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Job: External Policy Assistant

Appointment Status: Part-time position
Start Date: May 1, 2022
Number of Positions: 1
Hours per Week: 10-20 hours/week, 300 hours in total.
Wage: $27.22 per hour
Employee Group: Non-Union
Application Deadline: March 28, 2022

Note: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage qualified candidates to apply early.


The student will work closely with the Vice-President External and the GSS Executives to develop policy reports and recommendations to be presented to local, provincial, and federal government officials as well as external organizations as they relate to GSS advocacy campaigns. The ideal candidate would have a passion for data-driven advocacy to benefit graduate students, excellent communication skills and a willingness to learn about laws and policies governing research and innovation as well as graduate student life and funding.

How to apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume (PDF) that details experience and training specifically relevant to the requirements of the position.

We thank all candidates in advance for their interest in the position. However, only those selected for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls or follow-up emails, please.

External Policy Assistant – Summer 2022 Detailed Job Description:


· Research and develop policy reports and recommendations related to ongoing GSS campaigns and advocacy efforts at the university and government level

· Meet with various stakeholders including student societies, NGOs, university administration and governmental organizations

· Conduct research across the higher education sector to identify policy issues and best practices to recommend application to the GSS

· Assist the VP External with managing advocacy campaigns, engaging stakeholders, and setting up meetings

· Provide research support to the GSS executives, including assistance with the preparation of communications materials, speaking notes, and policy papers

· Help manage relationships with internal and external stakeholder contacts, including keeping track of collaborative projects with various organizations engaged with the GSS

· Other duties as required


· The student will receive an orientation introducing them to the GSS from the General Manager covering areas including the general structure and function of the Society as well as housekeeping rules such as security, health, and safety guidelines (including those implemented for COVID-19)

· The Communications and Marketing Director will introduce the communication channels of the Society with various stakeholders.

· The VP External will provide an overview of stakeholder organizations and the related current policy and advocacy campaigns being worked on by the Society

· The VP Academic & University Affairs will provide an overview of the advocacy campaigns and policy issues within the university


· Meeting with federal and provincial legislators, MPs, and MLAs to advocate for graduate students.

· Working closely with GSS and AMS executives as well as student representatives from other post-secondary institutions across British Columbia and Canada to lobby for student interests.

· Attending general meetings with student alliance organizations such as Alliance of BC Students, ThinkGrad and Canadian Association for Graduate Studies to coordinate advocacy efforts.

· Opportunities to join the VP External in lobbying trips at the provincial and federal levels.


· Ongoing supervision is provided by the VP External.

· The student will have bi-weekly check-in meetings with Communications and Marketing Director who will provide guidance and advice for professional development of the student.

· The student will work collaboratively and closely with the VP External in a team effort to advocate for graduate student interests.

· At the end of the period and after the completion of the individual projects, there will be a general debrief about the role. This is an opportunity for discussion, suggestions for improvements and recognition of success.


For students interested in working in public policy, advocacy, government, NGOs and grassroots organizations, or interested in pursuing a career in law, legislation or public office, this experience will be invaluable. This work provides real-world opportunity and practical experience, touching on all aspects of legislation and public policy from research and policy development to lobbying and meeting with various stakeholders and public officials.

By the end of the work term, the External Policy Assistant will have gained:

· Experience in research and development of policy reports and recommendations

· Practical knowledge in data-driven advocacy

· Experience in communication of policy ideas to university administration and public officials

· Experience running an advocacy campaign

· A good understanding of government relations, especially pertaining to the advanced education sector

· Deeper understanding of higher education policy and challenges surrounding it

· Skills to communicate succinctly and effectively

· Confidence in leadership skills by taking the initiative on developing policy ideas

· Effective time management and prioritization skills by managing submission deadlines, meetings, and policy research work

· The opportunity to develop items for their academic portfolio (e.g., policy reports)


· A passion for research and data-driven advocacy

· Strong willingness to learn about laws and policies surrounding graduate student research and academic development

· Experience in analytical report writing and policy research

· Knowledge of, or interest in, higher education policy / public policy

· Excellent team player and self-motivated learner

· Strong time management and project coordination skills

· Strong written and verbal communication skills

· Excellent attention to detail

· Experience working with Microsoft Office

· Preference will be given to UBC Graduate students


The GSS (Graduate Student Society) serves the 10,000 graduate students at UBC Vancouver, helping them have the best experience possible during their studies. We connect graduate students with campus resources, opportunities, and social events. We provide everything from individual support for students, to advocacy at provincial and federal levels on the most important issues graduate students face. The GSS is located at Thea Koerner House, which has been the centre of graduate student life on campus since it was opened in 1962.

Ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace is a key value of the GSS. We welcome people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives, and are proud to promote a supportive work environment.

GSS Haiku Competition Spring 2021: Results


Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter our Spring Haiku Competition. We were blown away by the quality and creativity of the responses. 

Our Theme was: Grad Students in Spring, and we had 5 awesome entries who will all be winning a prize for their creativity.

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Name Program Poem Title
Alyssa MEd – Education for Sustainability Step Count
Davi PhD – Atmospheric Sciences Knock Knock
Emily PhD – Biomedical Engineering Immersed
Jonathan MSc – Computer Science Zoom
Hailee MEng – Mechanical Engineering Pokemon

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GSS Haiku Competition Spring 2021

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Calling all poets and Haiku-enthusiasts! Spring is here and we’re feeling sentimental. Tell us about all your big grad student feels in tiny 5-7-5 haiku form, get some laughs, and maybe even win a prize!

Theme: Grad Students in Spring

Do you have a love for language? A preference for poetry? A hankering for haiku? Send us your silliest haiku poetry about springtime, your grad student experience, just whatever those big feels are! Submit your poetry for the chance to win a prize and the honour of having your poem displayed on our website and social media, plus the prestige, of course. How about something to start you off?


Title: Zoom Class Feels

Springtime poetry;

Open up about that time

You forgot to mute

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  • All UBC Vancouver Graduate students are invited to participate
  • Maximum 3 entries per person
  • The judges will be taking in consideration the following: creativity, humour and adherence to the 5-7-5 syllable haiku rule!
  • Entries can be in text or images of text in .jpeg or .png format
  • By submitting your photo to the contest, you agree that your content is original and not plagiarized; and as the author, you retain all rights to the creative material, and grant the GSS a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to display your poem in social media, marketing publications, on our website or elsewhere.
  • Please keep your poetry family-friendly!

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Prize: $25 gift card of your choice and a feature on GSS social media and newsletter!


*Winner will be contacted via email and posted on Social Media as well as the GSS Newsletter


Contact Us: If you have questions, please contact or


GSS Winter Subsidy Program


This Winter the GSS is encouraging graduate students to get out and enjoy all the fun winter activities the city has to offer (safely of course). Our new winter subsidy scheme allows graduate students to get discounted tickets to some of Vancouver’s top attractions.

You can get a discount on any visit to Capilano Bridge Canyon Lights, Van Dusen Festival of Lights, or the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park during November-January. So, get out there and share your visit with the rest of the grad student community on social media using the hashtag #GSSGoesOutside

If you have any suggestions for additional outdoor locations to be part of the scheme, please feel to reach out to

Nov 23. Update on Winter Subsidy Program: “The Park Board is seeking clarity from the Provincial Health Officer to determine if the new orders impact the Bright Nights event in Stanley Park and VanDusen’s Festival of Lights. Both of these events were developed with input and approval from VCH and as flow-through outdoor events with safety protocols in place. Once we have clarity on the orders’ impact, we will communicate any changes”

Nov. 25 updates: The GSS Winter Subsidy Program is on hold until December 7th, when we will receive further updates on PHO orders. Please check with the corresponding venues for more information on exchanging your dates or receiving refunds, as they have also announced the postponement of most of their activities until then. Thank you for your understanding.

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The Details 

  • Offer available to UBC-Vancouver Graduate Student ONLY​
  • 50% subsidy or $10 (whichever is less) from ticket price​ (valid for 1 ticket only, even for bundle purchases).
  • 1 per venue, per student only
  • Program runs for any visit between November 27th, 2020 to January 3rd, 2021​ (activity must take place during this period and submissions will be allowed up until January 15, 2021)
  • Qualifying locations: Van Dusen and Capilano Suspension Bridge (more locations to be added later)
    • Van Dusen (sales open early Nov): Valid for 1-day adult admission ticket ($14 value)
    • Capilano: Valid for a 1-day admission ticket ($42 value)


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How to Claim Your Discount

  1. Be a current UBC Graduate Student at the Vancouver campus
  2. Submit a copy of your UBC Student Card
  3. Submit a copy of your ticket/receipt (mustshow date and same name as the Student Card)
  4. Send your submission to us here (by January 15th, 2021 at noon)​

Your subsidy will be sent via e-transfer within 2 (working) weeks from submission date to the email provided


GSS Summer Subsidy



GSS Summer Subsidy Program


This August the GSS is encouraging graduate students to get out and enjoy the summer weather (safely of course). Our new summer subsidy scheme allows graduate students to get discounted tickets to some of Vancouver’s top summer attractions.

You can get a 25% discount on any visit to Capilano Bridge, Grouse Mountain or the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) during August. So get out there and share your visit with the rest of the grad student community on social media using the hashtag #GSSGoesOutside


The Details 


  • Offer available to UBC Graduate Student ONLY​
  • 25% subsidy from ticket price​ (valid for 1 ticket only, even for bundle purchases).
  • 1 per venue, per student only
  • Available for the first 50 first student submissions​
  • Program runs for any visit between August 4 and August 31, 2020​ (activity has to take place during the month of August)
  • Qualifying locations: PNE, Capilano Bridge or Grouse Mountain​

-Grouse: Valid for a single mountain admission ticket ($59 value)

-PNE: Valid for 1 fair admission ($40 value)

-Capilano: Valid for a 1 day admission ticket ($55 value)

How to Claim Your Discount


  1. Be a current UBC Graduate Student at the Vancouver campus
  2. Submit a copy of your UBC Student Card
  3. Submit a copy of your ticket (same name as the Student Card)
  4. Submit a copy of your itemized receipt (same name as Student Card)
  5. Send your submission to us here (by September 4th, 2020 at noon)​

Your subsidy will be sent via e-transfer within 1 (working) week from submission date to the email provided



Study Room, Thea Koerner House, UBC

GSS Loft, Rm. 4202 of AMS Student Nest, UBC

Leon’s Lounge, Thea Koerner House, UBC

Thea’s Lounge, Thea Koerner House, UBC

Penthouse, Thea Koerner House, UBC