Research Assistant, Human and Social Development, University of Victoria

Research Assistant (one position)

Human and Social Development, School of Child and Youth Care and School of Social Work

University of Victoria

 Closes: Dec. 4th, 2020


Principal Investigators:        Dr. Mandeep Kaur Mucina and Dr. Rhonda Hackett

Length of employment:        up to 12 months

Hours per week:                   8-10 hours/week


The School of Child and Youth Care and the School of Social Work currently have an opportunity for a Research Assistant to work on the research project Bordering practices in the Canadian child welfare system: How immigration status shapes risk assessment with immigrant families.

This research project involves collaboration between researchers at the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria and will explore in what ways child protection workers use discretion when assessing risk for child maltreatment among immigrant children and their families, reproduces bordering practices in child welfare.

The research objectives are to:

  • Examine provincial and organizational policies regarding child welfare decision-making and engagement with immigrant families in Ontario and British Columbia through critical discourse analysis of policy documents related to risk assessment with immigrants. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders will also explore how workers and organizations take part in enforcing or resisting the state’s regulation of immigrants.
  • Understand social workers’ use of discretion and ways of knowing when assessing risk for immigrant families through in-depth interviews with front-line workers, supervisors, and policy makers working in Toronto and Vancouver: two cities with the highest concentration of immigrant families in Canada;
  • Engage key stakeholders to exchange knowledge regarding decision-making and interactions with immigrant families towards improving equitable outcomes for families who are involved with child welfare services.



  • Outreach to community partners in and stakeholders working in child welfare organizations and immigrant communities, particularly in BC;
  • Assist with developing ethics protocol for year 1 (2020-2021) of the study;
  • Assist research team to clarify research design and to carry out critical discourse analysis of policy documents;
  • Assisting with data collection and analysis of in-depth interviews with policy makers and child welfare managers;
  • Assist with analysis of provincial policy documents and textual data related to risk assessment with immigrant families;
  • Generate required reports, summaries, documents as required;
  • Attend weekly meetings and report to the project team as required;
  • Work closely with team members (including principal investigator, research staff, personnel and community partners); and
  • Other duties as assigned.


The Research Assistant will be provided with research training and mentoring in research methods and theories, data management, consultation and community engagement.



  • Current student registered in Masters/PhD program
  • Experience working in community-based settings with Black, African Caribbean, African, or South Asian immigrants on the mainland (Greater Vancouver Area and Fraser Valley);
  • Community based connections with immigrant communities in the Greater Vancouver Area and Fraser Valley and a willingness and capacity to travel throughout the mainland for outreach and research purposes an asset;
  • Experience working in child welfare and/or social work an asset;
  • Experience and/or knowledge of qualitative research methods and policy analysis
  • Previous project or program facilitation/ coordination experience
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Works well in a team environment


$26/hour for Masters students and $30/hour for PhD students.

Please email a resume with the names of two references, cover letter, and one writing sample by Dec. 4th, 2020 to Please save all documents in one PDF file.

We thank all applicants for your consideration, however, due to limited resources, only those under consideration will be contacted.