Work at Congress

Work at Congress

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is recruiting more than 120 paid short-term contract workers to support the delivery of the virtual 2021 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Alberta.

Applications are now closed.

Who is the ideal candidate?

  • An individual with flexible availability (from May 25 to June 4)
  • Personable, motivated, adaptable and able to follow directions
  • Must be legally allowed to work in Canada
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English are required for all positions
  • Written and oral communication skills in French are an asset

What can you expect?

  • Hourly rate of $15.00, paid by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • An average of 35 work hours over a span of 11 days
  • Shifts range from 3 to 12 hours long, and may include split shifts
  • Most contract workers will be required to work onsite in the Congress Command Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (subject to any and all COVID-19 protocols that may be in place at the time)
  • When not on duty, workers can attend virtual open events, browse Expo, and network with influential professors and researchers

Application timeline:

  • Applications will be accepted until March 12, 2021
  • Interviews will be held late-March
  • Formal contract offers will be issued mid-April
  • Successful candidates are required to participate in paid orientation sessions from their home computers on May 25 and 26, 2021 (schedule to be confirmed in March)

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free recruitment process and work environment. We are seeking applications from employment equity groups including but not limited to: persons with disabilities, and Black, Indigenous and/or persons of colour.

For any questions or to request accommodations, please email us at workatcongress@ideas-idees.ca.


Positions are available in the following areas:

  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Event Technicians
  • Communications Assistants

Customer Service Representatives (64 positions)

Customer Service Representatives work with session organizers, participants, exhibitors, Federation staff, university staff, attendees, and the public to process registrations and transactions, respond to inquiries, and assist with virtual wayfinding. They are assigned to work in one or more of the following areas, and can be asked to switch areas as needed: Information Centre, Registration, and Associations/Exhibitors.

Information Centre (12 positions) tasks include:

  • Receive inquiries and requests for help via online chat, email, video call, and telephone, from participants, speakers, session organizers, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, and other team members
  • Respond to basic inquiries about Congress and about the virtual event platform
  • Redirect all other questions to the appropriate department or team member to address the issue, escalating to senior staff as needed
  • Log all inquiries and follow-up on outstanding items to ensure that all issues are resolved
  • Act as a runner between various rooms in the Congress Command Centre, as needed

Registration (8 positions) tasks include:

  • Respond to questions and inquiries about registration via online chat, email and video
  • Provide instructions to participants regarding registering and paying online
  • Ensure that registered participants have access to the virtual event platform, access to the appropriate association conferences and escalate any technical issues to the appropriate team member

Associations/Exhibitors (46 positions) tasks include:

  • Work at an association’s or an exhibitor’s virtual greeting table or tradeshow booth
  • Greet participants, and respond to inquiries via online chat and video
  • Provide participants with information about the organization’s mandate and the events that they are hosting
  • Escalate any technical issues to the Information Centre


  • Experience providing customer service or help desk support
  • Good computer and software skills, including Google Workplace and Zoom, or similar
  • Adept at learning new software and technology
  • Polite, professional, composed, and well-spoken

Location: Work shifts onsite in the Congress Command Centre at the University of Alberta

Event Technicians (80 positions)

Event Technicians are responsible for providing technical support to all participants and for hosting the Zoom meetings for each simu-live or live conference session that is taking place within the virtual event platform. Conference sessions can be on-demand (pre-recorded), simu-live (pre-recorded, with live Q&A), or fully live.


  • Respond to requests for technical assistance via online chat and video call
  • Conduct rehearsals and audiovisual checks with speakers and moderators prior to simu-live and live sessions
  • Launch and host simu-live and live conference sessions in Zoom, and monitor multiple (2 to 5) in-progress sessions at one time
  • Manage polls, breakout rooms, webinar settings, recordings, and live streaming, as needed
  • Monitor online chat within conference sessions in Zoom for tech support questions
  • Coordinate with other team members, staff and volunteers, as needed


  • Experience providing customer service or help desk support
  • Good computer skills on a variety of devices, including Windows, Apple, and Android
  • Strong software skills, including MS Office (especially PowerPoint), Google Workplace, and Zoom
  • Adept at learning new software and technology
  • Polite, professional, and composed

Location: Work shifts onsite in the Congress Command Centre at the University of Alberta

Communications Assistants (4 positions)

Communications Assistants work out of the virtual Congress Media Room to assist the Federation’s communications staff with promoting the research being presented at Congress. They are assigned to blogging and social media content production.


  • Attend virtual Open Events, the list of which will be determined by Federation staff
  • Twitter – Craft thoughtful and respectful tweets on the event’s content, including accurate and meaningful quotes/statements by speakers, appropriate hashtags and handles, and images
  • Blog – Write compelling short blog posts about each event, including key takeaways, speaker quotes, and images (max 300 words)
  • Send content to Federation staff in a timely manner, during and after the event, so that Federation staff can review the content and publish it on the Federation’s social media channels and the Congress blog


  • Portfolio demonstrating experience with writing and preparing content for social media and blogs in a professional capacity and in a timely manner
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Ability to work quickly, creatively, independently, and with good judgement
  • Experience writing about academic topics is an asset

Note: All resulting content (tweets, blog posts, images) will be the exclusive property of the Federation, and their use on any non-Federation platform (portfolio, website, etc.) requires written authorization from a member of the Federation’s senior management team.

Location: Work remotely, using own computer and internet connection.