2022S: HRC’s and DCOE’s Cultural Heritage Sites Research Engagementship (Cohort 1)


This co-curricular opportunity is a collaboration between the UBC Human Rights Collective (HRC), Dallaire Centre of Excellence (DCOE), and the UBC Office of Regional and International Community Engagement (ORICE). Students will engage in research and analysis to advance the understanding of Canadian cultural heritage and interdisciplinary considerations as to the effects of Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF’s) military actions in the past, present, and future. Through a literature review, site exploration, and key informant interviews, students will explore how various stakeholders conceptualize ‘space’/’place’ and the relationships of military forces and communities within those spaces. Student research will be of use to the DCOE, the HRC, and other organizations which work on the protection of cultural heritage sites. This project will meet at the intersection of Human Rights and Human Security and how the two intersect with cultural property protection in the domestic sphere. 

This is a multistage project which will have various cohorts that build on each other’s work. The final goal of the project is to situate the concept of Cultural Property Protection (CPP) within a Canadian context, informed by Canadian obligations as a member of UN and NATO, and as party to numerous international laws and agreements. Another overarching goal is to build relationships among students, HRC staff, and DCOE staff. This project would allow students to gain insight into government processes, network, obtain research experience with potential chances for funded cultural heritage site visits. It would provide students with an immersive and interdisciplinary understanding of an issue and a particular stakeholder approach. 

Focus areas: cultural preservation; cultural property protection; climate mitigation/adaptation; military/academic relations; civilian-military relations; domestic operations; cultural property protection and academic freedom 

Purpose/Output: Awareness raising exercise amongst military members and decision makers

UBC HRC’s Mission Statement

The Human Rights Collective is a welcoming community collective for scholars including students and faculty at all academic levels, community, organizations and institutions across disciplines committed to examine, collaborate and act towards the advancement of human rights. 

Building upon a foundational understanding of the role that academic freedom plays in the work that we engage in as a collective, we commit to holding an accessible, critical, caring and reflexive space of engagement. Our work acknowledges power and positionality and we act in solidarity regarding human rights abuses.

The goals of the collective aim to develop, support and secure resources for a community of praxis of engaged scholars. Scholars who lead and participate in teaching and learning, research, solidarity and community engaged action towards the advancement of global human rights. We support faculty in teaching initiatives and through partnerships with local and international organizations working in the field of human rights within our network.

To learn more about us, visit https://humanrightscollective.ubc.ca/about/ 

Dallaire Centre of Excellence Mission

DCOE enhances CAF capabilities to deal with complex peace and security issues through research and professional based analysis, expertise, and best practices to contribute to policy and concept development, doctrine, military training and education. 

The Centre supports enhancement of CAF effectiveness, by serving as an enduring platform on the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and subsequently expanding to focus on issues in the human security domain within the Defence mandate. 

Research questions

  1. How do various stakeholders conceptualize ‘cultural heritage’ and ‘space’/’place’?
  2. What are the domestic policies/frameworks and international treaties on the protection of cultural heritage? 
  3. What is the link between cultural heritage and human security?

Note: These research questions may change as the project progresses. 


  • Final report including 
    • A literature review on cultural heritage sites in Canada with attention to 
      • Comparative definitions: how various stakeholders conceptualize ‘cultural heritage’ and ‘space’/’place’ 
      • The relationships of military forces and communities within those spaces 
      • Comparative policies: Gathering of domestic policies/frameworks and international treaties on the protection of cultural heritage
    • Identification of local community-based organizations working on the protection of cultural heritage sites for future collaboration 
  •  Final presentation/awareness exercise to the Canadian government and non-governmental representatives where appropriate (DCOE; DND ADM(IE); and Parks Canada)

Project dates: Week of June 6, 2022 to August 26, 2022

What to expect:

Over a period of 12 weeks from June to August 2022, teams of 4-8 students will spend 3-5 hours each week to work collaboratively towards completing the report and presentation. Students will be asked to participate in weekly scheduled calls or meetings to ensure collaboration and accountability goals are defined and met. However, much of the allotted time will be self-directed as per agreements with teammates. Where possible, these sessions will be embedded in weekly calls or meetings though some may fall outside of regularly scheduled times.  Depending on COVID restrictions and accessibility requirements of the team, some meetings may also occur in person or take an online/hybrid format.

Academic integration:

Please note this is a not-for-credit, unpaid research opportunity. If you are interested in making this a student-directed study course, please contact ubc.orice@ubc.ca to discuss the possibility of this option.


  • Be an undergraduate student (domestic or international) at UBC with 60 or more completed credits as of May 1st, 2022.
  • Undergraduate students not meeting 60 credits, as well as graduate students, can apply but preference will be given to undergraduate students with 60+ credits.
  • Have access to a reliable internet connection and computer to collaborate with peers and attend meetings remotely if online meetings are required.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively and be willing to take responsibility and initiative to meet project deliverables.
  • Prior knowledge about cultural heritage / cultural spaces / human security / human rights/ relevant legal and regulatory frameworks to date is an asset, but not necessary
  • Able to work within Pacific Time Zone (PST) in cases where virtual meetings are required.

Anti-Racism and Ethics of Engagement:

The UBC HRC and the Office for Regional and International Community Engagement (UBC ORICE) are committed to embedding anti-racism in our daily work and ongoing projects. Students are encouraged and expected to consider how they can take an anti-racist lens to the work they produce around citizen science, data collection and use, and connections between community-based organizations, academics, and government. This might include, but is not limited to, ensuring the incorporation of the ongoing and often unrecognized work of organizations advocating for justice for minorities, particularly during the pandemic; or engaging with the politics of citation in including and citing the work of non-white scholars and other researchers. 


  • Deadline: May 22, 2022 @ 11.59pm PST
  • Short interviews by: weeks of May 23rd-June 3rd, 2022
  • Project dates: Week of June 6, 2022 to August 26, 2022

How to apply

Thank you for your interest. The recruitment for this program has now closed.

Please reach out to us at ubc.hrc@ubc.ca if you have any questions.


The Human Rights Collective acknowledges that we organize, research, and learn on unceded traditional  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory.