Creative Hubs and Networks Research Initiative student position


Creative Hubs and Networks Research Assistant/Open Access Zotero and Database for Impact Measurement Frameworks (KMDI/CDMI)

The Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) is a cross-departmental institute at the University of Toronto that produces human-centered research and pedagogical resources aimed at exploring, critiquing, and informing the design of technological devices, media, and systems. The UTSC Critical Digital Methods Institute (CDMI) is a sister operation that seeks to build bridges across the gaps that exist between disciplines, media, systems and people. We work across different quantitative and qualitative methods and focus on critical and interpretive methods, social justice frameworks and digital methods that are attentive to questions and problems of equity, diversity and inclusion. The Creative Hubs and Networks Research Initiative (CHNRI) has been developing a series of open access databases that are scheduled to be publicly launched in the spring of 2021, including databases of resources developed with input from Mass Culture and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

We are currently seeking a research assistant to help us finalize the update of a public Zotero of more than 200 resources focused on impact management in the arts, culture and media sectors, as well as a public-facing database of the same material for presentation on the world wide web. We seek someone with the ability to set up an export/import system to allow these two public presentations of the content to be easily synched up when periodic updates occur, and to set up a simple manual of instructions (one or two pages). In the process, the RA will finalize the Project Dictionary (and related controlled vocabulary and tagging) that is almost complete, working with the digital librarians at UTSC and the rest of the CHNRI team. This is a maximum eight-week project that must be completed by the end of March, 2021. Successful completion of the project may lead to additional similar projects as the collaboration develops.


  • Technical skills and knowledge of Zotero, Microsoft Excel, website building templates and related softwares or online applications
  • Knowledge of data transfer/conversion
  • Experience in building annotated bibliographies and tagging
  • Ability to learn new technology equipment and applications
  • Self-motivated; takes initiative; pro-active
  • Committed, reliable, ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Asset: Familiarity with other media/graphics programs (Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign and Audition)


  • Convert the current Excel spreadsheet to a new public Zotero resource and test downloading the Zotero into Excel and Word documents to ensure that the data retains its integrity.
  • Develop a step-by-step data conversion process to allow for periodic updates completed on the spreadsheet or Zotero to be synched with the other system.
  • Complete the relevant tables in the Project Dictionary, including tagging, controlled vocabulary definitions.
  • Provide tech assistance and guidance to members of the research team to assist them with the periodic updates.
  • Work with the KMD CS Director to launch the open access bibliographic resource for use on the KMDI website, the CDMI website, and as part of the UTSC library digital resources to supplement the activities and goals of KMDI-Semaphore, UTSC CDMI and University of Toronto libraries more generally.

Preference will be given to University of Toronto Faculty of Information students and to UTSC Department of Arts, Culture & Media students.

The successful applicant will be offered a contract of 50 hours, to be completed by the end of March 2021. Salary will be commensurate with experience. $20 – $35/hr.

Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.

To apply, email a CV and cover letter to KMD CS Director Mary Elizabeth Luka by January 29, 2021, however earlier qualified applicants will be given preference.  Questions may be directed to Dr. Luka by email.