Research Assistant Opportunity

Grant: Innovations in Indigenous Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Environment

Project Title: Indigenizing Online Group Discussions Using Talking Circles

Principle Investigator: Leanne Roderick

Application deadline: Friday, November 30, 2023, 4:00 PM, or until position is filled.

Online Canvas Discussions are often impersonal walls of texts that do little to boost student motivation, meaning, engagement, or connection with the land.  The goal of this project is to Indigenize the online discussion experience in online, asynchronous courses as a means of promoting relationality (between students, instructors, and the land).  This project is built upon the following principles of Indigenous pedagogy: personal and holistic, experiential, place-based, intergenerational (Huguenin, 2020).

This research assistant position will support an initiative to implement an Indigenous pedagogy through the creation of a discussion experience akin to Talking Circles for online, asynchronous human geography courses.

Research assistant responsibilities include:

  • Undertaking literature reviews pertinent to the project;
  • Assisting in interview question design;
  • Accompanying and assisting project lead with recorded, semistructured interviews with participants (possibly including Coast
    Salish Elders and Cultural Workers, working with Indigenous Student Centre to schedule and connect);
  • Transcribing and cleaning interview data; Video-recording and editing welcome messages and reflection
    prompts with interviewees;
  • Help to create, collect, and analyze student survey data;
  • Assisting in data analysis and write up;
  • Attending semi-regular meetings with the project lead in a virtualmeeting environment, (e.g., Zoom).

Required qualifications, skills, and experience:

  • Currently enrolled as a student at SFU;
  • Experience conducting literature reviews;
  • Experience in research instrument design such as creating surveys,
    interview protocols, and interview questions;
  • Experience coordinating, conducting, recording and transcribing interviews;
  • Expertise with analyzing and summarizing data (including survey data);
  • Strong interest in improving online learning in a higher education setting through decolonization and Indigenizing curriculum;
  • Time to commit to the project (5 to 10 hours per week);
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including strong oral and written communication skills; and
  • Experience in academic writing as demonstrated in assessments or previous projects.

Additional experience or skills that would be considered an asset:

  • Conducted / participated in research project(s)
  • Has completed Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program ( - if this has not been completed, there is opportunity for paid training
  • Knowledge in quantitative and qualitative research
  • Strong desire to learn more about educational research
  • Commitment to decolonization and Indigenization in higher education

Rate of pay: $26-$30/hr (including vacation and statutory holiday pay, no medical or dental benefits) based on experience. Project requires approximately 80-100 hours of RA work over a 1 year period.

Duration and time commitment:

  • Spring 2024 term: literature review, option to take Online Cultural Safety Anti-Indigenous Racism Training Program (up to 40 hours)
  • Summer 2024: interviews and analysis (up to 40 hours)
  • Fall 2024: student survey data analysis (up to 20 hours)

To apply: Applicants should submit: including (1) a 1-page cover letter highlighting qualifications, skills, role responsibilities, and previous applicable experience as listed above, (2) a 1-2 page resume.

These two items should be organized as one PDF attachment and addressed to Dr. Leanne Roderick, and emailed to, with the subject header: Innovations in Indigenous Teaching and Learning - RA Position Application.

Note: References will only be requested from short-listed applicants.

Application deadline: Friday, November 30, 2023, 4:00 PM, or until position is filled. We appreciate all replies to this posting; however, we will only contact short-listed applicants. Job will remain posted until filled.

Simon Fraser University is an institution whose strength is based on our shared commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity is an underlying principle of our Strategic Vision, which pledges SFU to “foster a culture of inclusion and mutual respect, celebrating the diversity reflected among its students, faculty, staff and our community.” SFU is committed to ensuring no individual is denied access to employment opportunities for reasons unrelated to ability or qualifications. Consistent with this principle, SFU will advance the interests of underrepresented members of the work force, including Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized persons, and women; embrace gender and sexual diversity; ensure that equal opportunity is afforded to all who seek employment at the University; and treat all employees equitably. Candidates that belong to underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.