Postdoctoral Fellow in Risk Governance


McGill University


Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Start Date: September 2020 or as soon as possible 

Salary: $45,000 per annum + benefits 

Duration: 1 year, with possibility of extension 

Dr. Gordon M. Hickey is seeking an exceptional postdoctoral researcher to join his team to conduct research on ecological chemical risk governance, with a particular focus on understanding transnational standardization processes. The postdoctoral fellow (PDF) will have substantial freedom to define their research focus as long as it aligns with the general focus on understanding (1) the sociopolitical processes underpinning standardization in regulatory science; and (2) the process of deinstitutionalizing prevailing practices of ecological chemical risk assessment and institutionalizing new ones based on emerging technologies. The position is based in the Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University and will involve close collaboration with Professor Steve Maguire (University of Sydney, Australia). 

The project is funded by Genome Canada and Genome Quebec in partnership with key government agencies and industry partners in Canada, Europe and the USA. As a result, the successful candidate will be offered a high degree of professional exposure through a range of networking opportunities with actors involved in chemical risk assessment, ecotoxicology, chemicals management and environmental protection in Canada and internationally. 

Essential Duties: The primary responsibilities of the successful candidate will be to conduct innovative research and outreach in collaboration with a diverse group of university scientists as well as their industry and government partners, and co-lead an international workshop resulting in a journal Special Issue broadly focusing on public sector governance of emerging risks. The specific duties will include literature reviews; stakeholder liaison activities; project management; data collection, analysis and interpretation (via ethnographic, qualitative and/or quantitative methods, depending on PDF’s interest and experience); report writing; workshop organization and the preparation of manuscripts in cooperation with the supervisors. The successful candidate will also be responsible for training graduate students and contributing to the development of competitive research grants as needed. 

Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline within the last three years and have primary publications in refereed, English language journals, fluency in written and spoken English, the ability to work cooperatively with the supervisors, and strong organizational skills. The ideal candidate will have expertise in public administration, management & organization studies, political science, and/or science and technology studies, excellent communication skills, a desire to immerse in the exciting empirical field of ecological chemical risk assessment, and the ability to work semi-independently. It is anticipated that the data collected and analyzed will have the potential for significant contributions to literatures on the following topics: 

  • Institutional stability and change 
  • Institutional entrepreneurship 
  • Risk governance 
  • Transboundary network governance 
  • Regulatory science 

For more information, or to apply for this position, please send a cover letter describing your research background, interests, and qualifications; a sample publication highlighting your research experience; plus a curriculum vitae and contact information for at least two references to

Application deadline: Open until filled. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.