Research Assistant Postion-In-game Ads Study


Job Description

100 hours, May 10- July 16, 2021


Dr. Sara M. Grimes, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information and Director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) is seeking 2 Research Assistants to assist in the compilation and coding of a comprehensive data set (database) of the “in-game ads” (advertisements) that appear in popular app games categorized as appropriate for children in Canada. Data collection will involve both playing a large number of children’s games/apps and documenting the ads as they appear through the capture of images/video other relevant qualitative and quantitative data. This data will be used in a subsequent study of the effectiveness of current age classification systems in children’s games across platforms. This project will enable a unique and timely intervention into emerging academic and policy discussions about age-appropriate media and design, while laying the groundwork for future research in this area.


  1. Assist with designing and building a database and coding protocol;
  2. Assist with the collection of data by actively playing a large number of games classified as appropriate for children aged 4years+ (devices and games will be provided) while documenting ads as they appear (intermittently, and often without warning);
  3. Attend regular virtual meetings with the research team to share and compare findings, address anomalies and resolve discrepancies;
  4. Assist with inputting, cleaning and managing the data in a shared database;
  5. Maintain a record/documentation of your work, process, and findings (weekly research memos);
  6. Contribute to the writing and preparation of a preliminary report of findings.


  • Previous experience playing digital games especially on Apple iPad and/or Samsung Galaxy.
  • Previous experience working with children, or strong/demonstrated knowledge of children’s studies, children’s media and/or children’s literature theories;
  • Strong to excellent research skills, especially relating to the retrieval and critical evaluation of digital/online sources;
  • Strong to excellent skills in data management, and knowledge of relevant tools and software (e.g. SPSS, Excel, OneDrive, etc.);
  • Strong to excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Previous experience with creating, organizing digital images and/or video;
  • Committed, reliable, organized, ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Qualified applicants must have the resources and availability to complete all the work remotely (personal computer, reliable internet connection), in accordance with COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, and must be legally entitled to work in Canada for the duration of the contract. Preference will be given to current University of Toronto Faculty of Information and/or Knowledge Media Design (Collaborative Specialization) students. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and perspectives.

Please note that the start and end dates are negotiable (to some extent), but that the work must be completed in its entirety before July 30 2021. If you have any questions, concerns, or require assistance completing this application please contact

How to apply:

Email with brief cover letter and CV.

Applications are open until the position is filled. Please note that only qualified, short-listed applicants will be selected for an interview.