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.

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