University of Alberta

Graduate Writing Specialist

Academic Success Centre

Competition No.  -    S114839803
Posting Date  -    Aug 09, 2019
Closing Date  -    Aug 23, 2019
Position Type  -    Full Time - Operating Funded
Salary Range  -    $58,675 to $81,208 per year
Grade  -    10
Hours  -    35

This position offers a comprehensive benefits package which can be viewed at: Faculty & Staff Benefits.

The Writing Resources team of the Academic Success Centre is responsible for the development and delivery of effective and efficient professional writing instruction and services at the post-secondary and post-graduate level (including undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, and community members). 

Reporting to the Associate Director of the Writing Resources team, the Graduate Writing Specialist assists students in all university disciplines/programs/faculties with writing-related skill development and academic achievement. Major areas of responsibility include: assessment of undergraduate students’ writing abilities, challenges, and instructional needs in a wide range of academic disciplines; assessment of graduate students’ writing abilities, challenges, and instructional needs in a wide range of academic disciplines; development and delivery of writing workshops and seminars for graduate-level learners; provision of professional advice and support to master’s and doctoral students working on advanced academic writing tasks, including theses, dissertations, funding proposals, and academic articles for publication; development and facilitation of customized instruction as requested by campus units, student groups, and other interested parties; and, other teaching and project contributions related to the development and support of students’ writing (as assigned).

Offering professional support to post-secondary learners, the Graduate Writing Specialist may be assigned to and/or specialize in various Academic Success Centre programs or areas of service that are provided to students in all university programs of study and at all achievement levels, including, among others: post-secondary writing and learning disabilities; writing in post-secondary transitions; writing for post-secondary students with diverse abilities, undergraduate students, graduate students, international students, non-native English speakers, or First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students.


  • Designs and delivers advanced, non-credit writing courses tailored to the needs of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members in various academic disciplines
  • Contributes to the planning and development of writing workshop offerings and scheduling for each academic term based on best practices identified via research, teaching experience, and professional collaboration with university faculty members and program administrators, subject matter experts, academic writing specialists, and other
  • Designs courses to meet the challenges involved in crafting specific academic documents in various disciplinary contexts; these include literature reviews, thesis proposals, funding proposals and other specialized texts
  • Instructs participants on principles of effective reader engagement, structure/organization, clarity, style, and correctness in various academic writing contexts
  • Instructs course participants on methods of critical reading and textual analysis, enabling them to read exemplars effectively, identify approaches applicable to their own work, and revise their work productively
  • Adapts the content of specific sessions to participants’ individual needs, which may differ according to preferred thesis formats, disciplinary conventions, scholarly audiences, and research methods
  • Consults with graduate students, faculty members, and alumni working on major academic writing projects
  • Assesses students’ individual needs and abilities in order to develop personalized learning plans
  • Employing the principles of relational pedagogy, gains a rich understanding of students’ motivations, interests and concerns; assesses contextual factors, including supervisory relationships and propensity to procrastination, which tend to influence success with major writing projects; bases advice on a nuanced understanding of these factors
  • Initiates appropriate and timely student referrals to campus and community services as needed
  • Collaborates with faculty members in various departments to develop customized instruction/programming for proposal and thesis writers, as well as for students seeking to publish their work (e.g., original writing workshops for students in specific university departments; instruction on academic integrity at university-wide and departmental academic events)
  • Collaborates with community members and organizations to develop customized instruction/programming for specific writing needs
  • Completes professional, subject matter, safety, and human rights training as required
  • Consults with students via distance communication technologies (e.g., Skype, Google Hangout) as needed
  • Plans, organizes, and leads writing groups and writing retreats  


  • Minimum of a Masters degree in a related field required (e.g., English, Writing, Education, History of Rhetoric) with a minimum of 3-5 years of post-secondary teaching experience; equivalent combinations of education and experience may considered
  • Professional training and/or comparable experience in some of the following areas is an asset: English as a Second Language (ESL), English for Academic Purposes (EAP), Editing/Proofreading, Post-secondary Writing Instruction
  • 2 to 3 years experience working with post-secondary learners who are at risk, diverse, with English as a second/additional language, and with special needs an asset
  • 3 to 5 years experience presenting in diverse formal and informal settings
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and analytic skills with superior attention to details
  • Experience, education, and interest in science, engineering, or technical communication an asset
  • Experience in distance or online writing instruction an asset  
  • Proven ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks and meet deadlines within a fast-paced and demanding environment(s)
  • Proven computer proficiency in relation to electronic records, curriculum development, communication, and e-learning technologies; intermediate or higher skills with Microsoft Suite, Word, Excel, Google applications, and eClass/Moodle preferred
  • Knowledge of current trends in post-secondary writing and learning
  • Comprehensive knowledge of post-secondary learning environments and University of Alberta services
  • Demonstrated knowledge of U of A policies, processes, faculties, and services, including the Code of Student Behaviour, HIAR, FOIP, and the Office of the Dean of Students
  • Ability to triage and appropriately refer students who are in distress
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative team of professionals
  • Ability to interact professionally, knowledgeably, comfortably, positively and respectfully with diverse individuals with a broad range of credentials, abilities and literacy/language levels
  • Ability to work with highly sensitive and confidential information while adhering to strict confidentiality guidelines and to University regulations
  • Ability to conduct periodic evening and weekend programs and events

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.