Research assistant opportunity

Seeking Research Assistant for project “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in British Columbia’s Environmental Movement”

PLEASE NOTE: applicants must be a current UBC undergraduate student or recent graduate.

Terms: Up to 400 hours (25-30 hours a week) until end of August (pay range of 18-22$ an hour, commensurate with experience).

Timeframe: Starting ASAP through August, 2020

Supervision: Dr. Jessica Dempsey, UBC Geography Department and Laura Benson, Dogwood

Submit applications to including a resume & cover letter by May 28th.  In  your cover letter be sure to indicate qualifications as listed in the description, including your UBC student status or graduation date.


Research Assistant will work directly with Dr. Dempsey and a community partner (Dogwood) on a project to advance knowledge about equity, diversity and inclusion best practices and challenges within the B.C. environmental movement. The RA would coordinate a project to gather perspectives on these issues from 1) target-identity constituencies that are traditionally under-represented in the environmental movement, and, 2) leaders and representatives of organizations. The RA will be responsible for conducting a literature review, identifying and conducting and one-on-one interviews, as well as drafting the summary white paper.


Major responsibilities, under supervision, include:

  • Literature review to inform outreach and interview practices and give context to the challenges and approaches of environmental organizations seeking to become more inclusive, diverse, just and equitable.
  • Identification of, contact with, and conducting interviews.
  • Administrative support for interview process, including honorarium payments.
  • Written summary of key findings that will be shared with participants and other organizations in the environmental and community-based organization sector
  • Other duties as required.


  • The student research assistant reports to Dr. Dempsey and the community partner Dogwood (Laura Benson). They will receive ongoing support and guidance through online weekly supervisory meetings.


  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience with conducting and writing literature reviews
  • Working knowledge of equity, diversity and inclusion issues; knowledge of environment and sustainability issues.
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methods.
  • Strong writing and editing abilities
  • Ability to take initiative and solve problems independently and creatively

Education level

  • Suitable for upper level undergraduate students, including recent graduates

Characteristics needed to be a good fit for this position

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Curious
  • Passionate about social justice and environmental issues
  • Adaptable
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative

Personal and professional development opportunities.

The position offers an intensive opportunity for the student to practice critical thinking skills, build qualitative research methods literacy, and develop the writing skills to address academic and public audiences. This builds on and complements classroom learning with real-world experience in critical analysis of equity, diversity and inclusion issues within the environmental sector. It will also offer opportunities for networking with leaders in the field of sustainability, helping the student to deepen their connection to this field of inquiry and research.