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Postdoctoral Scholar, Health Policy and Medicine

Job ID: 30819
Location: Downtown Campus
Updated April 30, 2024

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We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.


Area:           Health Policy & Cumming School of Medicine

Duration:    1 year with renewal  

Start Date:  As soon as possible

Salary:        $55,000 per annum plus benefits

The School of Public Policy and the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary are accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar (PDS). The PDS will lead research to identify a core set of indicators of child and youth health and well-being relevant to children who are vulnerable in Alberta and map these indicators to relevant policies. 

Children can experience vulnerabilities and resiliency factors (biologic or environmental) in their developmental trajectory that impact their well-being. Cross-ministry policy and services have an important role in improving health and well-being outcomes; however, the current Alberta child and youth services sector lacks strategy and links between development trajectories, environmental factors and child health and well-being. Indicators can help simplify the complex information concerning the child health and well-being, environment and policy nexus by identifying modifiable factors that impact child health and wellness. These indicators can then be used to turn population data into relevant information for decision-makers and the public. Currently, Alberta does not have cross-sectoral indicators of child health and well-being. The research group has carried out an environmental scan and scoping review to gather and synthesize relevant domains, concepts and indicators in the literature. This PDS position focuses on the next steps of identifying key indicators through a systematic consensus process and identifying evidence-based policies and prevention strategies to improve child health and well-being. 

This work will have an important role in supporting researchers, community partners and government to work together and build capacity to integrate indicators into measurement and monitoring of service delivery. PDS supervision will be provided by: (1) Dr. Brent Hagel, Cumming School of Medicine (2) Dr. Jennifer Zwicker, Director of Health Policy, School of Public Policy. This fellowship is embedded in a research program with extensive connections to local community partners and national research networks. 

Job Description:

The position requires independent analysis and research, within a team approach in a fast moving and changing environment, often involving multiple stakeholders. The PDS will contribute to refining the research questions and methods and will have the opportunity to lead a consensus-process to identify relevant indicators of child health and well-being, relevant to vulnerable children and families in Alberta and recommend approaches for developing policy in Alberta that fosters resilience and growth for vulnerable children. Research outcomes will inform policy development for child health and social services and evaluation and the PDS will work closely partners and with community stakeholders.

PDS Responsibilities: 

  • Refine research questions and methods in relation to implementing a stakeholder consensus process to identify key indicators on child health and well-being in Alberta
  • Lead the design and implementation of at least one sub-studies in the above-described research program
  • Actively contribute to the development of peer-reviewed publications related to the studies undertaken as part of the PDS appointment
  • Provide leadership on knowledge translation activities
  • Provide leadership and mentorship in relation to the stakeholder consensus process, including possible supervision of trainees and support staff
  • Undertake additional training
  • Opportunities for applied training is available, related to statistical methods, qualitative inquiry and stakeholder engagement, policy analysis, grant writing, student supervision, knowledge translation of clinical research into practice and policy and multi-stakeholder collaboration with a range of investigators (policy analysts, epidemiologists, psychologists, qualitative researchers, legal analysts, statisticians and health service agencies).


  • PhD in health sciences, health services research, or a related field, completed within the last 5 years (or will be complete upon PDS start date)
  • High level of effective organizational, time management and personal initiative skills
  • Proven ability to design and complete research studies of complex issues
  • Experience in qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups) and carrying out stakeholder consensus processes, ideally, experience with the Delphi processes
  • Experience with research software (STATA preferred, NVivo preferred) as well as Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Strong team player
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, especially in scientific writing
  • Proven ability to deliver high quality publications and presentations
  • Understanding of experimental design and scientific process and evaluative and qualitative methodologies.
  • Strong track record of scholarly activities including publication of research findings in reputable peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations
  • Experience in applying for external grants and awards
  • Previous experience in the study of child health or disability or medical/psychosocial complexity would be an asset
  • Previous experience in working with rapid or scoping reviews, measurement and evaluation and mixed methods approaches would be an asset
  • Please review the Postdoc Eligibility Guidelines for more information prior to applying for this position.

Application Details:

  • Statement of interest (limit 1 page) summarizing your relevant experience, career goals, and description of how postdoc training will contribute to these goals
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of two (2) references (reference letters will be required for final decisions)
  • Two (2) writing samples (published or unpublished) that best exemplify your scholarly work, along with an explanation of your role in each sample.
  • Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Please contact to Drs. Brent E. Hagel [email protected] and Jennifer Zwicker [email protected], if you have any questions.

The terms and conditions of employment are covered under the UCalgary and PDAC Collective Agreement. To find out more about postdoctoral scholar program at the University of Calgary visit our Postdocs website.  

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary, view our Postdoc Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 36,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-ups. Start something today at the University of Calgary. For more information, visit

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).