Utah State University

Graduate Research Assistant - ITLS

City Logan Campus
Posted Date 1 month ago(6/4/2020 4:47 PM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
Category (Portal Searching)
Research (non-Faculty)
Position Type
Non-benefited (hourly) Part-Time
Job Classification
E Eccles Jones Coll of Ed & Hum Svs
Instructional Technology & Lrn Scis
Advertised Salary
$20,000 plus tuition


We invite applicants to join a National Science Foundation funded project (Award: 1943630) as a graduate research assistant and receive funding to complete the doctoral program in Instructional Technologies & Learning Sciences at Utah State University. Review of applications will begin mid-June and continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible between Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Fall 2021.


Project Information

The project supports community-based research with the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation and Spy Hop, a non-profit digital media organization for youth. Our project adopts a "culturally disruptive" approach, which requires us to constantly reflect on ourselves as cultural beings and recognize the power and privilege connected to that. For example, disciplines like science are often thought of as “acultural” or without culture, and instead we see science as a rich cultural activity and process. We also employ a community-driven design research process where the Northwestern Shoshone are ultimately in charge of the overall process — the goal here is to disrupt the inherent power researchers have in an academic institution. Together, we want to share and preserve important cultural and historical stories of the Tribe as well as develop and sustain technological and design skills using professional practices and processes. We plan to do this by creating “place-based storytelling experiences” or stories that you can experience in a specific location via your mobile device. We will create these stories at sites are particularly significant to the Tribe, where they want to share their science and culture with the public. The first site is Boa Ogoi , a cultural center being built at the Bear River Massacre site, the location of one of the worst massacres of Indigenous peoples in U.S. history. We hope our process will help other tribal communities who might want to engage in similar work and will inform researchers, educators, and designers who think about things like culture, science, and technology.


Funding Package

The graduate research assistant will work 20 hours a week on the NSF-funded research project described above. Funding package stipulations:

  • Salary of $20,000/year for up to 5 years with potential $1,000 increase each year pending satisfactory performance and annual renewal of grant funds.
  • Resident and non-resident tuition over 5 years (up to 70 credits).
  • Health insurance (portion paid by grant, portion by student).
  • Student responsible for fees.
  • Student responsible for paying taxes on stipend.

Eligibility for Funding

If selected, the student must be admitted to the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences doctoral program to be eligible to receive the available funding package.


Maintaining Funding

Funding is available for up to 5 years pending students’ satisfactory progress and good standing with the PI and faculty advisor, department, and university. Funding is not guaranteed and is contingent on the following:


The graduate research assistant will collaborate with a diverse team of researchers, designers, educators, scientists, architects, and community members to complete research and design duties such as data collection and analysis tasks, organizing community, family, and youth events, and designing new technologies. The graduate research assistant will be supervised by Principal Investigator, Dr. Breanne Litts, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technologies and Learning Sciences and Director of the Learn Explore Design Lab.


Minimum Qualifications:

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree
  • Experience or interest in working with diverse communities, especially American Indian communities, and cultivating and sustaining research-practice partnerships. The interdisciplinary project brings together culture, science, and technology and integrates a range of topics including restorative ecology, storytelling/narrative, and digital media production.
  • Familiarity with Indigenous science and/or Indigenous Knowledge Systems is preferred.  



Required Documents

Along with the online application, please attach:

1. Resume/CV to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the candidate profile under “Resume/CV”

2. Cover Letter to be uploaded into the candidate profile in the Documents 1-5 or Documents 1-6 section

3. Names and contact information for at least three professional references to be provided at the beginning of your application in the candidate profile.


**Document size may not exceed 10 MB.**

Advertised Salary

$20,000 plus tuition


Employees typically work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not, necessarily, occasional temperature changes.  

College/Department Highlights

Department Highlights:

The Instructional Technology & Learning Sciences department is composed of eleven full-time faculty with specializations in several areas including gaming, STEM education, assessment, the Maker movement, mobile technologies, cognitive science, computer science education, digital libraries, learning analytics, and computational thinking. The department offers Ph.D. and Master’s degrees along with endorsements in School Library Media Administration. The department also offers an undergraduate degree in Human Experience Design and Interaction, with emphases in game studies, esports, and multimedia development, as well as an undergraduate Multimedia Minor. The department was recently ranked 3rd in the nation among all online graduate education programs and ranked 1st in our field by US News and World Reports. Faculty have received national awards for teaching, research, and service, and serve in a variety of leadership positions in professional and scholarly organizations. The ITLS department has a strong track record of procuring research funding from the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other funding organizations.


College Highlights:

The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services is committed to quality teaching, outreach and research. It is home to eight departments. Graduate and undergraduate programs are strengthened by an on-campus elementary school and three stand-alone centers. These offer services to the community and provide students with real-world service and research opportunities. Additional community services are provided by the individual departments. 

University Highlights

Utah State University (USU) was founded in 1888 and is honored to be Utah’s land-grant and space-grant university. USU is a Carnegie RU/H (Research University/High Research Activity) institution with approximately 27,800 students (24,660 undergraduates and 3,140 graduate students) on the Logan main campus. Utah State’s statewide system features eight campuses and 23 education centers and serves all counties in the state with Extension programs. USU offers 165 undergraduate majors, 138 graduate programs, and a variety of innovative stackable associate and certificate credentials. Washington Monthly ranked USU 14th in their national university rankings in 2019 and the 5th best public national university in the nation in 2018. As one of the two premier research institutions in Utah, USU is proud to provide a high-quality education at an affordable price. Additional information about Utah State University can be found here.


A core characteristic of USU is engagement with communities and people in economic development, improvements to quality of life, and human capital. Through the practical application of knowledge, the University and its faculty engage and share expertise with the state, nation, and world, preserving the historical land-grant tradition of partnering with communities to address critical societal issues in the interest of the public good.


The USU main campus is located in beautiful Logan, Utah; a city of about 50,000 situated in a picturesque mountain valley about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Outstanding recreational opportunities abound in the nearby mountains and proximate region.


Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:


Executive Director of the Office of Equity Alison Adams-Perlac, alison.adams-perlac@usu.edu, Old Main Rm. 161, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Hilary Renshaw, titleix@usu.edu, Old Main Rm. 161, 435-797-1266.

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visithttps://equity.usu.edu/, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481, OCR@ed.gov

U.S. Department of Education, Denver Regional Office, 303-844-5695, OCR.Denver@ed.gov


USU is sensitive to the needs of dual career couples and provides a Dual Career Assistance program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment.


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