Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellowship: Changing Global Orders

Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship

Start date: Flexible (but ideally September 1, 2020)

Duration: One and half year fellowship

Salary range: $45,000, plus benefits, per annum

Reports to: Prof. Rita Abrahamsen, Director, Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS)

Fellowship Description

We are seeking a skilled and enthusiastic Postdoctoral Fellow to pursue an innovative research program focused on the changing world order and the contemporary challenges to multilateral cooperation.

The successful candidate will be part of the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue’s new project entitled Changing Orders: Shaping the Future and Securing Rights in a World in Transformation (Changing Orders, described below). The postdoctoral fellow will be supervised by Professor Rita Abrahamsen and hosted by the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), one of the four centres leading the Changing Orders project.

This postdoctoral fellowship has a dual focus. It is intended to generate original research and contribute to policy responses to pressing international issues facing Canada and the international community. As such, applicants are encouraged to propose creative ideas for how they plan to contribute to new knowledge on the topic of the evolving global order, and to describe how they are positioned to contribute to policy interventions on these issues. The latter may include policy briefs, policy proposals, expert briefs, op-eds, and the organization of policy roundtables, among others.

We are particularly interested in proposals that build on the established track-record of CIPS and our World Order Research Program in analyzing the current challenges to multilateral cooperation and investigate opportunities for building a more democratic, just and inclusive world order. Proposals that focus of the role of the Global South in shaping the past, present and future of world order are particularly encouraged, as are proposals focusing on challenges arising from right-wing ideologies and authoritarianism. As such, a background in international relations, international political sociology, and area studies will be highly relevant to this fellowship.

It is expected that this postdoctoral work will result in a number of outputs by the end of the fellowship. Research outputs (e.g. policy recommendations and framework proposals) will be disseminated through a series of publications, white papers and other knowledge mobilization activities. The supervisor will also work with the successful applicant to identify opportunities to contribute to the ongoing policy engagement of the centre.

The successful candidate will be registered as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa and will enjoy all associated privileges. The individual will have a strong background in International Relations or a related field, and a demonstrated ability to engage with complex policy debates in the realm of multilateral cooperation.

 About the Project

The Postdoctoral Fellow will join a dynamic research and practice community focused on the rapidly changing global order.

Bringing together leading research centres and institutes at the University of Ottawa, and financially supported by the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue, Changing Orders seeks to reveal the fundamental dynamics underlying today’s governance and human rights challenges – at the national and global levels – and to generate new and innovative ideas and policy responses to them. The initiative will mobilize cutting-edge research and networks of decision-makers from a variety of fields to analyse these challenges and co-produce effective solutions. It will also build upon and amplify cutting-edge public interest policy interventions being conducted by project partners at both the domestic and international levels.

The Changing Orders project builds on the expertise of the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, and the Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP). The project aims to address two fundamentally important questions: 1) How to secure multilateral cooperation and inclusive and durable democracies in the face of political and technological change; and 2) How to secure fundamental human rights in the face of challenges to the rules-based international order.

This postdoctoral fellowship will focus primarily on the first of these themes, namely the rise of new ideologies and practices that directly challenge the core principles of multilateral cooperation.  Globally, the liberal world order is facing unprecedented challenges driven by a new era of ideological conflict and competition. Illiberal states are developing sustained campaigns challenging once settled norms and values such as democracy and multilateral cooperation. Building on and expanding the innovative research of CIPS, the project examines the ideas and practices that underpin and inform current challenges to the rules-based international order. To counter the most destabilizing effects of these trends, it also investigates opportunities for reforming and reshaping multilateral cooperation with a view to building a more democratic, just and inclusive world order. The project will examine new means and methods for how to defend, reinvent, and reimagine a more just and equal rules-based international order that allows for peaceful and just cooperation.

Position Requirements

  • Doctoral degree in International Relations or related field (e.g., political science, development studies, public policy). Preference will be given to candidates with doctorates awarded in the last 5 years, but all candidates will be considered.
  • Research experience, preferably in International relations and policy.
  • English proficiency.

Additionally, the following skills will be considered as assets:  

  • Bilingualism (English and French).
  • Scholarship on relevant topics.
  • Experience with knowledge mobilization (translation and exchange).
  • Prior involvement with public policy processes relating to international cooperation and foreign affairs.

If the start date for this position is affected either by the candidate being under COVID-19-related travel restrictions or the campus being closed, remote working options can be negotiated.

How to apply

Please apply by sending you application to Anna Bogic at [email protected]. Your application should include the following:

  • a cover letter,
  • a complete curriculum vitae,
  • a two-page (max.) statement of interest describing your research interests relevant for this position and capability to contribute to related legal and policy responses at the domestic and international levels.

The selection committee will start to review applications on July 6. Applications will be considered until a successful candidate is found. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those under consideration for the role will be contacted.

The cover letter shall indicate the level of proficiency in English and French.

The University of Ottawa is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

In keeping with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada requirements, all qualified persons are invited to apply. All applicants will be considered, but preference will be given to Canadian Citizens, permanent residents of Canada, and people holding (or eligible to hold) a valid work permit. The cover letter should confirm the immigration status of the candidate.

In keeping with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the University of Ottawa will provide accommodations upon request during the recruitment, selection and assessment process for candidates with a disability.