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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.

CLF currently has the following remaining Student Research Assistant positions available:

  1. 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. Two openings are available for this position.

  2. Food waste prevention project: Understanding Retail Employee Perspectives on Food Discards
    Scope of work: The primary responsibilities of the RA will be to work with Drs. Neff and Harvey to perform and analyze qualitative interviews and observations of Baltimore retail employees regarding their perspectives on food discards in stores. Duties may include, but are not limited to: supporting project logistics and recruitment, performing interviews, qualitative data analysis, writing a report and academic manuscript. Other   duties may include writing content for the CLF blog and performing other writing, research, and administrative duties as needed to assist with FSSPH or broader CLF projects.
    Skills: The ideal candidate: Is a masters or PhD student who has experience and/or training in qualitative data collection and analysis; Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills, and knowledge of food systems, public health, and wasted food issues;  Maintains a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality; Has strong attention to detail and recognizes the value of rigorous analysis and careful work; and Is an independent worker who can also work effectively in a collaborative team-oriented environment.
    Special requirements: Proficiency in MS Office Suite. Proficiency with statistical software (STATA, SAS or similar) and EndNote (or similar) desired.
    Hours: Up to 19.5 hours/week
    Education: PhD student preferred, master’s student will be considered.

  3. Seafood Supplies, Dietary Guidance, and Global Food Security
    Scope of work: A large study by marine scientists found that wild marine fisheries are declining faster than UN FAO data indicates, which may disproportionately impact food security for some populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Aquaculture is expanding, but there are sustainability and nutrition challenges associated with some types of farmed seafood. In addition, seafood (wild and farmed) is traded more than any other food type and predominantly moves from LMICs to high-income countries. An interdisciplinary team of experts spanning the fields of public health, nutrition, food systems, aquaculture, and marine science are exploring these trends and specifically considering if/how they should be reflected in dietary advice in high-income countries. The primary responsibilities will be to work with Dr. Jillian Fry and the interdisciplinary team (at JHU and other institutions) to collect and summarize relevant literature, organize team communications, extract and analyze information/data, and help write an academic manuscript. Other duties may include writing content for the CLF blog and/or performing other writing, research, and administrative duties.
    Skills: The ideal candidate is a masters or PhD student who has experience and/or training in food systems, nutrition, global food security, or related topics; Possesses excellent written and oral communication skills; Maintains a high degree of professionalism; Has strong attention to detail and recognizes the value of rigorous analysis and careful work; and is an independent worker who can also work effectively in a collaborative team-oriented environment.
    Special requirements: Proficiency with Excel and with software for modeling, statistics, and referencing desired.
    Hours: Up to 15 hours/week
    Education: PhD and Masters students will be considered.

All applications must be received between October 09, 2017 and October 22, 2017. No applications will be accepted after midnight on October 27, 2017.
Process and additional information will be provided to selected shortlisted applicants only o/a October 27, 2017.

Instructions for Applying for a CLF Student Research Assistant Position.

  • Please submit the following to

  • 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.