FALL 2023 CO-OP: Student Research Assistant (Fall Intern) – Biopolymers – Verschuren Centre, Sydney, NS

  • Location: Sydney, NS
  • Deadline: August 12, 2023

Job Title: Student Research Assistant (Fall Intern)- Biopolymers

Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Salary: Depending on experience

Duration: 4 months (6 – 8 months co-op internships are also welcomed)


About the job

The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment was established to facilitate a transition to a green and circular economy through supporting innovative clean technology commercialization. The centre has an established team of expertise in key areas in order to assist companies advance IP and accelerate uptake in manufacturing and primary production industries. The

Our Biopolymer team is focused on developing greener packaging alternatives through upcycling, recycling, and developing new sustainable materials that provide greater functionality. At the Verschuren Centre, we believe every employee has a role to play in safely developing products for people, animals and the world while taking care of our planet. To support this challenge, the Biopolymer Team is currently seeking a student research assistant to support its process development activities and do so within a collaborative team environment.

Role Description

As a Student Research Assistant, you will work with different projects to assist in product and process development and formulations. In addition to your technical duties, you will also be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the lab area and compiling reports.


Duties and Responsibilities:

· Assist in blending resins and packaging films in the laboratory using the benchtop extruder.

· Prepare chemical additives for incorporation into conventional plastic or bio-based plastic resins.

· Prepare and measure mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of extruded samples according to SOPs and/or ASTM standards.

· Perform primary literature or patent search as required for project/s.

· Book and support the operation of specialized equipment and instruments for internal and external projects.

· Data acquisition and documentation for internal and external communications.

· Complete assigned tasks in a timely and organized manner, following reporting procedure to your supervisor. Maintain a clean and safe laboratory and workstation.

· Observe and promote all lab and occupational health and safety practices in the laboratory environment; and

· Other duties as assigned.



Qualifications and Eligibility:

You have an educational background in a relevant field. You are a highly detailed, focused individual with wanting to build on your analytical skills. You enjoy solving problems in collaboration with a small team and have the good communication skills required to do so.

An ideal student research assistant will:

· Be working towards an undergraduate degree in chemistry/engineering/polymer science/material science or similar fields.

· Willing to work with plastic resins, bio-based resins, and chemical additives.

· Have hand hands-on laboratory experience including some training in basic material science techniques – such as, but not limited to, proper chemical and material handling, mixing, preparing samples for analysis, operation of analytical equipment.

· Be organized, and able to record, analyse and present experimental data; willing to work in a small team in a fast-paced environment.

· Demonstrate ability to work independently, responsibly and manage time efficiently.

This is an excellent opportunity to work with an organization that helps innovative and cutting-edge companies achieve their goals. With a number of upcoming projects and access to equipment that is quite rare in Canada, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge of the industry. The Verschuren Centre fills the void between bench and reality for technology advancement, and you can be sure that your work with the technologies here will be contributing to a better, cleaner future.


All interested and qualified candidates are asked to submit their cover letter and resume to info@verschurencentre.ca with cc to ppassanha@verschurencentre.ca. Please reference the job title in which you are applying for in your cover letter and email subject.