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Job Alert: Graduate Research Assistant, FNH

Job/Position Summary:

This is a part-time Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) position for approximately 10 hours a week for 8 months. The successful candidate for this grant-funded position will develop, validate, implement and disseminate concept inventory surveys for a wide range of entry-level food science disciplines.

Organizational Status:

The successful candidate will work within and report to the Flexible Learning project team of food science instructors and faculty members.

Work Performed:

Work with food science course instructors to determine common student misconceptions (knowledge and attitudinal) in an entry-level food science course based on student interviews, focus groups expert interviews and scientific articles.

Adapt well-established methods of concept inventory to develop these inventories to promote students learning gains in an entry-level course offered in a range of learning environment.

Research, review papers in the field. Keep abreast of methodologies for development of concept inventories and learning activities in food science and related disciplines.

Collect data through student interviews and focus groups and analyse data using statistical techniques.

Organize student interviews and focus groups.

Work with instructors to implement concept inventories and learning activities into courses. Act as a consultant.

Participate in team meetings and report findings to the team. Collaborate with others, internally and externally, to improve the concept inventories and learning activities in food science and related disciplines.

Contribute to the development and testing of high-quality learning activities based on the misconceptions identified and using best practices.

Contribute to the development of write-ups to help disseminate results through conferences and peer-reviewed high quality journals.

Work with instructors to identify technologies to disseminate the inventories and activities.

Work with the project team to plan and carry out evaluation of the project using both formative and summative measures. This may include gathering student feedback, pilot testing of instructional resources, and carrying out expert reviews.

Carry out other duties as required in keeping with the qualifications and requirements of the positions in this classification.

Consequence of Error/Judgment:

The successful candidate is expected to decide appropriate steps to carry out projects with defined goals. All work will be evaluated by the project team for its accuracy and appropriateness. Errors could lead to lack of student learning, the project being not successful, and lack of instructor or student buy in into the project.

Supervision Received:

It is expected that the candidate will work independently, but under the guidance of the project team. Each member of the project team has an expertise in a different area, so research and evaluation guidance will be provided.

Supervision Given:

The candidate may be responsible for providing direction to other staff members; oversees the academic work of and demonstrates learning activities to students as required.

Education/Work Experience:

The ideal candidate will be an individual with knowledge of concepts in food science (e.g. chemistry, biology, microbiology, safety, law and regulation, etc.), and some experience in teaching; as well as knowledge in qualitative research methodology and data analysis.


  • Ability to develop learning activities
  • Ability to conduct education research
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Experience with human ethics protocols is an asset.
  • Familiarity with learning technology tools (e.g. Blackboard, WordPress) is an asset.
  • Experience running focus groups and developing and deploying surveys is an asset.
  • Experience in qualitative data analysis is an asset.

To Apply:

Please submit your C.V. to Judy Chan at judy.chan@ubca with the subject heading ‘RA Flexible Learning FNH 200’ by January 15, 2014.

Job Opening: Assistant Professor, McGill

The Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University seeks an innovative scholar for a tenure track faculty appointment at the rank of Assistant/Associate Professor in the area of social impacts of technology.

We are seeking a motivated, broad thinking scholar whose research focuses on the response of society to innovation in the environment-agriculture-food-nutrition-health continuum. Research areas could include but are not limited to, policy and governance, economics, factors affecting knowledge and acceptance of technologies, and the roles of new technologies in international development and food security.

In addition to establishing a significant and externally-funded research program, the successful candidate is expected to teach courses and mentor students at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and to be a strong participant in McGill’s interdisciplinary Institute of Global Food Security.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in social or natural sciences and demonstrated ability in research and teaching; experience in working with the private and/or public sectors will be considered an asset.

[link to full job posting]

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Background: On behalf of the Government of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) undertakes research to achieve security of the food system, health of the environment and innovation for growth. Within this broad mandate, an important objective is to assess and to manage the risks to environmental quality and public health created by agriculture. We are therefore focussing our current research efforts on developing the life cycle assessment capabilities of the Holos model in order to
provide producer, producer groups, and scientists with a tool to assess the energy efficiency of Canadian farming systems, an estimate that will contribute to the accuracy of carbon footprint calculations and to assessing environmental footprints.

Description of the post-doctoral work: The successful candidate will focus on creating a life cycle inventory with respect to Canadian farm energy use for the Holos model, an AAFC farm-level greenhouse gas calculator intended for development as an environmental impact tool. To start, the candidate will revisit existing farm energy models (e.g., GHGenius and F4E2), and use the gained insight to improve farm machine use considerations (energy use, GHG emissions) within the Holos model. This involves assessing the types of energy used in consultation with the Holos development team. The candidate will build an energy budget (in- vs. outputs), based on understanding gleaned from scientific
literature and other sources. The candidate will report findings to collaborating scientists and at Holos workshops. Scientific publications will focus on a) life cycle inventory building, b) model development, and c) scenario analysis. The candidate will join the HOLOS development team at the Lethbridge Research Centre.

[See full position description]