Research Assistant - East Hastings Corridor Community Economic Development, 312 Main Research Shop

Job applications are now closed.

Community Partner: Hastings Crossing BIA

Location: 312 Main, Vancouver, BC / remote


Job Description:

312 Main Research Shop is a program within SFU CERi that facilitates collaboration between SFU graduate students and non-profits groups. It is focused on supporting research projects that provide plain-language answers to community-driven research questions at low or no cost to the community partner. 312 Main Research Shop is supported by Mitacs and Vancity Community Foundation. 

This research assistant position supports the efforts of several community-based organizations (Hastings Crossing BIA, Exchange Inner City, Community Impact Real Estate Society, Activate DTES) in understanding the unmet needs of local residents, particularly those from low-income and equity-denied communities within the East Hastings corridor. The primary focus of this role will be to identify gaps in existing and planned goods and service offerings, as well as to explore opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to fill these gaps within the area.

This position will run May-December, 2024. It requires a commitment of at least 15 hours per week. Hourly rate is  $30-35/hour commensurate with experience. 

Candidates from equity seeking groups, including Black, Indigenous and racialized people, people facing accessibility barriers, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people and people from low-income backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

**This position is only open to current SFU graduate students.


  • Conduct interviews and focus groups;

  • Conduct secondary research (reviewing relevant literature for context), to identify the needs of local residents and community-serving organizations in the East Hastings corridor.

  • Analyze existing and planned goods and service offerings to determine where gaps exist in meeting the needs of low-income and equity-denied community members.

  • Identify viable small and medium enterprises that could thrive in storefront commercial units (CRUs) within the community.

  • Assess the impact of proposed businesses on local livelihoods, as well as their potential to provide employment opportunities, shopping options, and social spaces for residents.

  • Closely collaborate with Hastings Crossing BIA, Exchange Inner City, Community Impact Real Estate Society, Activate DTES to align research findings with their efforts in supporting, recruiting, and retaining key businesses and social enterprises essential for community thriving.

  • Develop a report and presentation to raise awareness of local community economic development conditions and opportunities among stakeholders and the wider community.


  • Graduate degree (MA or PhD) in social sciences or other related areas (e.g., economics, urban studies, sociology, geography, business or community development). MA students who are near completion and current PhD students are encouraged to apply.

  • Strong research skills, with experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.

  • Prior research experience with designing, recruiting for and conducting focus groups and individual interviews, and analyzing collected data, is preferred

  • Familiarity with community economic development principles and practices, particularly in urban contexts.

  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and concisely in both written and verbal formats.

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a dynamic, community-focused environment.

  • Knowledge of the East Hastings corridor and its socio-economic dynamics is an asset.

  • Proficiency in data analysis software and tools, such as NVivo, is preferred.