Research Assistant — Young Canada Works Employment Opportunity

Job Description:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Research Assistant will conduct archival research into Oxygen Art Centre’s Exhibition & Residency archives, as well as theoretical and policy development regarding equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in the arts sector.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Research Assistant will conduct the following tasks and responsibilities remotely, utilizing their personal computer to access online platforms such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Zoom, as well as digital platforms such as Word and Excel, of which will be provided by the organization.

This position is funded by Young Canada Works. Additional administration through the YCW portal will be required at the beginning and end of employment contract. Candidates are required to state their eligibility for the YCW program in their Cover Letter and/or email.

Tasks + Responsibilities:

Oxygen’s Research Assistant will investigate the artist-run centre’s historical engagement of equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion through archival research and critical theory research. This project involves independent work and research with the opportunity to collaborate with artists and experts in the field. The Research Assistant will be able to focus the project to best suit their interests, aspirations, and background.

Archival Research

Oxygen’s Research Assistant will conduct archival research into the Exhibition & Residency program print and digital archives focusing on the organization’s history of equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. By looking into Oxygen’s institutional history, the Research Assistant will provide quantitative data and feedback regarding its past in order to inform its future. Archival research involves database maintenance, documentation, statistical analysis, as well as interviewing and surveying past artists.

Critical Theory & Policy

Critical theory and policy research regarding anti-racism and decolonialism will form the foundation by which the Research Assistant will conduct this project. Developed with the Executive Director and Social Justice Committee, theoretical texts, lectures, and artworks will be determined as a “reading” list.

Final Report

A final report will summarize their research findings. This report can include creative and/or interactive aspects, should this be applicable to the project and candidate.


The Research Assistant will be responsible for communication with their supervisor and Oxygen’s Social Justice Committee, as well as liaising with artists and mentors in their field of enquiry.

This position will be multi-faceted and offer experience throughout all aspects of Oxygen Art Centre under the supervision of the Executive Director.

Due to the pandemic aspects of the position have been altered to ensure a safe working environment for the employee. The Research Assistant will be responsible for working from home, tracking hours and work plans, maintaining Google Doc files and documentation, virtual and phone meetings with supervisors, and facilitating digital administration from a far. Necessary alterations will be made to the employee’s work plan should pandemic restrictions alter during the employee’s contract.

Nature + Scope of the Position:

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Research Assistant engages in archival research regarding institutional histories and equitable practices.

The ideal candidate:

  • Is enrolled in a post-secondary program in Art History, Art Education, Visual and/or Media Arts, Museum Studies or a related discipline;
  • Demonstrates a keen interest in contemporary art and/or museum practices;
  • Is responsible, hard-working, enthusiastic, and dynamic;
  • Has a proven ability to communicate effectively.

The Summer Research Assistant position is funded by the Young Canada Works program. Candidates for the position must:

  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada;
  • Be a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident, or have refugee status in Canada (unfortunately, non-Canadian students holding temporary work visas or awaiting permanent status are not eligible);
  • Be between 16 and 30 years of age at the start of employment;
  • Create a profile on the Government of Canada Young Canada Works page;
  • Intend to return to Full-Time studies in Fall 2021

Employment Details:

9 week contract
30 hours/week
Position duration: June 28, 2021 – August 27, 2021

Application deadline: 21 May 2021, by 5:00 PM

Please submit a cover letter and resume to info@oxygenartcentre.org with the subject line: “ATTN: Summer Research Assistant Application”.

Oxygen Art Centre is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all applicants for their interest, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

More information available here

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