The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) is seeking applications for a one-year Research Associate position focused on food system policy.
ISFS is an applied research and extension unit at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). We investigate and support regional food systems as key elements of sustainable communities, focusing predominantly on British Columbia but also extending our programming to other regions. Our applied research focuses on the potential of regional food systems in terms of agriculture and food, economics, community health, policy, and environmental integrity. Our extension programming provides information and support for farmers, communities, business, policy makers, and others. Community collaboration is central to our approach.
ISFS employs a multidisciplinary team of agriculturists and researchers with expertise in food systems, agriculture, economics, farm business management, ecology, and public health. Our office is on KPU’s Richmond campus, located at 8771 Lansdowne Road, Richmond BC. The campus is served by rapid transit (Canada Line – Lansdowne Station), by which downtown Vancouver can be reached in about 30 minutes.
- Contract: 35 hours/week for one year, with possibility of renewal
- Salary: $25-27/hour dependent on qualifications and experience
- Position start date: July 5th, negotiable for the right candidate
- Application deadline: June 5th, 2016
Responsibilities and Tasks
The primary responsibility of the research associate will be project management and execution of the ISFS project: Building an accessible food system policy database for B.C. communities (please see the project overview below). This project has been conceptualized and initial work has been undertaken. The research associate will develop and execute a one-year work plan to achieve project goals and deliverables, which are:
- An online, open access searchable bank of B.C. municipal policies related to food systems.
- A report on findings from interviews with planners about what makes food system policy effective.
- A set of indicators municipal governments can use to monitor their progress in advancing local food systems and policy development.
- Workshop or webinar with planners, community groups, food policy councils etc. to launch/share the website, share findings from the interviews, and review the municipal indicators for monitoring advancement of local food systems.
The research associate will also contribute to a second project under way at ISFS, development of a Regional Food Systems Resources website. Key tasks on this project include:
- Management and supervision of the development of a resource collection (academic and non-academic resources that will comprise one aspect of the website. This work entails collaboration with the project lead, and supervision of student employees.
- Work with KPU’s Marketing Department to develop and test the website as it relates to the resource collection.
The research associate may also develop, in collaboration with other ISFS staff, a near and longer term food system policy and planning research program plan and funding strategy, and prepare grant applications. For the right candidate and dependent on funding there may be opportunity for contract renewal associated with this research program.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience
The successful applicant for this position must:
- Hold a master degree in planning, policy, food system studies, or other relevant discipline
- Be interested in local policy and sustainable food systems
- Be experienced with project development and management
- Have qualitative research experience and training
- Have a demonstrated ability to conceptualize a complex project and effectively plan and execute steps to complete it
- Have strong interpersonal communication skills
- Have strong writing skills demonstrated by their lay and/or academic publication record
- Have demonstrated their ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and with a multi-disciplinary team
The following will be considered assets:
- Experience in a supervisory role including as a TA
- Proficiency working with Atlas.ti qualitative software
- Knowledge of the food system policy landscape of BC
- Experience working in a municipal government setting or with municipal planners
- Grant writing experience and/or training