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Call for applications for the IRPP Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Support of Indigenous, Black and Other Racialized Scholars

Since 1972, the Institute for Research on Public Policy has partnered with researchers from the academic sector and elsewhere to mobilize their knowledge and ensure their work is seen by decision-makers.

Helping to foster a more inclusive public policy dialogue in Canada is a key strategic priority for the IRPP. Unfortunately, Indigenous, Black and other racialized researchers are underrepresented among university faculty members who hold tenure positions and receive research funding.

To help advance this priority, the IRPP has launched the new IRPP Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for junior scholars who identify as Indigenous, Black or a member of another racialized group and are interested in advancing public policy.

The IRPP would like to thank Kate H. Choi (University of Western Ontario), David R. Newhouse (Trent University), and Akwasi Owusu-Bempah (University of Toronto) for their guidance and advice on the new fellowship position.

Our objective is to play a constructive, meaningful role in the career advancement of junior researchers by helping them reach influential positions in academia, government and the think tank world. We also seek to enrich and broaden our understanding of social and policy issues and programs by amplifying the voices of diverse scholars in the wider public and policy sphere.

The IRPP invites applications for one full-time postdoctoral research position. The appointment will begin in 2024 and last 24 months. During the appointment, the fellow will be expected to undertake original research on the project outlined in their application.

To ensure the greatest benefit for the research fellow and the IRPP, the research project proposed by the fellow must focus on Canadian public policy and fit within the IRPP’s ongoing research programs:

  • Empowering Canada’s workforce — aimed at informing policy decisions to help Canada’s workforce navigate challenges such as the low-carbon transition, the adoption of new technologies and changing demographics.
  • Building new foundations for economic growth — supporting policy decisions that lay the groundwork for long-term prosperity in Canada in the context of shifting geopolitical forces, technological change, demographic shifts, Indigenous reconciliation, and policy and market responses to climate change.
  • Toward a more equitable Canada — aimed at developing policies that improve outcomes for everyone by addressing challenges such as availability and affordability of basic needs and inequities in health care, labour markets and education.

The fellow will be expected to work closely with the IRPP research team to produce at least one IRPP Study and one Policy Options op ed for the duration of the fellowship. They will also be expected to participate in webinars and other events. The fellow will be required to submit an interim and a final report during their time with the IRPP.

The fellow will receive a stipend of $60,000 per year and an additional research allowance of up to $10,000 for the duration of the fellowship to cover travel expenses and the acquisition of equipment, software and data (each item to be approved by the IRPP). In addition, the fellow will benefit from the IRPP’s resources, including an IRPP co-supervisor, advice and mentorship, editorial and communications support, an extensive network of external experts and government contacts, and exposure to a broader audience. The research fellow will also have access to the IRPP’s office space in Montreal and an opportunity to attend regular staff and research group meetings (virtually or in person).

To be eligible to apply, interested candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • identify as Indigenous, Black or a member of another racialized group;
  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
  • reside in Canada for the duration of the fellowship;
  • have completed a PhD program in a discipline relevant to social science and public policy, including but not limited to economics, sociology, political science, geography or public policy (PhD candidates are also eligible to apply; however, they will be expected to obtain their doctoral degree in the year when the fellowship begins);
  • apply within five years of completing a PhD program;
  • have a track record of delivering conference presentations and/or having research publications demonstrating ongoing interest in Canadian public policy and expertise on the proposed research topic;
  • have an academic or policy-focused career plan aligned with the fellowship’s objectives;
  • not hold a permanent faculty position nor a faculty position leading to a permanent position;
  • have arrangements for affiliation with a recognized university in Canada; exceptional candidates without such an arrangement can still apply, and if selected, their appointment will be conditional on the IRPP’s ability to match them to a Canadian university willing to co-host them.

To apply, candidates must provide:

  1. A detailed proposal for a 24-month research project that broadly corresponds with one of the IRPP’s research programs. The proposal should clearly outline the following:
    • research question and motivation
    • contribution to the selected research program
    • methodology
    • contribution to Canadian public policy
    • relevance of the proposed project to prior research conducted by the applicant
    • research plan with key milestones, timelines and publication plans
    • hardware, software and data requirements to complete the project
  2. A cover letter that clearly explains how the applicant satisfies the fellowship’s requirements and how the fellowship will contribute to their professional goals and the advancement of Canadian public policy.
  3. A CV indicating relevant academic and professional qualifications, including publications and working papers, and evidence of active participation in academic and public research dissemination activities (e.g., presentations at conferences, workshops, seminars or webinars).
  4. Evidence that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria of identifying as Indigenous, Black or a member of another racialized group as outlined in the Identity declaration instructions.
  5. A detailed career plan with clear linkages to Canadian public policy research.
  6. A letter of support from a representative from the host institution or a faculty member explaining their interest in the research topic and in co-supervising the applicant; candidates who cannot obtain a letter of support must provide a list of potential academic advisers and evidence of their attempts to obtain a letter of support from people on this list.
  7. Copies of a PhD certificate and academic transcripts for doctoral studies; applicants who do not possess a doctoral degree at the time of their application must submit a letter from their academic supervisor stating that they are expected to obtain a doctoral degree by December 31, 2024.
  8. Applicants must also request three recommendation letters, which are to be sent separately by referees directly to the IRPP.

Submission instructions

All documents listed above, excluding the recommendation letters, must be submitted as a single PDF file. The file name must contain “Postdoctoral Fellowship Application” and the applicant’s full name.

Applications should be sent to the selection committee at postdoc@nullirpp.org with the subject line: “Postdoctoral Fellowship Application” and the applicant’s full name.

Referees must send recommendation letters in PDF format to the selection committee at postdoc@nullirpp.org. The name of the PDF file and the subject line of the email must state “Postdoctoral Fellowship Letter” and the applicant’s full name.

The deadline for applications and reference letters is January 15, 2024.

We thank all applicants for their interest. Only the selected applicant will be contacted.

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