Research Assistant

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, BC (30+ days ago)

Apply Now

Job Posting

Job ID:

Vancouver - Hospital Site

Employment Group:
Technicians & Research Assists

Job Category:
Non Union Research/Technical

Classification Title:
Research Asst/Tech 4

Business Title:
Research Assistant

Faculty of Medicine


Salary Range:
$53,632.00 (minimum) - $58,313.00 (midpoint) - $62,996.00 (maximum)

Full/Part Time:

Desired Start Date:

Job End Date:
Possibility of Extension:


Funding Type:
Grant Funded

Closing Date:

Available Openings:

Guiding principle: "Midpoint" of the hiring salary range means the individual possesses full job knowledge, qualifications and experience.

This position is expected to be filled by promotion/reassignment and is included here to inform you of its vacancy at the University.

Job Summary

Our research team focuses on evaluating and developing interventions aimed at decreasing childhood obesity. The candidate's primary focus is to provide support on three projects:

Project 1 aims to assess the factors that impact adolescents' health behaviours as they transition from elementary to secondary schools and to examine the factors within their school, home, and social environments that influence their health behaviours associated with obesity.

Project 2 aims to evaluate a computer-based weight-management intervention for adolescents and their parents. The intervention is being developed by an external partner, and our research team will be evaluating the efficacy of the program.

Project 3 aims to better understand children and their parents' perspectives on their outdoor play activities and environment.

The Health Promotion Research Assistant (RA) will provide research-oriented and data analysis support to Dr. Louise Masse, faculty member in the School of Population and Public Health. The RA will coordinate, monitor and ensure the implementation of these mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative data analyses), observational, and longitudinal designs. Participant populations primarily include parents and adolescents and the primary outcomes of these studies are dietary, physical activity, and sedentary behaviours of both adolescents and family members.

The research team is located within the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, with primary research activities occurring within the Evidence to Innovation research group. The research team includes collaborators within and outside Canada and the RA will coordinate the team directly and liaise with other research units in coordinating research activities.

The primary responsibilities of the RA will be planning and coordinating data collection, performing complex data analysis using Stata, Mplus, R and other statistical software, coordinating day-to-day office operations, assisting researchers with troubleshooting problems and refining procedures or techniques, completing all required forms, file management and reporting, and data management.

The individual will also conduct some interviews, which may involve work outside regular office hours (week nights and weekends). The RA will meet with Dr. Masse regularly. The RA will assist with other project activities as required, but is expected to take a significant role in leading processing and analyses of data.

Organizational Status

The RA will report directly to Principal Investigator, Dr. Louise Masse. The RA will work closely with the Principal Investigator and post-doctoral fellows involved in these projects and other members of the research team, including co-investigators, collaborators, research assistants and staff from the University of British Columbia and other institutions involved in the research project.

The Research Assistant position is in the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH), which is in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus. The School is an innovative unit that encompasses many of the health-related groupings at UBC as a collaborative venture. The research team is located within the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, with primary research activities occurring within the Evidence to Innovation research group. Note that the during the pandemic the team is working and connecting virtually and the applicant is expected to be able to work independently and have the capacity to work remotely.

Housed within the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is an innovative unit that encompasses many of the health-related groupings at UBC as a collaborative venture. The School is structured around four divisions: Occupational and Environmental Health; Health Services and Policy; Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health Practice; and Health in Populations. The resulting mix of professions and disciplines is seen as a means of connecting individuals and learners to galvanize the relationship between health research, public health and health services and to enhance learning.

Work Performed

  • The Research Assistant coordinates, monitors and ensures the implementation of mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative data analyses), observational, and longitudinal designs for multi-site projects with other institutes in Canada and the U.S.
  • Leads the processing and analyses of multi-site projects. Responsibilities include: preparing and overseeing reports, planning and running meetings, integrating feedback from the coordinating sites, and submitting reports to the funding agency.
  • Applies advanced psychometric techniques, including item response theory, to perform advanced psychometric analysis using Stata, MPlus, R, and other software.
  • Writes codes in STATA to process accelerometers data and create indices of physical activity and play.
  • Designs, develops and applies new data integration techniques for processing accelerometer data.
  • Troubleshoots complex technical problems related to the processing of quantitative data including, but not limited to, multiple imputation techniques, complex multi-level analyses, mediation and moderation analyses.
  • Analyzes qualitative data in NVivo and develop coding schemes to conduct such analyses.
  • Coordinates and monitors study protocol implementation.
  • Coordinates participant recruitment and consent process.
  • Provides feedback and troubleshoots issues relating to the successful execution of the protocol.
  • Prepares and submits documentation to the ethics committees.
  • Ensures accurate and detailed records are maintained.
  • Liaises with co-investigators and collaborators.
  • Conducts observations, interviews, and other data collection.
  • Performs some complex data entry.
  • Oversees and directs the work of junior RAs and students, conducts ongoing training and participates in performance management of these same individuals.
  • Develops study protocols and designs data collection protocols.
  • Responsible for overseeing data collection and data analyses to ensure that study timelines are met.
  • Communicates with the Research Coordinators of collaborating labs.
  • Conducts literature searches, reviews articles and summarizes for report documentations.
  • Prepares draft presentations and posters and makes presentations as well.
  • Writes scientific manuscripts.
  • Participants in writing grant applications.
  • Performs administrative functions for the research team, including: facilitating meetings; maintaining and updating lists, databases (including REDCAP), and reports; and coordinating project meetings and appointments.
  • Travel to research participants' homes and to communities to attend meetings and coordinate data collection may be required.
  • Performs other related duties, as required.
Supervision Received

The RA will work under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, Dr. Louise Masse. The RA will be expected to develop a work plan and timelines and exercise a considerable amount of judgement and initiative in duties. Flexible hours and some travel will be required.

Supervision Given

The RA may train and supervise members of the research team, and provide assistance to support staff such as research interns, junior research assistants, students and data collectors, as needed, to ensure that the goals of various projects are met in a timely and efficient manner. The incumbent will also participate in the performance management of junior RAs and students. In addition, the RA may provide analytical training to other members of the research team especially as it relates to using the complex data processed by the RA.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

Errors made could influence the ability of researchers and research staff to meet critical deadlines, as well as compromise the results of research projects, and therefore impact the credibility of the investigators, the research results, and the quality of the research program.

The RA is required to conduct all research activities in an ethical manner suited to the activities of the University of British Columbia and to the professional organizations governing themselves and those governing the activities of the Principal Investigator and all other investigators. Any procedures or data recorded must be accurate and must accurately reflect the work performed. Strict confidentiality of all study participants must be adhered to. All activities involving participants are accountable to the PI, the School Director, and the Researchers governing professional organization.

This position will be responsible for access, collection, use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996) and other UBC privacy and security policies. This position requires employees to work under strict confidentiality requirements; internal procedures and policies to protect personal information must be followed and adherence to these requirements will be regularly reviewed by the employer.


Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline or Graduation from a technical college or institute. University degree in a related field including social science research, psychology, health promotion, public health or epidemiology, with coursework in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies preferred. A candidate with a graduate degree is preferred. Minimum of 4 years of related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Recent related experience in a research environment including a thorough understanding of research methodology using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, knowledge of child development, epidemiology, health promotion and community health issues, or equivalent combination of education, training and experience. Experience with database management and REDCAP. Experience with recruitment, data collection and mixed-method research protocols. Experience with consent and assent procedures. Experience conducting qualitative interviews and quantitative data collection. Experience with manuscript preparation is an asset. Experience using statistical software packages, including Stata, SPPS, R, and MPlus. Knowledge of grant application process and understanding of the research ethics process. Ability to carry out complex data analysis and structural equation modeling analyses. Ability to work in virtual setting and have the resources and space to work in a virtual setting. If the RA becomes involved in data collection, the RA needs to have a flexible schedule (with the ability to work some evenings and weekends as required) and may be expected to travel to and from recruitment sites within the Vancouver area. Successful completion of a Criminal Record Check as per UBC requirements. High degree of computer literacy including familiarity with word processing, spreadsheets, and Internet resource use. Superior organization skills. Ability to prioritize workload and meet deadlines. Ability to maintain accuracy and attention to detail. Ability to exercise tact and discretion when handling sensitive and/or confidential matters. Professional approach and ability to interact appropriately with participants. Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. Ability to work effectively independently and in a team environment. Ability to analyze problems, identify key information and issues, and effectively resolve. Strong decision-making skills.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.