VOICES postdoctoral fellowship: Examining Inclusion and engagement in open science 

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to join our interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Scholarly Communications Lab (ScholCommLab), Vancouver, BC, Canada. This is a one year position, with a possibility of renewal for a second year (in-person preferred, with remote work options available for the right candidate). The VOICES fellowship is part of a 2.5-year project funded by the The Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP) examining the Value of Openness, Inclusion, Communication, and Engagement for Science in a Post-Pandemic World (VOICES). While this position may be particularly relevant to scholars with a background in open science, scholarly communication, information science, research impact, metascience, or science communication, we welcome applicants from any field with an interest in this research topic. 

About the VOICES project 

The VOICES project seeks to investigate and share new empirical evidence of the value of opening science, to other scholars and to the public, during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together a transnational team of scholars with complementary expertise in open science, scholarly and science communication, and research impact, to examine three main questions in the context of the pandemic and post-pandemic period: 1) How is the value of open science discussed and positioned? 2) Who adopted or contributed to open science practices and how? and 3) How has the relationship between research and the public been affected by the opening of research? Using a novel theoretical framework that considers open research and public science communication as interconnected along a continuum of access, VOICES will employ a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods from social and information sciences to demonstrate the long-term value of openness, inclusion, and equity in the communication of science, while warning against any barriers and pernicious effects.

VOICES is an international project, led by Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin, Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University, School of Publishing & Co-director of the ScholCommLab (Canada) along with three co-PIs: Dr. Isabella Peters, Professor of Web Science at the ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and CAU Kiel University (Germany), Dr. Stephen Pinfield, Professor of Information Services Management at the University of Sheffield and Associate Director of the Research on Research Institute (UK); and Dr. Germana Barata, researcher at the Laboratory of Advanced Studies in Journalism and the Centre for the Development of Creativity at the State University of Campinas (Brazil). 

About the fellowship

This fellowship will offer the successful applicant an opportunity to strengthen their research project management skills (~50% of fellow responsibilities) while also contributing to original research examining questions related to equity, inclusion, and openness in scholarly communication and (public) science communication (~50% of responsibilities). 

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

  • A PhD (or set defense date) 
  • Demonstrated project management experience
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a diverse team
  • Knowledge, interest, or experience in Open Science practices 
  • Deep disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary curiosity 
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills 
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal

In addition to these recommended qualifications, the following characteristics and skills will be an asset in this position: 

  • Fluency in Portuguese, German, or Spanish (written and verbal)
  • Strong knowledge mobilization/public outreach skills 

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 a person brings relevant skills and valuable experiences that complement those of the existing team. 

The position start date is negotiable but aims for May 1, 2022 with an appointment for one year, with a possibility for renewal for a second year. The postdoctoral fellow will 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 researchers and experts. 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 start of the postdoctoral fellowship. The salary range is between $50,000-$65,000 CAD annually (inclusive of benefits) based on experience. 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] sfu.ca with VOICES Postdoctoral Fellowship’ in the subject line. The application package should include:

  • A cover letter;
  • A detailed CV;
  • A summary of project management experience and approach (1-page maximum);
  • Contact details for 2-3 references.

Applications will remain open until the position is filled, but candidates should submit their application package by March 15, 2022 to receive full consideration. Informal inquiries are welcome by Dr. Alperin at jalperin [ at ] sfu.ca. Inquiries will be treated in confidence.

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, many members of the ScholCommLab are currently working remotely. However, as pandemic restrictions ease, we are increasingly using our lab space (located in downtown Vancouver) to host in-person meetings and collaborate. The successful applicant will be provided with a dedicated work space within the lab during their stay. 

While remote work options may be possible for this position, 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. 

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: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/immigration-citizenship.html