Decolonizing Foodways Symposium. Photo by Jonathan Fong.

Summer 2019 Soda Tax Impact Briefings Graduate Student Researcher

Summer 2019 Soda Tax Impact Briefings Graduate Student Researcher (Graduate Student Researcher, Step V)

Appointment: 240 hours total, either as 6 fulltime weeks or 12 halftime weeks, between May 20–August 20, 2019.

Compensation: $26.56 per hour

Application Deadline: April 29, 2019, at 5PM

Applicant must be a matriculated graduate student at UC Berkeley. To apply, submit the following items by email as a single pdf to with the subject line “Summer GSR.”

  1. Cover letter
  2. Résumé
  3. Contact information for 2 professional and/or academic references

About the Berkeley Food Institute:

The Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) at the University of California, Berkeley strives to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems. We pursue our mission through interdisciplinary programs in education, research, policy, communications, and community engagement.

About The Praxis Project:

The Praxis Project is a national non-profit organization that works in partnership with Indigenous, national, regional, state, and local partners to achieve health equity and justice for all communities. Our mission is to build healthy communities by transforming the power relationships and structures that affect our lives and communities. Praxis supports policy advocacy and local organizing as part of a comprehensive strategy for change. We emphasize developing fields of work in ways that encourage multi-level, trans-disciplinary learning and collaboration across issues, across the country and across the globe.

About the Position:

The summer graduate student researcher will be responsible for doing background research, stakeholder engagement, production of communications materials, and some logistics to prepare for five community briefings across California in fall 2019 to share results of the impact of soda tax revenue spending. The student will critically support the efficacy of these briefings in informing and seeking feedback from residents and legislators on upstream public health policies and programs in key California communities.


Briefings Planning and Preparation (80%)

  • Liaise with offices of state elected officials to facilitate appearances at regional briefings on impacts of soda tax revenues in California.
  • Review, understand and—as needed—synthesize the soda tax revenue impact findings gathered by Berkeley MPP students in the spring of 2019. Develop and finalize collateral material to support the communication of the findings, to diverse audiences including potential translation services (in collaboration with Praxis communications staff).
  • Develop a set of engaging community-tailored briefings with corresponding agendas, goals and materials.
  • Contribute to collateral (data, factsheets, etc.) tailored around each community in which we will hold briefings (South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and West Fresno—with a final briefing of statewide partners in Sacramento) to consider how residents and other stakeholders can benefit from these findings. Help shape briefings around their regional, linguistic, public health, and other needs, centering around locally-led preventive health efforts and the related emerging evidence base and policy analysis. Manage logistics ahead of briefings.
  • Identify and reach out to key stakeholders to organize and coordinate briefings in the various communities, with the goal of generating feedback by diverse stakeholders across communities.
  • Create media lists and draft press releases and other materials to inform media about briefings.

Evaluation Planning (20%)

  • Gather specific questions from stakeholders on this project for future staff to forecast what issues. Develop analysis framework to assess success of briefings. Develop vehicles for communities to express local solutions to public health problems.
  • Working with Berkeley Food Institute and The Praxis Project, support the initial set-up of fall graduate student research to follow this GSR term of appointment.

Required Qualifications:

  • Interest in soda tax policy, impacts, community implementation, or other related issues.
  • Outstanding and professional oral and written communication skills, particularly in regards to communications with elected officials and across diverse groups. Experience creating clear and engaging materials for public consumption.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Ability to work independently and to foresee, identify, and recommend solutions in the position’s areas of responsibility.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Comfort with creativity, innovation, and hard work.
  • Courtesy, persistence, punctuality, and good humor.
  • Interest and experience in public service and social equity, as core tenets of the UC Berkeley experience and the Berkeley Food Institute mission.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Geographic connections to at least one of the areas identified for briefings.
  • Proficiency in at least one of California’s most widely spoken languages besides English (Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, etc.)
  • Background in or previous training in community organizing

Equal Employment Opportunity:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, see:

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: