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Possibilities and boundaries in the socio-political shaping of unemployment – How service providers and service seekers negotiate long-term unemployment and everyday life 

Project overview: This post-doctoral opportunity is connected with a SSHRC-funded collaborative ethnography that is examining transformations to social policies and service practices addressing long-term unemployment since the 2008 recession, and the implications of these for the negotiation of services and everyday life by persons experiencing long-term unemployment. In this project, long-term unemployment is defined broadly and is inclusive of situations such as cyclical precarious employment and underemployment. Drawing on critical social theory and working in partnership with community-based service organizations (Goodwill Industries), the study is being carried out in two sites (London, Ontario, Canada and St. Louis, Missouri, United States) to enable cross-national analyses. Through collaborative knowledge generation and mobilization, the study aims to raise awareness of the lived consequences of contemporary models of un/employment insurance and services, and generate new ways to think about and address long-term unemployment.

Location: The post-doctoral fellowship is located in London, Ontario, within the School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University. The post-doctoral fellow will ideally reside in or near London, Ontario for the duration of the position to facilitate ethnographic data collection in this field site.

Role description: The fellowship involves supporting the on-going conduct of the project, and developing a program of research in relation to the project. Responsibilities include: organizing and enacting intensive qualitative data collection with service seekers; assisting with supervision of masters-level and doctoral-level research trainees; supporting study coordination; contributing to analysis of qualitative data collected from key stakeholders, service providers and service seekers; supporting and/or leading funding applications aimed at including employer perspectives; and participating in partnership building and research team meetings. In addition, the successful applicant will have an opportunity to develop a related program of research. For example, a program of research could focus on a particular collective that is at risk for long-term unemployment (e.g., aging workers, immigrants, persons with criminal records); the development of innovative methods to conduct cross-national comparisons; or the integration of specific theoretical frames to address unemployment in pioneering ways.

Qualifications: To hold the fellowship, an applicant must: i) have completed all requirements for a doctoral degree at date of acceptance of the fellowship (or have a letter from their respective institution stating the timeframe for PhD completion); and ii) have received a PhD no more than 3 years before the application deadline.

Training opportunities: Depending on an applicant’s previous experiences and self-identified learning goals, opportunities are available for training in a variety of qualitative methodologies and methods, the application of critical social theory in research, partnership building in community-engaged research, research program development, knowledge mobilization, and conducting cross-national research.

Available funding: This fellowship is sponsored for one year (with a start date between Dec. 1, 2015 and February 1, 2016). The successful applicant will receive a $42,000 fellowship, and up to $3,000 to support participation in knowledge dissemination. Additional funding may be available to extend participation in the project beyond the one year period.

Evaluation criteria: The Selection Committee will evaluate applicants on the basis of academic merit, as well as understanding of, and commitment to, community-based research approaches. Previous research and/or professional experience in the areas of work, unemployment, social policy, occupational science, migration studies, aging studies, ethnography, and/or critical social theory are assets.

To apply: Please send your application letter, CV and three letters of reference to: Dr. Debbie Laliberte Rudman, Associate Professor, Elborn College, 1201 Western Rd., London, ON, Canada, N6G 1H1, [email protected]

Closing date: November 6, 2015


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