Seeking Postdoctoral Fellow

Action on Just Transition: City of Edmonton Change(s) for Climate

Just Powers is Seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow (Mitacs funded with City of Edmonton as partner).

DEADLINE: OCTOBER 15, 2023 (or until position is filled)

Partner institutions: University of Alberta and the City of Edmonton, funded by Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral program

Academic Supervisor: Professor Sheena Wilson, University of Alberta

City of Edmonton Supervisor: Chandra Tomaras

Grant Value/Salary: $55,000 CAD annually for 2 years

Start date: flexible start date ideally between November 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024. (Project is for 24 months following start-date.)

Duration: 24 months, full-time employment.

Job Description: This Mitacs Elevate postdoc has been recently awarded, and we are now seeking a post-doc to work on this project titled “Action on Just Transition”. This is a collaboration between Just Powers and the City of Edmonton Corp. The successful postdoctoral fellow will work under the supervision of both Professor Sheena Wilson at the University of Alberta, and the City of Edmonton’s Environment and Climate Resilience (ECR) Unit lead Chandra Tomaras. This postdoc is focused on shifting  the work culture at the City of Edmonton Corp to centre climate justice as a priority in all decision making and planning. The postdoc, as such, will have a mandate to (1) educate the 12,000 employees, with a particular focus on City leadership teams. (2) facilitate workshops and cross-divisional collaborations to centre climate justice in the work culture; (3) track the culture-of-work shifts (best practices, failures, obstacles, etc.); (4) document and archive locally-generated knowledge related to climate, mitigation, adaptation, transition, climate justice etc; (5) disseminate outcomes and coordinate with other municipalities and institutions organizing to centre climate justice and just transition to new ways of working and living. 

Requirements: Completed PhD by the start date, in a relevant field/topic such as (but not limited to) Cultural Studies, Environmental Humanities, Energy Humanities, Infrastructure Humanities, Policy, Climate Organizing, Climate Justice, Indigenous Studies. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in the field of petrocultures and participatory-action research and/or research-creation methods, and/or Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous research methods.

Project Summary: On August 27th, 2019, the City of Edmonton’s elected City Council, along with 2,329 Municipalities around the world, voted to declare a climate emergency. However, within 6 months of getting started, the City’s intention to respond to the climate emergency was diverted by the urgent demands created by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Now, the City is reinstating its climate priorities and City Council, as well as the City manager and administration are implementing a carbon budget as one tool to shift culture across the organization away from a business-as-usual toward a model of working that prioritizes climate justice, adaptation and mitigation, in the organization’s decision making. Of course, “if all we do is meet our decarbonization goals, this will have been a failed transition, “Sheena Wilson argues. “If we achieve climate justice, we will meet our climate targets. The reverse is not true.” The question this research project poses is this: How, in practical terms, can we collaboratively shift the culture of work in this organization, so that climate justice is centred in all decision making? By extension, if the transition underway is organized around climate justice, does this create the possibility for healthier workplaces, and living conditions, rather than entrenching and deepening the inequalities? The City of Edmonton has reached out to the research team, to seek their expertise on the social and cultural dimension of climate justice and just energy transition. If you are interested in joining this team, please apply.

Application Deadline: Suggested deadline is October 15, 2023, 12:00 am MT but the position will remain open until filled.

Living in the region with an ability to be on site, on occasion for a few days at a time, is required. Flexible hours. Predominantly a work-from-home position. Some in-person activities: select face-to-face meetings, in-person lunch-and-learn events, activities/workshops/speakers at City Hall, Edmonton Tower, University of Alberta campuses, and around the city of Edmonton, manage art installation and exhibition.

Application Package: Please include

  1. CV
  2. List of 3 referees (no letters required at application stage)
  3. Cover letter addressing the following: Describe why you would be a suitable candidate for this particular Mitacs Elevate fellowship. Consider including career goals and how this fellowship may help you achieve them, your commitment to the professional development and training offered by the Elevate program, any relevant experience, positions, or achievements that demonstrate your suitability for the program, and why you are interested in applying for this Mitacs Elevate.

Please feel free to contact with questions or declarations of interest, and/or apply by Oct 15, 2023. Submit your complete application as one PDF file to Professor Sheena Wilson at with the above information.