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Postdoctoral Researcher in Indigenous Peoples, Sustainability, and Development


We are seeking applicants for a Postdoctoral Researcher in Indigenous Peoples, Sustainability, and Development in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) at Ontario Tech University. Located in Oshawa, Ontario Tech University is an integral part of a quickly transforming innovation and academic hub that forms the Eastern part of the Greater Toronto Area. At FSSH, you will be able to interact with faculty and students that are committed to social justice in an interdisciplinary environment, in Oshawa’s urban core.

A candidate must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to apply. This is a full-time position that will begin Sept 1, 2020, or earlier if the applicant has already successfully defended their PhD dissertation. The successful applicant will ideally be able to conduct research in Canada and/or Latin America but will be based at Ontario Tech University. The position will be filled for two years, pending a successful performance review at the end of year one. Salary will be $45,000 / year. Research and publication activities will be supervised by Dr. Timothy MacNeill.

The application deadline is Thursday, March 5, 2020.

The ideal candidate would:

  • Have completed a doctoral degree in the social sciences by the time of employment.
  • Be knowledgeable of the concepts and debates around decoloniality and sustainability, especially related to Indigenous and/or campesino populations in Latin America or Canada.
  • Understand economic, cultural, and political variants of critical development theory; for example, thinking related to both world systems theory and post-development theory. An understanding of the capability approach to development would also be an advantage.
  • Understand, and be able to implement, qualitative and/or quantitative methods of analysis.
  • Have experience with survey, ethnographic, interview-based, and/or experimental fieldwork.
  • Have the maturity, humility, empathy, and the listening skills required to work directly with Indigenous peoples and other marginalized populations.
  • Speak, read, write in Spanish at an advanced level (note that this is not required, but preferred).
  • Be able to write empirical and theoretically-based academic articles that are publishable in high-quality academic journals.
  • Have multiple ideas/unfinished works and/or be inspired to contribute to new research that will have a positive social impact and be publishable as academic journal articles related to the following topics:
    • Impacts of public, private, or community development projects on marginalized communities
    • Sustainable/indigenous alternatives to mainstream development
    • Indigenous rights and/or food-sovereignty movements

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct research (qualitative and/or quantitative, field or text-based) related to the issue of indigenous/community sustainable development and/or community impacts of privately, publicly, or community-initiated sustainable development projects.
  • Conduct research (qualitative and/or quantitative, field or text-based) based on applicants own research plan (some additional funding may be provided for fieldwork expenses related to this).
  • Conduct research (qualitative and/or quantitative, field or text-based) based on established projects on indigenous community development in Canada and/or Central America directed by Dr. Timothy MacNeill.
  • Write numerous high-quality articles for publication in quality academic journals. These can be based on:
    • The applicant’s doctoral dissertation.
    • New research undertaken independently while contracted as a postdoctoral researcher.
    • New research related to Dr. MacNeill’s existing research program in indigenous sustainable development Canada and/or Latin America.

To apply, send the following items in one combined pdf file to

  • A letter of intent, detailing your ideas, plans, and ability to undertake meaningful, impactful research and to produce numerous academic publications within the next two years. The letter should address the competencies outlined above in the section entitled “the ideal candidate would,” and outline the applicant’s ability to undertake the “Main Duties and Responsibilities” required by the position.
  • An updated CV (you may include explanations for any missed or extended employment/education periods due to parental leave, illness etc.).
  • Contact information of two referees that will be contacted in the event that you are short-listed (if you have not yet completed your PhD, one referee must be your dissertation supervisor).
  • A writing/research sample.
  • We welcome applications from all qualified candidates while encouraging applications from women, members from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, members of visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Please indicate in your letter if you wish to identify in any of these categories.