Position Available: Graduate Research Assistant (Summer 2022) – Filled!

This position has been filled!

Job Title Graduate Research Assistant
Location Twin Cities
Regular/Temporary Regular
Job ID 347500
Job Code 9521
Empl Group Grad/Prof Student Position
Full/Part Time Part-Time

Help Make a Difference in Polar & Environmental Science

The Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Twin Cities is seeking a current UMN Graduate Student in GIS or related field to join the User Services team. The graduate student in this position will be responsible for a wide range of duties including assisting polar researchers from other institutions in obtaining geospatial data, creating custom map products, managing long-term projects, interacting with research computing resources, and more. Specific skills and workflows will be taught on the job. The ideal candidate will apply strong problem-solving skills, have high attention to detail, and excellent communication skills to provide superior support to the polar science community.

What You’ll Do

In your first week you will be introduced to the PGC team and PGC’s role in geospatial science. You will learn about our funders, users, and partnerships. You will have dedicated training on internal workflows, data resources, and PGC’s project management system. You will also attend various weekly meetings to learn how PGC operates.

In your first month you will continue to develop skills working with our imagery processing workflows, and will be introduced to our user community through observation and guidance from PGC staff. As you become proficient with the technologies, processes and communication expectations of the User Services team you assume the role as a primary point-of-contact to a small portfolio of PGC users. In this role you can expect to manage and fulfill incoming requests for geospatial and related support.

In your first year you will gain expertise in GIS, remote sensing, science support and customer service. You will enhance your organization, leadership, and project management skills from handling multiple tasks at once. Relationships you’ve formed within PGC and with PGC users will expand your network. Opportunities to attend and participate in conferences, workshops, and training courses are available.


PGC is a science support organization that is built on these values:

  • Diversity and Respect: A mix of experiences, ideas, and approaches makes all our work better
  • Initiative: The drive to try, learn, or problem solve is inspiring and aids progress
  • Outreach: Take what you have learned and return it to the community


The Office of Human Resources has a helpful Graduate Assistant Brochure, and Graduate Assistant Employment resource page, covering Tuition Benefits, Employment Benefits, and the Graduate Assistant Health Plan. Graduate students do not receive paid vacation.

This is a 50-100% 2022 Summer Term and 50% 2022-23 Academic Year Appointment. This assistantship is renewable for up to 1 year, subject to satisfactory academic progress toward your degree (including registration requirements), your satisfactory performance of assistantship duties, and availability of departmental funding in future semesters.

The current hourly rate for this position is $25.12.

How to Apply

Ready to apply? Great! Start at the job posting.

Before you start, you should have:

  • A resume
    • 1-2 page formatted document
  • A cover letter
    • Tell us what excites you about this job, work you’ve done and where you want your career to go
  • Names and contact information for three references
    • Mentors, bosses, co-workers, people you study with or talk to at meetups

You can take a break at any point during the application process. Click the Save Draft button and you can return to your application later. When you log back into the job application system, click My Activities and then click on the job title.

If you have any questions while applying, look at the Using the Job Application System page.


We use two interviews.

  1. A brief phone/Zoom interview to determine qualifications are met and/or clarify details from application
  2. A panel interview with User Services team members and PGC leadership

All first round interviews will be conducted in a remote environment. Round two interviews will be determined based on candidates availability.

Answers to Some Common Questions

Is this graduate assistantship remote or in person?
Our work location is currently a hybrid environment with an expectation of 1-2 days in person at our office on the St. Paul campus. An on-site workstation and laptop for remote work will be provided.
Do I need to be a University of Minnesota graduate student?
Yes. Graduate students must be currently enrolled in a GIS or related program at UMN-Twin Cities.
Is travel involved or required?
There are opportunities to travel (when safe and approved by the University) for professional development, training courses, and outreach initiatives.
How about visas or relocation funds?
Academic Support Resources does not currently:
  • sponsor visas
  • offer relocation funds
  • offer signing bonuses

Desired Qualifications

  • Current University of Minnesota Graduate Student in GIS or related field
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • High attention to detail and ability to learn quickly 
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects at once
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and a strong commitment to provide superior support to the polar science community
  • Ability to work independently as well as with others

Advantageous Qualifications

  • Focus in Remote Sensing, Cartography, Imagery Analysis, or Computer Science
  • Previous GIS job experience and/or study
  • Interest in Polar Science initiatives and collaborations
  • Ability to work full-time over the summer
  • Customer Service experience

About the Polar Geospatial Center

The Polar Geospatial Center provides geospatial support, mapping, and GIS/remote sensing solutions to researchers and logistics groups in the polar science community. Our goal is to introduce new, state-of-the-art techniques from the geospatial field to effectively solve problems in the least mapped places on Earth.

Polar Geospatial Center
R280 Learning and Environmental Sciences 
1954 Buford Ave. 
St. Paul, MN 55108 


Note: if the above link does not work, please search for ‘geospatial’ at this link.

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