In 2018, at the request of the Nunatsiavut Government, Liz Pijogge (Inuk, Nunatsiavut Government) and Max Liboiron (Red River Métis, Memorial University) created a comprehensive plastic pollution monitoring program in Nunatsiavut with an emphasis on Inuit foodways and lifeways. This project is based on mutuality and capacity-sharing instead of capacity-building (which implies a deficit in Inuit knowledge or ability). In capacity-sharing, different forms of knowledge build on one another. Rather than assuming that training in Western science methods happens in one direction, and input of local knowledge to enrich Western science happens in the other, capacity sharing in this community-based context means mixing of Inuit, Western, local, and other knowledges in ways that directly address community research needs and priorities. As such, the project follows the National Inuit Strategy on Research’s recommendation for equitable research partnerships with communities characterized by Inuit governance in the research design, data, and analysis (ITK, 2018).
A major component of this large-scale, multi-grant monitoring program is the co-creation of research designs and co-analysis of findings. This includes on-the-land workshops with community members, participatory statistics, collaborative research design and co-authorship with community members, and the evaluation of these efforts to constantly adjust and improve them.
This post-doctoral position will support the collaborative, community-based efforts of this project. This will include:
- Coming to Nunatsisiavut regularly to interact with community members, listen, and learn;
- Co-organizing on-the-land workshops and community communications;
- Creating transcripts of community discussions for co-authorship of reports and articles (both community-oriented reports and academic articles, as well as anything in between);
- Co-writing reports and articles; and
- Evaluating the collaborative and community-based aspects of the project to ensure methods are updated and improved continuously.
Other activities may include, depending on the successful applicant’s strengths and interests:
- Storytelling, data viz, film/documentary, art, radio/podcasts, or other outputs for communication of research;
- Publications on the methods and ethics of community-based research;
- Innovations in how we collaborate on the land;
- Mentorship of junior Inuit researchers; and
- Any other activities that align with project goals and ethics.
This position is based in the CLEAR lab, run by Dr. Max Liboiron out of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It will require travel to Nunatsiavut. However, remote or hybrid options are possible. It can also be transformed into a full-time or part-time staff position if a postdoc does not suit the successful applicant’s career goals or needs.
- A PhD in any discipline (natural science or social sciences/humanities) with a specialty in community-based research and collaboration;
- Sharp and up-to-date ethics and knowledge on research with Indigenous peoples; and
- Strong verbal communication, planning, and organizational skills for groups of both academics and non-academics.
- Assets that would be beneficial but are not required: knowledge of and experience in Nunatsiavut, Inuktitut speaker.
- The postdoctoral researcher will join the team on trips into Nunatsaivut as well as to other team member locations in the UK and Canada;
- Funding is available for professional development in areas such as anti-oppressive facilitation, Indigenizing statistics, speculative budgeting, and similar skills aligned with the values of the project;
- Paid travel and attendance at virtual and in-person conferences;
- While the project has some concrete needs described above, the postdoctoral researcher will choose an area to specialize in, and paid time, resources, and training will be dedicated to those goals.
POSITION DATES: Mid-August or early September 2023 (negotiable: we have a trip to Nunatsiavut scheduled for late August) to March 31, 2025.
SALARY: $58,600 per annum. Benefits (health care, dental care, paid leave) are included. This position is funded through an external grant.
CLOSING DATE June 2, 2023.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, preference will be given to beneficiaries of Nunatsiavut. CLEAR includes a high number of 2SLGBTQIA+, non-gender conforming, Indigenous (mainly 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, CV, two examples of writing, and a list of three references to email@example.com by the closing date. One of those references should be a community member from previous community-based work. We are looking for applicants who are not only capable of academic research but also exemplify humility, accountability, collectivity, and good land relations, which we realize may result in creative, non-traditional, or community-oriented documentation.
Please be sure to review CLEAR’s website, particularly the page on Plastic pollution monitoring in Nunatsiavut and the first few pages of CLEAR’s lab book, before applying.
Images of the On-the-Land workshop in August 2022 in Nain: