Callout for Student Applications for Real Food Challenge Research and Coordination Teams:
Meal Exchange is launching the Real Food Challenge in Canada, and we are recruiting students of excellence in British Columbia to join our inaugural team for the pilot phase.
We encourage students to apply in groups of 2-5, but welcome individual applications for students serious about this project.
There are two opportunities to join the pilot phase:
Cohort 1: Applications due January 4th
About the Project
The project is a partnership between Meal Exchange and Real Food Challenge U.S. that aims to shift $1 Billion of campus food purchasing to meet high standards in social justice, animal welfare, environmental sustainability and community relationships.
Students selected for this research position will receive:
The opportunity to be part of the first cohort of students to launch the award-winning Real Food Challenge in Canada
Resources for every step of the way, including detailed toolkits, examples from leaders in the United States, webinars, and templates
One-on-one coaching, troubleshooting, and site-visits from the Real Food Challenge B.C. Coordinator, who will work directly with you and the stakeholders on your campus to help you meet your project goals
Connections to leaders of the food movement including nonprofit and business leaders, funders, researchers, and a network of peer student coordinators across Canada and the United States - meetings will be in-person, by videoconference, and at events and conferences
The opportunity to get course-credit for your work and present at conferences
Coaching and troubleshooting to access financial support (if available) from your university
About the Project Partners
Meal Exchange and Real Food Challenge U.S. use applied research, student engagement, and campus-community partnerships as ways to bring together all the different actors who need to be involved in changing how food is purchased, prepared, eaten, studied, and thought about. Our work is based on building relationships between uncommon allies, bridging organizational cultures and politics, and finding breakthrough solutions to some of our food systems’ toughest challenges. We’re looking for students who are strong leaders and are excited about the opportunity of joining an international network to transform food purchasing on their campuses.
About the Opportunity
Real Food Challenge Research and Coordination Teams must be:
Currently enrolled in an Undergraduate, Masters, or PhD program at a post-secondary institution in British Columbia
Familiar with how change happens on campus and well connected to faculty, administrators, and staff
Knowledgeable or seriously interested in food system issues
Excited about working with various stakeholders from the chef to the cafeteria manager, from students to professors to administrators, and from community organizations to international businesses
A good communicator and facilitator - you don’t need to have the loudest voice in the room, but you do need to know how to explain ideas to different audiences, and be comfortable leading meetings and building trusting relationships
Confident in uncertain and complex situations; you are comfortable when you don't have all the answers, and you are passionate about instilling positive change, and challenging your own perspectives, and those of others
Solutions focused - you are dedicated and creative in finding ways to reach the best results for everyone at the table
Capable of research that requires organization of many spreadsheets, tracking of many numbers, and consultation with many stakeholders
Available and able to commit for the duration of a semester, 10-20 hours/week per campus team
Successful applicants will:
Collaborate with groups on campus, such as Meal Exchange Chapters, Campus Food Banks, Fair Trade Steering Committees, Sustainability Offices, etc.
Use the Real Food Calculator to analyze your campuses’ food purchases
Determine what percentage of your campuses’ food purchases qualify as Real Food, and identify opportunities for improvement
Host educational events on campus to promote the Real Food Challenge and its impact on food and water systems
Attend Real Food Challenge webinars and networking events hosted by Meal Exchange
Report findings, and disseminate lessons-learned to networks across B.C. and Canada
Design a strategy to get formal commitment from your campus president to commit to shifting 20% of campus food purchasing to Real Food by 2020
Meal Exchange is committed to having a team that reflects the diversity of the issues and communities we work with. We welcome the wide range of experiences and viewpoints that researchers may bring, including those based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability, age and religion. We welcome both lived and academic experience, and encourage applicants to note this in their application. In our inclusive workplace everyone is assured the right of equitable, fair, and respectful treatment.