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Post-Doctoral Fellow / Project Manager

The School of Social Work is looking to hire a Post-Doctoral Fellow / Project Manager for the project, Transforming Stories, Driving Change (TSDC).

Jun 05, 2017

For details regarding contract duration, pay scale, closing dates etc. visit the Working at McMaster website.

Job title: Post-Doctoral Fellow / Project Manager

Description of area/topic of research:

As the public telling of personal stories proliferates, questions are being raised about both the efficacy and the complicated ethics of these storytelling events. Public moments of personal storytelling are typically intended to make complex issues both more comprehensible and more emotionally engaging, to elicit empathy and spur social change. Yet all too often, stories about social marginalization are viewed not as contributions to public debate, but as individual accounts of struggle or triumph. This disparity between intention and effect, which risks reinforcing rather than challenging oppression, provides the impetus for this project, Transforming Stories, Driving Change (TSDC).

Through TSDC, a multi-sectoral, multidisciplinary team, funded through a SSHRC Partnership Development grant, will use performance to expose mechanisms of social marginalization that prevent some people from being understood as agents of change. We focus on a performance-as-research approach because, as José Esteban Muñoz and Sara Ahmed point out, exclusion and inclusion are themselves performative acts, and so are particularly amenable to the embodied thinking of counter-performance.

Because the public presentation of personal stories occurs across sectors, the problems associated with the practice will be addressed through a multidirectional flow of knowledge anchored in reciprocal relationships between community partners from a range of sectors, and university researchers from multiple disciplines.


The The Transforming Stories, Driving Change research project will present two short performances at the McMaster Community-Campus Idea Exchange on June 12, 2017. Details are here:  Attendance is not required to be eligible for this position.


The post-doctoral fellow / Project Manager will be involved in and actively drive teambuilding and teamwork processes, benefiting from the mentorship of senior researchers and community leaders. The PDF will gain specialized knowledge and capacity in arts-based community engagement, arts-informed research, and social change practices. The PDF will act as a core element of the interdisciplinary research team and an equal intellectual collaborator in the project’s exploration of new research and public engagement methodologies.

The PDF/ PM is critical to meeting the project’s needs. This person will:

  • build and maintain relationships with partner agencies and collaborators
  • coordinate, track and facilitate project activities, towards achieving research outcomes
  • actively participate in the leadership team and the management team, and coordinate the work of these groups
  • oversee the work of the project’s RAs and work closely with our workshop and performance production coordinator
  • prepare McMaster Research Ethics Board applications and amendments
  • ensure effective communication among all stakeholders in the project and build an effective public presence by maintaining the project website & blog
  • contribute to the edited collection (draft proposal for collection; draft manuscripts; contribute own writing; edit) and to academic and community publications and presentations


Required teaching: There is no required teaching with this position.

Remuneration: $35,000.00/year plus fringe benefits, for an average of 3.5 days/week.

Supervisor and academic unit: Dr. Chris Sinding, School of Social Work and Dr. Catherine Graham, School of the Arts.

Start and end dates: July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 (start date negotiable; possibility of renewal for up to two more years).

Required qualifications: PhD (completed in last five years or to be defended no later than November 1, 2017), addressing themes of community development, performance-based arts practices, and/ or adult education. The person will have experience & strengths in working with people from diverse sectors, communities and organizations (including excellent facilitation skills); a track record of effective project management; excellent communication skills (both in academic writing and presenting, and in developing community resources, presentations); familiarity with community-engaged arts practices and related literature.

Application procedure: Applications and questions about the position can be directed to Chris Sinding, and Catherine Graham,

Required documentation: Cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for this specific position; a current curriculum vitae; a statement of research; a statement of community engagement; a sample of academic writing; and the names and email addresses of three referees.

Employment equity statement: McMaster University is strongly committed to employment equity within its community and to recruiting a diverse faculty and staff. The University encourages applications from all qualified candidates including women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons, members of racialized communities and LGBTQ-identified persons.

For details regarding contract duration, pay scale, closing dates etc. visit the Working at McMaster website.