Research Assistant Postion-Media Ratings Project


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 with designing and conducting a comprehensive content analysis of Canadian and US media ratings systems. Data will be used to conduct a comparative analysis of how children’s media (here defined as media made and targeted directly to children and youth) is classified by formal ratings systems, such as the MPAA or the ESRB, across different formats, age categories, geographical regions and time. 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 coding protocol suitable for cross-media content analysis;
  2. Assist with defining and delineating of the data set, and conduct the data collection;
  3. Assist with inputting, cleaning and managing data in a shared database;
  4. Assist with conducting and interpreting data analysis, generating frequencies, cross-tabs, etc., identifying and interpreting patterns/trends;
  5. Maintain a record/documentation of your work, process, findings (weekly research memos);
  6. Contribute to the writing and preparation of a preliminary report of findings.


  • 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 quantitative research methods and modes of analysis, especially those used in content analysis (intercoder reliability, frequencies, cross-tabs);
  • Previous experience or familiarity with Canadian and/or US media regulation (governmental) and industry-driven ratings systems (e.g. ESRB, MPAA, Canadian Ratings Classification System, App Store (iOS) Ratings, etc.);
  • 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 of 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.