Post-Doctoral Researcher

Office of Research
Reference number: 
Closing date: 
Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 17:00
Employment status: 
Full or part time: 
Competition status: 
Job description: 

Royal Roads University is seeking applications from experienced and motivated individuals for the position of Post-Doctoral Scholar to work with Dr. Philip Vannini, RRU’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography on the SSHRC funded project entitled: Natural, Wild, Canadian: An Ethnography of Canada's World Heritage Natural Sites

Focused on the question, how is nature assembled at Canada’s Natural World Heritage Sites? the project looks at nature conceptualized as entangled outcomes of their relations—thus as “meshworks” undergoing constant transformation.  Participant observation and interviews will be conducted at all nine Canadian UNSECO Natural Heritage sites.

Reporting to the CRC you will focus on three distinct phases: 1) pre-production/pre-data collection; 2) production/data collection; and 3) post production and dissemination of final outputs (see below for details).

Phase 1: Pre-production/pre-data collection.  During this phase you will be responsible, together with Dr. Vannini, for: refining and continuously adjusting the details of the data collection plan; tackling planning and dealing with logistical details (e.g., securing site access, planning travel, managing budgets); getting the necessary onsite permissions; selecting, recruiting, and approaching research participants and gatekeepers; and collecting relevant substantive and theoretical literature.  In order to divide responsibilities efficiently you and Dr. Vannini will take the lead in planning four different sites of the nine total sites to be visited.

Phase 2: Production/data collection. During this phase, which will coincide with year 1 and 2 of the project, you and Dr. Vannini will have nearly equal amount of responsibilities.  The nature of simultaneous ethnographic data collection and film-making is such that three activities must be carried out: (1) shooting video; (2) recording sound, and (3) interviewing/interacting with research participants.

Phase 2 does not solely involve travel and data collection.  Each trip site will generate empirical material that will need to be catalogued, organized, and analyzed upon returning home.  This, in turn, will lead to the collaborative writing of scholarly papers and magazine articles, as well as to the editing and distributing of short videos (circa 2-3 minutes for each research site).  You will work together with Dr. Vannini on the preparation of these outputs.  You will also co-write the scholarly papers.

Phase 3: post-production and dissemination of final outputs.  During this phase, essentially coinciding with years 3 and 4, you will no longer be on salary, however, you will be able to travel to two conferences to present findings from the research.  Depending on your availability and interest, you will have the opportunity to continue contributing to the project by revising previously-written co-authored papers and chapters (which will form the basis of the two books) and by reviewing drafts of new papers, the books, and cuts of the full-length documentary video.

  • Doctoral degree completion within the last three years
  • Mix of degrees in cultural studies and/or cultural geography, and/or cultural anthropology
  • Expertise in ethnographic research, especially of the reflexive, narrative, embodied kind.
  • Demonstrated interest in wilderness or at least in socionatures and/or rural and remote places
  • Demonstrated experience in visual methods and arts-inspired multimodal strategies of research dissemination
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills including proven oral and written communication skills
  • Strong listening skills and the ability to exercise sound and stable judgment and think on the spot
  • Ability to keep abreast of developments in the relevant academic literature
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to work a flexible work schedule and at a distance
  • Ability to manage projects and develop detailed research design
  • Excellent organizational abilities
  • Ability to travel to the nine Canadian UNESCO sites and willingness to camp in remote and rustic areas
Application submission information: 

This is a temporary, part time position for 2 years for 26.25 hours per week.  The salary will be $39,000.00 per annum.  Due to its limited term nature, this position is not eligible for enrolment in the University’s Benefits Plan, but you will be provided with 4% vacation pay. 

To apply please forward your cover letter and curriculum vitae (preferably in electronic format) to: with a subject line of:

16-052-R0003 – Last name, First name

Or mail to:
Human Resources - Career Opportunities
Royal Roads University
2005 Sooke Road
Victoria, BC   V9B 5Y2
Fax:  (250) 391-2570 Tel:  (250) 391-2511

The competition began on June 23, 2016 and will close on July 6, 2016; however, the competition will remain open until a successful candidate is found. 

While Royal Roads University values all applications we receive, only those candidates short-listed for further consideration will be contacted. RRU is an equal opportunity employer, committed to the principle of equity in employment. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority consideration.

If you are sending your application via e-mail, please ensure that your electronic file is saved in MS Word or Adobe PDF format.