanent residents who are completing an undergraduate or graduate degree program or have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree programs within 36 months of the application deadline of Monday, October 16th, 2017. The successful applicant will be notified in mid-October.

The Junior Research Fellow will work at the Foundation's Vancouver office and will complete a program of research and other work related to the Foundation's research. Successful applicants will have the following qualifications:

1) Excellent research skills;
2) Degree or significant coursework in economics and/or international relations;
3) Good interpersonal skills.
4) Interest in learning about the Canada-Asia investment relations.

Benefits to the Junior Research Fellow
The Junior Research Fellow will work under the mentorship of one or more of the Foundation's program managers, and will engage in three types of activities:

• Working with the APF Canada's research team in conducting research on Canada-Asia investment relations;
• Providing support to APF Canada Investment Monitor project;
• Working under the guidance of the Foundation's research team to produce one or more short analytical essays (700 – 1,000 words) on a topic chosen by the applicant in consultation with APF Canada staff.

Eligibility
Applicants should be Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are completing an undergraduate degree or master's degree or have recently completed an undergraduate or master's-level program no later than 36 months prior to the application deadline.

The Junior Research Fellow will be encouraged to work out of the Foundation's head office in downtown Vancouver, Monday to Friday during normal office hours for three to five days a week.

Amount of grant
The amount of the grant offered will be a maximum of $13,000.00 (for graduate-degree holder, five-day commitment), and will be payable in two installments, the first at the beginning of the fellowship, and the second upon the successful completion of the fellowship deliverables (described under "Benefits to the Junior Research Fellow").

Start/End Dates
The recipient should be able to complete the fellowship for four months between October 2017 and January 2018. There is a possibility of extension for another four months for the same grant amount upon mutual agreement of the recipient and the Foundation.

Application Procedures
Applications should include the following:
• Résumé detailing the applicant's academic background, skills and professional experiences;
• 1-2-page cover letter detailing the applicant's career interests and goals, how they hope to benefit from the fellowship, and why they are interested in working in the thematic area specified in the call for applications;
• Copy of applicant's university undergraduate and master's degree (if applicable) transcript(s) (scanned or electronic copies are sufficient);
• An academic writing sample no more than 10 pages single spaced.
• Name, title and contact information (email and phone number) for two references.

References will be contacted only if the applicant is short-listed for the fellowship.

Application documents should be submitted by email to Serena Ko at serena.ko@asiapacific.ca, and should reference "Junior Research Fellowship - Canada Asia Investment" in the subject line.

Applications are accepted in English and French.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls please.

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