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Job Title:

Post-Doctoral Fellow – Planning for Abolition
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Carleton University
(2-years, 0.8-full time equivalent)

Area and Topic of Research:
This fellowship is an opportunity to both acquire and apply skills and knowledge, and is open to scholars across disciplines whose research focuses on issues related to any combination of urban and regional planning, translational or applied research, abolition (including carceral and decarceral studies, prison and policing studies, immigration studies, decolonization studies, social and spatial impacts of policing, restorative or transformative justice).

Purpose and Responsibilities:
One postdoctoral fellowship is available, supported through the research project Planning for Abolition funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), based in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies , Carleton University, Ottawa.

The first stages of Planning for Abolition examine contemporary themes in abolition, and survey Canadian practicing planners to better understand relationships between planning, carceral and abolitionist practices.

In the final stage of the project the research team will develop, conduct and report on participatory translational research to transfer general research findings into planning practices that support increased community safety and thriving through the abolition of prisons and policing.

The fellow will work with the research team to:

  • Support analysis from earlier stages of research (qualitative and/or quantitative);
  • Develop the methods, outcomes and work plan for the final stage of research;
  • Carry out the work plan;
  • Complete administrative responsibilities including recruitment and retention of participants, grant writing, and planning and attending research events.
  • Report on the process and results of the research including through conference presentations, peer reviewed journal articles, additional publications and other media for a professional and popular audiences and/or public events.
  • Opportunities to provide training and management of student research assistants can also be incorporated into responsibilities.
  • Because we will be working with practitioners across a range of time-zones, some evening and weekend meetings may be necessary.
  • The fellow can be located remotely, but primary residence must be within Canada.
  • A four day a week (0.8fte) appointment is designed to provide time for the fellow to continue independent work in their areas of research and scholarship.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in relevant fields, or other relevant terminal degree with appropriate research experience (ie MFA, MLA, MArch, JD);
  • Degree should be complete by start date (flexible between July 1-September 1 2024);
  • Date of degree should be no more than five years prior to start date (exceptions for career interruptions will be taken into account).
  • Candidates with professional planning degrees and exceptional research experience may be considered.
  • Strong research design skills including ethics and research integrity;
  • Communication skills needed to translate complex ideas for many different types of audiences and produce creative research outputs;
  • Communication and negotiation skills needed to work collaboratively and across difference;
  • Self-motivation skills needed to work independently.

Valued Qualifications:

  • Complementary skills, experience, abilities and disabilities as compared to current members of the research team;
  • Experience with community-based research or engagement, including outreach, recruitment and relationship building with partners;
  • Experience with translational or other applied research;
  • Experience with team-based research or team leadership;
  • Experience with urban and regional planning practice in a community-setting or in the private or public sectors;
  • Experience with working on re-entry programs and policies, criminal justice, prison systems
  • Strong administrative skills;
  • While the project working language is English, additional language skills are valued.

Salary Range:
Approximately $67,500 per year with annual increases
$1,500 relocation or equipment budget
$1,500 annual conference or research travel budget
Ability to opt into an extended health and dental benefit plan at 30% cost

Supervisor and Academic Unit:
The fellow will be based in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, supervised by Sheryl-Ann Simpson (Carleton University), with opportunities to work with Aditi Mehta (University of Toronto) and Courtney Knapp (Pratt University).

Bargaining Unit:
The fellow will be represented by the Carleton University Postdoctoral Union (PSAC Local 77000), and will be eligible to apply for the union’s Professional Development Fund and Tuition Waiver Fund.

Collective Agreement  (May 1, 2022-April 30, 2025)

Applicants should submit all required documents as a single PDF by email to with the subject: [your name] post-doctoral fellow.

We will start evaluating applications in late March 2024.
For full consideration, please submit the required documents by March 17, 2024.

A short list of candidates will be invited to interview for the position (interviews will be held online ~mid-April).

All qualified applicants should apply.

Please reach out if the application process includes specific barriers to submitting your application that we can work to remove.

If the successful applicant requires a Canadian work permit, she/they/he will work with the Academic Relations Coordinator in the Office of the Deputy Provost to complete that application.

We encourage formerly incarcerated, and otherwise systems-involved candidates, and candidates from communities that experience disproportionate policing harm to apply. You do not have to self-identify directly in any communication or applications (your stories are yours to share or not), but if this resonates with you that’s another encouragement to apply.

Required Documents:
Cover Letter
(recommended between 1,000 and 2,500 words [2-4pages])
Tells the story of your research, interest in the position, describes and demonstrates the required and any valued qualifications, along with what you hope to learn from and contribute to the project.

Skills can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, for example, through:

  • coursework;
  • independent and collaborative research;
  • work, volunteer or community experience;
  • funding;
  • completed or in progress writing, presentations, or other scholarly or creative products;
  • community impact and partnerships.

Including education, relevant past research, work and community experience, any publications, funding, and/or other relevant creative and scholarly outputs, any teaching experience, and service experience.

Writing Sample
One to three published or in progress examples that demonstrate your research interests and skills.
Relevant additional media can be included here