Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program 2023-2024

Call for Applications

The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) invites applications for two (2) twelve-month residential postdoctoral fellowship positions to be held at the University of Guelph. One of the fellowships is co-hosted by the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER). 

The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation’s mandate is to create positive social change through the confluence of improvisational arts, innovative scholarship, and collaborative action. IICSI is a multi-locale research partnership hosted at the University of Guelph, with sites at McGill University; Memorial University of Newfoundland; University of British Columbia; University of Regina; Carleton University; 17, Institute of Critical Studies (Mexico City); and Queen’s University Belfast. IICSI seeks to contribute to interdisciplinary research and graduate training in the emerging field of improvisation studies.  

The Guelph Institute for Environmental Research tackles the world’s environmental problems through innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration, and builds on the University’s expertise in the environment and sustainability by bringing together researchers from diverse fields. The institute represents a commitment to identifying new arenas of research and recognizes that significant contributions are often to be found at interdisciplinary boundaries.  

Duration and Compensation 

This will be a twelve-month residential postdoctoral fellowship for September 2023 to August 2024 (start time has some flexibility). The postdoctoral fellowship provides stipendiary support, valued at $40,500 CAD, to recent PhD graduates who are undertaking original research, publishing research findings, and developing and expanding personal research networks.  

For the one (1) IICSI postdoctoral position – A teaching offer will be made to the postdoc, contingent on the candidate’s areas of expertise. If accepted by the candidate, a teaching stipend of $8,000 CAD will be added to the candidate’s annual salary. In addition, the College of Arts will provide an annual research stipend of $2,500 CAD.  

For the one (1) GIER/IICSI postdoctoral position – A $5,000 CAD top-up stipend and $5,000 CAD for working group expenses will be provided to the candidate to help lead a year-long thematic working group for the Collaboratory for Creative Writing, Environmental Sciences, and the Arts, culminating in an interdisciplinary GIER event.  

Location of Appointments 

Candidates will normally be expected to spend at least 3 days per week on campus at the University of Guelph (Guelph, ON) to facilitate cultural and intellectual engagement.  

Application Criteria 

For the one (1) IICSI postdoctoral position Applicants are invited to submit a research proposal focusing on the social implications (broadly construed) of improvised artistic practices. Successful candidates will be chosen based on a rigorous application process, with IICSI’s management team serving as the selection committee.  

Applications from scholars working in IICSI’s principal research areas are encouraged: music, cultural studies, creative technologies, political studies, sociology and anthropology, English studies, theatre and performance studies, French studies, law, philosophy, and communications. Applications from other research areas are also welcome, with preference given to research that has a direct link with the social, cultural, or political implications of improvised art practices. We also welcome candidates with expertise in pedagogy and community engagement who will contribute to IICSI’s new graduate program in Critical Studies in Improvisation. 

Criteria for selection are the quality and originality of the proposed research, the fit with our institute’s overall mandate and objectives, the candidate’s record of scholarly achievement, and the candidate’s potential to benefit from activities associated with IICSI. Postdoctoral fellows will be eligible for competitive research stipends, logistical assistance for relocation (if required), office space equipped with computers, access to the services of the host institution (library, etc.), and administrative, placement, and research assistance as needed. In return, fellows are expected to pursue the research projects submitted in their application, to participate in the Institute’s research and community-engaged activities (colloquia, seminars, partnered projects), and to present their work in progress in the context of the Institute’s seminars and workshops.  

Applicants should have completed a PhD at the time of application (to be conferred by November 1, 2023).  

For the one (1) GIER/IICSI postdoctoral positionThe postdoctoral fellow will be supervised by GIER’s Director, Dr. Madhur Anand. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals focused on how improvisational skills and frameworks can lead to research discoveries at the interface of disciplines and help in addressing our environmental crises, including but not limited to climate change and biodiversity decline.  

Applicants must have experience in interdisciplinary environmental research across both: a) the Natural Sciences and/or Engineering, and b) the Social Sciences, Arts, and/or Humanities.  

Applicants should have completed a PhD at the time of application (to be conferred by November 1, 2023). 

Application Requirements 

Applicants must send the following materials via email as a single document by May 1, 2023: 

  • A curriculum vitae 
  • One scholarly paper or publication or one research/creation output produced in the last three years 
  • A statement (1,500 words or less) describing the proposed research project 
  • Two confidential letters of reference (sent directly to IICSI/GIER by referees via email before the deadline) 
  • Graduate transcript(s) (unofficial transcripts accepted) 
  • A 250-word JEDI statement (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) 
  • Indication of language proficiencies 

Please note that we are unable to provide individual feedback to candidates not awarded fellowships. 

If you are applying for the GIER postdoctoral position, please send applications via email to both Dr. Madhur Anand ([email protected]) and Dr. Ajay Heble ([email protected]). If you are applying for the IICSI postdoctoral position, please send your application only to [email protected]. 

Notification of Award: July 2023 

IICSI and GIER’s postdoctoral fellowships are supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. 

See our FAQ page for questions about the application criteria and more.

Download the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program 2023-2024 application as a PDF.