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Research assistant – casual position

Start date: Will commence when a suitable candidate is found

Application deadline: March 25, 2024

Supervisor: Dr. Henry Tsang

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Location: Athabasca University

Status: 10 - 20 hours a week

The Politics of Placemaking in Chinatown


This project is looking for two Research Assistants to assist with a SSHRC-funded study that investigates how Chinatown communities across North America have adopted cultural planning and placemaking strategies in order to protect and revitalize their neighbourhoods in response to several challenges, including gentrification, demographic changes, and anti-Asian racism.

Specific activities include, but are not limited to

The primary job duties for the field research assistant (Research Assistant 2 Category) will include:

  • support data collection and analysis
  • attend project meetings
  • contribute to writing articles
  • document and draft/model buildings (2D/3D)
  • conduct interviews and surveys
  • support building design

The successful candidates will gain valuable knowledge in the broad areas of architecture with a focus on heritage preservation and cultural sustainability of ethnic neighbourhoods like Chinatowns. They will acquire hands-on learning and research skills through participant recruitment, qualitative interviewing, data collection, analysis and design. They will also gain experience communicating with diverse audiences, including other academics and professionals within the scope of the study. All skills acquired will be professionally transferable.

The successful candidates will work with and directly report to Dr. Henry Tsang, associate professor of architecture at Athabasca University. Dr. Henry Tsang will provide adequate training for the participant recruitment, interviews, data collection, analysis, and dissemination activities that will be required.


The duration of this position is for a minimum of a 3-month period, with possibility of extension. The number of weekly hours will vary but equivalent to 10-20 hours per week. Rate of pay commensurate with experience and collective agreement provisions. The successful candidates can be a student in an undergraduate or graduate degree, majoring in architecture or a related field. The successful candidates will have research interests and/or experience in any of the following: architecture design, planning, historic & heritage preservation and conservation.

Sought skills include: architectural design, 2D drafting (AutoCAD), 3D modelling (Sketchup), parametric design (REVIT), graphic design and writing skills. Past experience in research, including data collection, analysis, archiving, and dissemination is an asset. Knowledge of Chinese language (Mandarin or Cantonese) is an asset.

Exceptions to this credentialing can be made in cases where the applicant’s educational, work, and lived background provide an exceptional combination of experience and knowledge. This position is fully remote, but candidates located in Calgary would be preferred.

How to apply

Qualified individuals are encouraged to submit their application by email to Dr. Henry Tsang at Applications should include (as a single PDF file) a brief cover letter that summarizes your skills, interests and experience; with a current resume or curriculum vitae. Evaluation of applications will begin immediately and will continue until suitable candidates are found. All applicants are thanked for their interest in this position; however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Athabasca University and the researchers are committed and seek to support equity in employment and research opportunities. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous people, people of colour, people with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ people, women, and other historically marginalized groups. Applicants are welcome, but not required, to self-identify in their letter of application. For more information on this Research Assistant Opportunity, please contact Dr. Henry Tsang, Ph.D. at the coordinates below, on or before March 25, 2024. Applications will be accepted until the suitable candidates are found.

Dr. Henry Tsang
Associate Professor
RAIC Centre for Architecture, Athabasca University