Research Assistant

The Scholarly Communications Lab (ScholCommLab) at Simon Fraser University (SFU, Canada) is seeking a research assistant to support a qualitative interview study to understand how and why physicians use and learn to use social media to share health information with their healthcare colleagues and the public to mitigate health misinformation. The selected candidate will join an interdisciplinary team, led by Dr. Lauren Maggio, a professor of medicine, to support the drafting a literature review and human subjects ethics (REB/IRB) application, and depending on the candidate’s experience and interests, coordinating, conducting and analyzing interviews and collaboratively authoring manuscripts.

About the study

This work is motivated by the recognition that health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health globally. As trusted member of society, physicians have been called upon to help mitigate health misinformation by leveraging social media platforms to disseminate accurate health information to the public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians answered this call, however, there is limited knowledge about how and why they decided to take up social media and what barriers they faced. This research aims to fill this knowledge gap and to ultimately support and educate physicians in this domain. 

The study is part of a larger project on science and health communication supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada under the leadership of Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin (SFU).  Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, this larger project examines how, where, and among whom health information circulates online with the aim to provide insights into the sharing of reliable health information and to support academics, journalists, and other science communicators in effectively engaging online audiences.

Working arrangements

The study is expected to be conducted in the Summer and Fall of 2022 at a rate of $25-40/hour CAD (commensurate with experience).  As a remote team and this position will likewise be remote. The chosen candidate should be highly motivated and able to work independently under limited supervision. However, if needed an office, library access, and computer resources are available at the Vancouver Campus of SFU.

The position is for up to 100 hours, to be completed before December 2022. Working hours are flexible, with some obligation to participate in scheduled meetings.

Application process

Interested applicants should apply with a resume and a brief cover letter outlining your relevant experience and interest in the project. Additional materials (e.g., examples of previous work) are welcome, but not required.

Applications can be sent to Olivia Aguiar at with the subject line: “Physician Social Media Research Assistant.” Applications will be reviewed as they are received. All applications received by July 10, 2022 will be given full consideration, but applications will remain open until the position is filled.

Equity and inclusion

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds, including but not limited to, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, and/or status as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC). All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

About the ScholCommLab

The ScholCommLab is a diverse multidisciplinary and multinational team of researchers interested in all aspects of scholarly communication. Based in Ottawa and Vancouver, Canada, the lab explores a wide range of questions using a combination of computational techniques, innovative methods, and traditional mixed methods to investigate how knowledge is produced, disseminated and used. The ScholCommLab is co-directed by Stefanie Haustein and Juan Pablo Alperin and is associated with the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa and the School of Publishing and the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University. The ScholCommLab values and practices open science, it has an established code of conduct, and clear authorship guidelines.