Research Coordinator, Vancouver Native Health Society

in partnership with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS


JOB TITLE:  Research Coordinator
STATUS:  50%, grant funded, (20 hours a week)
DURATION: September 1, 2006 – August 31, 2007
GRANT: Aboriginal Health and Healing (AHAH)

The Research Coordinator will coordinate and facilitate community-based research activity related to Aboriginal health, HIV/HCV and public health in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This will include providing direct research assistance and support to researchers active within this program of research, consultation to research partners and other agencies, and coordinating activities of the multi-site, interdisciplinary research team.  The candidate will also supervise two community-based research assistants and play a major role in the collection of data.

The proposed project is an evaluation of existing HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis services developed for Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver, BC. This evaluation will work to inform further policy and health service development surrounding Aboriginal health and HIV/HVC, particularly in the Inner City and other East Vancouver neighbourhoods. The project will include a comprehensive review of existing services, interviews with staff and clinicians at these organizations, and interviews with HIV or HCV positive Aboriginal peoples living in Vancouver, BC to elicit information on gaps in health services for HIV and HCV treatment. This project will be guided by a community-based research methodology, within a decolonizing framework, which aims to engage Aboriginal community participants in research training, practice, analysis, and dissemination strategies and to create culturally-appropriate and methodologically sound research practices that contribute to community health, awareness and empowerment.

The Research Coordinator will:

  • Report to the Principle Investigator (PI), Doreen Littlejohn and/or Dr. Mark Tyndall.
  • Interact/work closely with the researchers, staff at Vancouver Native Health Society, and the community-based research assistants, on a daily basis.
  • Interact regularly with current funder and other potential funders of the AHAH research program, external researchers, health care professionals and community agencies in the Downtown Eastside.


  • Develop and coordinate work plans for the AHAH’s program of research.
  • Develop, coordinate and implement data collection plans during research.
  • Collect qualitative data, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, and social mapping of HIV/HCV services in the Downtown Eastside. The research includes interviews with Aboriginal people living with HIV and/or Hepatitis, VNHS members, and front-line workers in the Downtown Eastside regarding the availability and appropriateness of HIV/HCV services for Aboriginal people.
  • Identify and collect relevant literature and documents that pertain to community-based initiatives for HIV/HCV, culturally competent health care for Aboriginal peoples, and urban Aboriginal health.
  • Supervise, support and participate in training two community-based research assistants (CBRAs).
  • Form and meet monthly with a peer-advisory committee composed of VNHS POP members.
  • Analyse and interpret interview and focus group data with the CBRAs and research investigators.
  • Coordinate communication within research team (co-PIs, co-I, and collaborating partner).
  • Develop and foster community liaison relationships with other research projects and community-agencies in the Downtown Eastside relating to Aboriginal health, HIV/HCV, and community-based research. The development and fostering of such relationships includes: scheduling and coordinating meetings; identifying key contacts for important stakeholder groups; and maintaining positive working relationships with these organizations.
  • Manage project budgets.
  • Prepare grant proposals and applications to be submitted to external funding agencies.
  • Prepare research reports and other documents related to specific research projects.
  • Prepare presentations for delivery to scientific, professional and lay meetings.

The Research Coordinator will receive direction from Doreen Littlejohn and Mark Tyndall.


The Research Coordinator will provide assistance to Vancouver Native Health Society’s POP staff, and oversee the community-based research assistants and the advisory committee members as needed to ensure that the goals of the research are met in a timely and efficient manner.

The research project will be situated out of Vancouver Native Health Society. The work area is a large shared space and demands flexibility and sensitivity.

Education:  University Degree (Master’s required) or equivalent in social sciences, First Nations Studies, nursing, social work or epidemiology, with courses and/or experience in research design and implementation, particularly qualitative methodology, and Aboriginal peoples and indigenous communities.


  • Experience with community-development and community-based research is highly desirable, as is experience working with Aboriginal communities.
  • Knowledge of urban community health issues is essential.
  • Familiarity with the area of HIV/HCV is an asset.
  • Experience in conducting qualitative or ethnographic research and/or working with vulnerable populations is an asset. High degree of computer literacy required.
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis packages (i.e. Nudist) and database management an asset.
  • General knowledge of grant application development is required and familiarity with organizations in the Downtown Eastside an asset.

Skills and Abilities to:

  • Understand the basic principles of conducting community-based health research
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Analyse data, problem solve and make decisions
  • Set priorities and meet deadlines
  • Supervise and evaluate employees
  • Identify and relate to concerns of others and to exercise good judgement when resolving difficulties
  • Effectively chair meetings
  • Plan and be responsible for financial resources/budgets


Applications should include: Resume/CV, cover letter clearly outlining related experience and knowledge in community-based research, community development and urban or Aboriginal health, and names and contact information for 3 references.

DEADLINE: Monday, July 31, 2006. Interviews to be held in August.

Ms. Doreen Littlejohn
Aboriginal Health and Healing (AHAH) Research Project
Vancouver Native Health Society
449 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1P5
Tel: 604.254.9949
Fax: 604.254.9948