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  • Writer's pictureMarielle Moraleja

Ask us Anything: Hiring Research Assistants in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie!

Did you know that the Benoit Lab is hiring research assistants in Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie until the positions are filled? Here are some common questions and answers for this role!



What is the WHiSE 2.0 research project?

The WHiSE 2.0 project is the continuation of the “Walking for Harm Reduction through Street Engagement” (2020) project which was conceptualized and led by Elevate NWO, a harm reduction site located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Elevate NWO provides services, resources, and programs to improve the lives of people living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.


The purpose of the latest WHiSE study, (WHiSE 2.0) is to generate new knowledge on the harm reduction approaches and strategies desired and used by Indigenous people who use substances in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, and Sault Ste Marie. WHiSE 2.0 is a research project largely guided by an Indigenous team and focuses on these three cities in order to provide timely and relevant data to local service providers which is currently unavailable. By collecting new data, the study will enable better evaluation of current harm reduction strategies for stakeholders and help them modify their services to better meet the needs of their clients.


If you are interested in learning more about our research, check out our social media or recent publications, where we focus on Indigenous health, Indigenous women’s health, and Indigenous knowledge.


Do I have to have any experience/credentials to work?

We value your knowledge regarding the local community and your eagerness to learn more about research, Indigenous health, and harm reduction services. Once we find the right candidate, we will provide you with training for up to 6 weeks (full-time, 37.5 hours per week) on:

  • how to obtain consent forms

  • how to administer a survey

  • how to conduct interviews and/or focus groups

  • how to collect and store data

  • how to do community outreach

  • how to build networks,

  • and more.

We encourage everyone from all backgrounds to apply for our positions as we strive to build an inclusive workforce that reflects the diverse communities in which we live and work in. We strongly encourage applications from persons with lived experience with drug use, sex work, homelessness, and street involvement; those living with HIV/HCV; members of 2SLGBTQ communities, Indigenous people, members of diverse ethno-cultural communities, and persons with dis/abilities.


What type of responsibilities should I expect? What is my pay?

You will be responsible for various tasks that are mentioned above. However, after training, you will work part-time (about 15 hours per week) for 18 weeks (6 months). Regarding pay, you can expect anywhere between $16-$25 per hour.


Who would I be working with?

You would be working alongside the Benoit Lab, which is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students supervised by Dr. Anita Benoit. You would also be working with our community partners like Oahas and Elevate NWO depending on which position you are interested in. You can learn more about the Benoit Lab team and our community partners on our website!


I don’t live in Thunder Bay or Sault Ste. Marie. Can I still apply for these positions?

The responsibilities for these positions require in-person attendance, therefore you must live in either Sault Ste. Marie or Thunder Bay to apply. However, if you are an undergraduate or graduate student in Ontario interested in working with us, please send us your CV and cover letter stating your interests to Dr. Anita Benoit at anita.benoit@utoronto.ca.


What should I submit to apply for this position?

Please submit a one-page cover letter and resume/CV as a single PDF/Word file to m.aden@utoronto.ca. Please include your name in the subject line of the email using the file name: “Community Outreach Assistant - Full Name”. You can access a more comprehensive job posting on our website.


Who can I contact for more information?

We encourage you to contact Muna Aden at m.aden@utoronto.ca for any questions regarding the hiring position(s). You can also reach out on our social media platforms for any communication-related or general questions!

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