Research Assistant for the Physical Activity Office



Research Assistant for the Physical Activity Office


Student Appointment – Graduate Research Assistant


Faculty of Education


School of Kinesiology


$24-29 per hour


This position is 4-month contract (September 2018 to December 2018) for 10 hour per week with the possibility of extension through April 2019, depending on project needs and availability of candidate.

The candidate will be responsible for coordinating and facilitating focus groups with UBC female students who self-identified as “Chinese” or of “Chinese descent” as part of the Office of Physical Activity’s Equity Enhancement Fund project. The candidate will also take part in transcribing data, extracting themes and assisting with communication/program efforts. The goal of this preliminary qualitative research is to better understand the barriers and facilitating factors for physical activity (and inactivity) for this population and use the results to inform potential communication and/or program strategies aimed at increasing physical activity and recreation for this population.


The candidate will report to the Physical Activity and Wellbeing Strategist in the School of Kinesiology.

The candidate will work at the Point Grey campus, primarily in the CIRS building.

On a regular basis, the candidate will interact with the Strategist, Physical Activity Manager (Athletics & Recreation Department), study participants, volunteers, students, and other partner staff and faculty.


The candidate is the primary person responsible for running the focus groups for this preliminary research.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and set-up focus groups per protocol
  • Lead participant recruitment to obtain appropriate sample groups
  • Lead focus groups with Asian female students
  • Participate in meetings with Strategist and Physical Activity Manager
  • Hours will be approximately 8-12 hours per week




Lack of cultural awareness and/or sensitivity for the Asian, undergraduate, female student population could result in the focus group participants becoming emotionally upset, angry, or issuing a formal complaint.

Inattention to proper research methods and paperwork details (e.g. errors in data collection, transcribing) could jeopardize the results.


The candidate will be supervised by Michelle Hebert DC, MPH, CPH, Physical Activity and Wellbeing Strategist, School of Kinesiology.


The candidate will be providing supervision to volunteers or students assisting with focus group activities.


  • University Graduate degree in a relevant discipline (ex. kinesiology, health promotion, psychology).
  • Previous qualitative research experience with focus groups and/or interviews.
  • Knowledge of qualitative research design and methods development.
  • Experience transcribing and deriving themes from transcribed data. 
  • Familiarity with Chinese cultural influences in student populations.
  • Bilingual in English and Chinese (ex. Cantonese, Mandarin).
  • Prior research experience with female, student, and Asian populations is preferred.
  • Experience dealing with research clients, including effective interview skills, ability to establish rapport, ability to assess a situation and respond accordingly.
  • Ability to work independently and with minimal supervision.
  • Excellent time management and data entry skills.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Computer competency with Microsoft Office Software, Outlook Express e-mail and Internet.


Lyz Gilgunn 
Manager, Physical Activity
Department of Athletics & Recreation
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus | Musqueam Traditional Territory
6000 Student Union Boulevard | Vancouver BC | V6T 1Z1 Canada
Phone 604 827 3872 | Cell 250 812 2067 | Fax 604 822 6086

Friday, August 31, 2018