Applied Research Coordinator, Climate Action & Food Systems

University of British Columbia

Staff – Non Union

Job Category


Job Profile

AAPS Salaried – Research and Facilitation, Level A

Job Title

Applied Research Coordinator, Climate Action & Food Systems


Manager Sustainability and Engineering SEEDS Program

Compensation Range

$4,688.67 – $6,754.00 CAD Monthly

The Compensation Range is the span between the minimum and maximum base salary for a position. The midpoint of the range is approximately halfway between the minimum and the maximum and represents an employee that possesses full job knowledge, qualifications and experience for the position. In the normal course, employees will be hired, transferred or promoted between the minimum and midpoint of the salary range for a job.
Posting End Date

February 1, 2023

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.
Job End Date

Feb 21, 2024

This is an approximate 1 year term position to cover a maternity leave.
This position requires on-site attendance based at the UBC Vancouver campus and currently has the option for a hybrid work arrangement (within British Columbia) in consultation with the manager.
Job Summary
Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) works collaboratively to create a vibrant and resilient campus for an engaged community on the traditional territory of the Musqueam people, taking a leading-edge approach to sustainability, engagement, community building, planning, design and development. C+CP is responsible for leading UBC’s operational sustainability plans that set UBC’s targets and actions for climate, green buildings, transportation, integrated stormwater, green infrastructure, waste and water, using UBC as a living lab for a sustainable future, and plays a key role in developing partnerships that enhance integration of operational and academic efforts in sustainability. These major sustainability plans for the UBC campus are endorsed by the UBC Board of Governors and have connections to many other UBC plans and strategies, including UBC’s Strategic Plan, 20-Year Sustainability Strategy, Inclusion Action Plan, Wellbeing Strategic Framework, and the UBC Climate Emergency Response, among others. C+CP collaborates and coordinates with many UBC partners, departments and units to advance and embed these goals across the university, including senior staff and leadership from UBC Financial Operations, the UBC Sustainability Hub, Student Housing and Community Services, Safety and Risk Services, Human Resources, Communications and Marketing, Alma Mater Society, Building Operations, Energy and Water Services, UBC IT, and other units in C+CP and across UBC Okanagan.
Within C+CP, the

SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies) Sustainability Program

is an internationally recognized Campus as Living Laboratory initiative with a mandate to advance UBC’s sustainability, climate and wellbeing commitments, UBC’s Strategic Plan, and help advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as they align with the University’s strategic priorities through interdisciplinary partnerships, applied student research and advisory guidance. SEEDS “Big Five” Research Priorities represent key interconnected societal issues that advance knowledge and action on UBC’s sustainability and wellbeing commitments, and are periodically adapted to align with the UBC’s sustainability and strategic priorities. Current Research Priorities include: 1) Accelerate Climate Action, 2) Maintain & Enhance Urban Biodiversity, 3) Enable the Great Food Transformation, 4) Create Circular & Regenerative Economies, and 5) Foster Community Wellbeing & Inclusion. Collaborative interdisciplinary initiatives work in parallel to advance these priorities and harness the Campus as a Living Laboratory:

Climate Crisis in Urban Biodiversity (CCUB)


Campus Biodiversity Initiative: Research and Demonstration (CBIRD)


UBC Food System Project (UBCFSP)

, and

Food Security Initiative (FSI)


SEEDS Goals:
1. Advance strategies to achieve UBC’s sustainability and wellbeing commitments, and help advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as they align with the University’s strategic priorities and mandate.
2. Catalyze impactful applied research experiences that empower and equip students to explore and develop solutions to societal challenges and advance UBC’s sustainability and wellbeing commitments
3. Foster and strengthen interdisciplinary partnerships between campus students, faculty, staff and community
4. Integrate operational and academic efforts in sustainability that connect UBC’s curriculum to UBC’s sustainability mandate
5. Generate scalable solutions to critical societal issues that leverage the Campus as a Living Laboratory
6. Co-create, mobilize and amplify knowledge for inclusive and meaningful engagement, knowledge and action to address critical societal issues with communities in which issues affect for shared solutions and collective impact
SEEDS goals contribute to UBC’s Strategic Plan’s Pillars including: Transformative Learning, People and Places, Local and Global Engagement and Research Excellence, and many of the supporting strategies including interdisciplinary, sustainability, knowledge mobilization, inclusion, innovation, and reputation.
The Climate Action & Food Systems Applied Research Coordinator is responsible for the coordination of student-led Community-Based Action Research and interdisciplinary partnerships that can inform policy and practices as part of UBC’s Climate Action Plan 2030, with a focus on food systems and climate mitigation. The successful candidate will build off work in the UBC Climate Friendly Food Systems (CFFS) Action Team , a multi-stakeholder interdisciplinary collaboration aimed to convene and coordinate Community-Based Action Research, initiatives and collaborations that can accelerate transitions towards a Climate-Friendly Food System UBC. The approach will model existing successful Campus as Living Lab initiatives including the Social, Ecological, Economic, Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program.
Guided by the UBC

Climate Action Plan 2030

(CAP 2030), the incumbent will work with interdisciplinary colleagues from across Vancouver and Okanagan campuses including the Climate-Friendly Food Systems Action Team, Sustainability & Engineering, Campus & Community Planning and Student Housing and Community Services and others to facilitate applied Community-Based Action Research and partnerships. This position will enable the co-creation of research priorities and actions with students, faculty, staff, and community partners. The incumbent will support partnership development that builds an interdisciplinary network for Climate-Friendly Foods Systems action, best practices and knowledge exchange. Reporting to the Manager, SEEDS Sustainability Program, the incumbent will contribute to the program’s strategic priorities and objectives, through facilitating student-led applied research and partnerships to advance Climate-Friendly Food System ideas, policies and practices, and enhance knowledge exchange of associated research. The incumbent will deliver innovative and impactful research to advance the Climate Action Plan 2030 and related sustainability priorities, and inform our approach to collaborative research and applied learning models, while also expanding and enriching undergraduate research and learning experiences in addressing societal issues.

About Us
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities globally. A large part of what makes us unique is the community of engaged students, faculty, and staff who are collectively committed to shaping a better world.
Recognized as a leading employer in British Columbia and Canada, UBC supports inspired students, faculty and staff on their journey of discovery, and challenges them to realize their greatest potential. New ideas, changing infrastructure, innovative technology, and fresh approaches are opening up possibilities for the future of research, teaching, and work. Are you ready to embrace the future together?
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.
Organizational Status
This position reports to the Manager, SEEDS Sustainability Program in Sustainability & Engineering (S&E) within Campus and Community Planning (C+CP). The incumbent will work closely with the Climate Action Planner within the UBC Sustainability & Engineering, and works collaboratively with members of the Climate-Friendly Food Systems (CFFS) Action Team. The incumbent works independently, with direction from the SEEDS Manager. The Coordinator will also work with internal staff and faculty members, postdoctoral fellows and community partners.

Work Performed

Under the direction of the Manager, SEEDS Sustainability Program:
  • The candidate will develop and coordinate student-led Community-Based Action Research (CBAR) and interdisciplinary partnerships that can inform Climate-Friendly Food Systems (CFFS) policy and practices as part of UBC’s Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP2030) including:
    • Coordinate an interdisciplinary Climate-Friendly Food System (CFFS) Research Team and supporting research projects pertaining to the development, launch and evaluation of a campus CFFS label and framework
    • Coordinate an interdisciplinary Climate-Friendly Food System (CFFS) Action Team to scope and coordinate student-led applied research and partnerships that can advance other

      CAP 2030 Food Actions

      (pg. 36-37) and priorities, spanning procurement, GHG food assessment, food waste and food recovery to behavioural change research that can increase awareness, knowledge and consumption of a CFFS

    • Conduct best practice research to inform scoping of CFFS research and partnership development, including reviews of CFFS policies and practices, research design and engagement models, and effective knowledge dissemination
    • Identify and pursue opportunities to integrate applied research that pertains to CFFS into various undergraduate and graduate curricular and co-opportunities with key faculty partners
    • Develop and coordinate knowledge exchange activities to disseminate, translate and mobilize student-led research and collaborative work to inform academic and practitioner bodies of knowledge and action on institutional advancements in CFFS
    • Support the development of related networks and partnerships for climate action and food systems best practices and knowledge exchange
    • Write progress reports and perform other responsibilities related to the position as needed.
Consequence of Error/Judgement
Must exercise tact and diplomacy when interacting with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders. Poor decisions or lack of tact, diplomacy or sensitivity in dealing with internal and external funders and other stakeholders could result in missed opportunities, damaged relationships and loss of credibility across the university. Errors in documentation, judgement or the disclosure of confidential information could have very public consequences, and can result in reputational risk and loss of credibility for the SEEDS Sustainability Program, Campus and Community Planning, and/or resulting in embarrassment to the University of British Columbia and its senior administration.

Supervision Received
This position reports to the Manager, SEEDS Sustainability Program, Sustainability & Engineering, and works closely with the Climate Action Planner, Sustainability & Engineering within Campus + Community Planning. Works in close cooperation with faculties and operational units across campus.

Supervision Given
May provide direction as appropriate to support the activities of student staff or contractors.

Minimum Qualifications
Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Minimum of two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s Degree or equivalent in Sustainable Food Systems, Environmental/Interdisciplinary studies or a related discipline. Knowledge of sustainable food systems and climate change. Experience and knowledge with the public sector, academic institutions, and/or UBC is an asset.
  • Experience leading projects and coordinating teams; team player and community-builder with strong interpersonal communications skills
  • Experience with engagement and facilitation of diverse audiences.This includes planning, managing and guiding a group to ensure that a group’s objectives are met effectively
  • Experience with facilitating community-based action research/participatory research projects
  • Demonstrated experience in the development of research proposals and program reports
  • Experience conducting secondary research, creatively communicating findings for a variety of audiences
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, with demonstrated ability to develop partnerships and strong supportive relationships amongst diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-faceted work based environment, ability to work flexibly and independently, handling multiple concurrent priorities, setting reasonable deadlines and meeting them
  • Experience with knowledge exchange including translating issues in creative and engaging ways to disseminate and increase the uptake to mobilize research into tangible actions with diverse stakeholders
  • Strong capacity for creativity and innovation; ability to exercise initiative, resourcefulness and judgment.
  • Experience with developing grant applications is considered an asset

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