Undergraduate/Graduate Research Assistant, Co-Designing Disaster Risk Reduction
OCAD University
Toronto, ON
Project Details:
Co-Designing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to leverage the real-world design of a K-12 school to provide a case study in the integration of Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) and Participatory Design. The case study will help build a framework for other such projects in communities facing similar challenges across the globe. Integration of CBDRR into school design is uncommon, yet the school (located in Laura, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and about to begin design, provides an unusually ideal medium for this research, since its components (educational platform, community resilience-hub, and use as a disaster shelter) provide traits central to CBDRR’s success. The main research questions are: 1) How can Community-based disaster risk management be integrated within the master planning and design of K-12 schools? 2) How can community-based participatory design processes improve community agency in disaster risk reduction? 3) How can a partnership between private enterprise (architect, planner), academic institution, and community organizations (school, municipality, non-profit) work together to accomplish these goals?

This project is in partnership with Metaam Studio (metaamostudio.com), an architecture and planning firm based in Portland, Oregon. The research assistant will have the unique opportunity to collaborate with an architecture firm and work on an international project centered around community engagement, capacity building and resilience.

Keywords: disaster resilient design, climate change adaptive design, participatory design, materials research

Position Description:
This position will be to assist in a research project/ co-design project, collaborating with international partners. The project involves community workshops, materials research, exploration of disaster resilient and climate change adaptive design solutions, and co-design/ participatory processes. The position involves working closely with the PI and partner, Metaamo Studio on research assignments as well as drafting and design.

The primary tasks required of the position include: assisting with the Research Ethics Board research protocol, assistance with drafting and developing workshop materials, carrying out site analysis, materials research, case study research of precedents, documenting data and information from workshops, data management, and more. The position also requires REB familiarity and assistance with managing the REB protocol. Preference will be given to students in Environmental Design or with an architectural, landscape architecture, or urban planning background.

The job will require a high amount of collaboration with the primary researcher and Metaamo Studio as well as some independent work. The assistant will be meeting with the primary researcher on a weekly basis and will potentially be expected to work in a shared office space.

Working under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, Dr. James Miller, in support of the project’s research goals and objectives
Assisting with data collection, literature searches, data compilation, processing, entry and analysis
Design development, documentation and coordination of project
Preparation of presentations and outreach material (drawings, copy editing, digital models, renderings)
Participate in design experimentation
Assisting with the preparation of proposals, progress and final reports
Assisting with material research and case study research
Working with Technicians and other research personnel, where relevant, by ensuring the appropriate and safe use of materials, equipment and/or facilities
Participating in the provision of safe and secure environment for all members of the University community and its facilities

Current enrollment in undergraduate or graduate environmental design or architectural design program and/or experience in architecture, landscape architecture, or urban planning
Proficiency in Adobe CC, AutoCad, Vectorworks, Rhino, SketchUP, Revit
Strong familiarity with Google Earth Pro and using database maps (US Census Maps, County GIS Maps, etc.)
Experience working in an architectural office as asset
Excellent verbal, written and graphic communication skills
Strong organizational, interpersonal, problem solving and analytical skills
Ability to work effectively as part of a team
Ability to work independently, with little to no supervision
An ambitious work ethic
Project experience including internal and external collaboration
Experience communicating remotely and internationally
Demonstrated commitment to the principles of equity and diversity and experience promoting a respectful work and learning environment for students, staff and faculty

Hours of Work: 10 hours per week over the period of October 7, 2019 to June 25, 2019

Compensation: $19.31 (Undergraduate Rate) /$30.59 (Graduate Rate) per hour, subject to qualifications, plus 6% in lieu of benefits plus vacation pay, as applicable, per the provisions of the Employment Standards Act

Please note the following:
This appointment is conditional upon funding of the Project by OCAD U’s external funding partner(s)
Full-time graduate students may not accept research assistantships or other university-related employment in excess of 10 hours per week (or 130 hours per semester), as mandated by the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies (OCGS).

Application Process:
Applications should include: a one-page covering letter explaining the candidate’s interest, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three (3) referees

Interested applicants are invited to submit their application in confidence addressed to Dr. James Miller, Assistant Professor, online by clicking the “Apply Now” button below.

The review of applications will begin on October 1, 2019 and will continue until the position has been filled.

As an employer committed to employment equity, we encourage applications from members of equity-seeking communities including women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.

We encourage members of designated equity-seeking groups to self-identify within the voluntary Applicant Questionnaire.

OCAD U is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier free experience to applicants with accessibility needs. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage during the recruitment process. Please contact Human Resources for more information or refer to OCAD U’s Policy of Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities

All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those short-listed will be contacted.

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