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Center for a Livable Future

 

Student Research Assistant at CLF

Throughout each academic year, the CLF provides opportunities for a limited number of Johns Hopkins University undergraduate and graduate students to work with staff and faculty as student research assistants (SRAs). The duration of work is subject to work priorities and funding. It may or may not last for an entire academic year. During the academic year, SRAs typically work with the Center between 8 and 19 hours per week. The hours required for each position are specified in the description below. CLF compensates SRAs at a rate competitive with other JHU student positions.

SRAs are important members of the CLF Team. They are involved in challenging work assignments and receive helpful supervision and mentoring from CLF staff members. Work responsibilities can involve a range of skills and expertise, including: conducting scientific literature reviews; data collection, performing data analysis; contributing to the development of scientific papers and synthesis documents; providing project assistance for CLF activities; and developing communication materials to inform education, advocacy and policy activities. Performing administrative support activities is also part of a SRA's scope of work. SRAs are encouraged to attend CLF-sponsored seminars and lectures that may be scheduled throughout the year.

This year, CLF is offering Student Research Assistant positions for nine (9) separate projects.

  1. Food Policy Networks
    Scope of work: Assist in data collection on food policy councils and data management of the Food Policy Networks resource database. The food policy council survey is an annual online survey of over 320 coalitions that work on food systems programs and policies across the U.S. and Canada. Data from the survey is used to expand the literature on food policy councils and to inform the editorial and training calendar of the Food Policy Networks project. The Food Policy Networks resource database is an online library of close to 1,000 resources. The position will assist the Food Policy Networks project by distributing and collecting responses to the annual Food Policy Council survey. This position will prepare the contact information to distribute the survey, track responses and follow up with non-responsive councils, verify the survey responses and use this information to update the Food Policy Council directory. The position will document this process and generate a report on the methodology for collecting the data. Additionally, this position will help to complete an update of the Food Policy Networks resource database which requires re-categorizing the resources.
    Skills: Keen attention to detail and well-organized. Familiarity with survey data collection and data management. Ability to work independently.
    Special requirements: Proficiency in MS Office Suite and familiarity with food systems or food policy councils a plus, but not required.
    Hours: 19 hours/week
    Education: Master’s student preferred.

  2. Technical Assistance to Meatless Monday
    Scope of work: The research assistant will assist CLF with providing technical assistance to the Meatless Monday campaign. The assistant will help with Meatless Monday (MM) events and related social media coverage primarily related to MM activities at JHU. There will be opportunity to contribute to the CLF Meatless Monday blog posts as well. Other tasks may involve assisting with research, data collection, literature reviews, cleaning, and coding on projects evaluating Meatless Monday (MM) implementation. In addition to these specific projects, the student will occasionally assist with general writing and administrative tasks.
    Skills: Initiative and ability to work independently. Attention to detail. Good communication and organizational skills. Experience with literature searches and data collection. Good writing skills. Experience with social media.
    Special requirements: Proficiency in MS Office Suite. Experience with EndNote or RefWorks preferred.
    Hours: 10-15 hours/week
    Education: Master’s student preferred, undergraduate student will be considered.

  3. Sustainable Diets/IFAP
    Scope of work: Assist with project to investigate policies that support or hinder the expansion of Industrial Food Animal Production (IFAP) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Research assistant will perform secondary data analysis by searching databases for policies supporting IFAP in LMICs; reviewing and summarizing policies; contributing to report and/or academic manuscript for publication. Other duties may include reviewing relevant literature, contributing content to the CLF blog and performing other writing, research, and administrative duties as needed to assist with FSSPH or broader CLF projects.
    Skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills. Knowledge of food systems, agriculture, policy, public health. Maintains a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality. Has strong attention to detail and recognizes the value of rigorous analysis and careful work. An independent worker who can also work effectively in the CLF’s collaborative team-oriented environment.
    Special requirements: Must have a computer.
    Hours: 10-15 hours/week
    Education: Master’s student preferred, undergraduate student will be considered.

  4. Baltimore Food System Resilience
    Scope of work: Assist with Baltimore Food System Resilience Project and develop indicators of food system vulnerability to inform food resilience modelling. Tasks may include contributing content to a manuscript for publication about food system resilience; researching secondary data sources on food security determinants, food supply chains, and emergency preparedness indicators. Other duties may include reviewing relevant literature, contributing content to the CLF blog and performing other writing, research, and administrative duties as needed to assist with FSSPH or broader CLF projects.
    Skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills. Knowledge of food security, food systems, public health, and sustainability/resilience issues. Maintains a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality. Has strong attention to detail and recognizes the value of rigorous analysis and careful work. An independent worker who can also work effectively in the CLF’s collaborative team-oriented environment.
    Special requirements: Must have a computer.
    Hours: 10 hours/week
    Education: Master’s student preferred.

  5. Safe Urban Harvest
    Scope of work: The RA would be responsible for a combination of the following responsibilities: 1) conducting field surveys and collecting samples at Baltimore urban farms and community gardens, 2) processing samples collected from farms/gardens for chemical analyses, 3) survey and sampling data analysis, and 4) preparing report-back materials for study participants.
    Skills: General knowledge of food systems and urban agriculture issues. Coursework in the risk sciences is not required, but desirable.
    Special requirements: Must complete human subjects training (can happen on first day of RA position).
    Hours: 10 hours/week
    Education: Master’s and PhD students will be considered. Three openings are available for this position.

  6. Food System Policy Research
    Scope of work: Assist Food System Policy Program with three reports: Farming for the Future: the Case for Sustainable Diets and Diversified Agriculture; the structure and cost of commodity support programs and their effect on farm income; food policy is national security policy. Assist with other policy projects as needed. The tasks will include policy research, writing, and editing for several CLF projects, including written public comments, policy briefs, CLF reports, and background material for external research partners.
    Skills: Strong research and writing skills.
    Hours: 15 hours/week
    Education: Master’s student preferred.

  7. CLF Website Re-Organization Project; SharePoint intranet document management
    Scope of work: The research assistant will continue progress made over the summer to audit and archive our website content in order to make progress on a website and SharePoint reorganization. The research assistant will assist with prime tasks associated with the ongoing reorganization of the CLF website. Specifically, working closely with our web development team on tasks associated with the construction of database tools for our website. The work required assigning identification tags to documents in the current database as well as reviewing other database documents for tagging. The individual will be involved in helping out with other communications tasks, including distribution of promotional materials at JHSPH and Homewood campuses; working with our senior program coordinator on the development of postings to CLF’s social media properties; and assisting our digital assets manager with maintenance of CLF’s graphics libraries.
    Skills: Database skills. Organizational skills. Knowledge of social media.
    Hours: 12 hours/week
    Education: Undergraduate and master’s students will be considered.

  8. Food System Lab @ Cylburn Education Project
    Scope of work: Assist with refinement of existing educational content and developing new educational outreach opportunities for the Food System Lab @ Cylburn, an urban farm at the Cylburn Arboretum, operated by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Educational content is designed for elementary, middle, and high school students to connect their farm field trip at the Food System Lab to larger ideas of food systems, human health and environmental health, by using the farm operations, including fish production, vegetable production, and worm composting, as hands-on tools for learning. This project aims to map existing educational programming to state and national academic standards, including Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards, revise programming to better meet academic standards at all age levels, where appropriate, and expand educational outreach to engage educators and youth beyond just the single visit to the FSL. The RA may also have opportunities to assist with educational programming at the FSL. Research Assistant will be supervised and work directly with the Farm Manager and Educator and work in conjunction with the Education program team at the CLF. Some work will be on the farm site at Cylburn Arboretum, while some work can be completed remotely or from home.
    Skills: Knowledge of and interest in youth education, experiential education, project-based learning, environmental education, food systems and/or public health.
    Special requirements: Must provide your own reliable transportation to Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue.
    Up to 10 hours/week, starting September 2017, ending December 2018.
    Education: Master’s and PhD students will be considered.

  9. Food System Lab @ Cylburn Farm Operations
    Scope of work: Assist with farm operations and educational programming at the Food System Lab @ Cylburn, an urban farm at the Cylburn Arboretum, operated by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The greenhouse farm features an aquaponics system raising tilapia and growing hydroponic vegetables, as well as a small worm composting system. Farm responsibilities include feeding fish, monitoring water quality, planting, harvesting and undertaking new projects at the farm. Educational responsibilities include periodically leading farm tours or portions of farm education programs. In addition, the Research Assistant will host a weekly, two-hour open house every Sunday.
    Skills: General knowledge of and interest in food systems, public health, education, experiential education, project-based learning, and/or environmental education. Experience in farming, gardening, or education is preferable but not required.
    Special requirements: Includes weekend hours. Must provide your own reliable transportation to Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Avenue.
    Hours: Up to 19.5 hours/week
    Education: Undergraduate or Master’s student

CLF Student Research Assistants are compensated at an hourly rate that is consistent with student employment at JHU.

All applications must be received between July 25, 2017 and August 6, 2017. No applications will be accepted after midnight on August 6, 2017.
Process and additional information will be provided to selected shortlisted applicants only o/a August 18, 2017.

Instructions for Applying for a CLF Student Research Assistant Position.

  • Please submit the following to jhsph.clf@jhu.edu between July 25, 2017 and August 6, 2017.
  • Completed CLF RA Application Form
  • An updated CV or resume describing your work experience, academic background, specific skills and expertise.
  • Two or three references and contact information, to include both academic and work setting references.
  • A writing sample of a paper you have developed from start to finish and that involved a review of literature.
  • A cover-letter outlining the following:
    • which position you are applying for* (you may list more than one );
    • why you are interested in working with CLF;
    • what you hope to gain through working with CLF;
    • a brief description of what you see yourself doing in five years.

*Indicating a preference for one position will not keep you from being considered for other open CLF Student Research Assistant positions.