Our Department



Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) - International Student Assistant

Job Description:

Under the supervision of the Department of Chemistry Outreach and Communications Assistant, the International Student Assistant will be responsible for providing classroom support and helping plan and implement social and cultural activities for visiting international students enrolled in the Department of Chemistry (Faculty of Science) Vancouver Summer Program.

Vancouver Summer Program Description:

The Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) is a four-week academic program offered by various Faculties at UBC that provides the opportunity for cooperating universities to organize groups of students to take two academic courses while learning about Canadian practices and culture. The Department of Chemistry is offering two courses entitled The Chemical Enterprise and Global Challenges and Environmental Chemistry of Oceans and Atmosphere.


The International Student Assistant will be supervised directly by the Department of Chemistry Outreach and Communication Assistant.

Sample Duties:

  • Assist in leading group activities aimed at exposing international summer students to Canadian culture.
  • Participation in course lectures, group discussions, and presentations, as needed.
  • Coordinate opportunities for current UBC students to interact with international students who are specializing in similar areas.
  • Share their own UBC experience with other students.
  • Respond to various forms of student inquiries in person, via e-mail, and by phone in a timely and professional manner.
  • Develop relationships with students to ensure approachability and resourcefulness, and to foster community and inclusion.
  • Direct international students to campus resources as appropriate.


Complexity of Tasks:

Tasks will be of a moderately complex nature, requiring familiarity with the UBC Vancouver campus and a variety of cultural activities and events in Vancouver. The assistant must have the ability to organize and help lead a group of students and volunteers. The assistant should be able to advise on student support services on campus, interpret and assess student inquiries and concerns, and advise or refer students to appropriate resources. This position assists in promoting and facilitating interactions amongst international visiting students and UBC faculty, staff and students, and will be an important contributor to the overall experience that visiting students have at UBC and in Vancouver.


Skills, knowledge and abilities:

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, professional approach in email, telephone and face-to-face communication, and active listening skills
  • Experience working with people from a variety of backgrounds/cultures in a calm and respectful manner
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion when dealing with confidential information
  • Competency with office computer skills (MS Word, Excel, internet and e-mail)
  • Demonstrated time-management skills with the ability to meet deadlines
  • Basic knowledge of chemistry topics (has successfully completed 1st year science courses)
  • Basic knowledge of university services (in order to answer questions anticipated from international students)
  • Has an outgoing personality and enjoys interacting with others
  • Is a patient listener who is able to identify a student’s immediate information needs
  • Enjoys problem-solving and collaboration in a team setting
  • Is interested in learning about other cultures
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends, as needed


Education Level:  Must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student within the Faculty of Science in good academic standing (preferably in years 3 or 4).

Hours Per Week:

Up to 20hrs

Salary / Wage:

$17.04 hourly

Anticipated Start and End Date:

July 10th 2019 – August 14th 2019

Preferred Degrees/Disciplines:

Chemistry, Biochemistry


How to Apply:

Required Documents:

Cover Letter, Resume, Class Schedule


Applicants should send all required documentation to:

Please use subject line VSP Student Assistant

Application Deadline: May 21st 2019



Instructor Position 2019 Vancouver Summer Program (VSP)

The Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia invites applications for the following instructor position for the 2019 Vancouver Summer Program (VSP). The VSP is a one month condensed summer program offered to international undergraduate students to come and experience life and classes at UBC. The instructor will be responsible for four weeks of teaching (July 13th – August 13th total 39 contact hours), course preparation (some materials will be provided), marking, and several social activities with the students during that period. The course is part of a package of two courses, each taught for 3 hours per day (with some days off in the week due to student’s social activities). The successful candidate will work closely with the lead instructor to provide a cohesive package to the students. Our emphasis is on active learning teaching methods where students are inspired to explore the subject matter through field trips, labs, discussions, in-class activities, and as such, there is some flexibility in the course design and progression.

The salary range for this position depends on qualifications and experience. Individuals with a M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree in chemistry and successful teaching experience are preferred. Familiarity with computer interfaces and online teaching systems (UBC Canvas) is an asset.

Course Program:  Environmental Chemistry of the Oceans and Atmosphere

The environmental chemistry of the oceans and/or the atmosphere will be presented to help students understand the chemical composition and reaction processes of the air and the seas. Case studies may involve the chemical processes associated with atmospheric interactions with solar radiation, the stratospheric ozone layer, photochemical smog and/or complexation analysis, corrosion treatment and microbial transformations within natural waters.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the BC Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. Please clearly indicate your legal status to work in Canada.

Applicants should send a curriculum vita and a statement of teaching philosophy. Evidence of teaching effectiveness would be an asset. Applicants should also arrange to have two reference letters sent directly to:


Please use the subject line Chemistry VSP Instructor.

The deadline for receipt of applications and reference letters is May 10, 2019.