The Election Act stipulates that the Directeur général des élections du Québec "may conduct an analysis and assessment of electoral procedures and conduct studies on the financing of political parties. After having sought the advice of the advisory committee, he may also carry out any other research he considers advisable".
To provide a framework for the research and development aspect, the Institution has adopted a research policy. The Directeur général des élections du Québec has neither the vocation of a research centre nor that of a university. The studies that the Chief Electoral Officer carries out must not duplicate or overlap the work of researchers.
As the administrator of the Election Act, the Directeur général des élections du Québec gives priority to research activities that are closely linked to his mission. He favours applied research and feasibility studies geared to the development or improvement of electoral procedures, political financing and electoral representation.
As a partner of the Chaire de recherche sur la démocratie et les institutions parlementaires (Research Chair in Democracy and Parliamentary Institutions), the Directeur général des élections du Québec signed a memorandum of understanding with Université Laval and the University’s Foundation in 2007. Under this memorandum of understanding, the Chief Electoral Officer has agreed to fund research activities that are specific to the election field on the basis of precise research specifications.
The Chief Electoral Officer has also agreed to welcome research trainees for practical training periods at the Directeur général des élections du Québec intended for Master’s and PhD level students.