Principal Data Scientist

Principal Data Scientist

Take a central role
The Bank of Canada has a vision to be “a leading central bank—dynamic, engaged and trusted—committed to a better Canada.” No other employer in the country offers you the unique opportunity to work at the very center of Canada’s economy, in a diverse and inclusive organization with significant impact on the economic and financial well-being of all Canadians. You will be challenged, energized and motivated to excel in an environment where we are reinventing central banking, renewing ways of doing business and reinforcing a culture of innovation.


Find out more about the next steps in our Recruitment process. 


What you will do 
We are looking for a Principal Data Scientist to act as a subject matter expert in the areas of data science, big data, and new technologies. You have demonstrated and in-depth expertise in data science and have curiosity and the technical skills to follow your curiosity.  You have a strong background in mathematics and technology, typically (but not exclusively) found in graduate research programs in Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or Engineering. You have a proven track record in solving real-world business problems and a practical mindset using the more appropriate technique for the problem, whether that be a simple linear regression or a deep neural network. You must be a self-starter and a big-picture thinker with proven skills to identify solutions by discussions with clients and have extensive experience in leading data driven projects and strategic initiatives. This is a unique opportunity to apply your advanced data science skills and have an instrumental role in expanding the Bank’s capabilities in this area. 

The position is a full-time term contract (18 months) and is intended to work closely with our High-Performance Computing (HPC) team working on the Terms-of-Trade Economic Model (ToTEM). ToTEM is the Bank of Canada’s main projection and policy analysis model. ToTEM is a dynamic stochastic general-equilibrium (DSGE) model. The Bank of Canada’s ToTEM is a complex DSGE model formed of hundreds of non-linear equations. We currently rely on linear approximation techniques and econometric methods combined with analytical tools to assist in forecasting and policy simulations. We are looking for a Principal Data Scientist to work on incorporation and application of machine learning techniques, artificial neural networks, large-scale optimization methods and approximation algorithms applied to solving non-linear systems of equations within the context of ToTEM. 

The position will report directly to the Director of Data Science, while working in a matrix environment, responding to priorities from key clients within the Bank. 


We are open to transfers, secondments, and temporary assignments to fill the position.


As a Principal Data Scientist, you will lead data-driven projects, and apply artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques at every stage of work. You have a can-do attitude and will find creative ways to develop models, tools and services that drive innovation.


You will: 


  • Own the design and development of algorithms and optimize big data architectures and data pipelines
  • Apply your in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in machine learning and artificial intelligence to design, develop and implement new data experiments, predictive models and studies
  • Improve upon existing methodologies by developing and testing model enhancements, running computational experiments, and fine-tuning model parameters for new models.
  • Lead and execute deep dive diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics to support data-driven business decision making. Create alternative model approaches to assess complex model design and advance future capabilities. Mentor, develop and collaborate with other data scientists, researchers and analysts.
  • Present analysis and resulting recommendations to senior management; leverage data to present a compelling business case to optimize and enhance models and processes

What you need to succeed
We are looking for an experienced Principal Data Scientist who has excellent analytical research and problem-solving skills, a self-starter and effective communicator who can share and adapt information and ideas to the target audiences, using clear and compelling written and oral communication skills. You must have proven and significant hands-on experience with end-to-end data science life cycle, with superior skills to structure and lead a project from idea to experimentation to prototype to delivery. 

You are committed to learning and self-development, are organized, able to set priorities to ensure follow-through and project completion in a timely manner and able to help with research and policy initiatives. You are capable of leading projects and teams to create an environment of continuous learning and open communication.  


You have proven experience in most of the following:


  • In-depth knowledge of optimization, large-scale optimization (linear and non-linear), linear programming techniques, convex optimization. Hands-on experience with CPLEX, Gurobi etc. 
  • In-depth knowledge of neural networks, deep learning and reinforcement learning
  • Collecting, organizing and manipulating big data sets, including data wrangling, dimensionality reduction and feature extraction
  • Big data hands-on experience and big data tools for machine learning (e.g. Spark)
  • In-depth knowledge of algorithm design, particularly for data science
  • Fluent in object-oriented programming and scientific programming (e.g. Python, Julia) and related libraries for data science
  • Strong programming skills conducting statistical analysis and modelling (e.g., R, Matlab)
  • Knowledge of cloud services and SaaS would be an asset
  • Data story-telling via visualization tools, dashboards, presentations and reports (e.g. Tableau)
  • Comfortable with a variety of technology tools (e.g. GitHub, Jira)



  • Fully functional in the second official language
  • Knowledge of economics and/or finance
  • Evidence of strong academic performance including teaching, publication in peer-reviewed high impact journals and/or industrial innovation record is highly desirable
  • Post-doctoral fellowship experience with research focus


Your education and experience

  • Completed Ph.D. in a quantitative field such as Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Physics, Computational Biology, Computer Engineering, Financial Economics, or other related quantitative discipline; or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Significant experience in the field (over 5 years) solving problems that require the use of advanced data science and statistical modelling techniques.

What you need to know

  • Language requirement: English and French essential (bilingual) with a minimum starting level of functional (level 4) in second official language. Training may be provided to help reach the required level of fully functional (level 5) in second official language.
  • Priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • Security level required: Reliability 
  • There will be no relocation assistance provided
  • Please save a copy of the job poster. Once the closing date has passed, it will no longer be available.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and further to public health guidelines, preventative measures are being taken to ensure health and safety during the recruitment process. All interviews are conducted via Skype.  


We wish to thank all applicants for their interest and effort in applying for this position. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.


What you can expect from us
This is a great opportunity to join a leading organization and be part of a high-performing team. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet your needs at every stage of your life and career. For more information on key benefits please visit A great deal to consider. 

  • Salaries are based on qualifications and experience and typically range from $94,100 to $117,600 (job grade 18)
  • Depending on performance, you may be eligible for performance pay for successfully meeting (7 to 10% of your base salary) or for exceeding expectations (15% of your base salary). Exceptional performers who far exceed expectations may be eligible for higher performance pay.
  • Flexible and comprehensive benefits so you can choose the level of health and dental coverage that meets your needs
  • Extra vacation days (up to five each year) that you can purchase to add to your vacation entitlement
  • Option to join the indexed, defined-benefit pension plan after 24 consecutive months of service


We strive to make our policies, programs and workplace more inclusive, respectful and barrier-free. We encourage applications from women, Indigenous peoples, veterans, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and persons of all races, ethnic origins, religions, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities and expressions.

Salary Range
$94,000.00 - 126,000.00
per Year
Salary range estimated by
Ottawa (Downtown), ON, CA