Postdoctoral fellowship: Communicating preprint research

NOTE: The deadline for this position has passed.

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to join our interdisciplinary team of researchers for a one-year research stay at the Scholarly Communications Lab (ScholCommLab), Vancouver, BC, Canada. This position is part of Sharing Health Research, a multi-year, SSHRC-funded project examining the online communication of health science. While this position may be particularly relevant to scholars with a background in science/health communication, digital journalism, risk/crisis communication, social media, or metascience , we welcome applicants from any field with an interest in this research topic. 

About the fellowship

This fellowship will offer the successful applicant an opportunity to collaborate with our team on a project of their own design focused on the public communication of scientific uncertainty and/or the online circulation of health-related preprints. Applicants are asked to submit one or two brief research proposals (half a page or less each) relating to this broader topic. These are meant to give us a sense of your research interests and methodological approach; they are not formal proposals, so there is no need to explain every detail or include a reference list

In addition to relevant research interests and experience, successful applicants will have the following qualifications: 

  • A PhD (or set defence date) 
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a diverse team
  • Ability to conceive, scope, and execute a project within the 1-year timeline
  • Excellent interpersonal skills 
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal
  • Deep disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary curiosity

You should apply even if you don’t feel that your background is a 100% match with the position description. We place less emphasis on credentials, publications, and metrics, and more emphasis on interesting research questions and the relevant skills and experience to work with us to answer them. 

The position start date is negotiable but aims for February 1, 2021 with an appointment for one year. The successful applicant will work as part of a diverse international research team led by Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin (Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University, School of Publishing & Co-director of the ScholCommLab), Dr. Michelle Riedlinger (co-PI, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Queensland University of Technology), and Dr. Rukhsana Ahmed (co-PI, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Communication, University at Albany). The postdoctoral fellow will also become a member of the ScholCommLab during their stay, and will have the opportunity to work with the lab’s international and interdisciplinary network of communication researchers and experts. To facilitate the work, they will have access to a range of data (e.g., Web of Science, Altmetric, Twitter), tools, and methodologies (e.g., for data collection and analysis), and will be given access to SFU computing and library resources.

At Simon Fraser University, postdoctoral fellows are considered employees and receive benefits. In order to qualify, the candidate’s PhD completion date has to be within 5 years of the postdoctoral fellowship. The gross salary is set at $60,000 CAD annually. Additional funding may be available to present results of the collaboration at agreed upon conferences.

About the ScholCommLab

The ScholCommLab is a diverse multidisciplinary and multinational team of researchers interested in all aspects of scholarly communication. Based in Ottawa and Vancouver, Canada, the lab explores a wide range of questions using a combination of computational techniques, innovative methods, and traditional mixed methods to investigate how knowledge is produced, disseminated and used. The ScholCommLab is co-directed by Stefanie Haustein and Juan Pablo Alperin and is associated with the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa and the School of Publishing and the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University. The ScholCommLab values and practices open science, it has an established code of conduct, and clear authorship guidelines.

Application process

Candidates can apply by emailing their application to Alice Fleerackers at afleerac [at] with ‘Preprints Postdoctoral Fellowship’ in the subject line. The application package should include:

  • A cover letter
  • 1-2 potential project ideas related to the project theme that they would like to pursue as a Postdoctoral Fellow (max ~250 words per idea) 
  • A detailed CV, including a list of publications 
  • Contact details for three references

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. All applications received by December 4th will be given full consideration, but applications will remain open until the position is filled.

Equity and inclusion

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds, including but not limited to, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, and/or status as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour (BIPOC). All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

Working During COVID-19

Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the ScholCommLab is currently working remotely with limited access to offices and without any in-person meetings. However, international applicants will be expected to move to Canada and obtain a valid work permit and/or visa in order to receive their appointment at Simon Fraser University. Applicants should also know that, due to COVID-19, they may experience delays in obtaining a visa (if needed) and/or receiving their appointment. International applicants will also be required to have a self-isolation plan in place before arriving in Canada. Please keep these considerations in mind when deciding whether to apply.

For more about SFU’s response to COVID-19 and its impact on postdoctoral appointments, please review the following resources: 

For information on the visa application process for your country, please refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website:

NOTE: The deadline for this position has passed.