2014-2015 LFS TA Training Coordinator Position(s)


We are looking for 1-2 graduate students to fill the positions of coordinator for the 2014-2015 LFS TA Training Program under the supervision of an Advisory Committee.

This position pays $28.50/hour for approximately an 85 hour contract. There is some flexibility in when the hours are worked, but generally they are as follows:

Month Coordination Hours
July/August 35
September 15
Oct/Nov/Dec 15
January 10
Feb/March/April 10

We anticipate that funding for the position will be available until June 30, 2015, pending successful application to UBC’s 2014/15 TA Training Fund. Successful applicants are expected to participate in reviewing the funding application in February and March 2014, prior to the start of the actual appointment.

Background: LFS TA Training Program

The Faculty of Land & Food Systems has on average an annual total of 167 Teaching Assistantships, filled by approximately 100 Teaching Assistants. All TA positions involve very different duties and skills. TAs in the Faculty are responsible for: marking and assessing student work, leading science labs, facilitating community and problem-based learning, giving lectures, monitoring in-class and online discussions, providing instruction on field trips, and more.

We are excited to offer LFS TAs with a faculty-wide development program which has included in the last two years:

  • Development of a Teaching Assistant Handbook
  • Problem-based Learning Workshop
  • Instructional Skills Workshop
  • TA Orientation Day
  • Marking & Assessment Workshop
  • Term 2 TA Orientation Day
  • Diversity & Conflict Management Workshop
  • Monthly TA Community of Practice Coffee Hours
  • Access to Faculty-based Support for TAs

The overall program objectives are 1) to have TAs feel better prepared and supported in their TA roles, 2) to allow TAs to gain valuable professional skills (applicable beyond this year’s TA-ships), 3) to receive feedback from instructors and TAs on the skills they would like TAs to gain and 4) to establish a culture of Teaching Assistantships, where TAs and faculty are actively involved in a community of teaching and learning in LFS.

Coordinator Job Responsibilities

  • Assist in the preparation of TA Training Grant application for UBC
  • Develop 2014-2015 TA Training Program (based on previous years records)
  • Develop 2014-2015 TA Training Program budget (based on previous years records)
  • Update 2014-2015 TA Handbook
  • Coordinate and facilitate Term 1 and Term 2 Orientations
  • Coordinate and facilitate monthly Community of Practice meetings
  • Coordinate specialty workshops (e.g., PBL, Marking and Assessment, Conflict Management, Instructional Skills Workshop)
  • Keep accurate accounting records of spending
  • Monitor and record success of each TA Training Program activity with recommendations for improvement
  • Develop Term 1 and Term 2 progress reports
  • Put together project report for Granting agency
  • Maintain records in an open source (Google Drive) folders
  • Promote high standard of teaching and learning in the faculty to students, TAs, instructors, faculty, staff and administration
  • Develop succession plan for future years (particularly relevant for masters students)
  • Facilitate meetings with Faculty Advisory Committee (approximately 3 times/year)


  • Graduate student (Masters or PhD) in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems for 2014-2015 academic year
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Highly effective organizer and developed coordination skills
  • Trained facilitator
  • Proficient public speaker
  • Strong interest in how we learn and teach
  • Knowledge of campus-wide resources available to TAs for their teaching practice
  • TA experience (preferably in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems)
  • Self-driven and ability to work on your own


Please submit all resumes and cover letters to Gwen Chapman, Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Land and Food Systems by February 7, 2014. Applications should be sent by email to gwen.chapman@ubc.ca.  Only successful applicants will be contacted for an interview. Position start date is February 24, 2014.

If you have any questions about the position, please direct them to the 2013-2014 TA Training Program Coordinators, Bryanna Thiel (bryannathiel@gmail.com) or Dru Yates (dru.e.yates@gmail.com)

Job Alert: Community of Practice Developer, CTLT


The Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology is looking for a graduate student to serve this part-time position. Please see details in the below job posting and contact Jessica Earle-Meadows at <jessica.earle-meadows@ubc.ca>, Acting Manager, Process Design and Facilitation, CTLT for more information.

Position Function

The Community of Practice Developer provides leadership and support for the development of Communities of Practice (CoPs) at CTLT. The position is responsible for designing, facilitating and documenting activities and scholarship to support the growth and development of CoPs, and the professional development of CoP Facilitators.

Communities of practice are groups whose members “share a passion for something they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better” (Wenger, 2006). Depending on the interests of members they may host presentations from various UBC departments, share ideas and problem-­-solve together, host guest speakers, collaborate on projects, or hold social/networking events. A CTLT CoP allows people to share knowledge, expertise, scholarship, ideas, and suggestions, both face-­-to-­-face and electronically.

Organizational Summary

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) works collaboratively with academic and administrative units throughout UBC to build innovative and effective strategies in support of learning and teaching. CTLT staff develop and offer programs and services, and facilitate workshops, lectures, panel discussions, communities of practice, retreats, meetings, focus groups, and conferences, aimed at professionals who are interested in furthering their teaching skills and their knowledge of how people learn. The CTLT also partners with UBC Faculties to develop and deliver distance learning courses, in both print and online formats.

Working Relationships

Reports to the Manager, Facilitation and Process Design. This position supports the growth and development of Communities of Practice and the professional development of Community of Practice Facilitators at CTLT and beyond. Also works with Teaching and Learning Professional Development team members, other CTLT staff, members of other UBC teaching and learning units, staff and faculty members across a range of faculties and units, and non-­-UBC colleagues.

Work Performed

  • Consults across campus with staff, faculty, and students who have an interest in developing a community of practice or who have already developed communities of practice to share the CTLT Communities of Practice model and ways that CTLT can support their work
  • Collaborates with those proposing new communities of practice to define their proposed CoP, clarify co-­-facilitator roles, plan a community launch, and develop an approach to ongoing CoP activities
  • Works with current CoP facilitators to recruit, orient, and support new facilitators as needed; maintains an up-­-to-­-date list of CoP facilitators
  • Collaborates with CoP facilitators to plan, coordinate and co-­-facilitate professional development related to CoPs. This includes sending regular emails to CoP facilitators, maintaining connections with their needs and interests, and facilitating or co-­-facilitating professional development sessions
  • Provides ongoing support to CoP facilitators through regular check-­-ins, consulting support, and co-­- facilitation as requested
  • Maintains contact with UBC CoPs including publically available CoPs, CoPs within specific units, and CoPs on campus which are not supported by CTLT
  • Consults with CTLT staff and CoP facilitators to create online spaces which reflect the ongoing work of CoPs, connect CoP webspaces together, and link CoP webspaces through the CTLT website and blogs (using WordPress)
  • Provides expertise to special projects related to teaching and learning with colleagues in Facilitation and Process Design, Teaching and Learning Professional Development, and CTLT
  • Promotes CoPs through print and digital media, including writing newsletters, working with the Communications Team to create promotional materials, and coordinating and disseminating promotional material for specific CoPs as needed
  • Performs other related duties as requested

Exercising Judgment/Impacts of Decisions/Consequence of Error

Errors in judgment may have negative consequences for the quality of teaching and learning at UBC. They may also result in the inefficient use of resources, and/or poor relations among educational developers, staff or individuals coordinating or participating in Communities of Practice. They may damage the reputation of the University and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Must respond to requests in a timely and professional manner. Must exercise professionalism and judgment when dealing with individuals, units and departments, as well as with non-­-UBC colleagues.

Supervision Given and Received

Works under the direction of the Manager, Facilitation and Process Design. This position requires 12-­-20 hours per week (schedule to be determined).

Minimum Qualifications


  • Must be enrolled in Graduate Studies at UBC.


  • Experience in facilitating group processes face-­-to-­-face.
  • Intercultural and diversity awareness integrated into practice.
  • Experience with community development and/or communities of practice.
  • Prior experience working at UBC and/or in a post-­-secondary teaching and learning context preferred.
  • Experience with educational program planning preferred.


  • Experience designing group processes and demonstrated facilitation skills
  • Effective oral and written communication, interpersonal, planning, organizational, and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and within a team environment.
  • Ability to exercise diplomacy, tact and discretion.
  • Ability to prioritize and work effectively under pressure.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or equivalent, WordPress, and email programs.
  • Able to conduct literature searches online and through the UBC Library.

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]