Graduate Assistantships

The University of Utah’s Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Program is recruiting applicants for Graduate Assistantships to begin Fall Semester 2018.

Department Visit

Doctoral applicants wishing to be considered for financial support for a campus visit should submit the following materials before December 15, 2017. Visitation to campus for interested candidates will be scheduled early in 2018.

  • A cover letter articulating an area of interest for doctoral studies and research
  • A current resume/CV
  • Names and contact information for 3 academic or professional references
  • Transcripts from the last college/university attended

About our Graduate Assistantships

In addition to our traditional departmental research and teaching assistantships, we are looking for a student or students to work in the focus areas described below.

First-year teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs) generally begin mentored teaching in an integrated block of core undergraduate courses and are assigned to independent course instruction as they progress through the doctoral program. Examples of past and current research assistantship funding partners include the American Camp Association (ACA), the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation, and the Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). Additional opportunities are anticipated each year, and many positions offer a blend of teaching and research.  

Each assistantship requires 20 hours of work a week for 9 months and includes a monthly stipend, tuition/fee waiver, and subsidized health insurance. Please visit The Graduate School for details on fellowships and benefits 

Exceptional candidates may qualify for additional scholarship monies, additional months of appointment, and/or summer teaching or research opportunities. Travel support to present at professional conferences is available through the Department, The Graduate School, and the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU). 

Positions are generally renewable for a total of up to three years, during which time continual registration as a full-time student is necessary and progress toward PhD completion is expected. Applicants must be admitted and enrolled in the doctoral program in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah. 

Application Deadline

Interested applicants should complete an application with the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation and The Graduate School.  All application materials must be submitted before January 19, 2018 in order to begin the doctoral program and position in Fall (August) of 2018. 

Utah is the West at its best! With four distinct seasons, ready access to outdoor activities including superb skiing at eight world-famous resorts just minutes from campus. Utah is home to five national parks and countless national, regional, state, and local recreation areas. Salt Lake City, with a metropolitan population of 650,000, is the hub of the Intermountain West.

Additional questions, inquires, and applications for campus visitation support can be directed to Dr. Jim Sibthorp, Director of Graduate Studies for Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation, University of Utah, 1901 E. South Campus Dr., Room 1085, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; or emailed to 

2018 Graduate Assistantships

PhD Students Only

Research and Teaching Assistantship

This assistantship includes teaching core courses in our undergraduate program, and assisting faculty with research, external funding, and writing. Potential applicants should visit our website to review our faculty expertise and existing courses at the undergraduate level. In their letter of application, candidates should comment on how they see themselves fitting in with existing operations and faculty interests. We are especially interested in graduate assistants who complement our existing faculty and help create dynamic departmental synergies.  Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Jim Sibthorp at | 801-581-5940.

Outdoor Recreation Management Assistantship

This assistantship includes coordinating applied research initiatives, including field data collection, analysis, and reporting. Most research projects aim to provide protected area managers with critical data to understand outdoor recreationists’ a) on-site behaviors, use patterns, and desired benefits, and b) perceptions of ecological and social conditions. Research methods usually include visitor surveys, in-depth interviews, GPS visitor tracking, trail and traffic counters, and photographic methods.  Assistants will work closely with the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Parks, or non-profit organizations. Some applicants may be eligible for a funded fellowship at the University’s Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Matt Brownlee at | 801-585-7239. 

Eco and Sustainable Tourism Assistantship 

Responsibilities associated with this assistantship include field projects and/or survey and interview efforts focused on eco and sustainable tourism as it relates to parks and protected areas including: Impact of tourism on gateway communities; the role of concessionaire practice and policies in facilitating sustainable tourism; ecosystem health and quality of life; tourism as a tool for conservation; and, standards and certification in eco and sustainable tourism. Some applicants may be eligible for a funded fellowship at the University’s Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC). Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Kelly Bricker | 801-585-6503.

Community Recreation and Sport Management Assistantship

Students interested in community recreation sport management will have the opportunity to teach undergraduate students in topics such as sport trends and sport business techniques. Other responsibilities associated with this assistantship may include assisting with applied research and/or projects related to community youth sport and youth development. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Mary Wells at | 801-585-7086. 

Youth Development and Organized Camping Assistantship

Two assistantships are available to coordinate and support our on-going partnership. Specific work will entail data collection and management, logistical planning, project and team coordination, and presenting, writing, and dissemination of results. Data collectionwill involve both qualitative and quantitative approaches over the next five year and will involve campers, parents, and camp staff. It is expected that students will generate their own research projects synergistic with the larger research plan as a way to support their academic progress. Interested applicants, please contact Dr. Jim Sibthorp at | 801-581-5940.

MS Students Only

Outdoor Adventures Graduate Assistant of Trips and Operations 

Campus Recreation Services at the University of Utah provides sport, leisure, outdoor adventures, fitness, recreation, leadership, life training, and community building. The department offers a variety of programs, services, and facilities which are housed in the new Student Life Center. The Outdoor Adventures Graduate Assistant of Trips and Operations reports to the OA Managers and is instrumental in the daily operation and delivery of adventure based trips/programs, freshmen orientation programs, and the rental program. Applicants must have current Wilderness First Responder (or higher) certification and be admitted into the PRT master's program. The appointment may extend to the summer academic session. Interested applicants, please contact Rob Jones, University of Utah Outdoor Adventures Graduate Assistant at | 801-581-8516 or 801-231-9628.