Summer Research Assistant for the Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC)

Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Summer Research Assistant for the Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC)

Summer Research Assistant for the Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC)

Summer 2022

Supervisor: Sarah Zoubek, Associate Director.

Position Description

This person will work with Dr. Norbert Wilson and the WFPC associate director to provide research support and project management on several projects. This includes topics such as the future of online groceries, inequitable funding to different types of land grant institutions, and other topics as relevant.

The proportion of your job that is allocated to a specific set of responsibilities is indicated by the % listed in parentheses below.

  1. (30%) Assist with preparing a grant resubmission to USDA-NIFA on the future of online grocery shopping to USDA. This individual will support the updating and redrafting of the proposal. 
  2. (30%) Develop a policy brief or piece for Choices that can be jointly published by all project authors. This could include questions related to the future of online groceries re: geriatric populations; worker labor; concerns around technology for consumers; the people engaged in providing the service, and for food providers, etc. The summer research assistant will lead the development of this, with the broader team supporting.
  3. (30%) Work with Norbert Wilson to develop a proposal concept on differential USDA funding to 1862 institutions (the first land-grant institutions); 1890 institutions (historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)); and possibly 1994 institutions (tribal colleges and universities (TCUs)).
  4. (10% effort) Additional research or administrative tasks as needed.

Job Skills Requirements

  • Three years of experience in research, especially qualitative and related to literature reviews or other relevant experience
  • Conducting qualitative research studies
  • Developing reports and/or publications for non-academic audiences
  • Publishing papers for academic audiences in journals
  • Knowledge of and passion for food access, food justice, and food systems issues
  • Working well under pressure with tight deadlines
  • Oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Managing multiple tasks and projects as part of an interdisciplinary team and in collaboration with partners
  • At least a basic understanding of race & social justice principles and impacts of systemic racism and oppression (more advanced knowledge is preferable)
  • Patience, determination, flexibility, decisiveness
  • A logical and independent mind
  • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy
  • Works well on a team
  • Working with people of color, people with low incomes, immigrants and refugees, and limited-English proficiency individuals is a plus
  • Business or food industry experience or knowledge a plus


We can only offer this opportunity to first-year Sanford Master of Public Policy (MPP) students or undergraduates who are 1) doing the summer internship for their Sanford requirements for their major, and 2) on financial aid.