Research Assistant - Applied Human Sciences - Faculty of Science

Competition Number: 
Position Type: 
Staff Position
Closing Date: 
Monday, June 15, 2015
Date of Posting: 
June 5, 2015
Department of Applied Human Sciences, Faculty of Science
Research Assistant
Full-Time Term Position
Hours of Work: 

33.75 hours per week

$23.31 per hour (vacation pay included) (Off Scale CUPE 1870)

June 2015 – July 2016 (Term may be reduced or extended depending on performance, available funding and departmental requirements.)

Food is Medicine: Addressing Obesity and Diabetes by Building Food Security and Food Sovereignty Among Prince Edward Island First Nations

Canada’s Indigenous communities are experiencing public health crises related to escalating rates of obesity and Type II diabetes (T2D) which have both been linked to food insecurity (FI), defined as the “outcome of inadequate or uncertain access to an acceptable amount and quality of healthy food.”

A community-university research team has been established between University of Prince Edward Island and PEI Mi'kmaq First Nations (Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations) and will use a consultative and inclusive process to develop an implementation research team (IRT) and project to address the diabetes and obesity exemplar by reducing food insecurity in PEI First Nations (PEIFN) and enhancing food sovereignty.  Because of a desire to return to traditional food production and food preparation and produce medicinal herbs as a means of healing, the PEI IRT named this proposed project “Food is Medicine”.
As FiM Research Assistant, you will serve as a critical administrative liaison for the project and its partners and coordinate with supporting organizations to maintain working relationships- ensuring that project policies and protocols are followed.


• Develop and implement a consultative process aimed at identifying and pilot community based, culturally appropriate interventions and activities designed to improve the food environment, food literacy and food and nutrition security
• Establish and support working groups in each of the two PEI First Nations communities
• Consult with other Maritime First Nations communities concerning their best practices in food security; schedule and coordinate site visits
• Prepare a scoping paper on the issues of food insecurity, diabetes, obesity and best practices in addressing these issues in aboriginal communities
• Prepare a grant application for Phase 2 of the CIHR Pathways to Health Equities program
• Establish a system to monitor budget; monitoring budget to ensure it stays within budget categories and limits defined by funder; working with UPEI accounting staff to prepare budget reports for research team and funders in a timely manner
• Schedule and facilitate regular team meetings and conference calls; record and circulate meeting minutes
• Submit timely and accurate program reports as directed and prescribed by the research team
• Work with the research team to prepare and implement a  detailed work plan
• Assist in recruiting additional members for a collaborative university-community intervention research team
• Work with the research team to build a productive, cooperative and respectful working relationship within the team, the communities and with other stakeholders
• Comply with all UPEI and MCPEI standard operating procedures, policies and ethical guidelines


• Minimum education requirements: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Though not essential, a Master’s Degree will be considered an asset
• Previous work experience within Canada’s First Nations communities would be considered an asset
• Experience partnering on or leading community based economic development initiatives would be an asset
• Experience in facilitating and conducting workshops, meetings and focus groups
• Knowledge of the culture, traditions, social history and economic conditions of PEI First Nations
• Strong analytical and research skills with experience in using qualitative and quantitative methodologies
• Experience in reviewing literature and preparing literature reviews/scoping papers
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Experience in preparing successful research grant proposals
• Familiarity with relevant provincial programs and initiatives
• Ability to complete work independently and to take initiative
• Flexible, adaptable and willingness to work flexible hours
• A valid driving license and access to a vehicle
• Completion of a security check for working with vulnerable populations

Application Instructions: 

Please submit electronically a cover letter, quoting the competition number, a resume and reference list, to be received no later than the closing date, via the link below. You can also apply in person to the Human Resources Department, Kelley Building, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4P3, Fax Number (902) 894-2895.

In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Prince Edward Island is committed to gender equity in employment. Only those applicants who are invited to an interview will be acknowledged.

Successful Candidate(s): 

K. Wheatley

UPEI encourages all qualified applicants to apply for job openings; however, in keeping with the terms and provisions of the university’s various employment and collective agreements, first priority will be given to internal candidates.
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