2-year position from September 1, 2023 (negotiable) to August 31, 2025
$50,00/year, including benefits
Location: CLEAR Lab, Geography Department, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, Canada
CLEAR lab at Memorial University, led by Dr. Max Liboiron, specializes in two things: community-based plastic pollution monitoring, and feminist/anti-oppressive lab cultures and management. We are seeking a postdoc who would like to engage deeply with these dual priorities. They will receive training in creating safer spaces in labs and collective research spaces and will become part of lab co-management (from theory to training to practice). They will also engage in plastics pollution research, both joining existing studies and have the opportunity to create their own study. However, the emphasis of this postdoc is on justice-oriented administration, management, facilitation and leadership of research collectives.
Based on the St. John’s campus, CLEAR lab is a training lab on plastic pollution research and anticolonial, justice-based methods that supports multiple graduate, undergraduate, and high school students as well as visiting and affiliated faculty and community members. Our lab methods and culture are based in humility, accountability, collectivity, and good land relations (see our lab book here). We draw on feminist, Indigenous (our own, not other peoples’!), anti-colonial, and antioppressive theories and practices to create and maintain this space. Increasingly, we are also leaning into queer and crip theory to deepen and broaden our collective ethics and practices. We are engaged in long-term plastic monitoring with partners in Nunastiavut (Inuit land claim agreement in northern Labrador), as well as overseeing multiple monitoring contracts for other Inuit and First Nations communities. We often receive requests from other communities as well, and the postdoc would be able to accept one of these contracts and/or create their own study.
CLEAR uses an apprenticeship model, where training and collaboration happen while we work. Shortly after joining CLEAR, the postdoc will start to take on a few day-to-day managerial activities in the lab, and gradually grow to oversee a section of the lab. It is rare that researchers are trained or mentored in lab culture management, and this is an opportunity to come into a framework, learn it, practice it, and develop it in directions that best fit the postdoc’s ethics and frameworks for collective research spaces. This will likely involve: coordinating community research contracts and data agreements for a dedicated project; using participatory or justice-oriented budgeting to create a budget; hiring, training, and overseeing undergraduate and high school research assistants; project management to ensure ethics, permits, deliverables, and timelines are secure; and generally learning how to move specific values into all parts of managerial and administrative aspects of community-based research. If you’re invested in anticolonial science, emancipatory budgeting, anti-oppressive facilitation, abolitionist ecologies, mutual aid research collectives, and/or collaborative queer methods, then this is a good fit.
As part of this, the postdoc will oversee one research project on plastic pollution. This can be an existing project CLEAR is already engaged with, a brand new contract brought to CLEAR, or a community-based project for a community the postdoc is already involved with and/or from. Note that “community-based” means that the research question, design, and priorities come from a community outside of academia to which researchers are accountable.
- A PhD in a natural science discipline, with dissertation work related to plastics pollution. Experience in community-based, PAR, or justice-oriented plastic research methods is desired.
- Demonstration of knowledge of feminist, anti-colonial, Indigenous/TEK, and/or queer praxis (or similar justice-oriented practices that go beyond institutional equity, inclusion, and diversity). The framework does not have to be one already practiced in CLEAR.
CLOSING DATE June 2, 2023
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, preference will be given to applicants who are legally entitled to work in Canada. This means that Canadian, Permanent Resident, and existing visa applicants are reviewed first, and if this pool is insufficient to produce three strong candidates to interview, then we move on to other applications. CLEAR includes a high number of 2SLGBTQIA+, gender non-conforming, Indigenous (Inuit and Métis), and international members, and an application to CLEAR is an application into this lab community.
TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter (including a statement on experience working with justice-oriented theory and praxis), CV/resume, 1-2 examples of previous plastics research that showcases your approach to justice-oriented practices (e.g. report, publication, dissertation chapters, blog posts), and a list of three references to email@example.com by the closing date.
Some snapshots from CLEAR lab activities: