Campus Research Opportunity Postings (CROP)

Research Opportunities

Food Systems Research Assistant - Library research and market surveys in New York City


This collaborative project engages art with science in community forums to investigate and promote sustainable food systems in an iconic ethnic enclave, Manhattan’s Chinatown. Food is integral to any community, and culturally appropriate foods are fundamental to food security, yet the environmental externalities of global food systems that cities rely on are unsustainable. We will build upon previous research to explore the relationship between cultural practices around food consumption and the modes of agricultural production and supply that provision them. Through public walks, workshops, and demonstrations in Chinatown, the project uses an iterative process of research, consensus building, and collaboration that is at the heart of community engaged research. Our project aims to bring perspectives from this immigrant community into public and academic discourse about sustainable food systems to contextualize global issues into place-based and personal experiences and translate research into practice.

To learn more about the project, read more about our public food tour of Chinatown with City as Living Laboratory held last fall:

The tour generated interest in the news, with coverage by Next City:

Imbruce has also contributed an op-ed based on recent findings about declining street vendors in Chinatown and potential changes with a City approved detention center complex to be developed in Chinatown:

The Research Assistant will play a key role in the project, helping to conduct a literature review and traveling to Manhattan for 1-2 days on a monthly basis to conduct market and pricing surveys in Chinatown. There will be opportunities to meet with collaborators and participate in public programming in addition to research. Expected time commitment is 5-8 hrs per week, plus additional hours when traveling.

Faculty Advisor: Valerie Imbruce, Director, External Scholarships and Undergraduate Research Center

Academic Department: Environmental Studies


Classification: Paid

Position Availability:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter


  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior

Appropriate Major(s):

  • All Majors

Minimum GPA (if applicable):

Pre-requisite coursework/experience: Students should have a genuine interest in food studies. Students with interest in Asian-American and/or Chinese language skills would also be excellent fits for this position.

Application Deadline: ongoing

Application Procedure:

Please send a cover letter and resume to Valerie Imbruce at