Material Life Cycle Research Intern – 2019/2020

Application Deadline: September 15th, 2019 

Start date: September 23, 2019 

Required Hours: 120 hrs per semester

Position for credit and max $1000 honorarium per semester

Send a letter of intent, including any research experience to Anna Timm-Bottos at

Are you knowledgeable life-cycle assessment/research? Passionate about sustainability? Want to apply your academics in a practical way? Curious to learn about creative reuse and get involved with our team? We want to meet you!

Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse or CUCCR, is a Concordia wide initiative that collects and diverts usable materials from the university waste-stream, making them available to the Concordia Community in one central location. By carefully sorting and displaying these previously unwanted materials we open up creative possibilities, intersections of imagination and innovation for all. 

We are looking for a student-researcher to carry out Life-cycle assessments of materials commonly seen in CUCCR. As part of the position you will assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. 

This residency is in partnership with Sustainable Concordia and directly linked to their mandate of institutionalizing sustainability. As such, part of this work involves critically examining the university’s material purchasing strategies that currently includes many unsustainable materials.  We believe that universities have a crucial role to play in developing an ecologically aware, socially just, and economically responsible society.

Goal of the internship: 

As the research resident you would be responsible for researching the material flow of specific materials common to CUCCR including (but not exclusive to) foam core, dyes, plastic, wood. In addition, you would develop a map and analysis of the environmental and social impacts of the materials from extraction, through production and consumption, ending in waste with a specific reflection on reuse. 

This would provide an opportunity for CUCCR users and the community at large to learn more about the (un)sustainability of common materials and the impacts of their reuse. This research would ideally allow for a deeper reflection on the materials being used and reused, which has been a main goal of the project but so far unrealised due to capacity restraints.

In addition, the position would entail coordinating the sharing of their research to Sustainable Concordia. This would directly benefit the organization by providing content for their workshops, exhibits, zines as well as contribute to the education and engagement component of their mandate. 

Related Tasks:

  • Life-cycle Assessment Research on 1-3 materials per semester over school the year (2 semesters)
  • Produce a small informational zine about their research on each material, which will be added to a growing series about materials that may be commonly purchased at Concordia
  • Develop Sustainability Governance Framework (SGF) Advocacy content — ideally, the research will result in action taken at the SGF level. This could be a policy decision, changes to purchasing, or other advocacy points that will change the institution to be more environmentally and/or socially sustainable in terms of materials.
  • Depot Presence – be present in the CUCCR space for 2 hours per week in order to answer questions from users, work on their didactic and/or other regular depot tasks. 

** Optional element: the resident may choose to recruit a small team of people interested in the subject to engage in different activities throughout the year. This could be art builds, conversations, a SustainabiliTea, etc. and would offer an opportunity to engage more than just one person. This would require specific skill sets in the candidate and would not be a requirement for selection.


  • Basic understanding of material life cycle research and access to the needed research materials. 
  • Self-starter able to work both independently and with a team
  • Must be enrolled at Concordia as a student (undergraduate or graduate) 


  • Develop three to five personal learning objectives
  • Deliver 1+ didactic per semester – a permanent informational display of the research outcomes (using all/mostly CUCCR material). The display could be designed in partnership with a graphic design student and will be installed inside the depot space to educate members. 
  • Participate in a mid and end of the internship evaluation related to personal learning objectives and deliverables
  • Two to three presentations for general audiences explaining and outlining the research process and findings ie. SustainabiliTea,
  • A document or website describing the findings of the research
  • If timing permits, create a mock Materials Action Plan to be used to inform and influence institutional purchasing

Personal Learning Objectives:

Tasks will be completed in addition to personal learning objectives, decided upon by the successful candidate.

Internship Schedule: Schedule will be decided upon by the successful candidate and their supervisor.

CUCCR and Sustainable Concordia acknowledges that our society does not value and respect all people equally. We value and are seeking applicants with different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences to join our organization.