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Postdoctoral Scholar, Faculty of Arts

Job ID: 31606
Location: Main Campus
Updated April 17, 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: Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Child and Adolescent Screen Use and Mental Health.

Duration: 2 years, with possibility of extension.

Start Date: Negotiable start date.

Salary: $65,000/CAD year, plus $5000 in research spending.


Dr. Sheri Madigan (University of Calgary) and Dr. Ross Neville (University College Dublin) are accepting applications as co-supervisors for a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) on grant-funded research investigating the role of screen use on child and adolescent development and mental health through longitudinal data analysis and meta-analytic methods. This dual opportunity will enable the PDF to develop skills in both original research and synthesizing existing literature.

The All Our Families (AOF: cohort at the University of Calgary is a 15-year longitudinal study about pregnancy, parenting, child development, mental health, and well-being. The AOF cohort began in 2008 with the recruitment of 3,200 mothers, who have been completing surveys repeatedly over 15-years. In 2020, the AOF youth began completing surveys alongside maternal surveys. We have secured grant funding to survey and interview adolescents at ages 15 and 17 (2026 and 2028, respectively). Screen time and mental health have been assessed via surveys repeatedly since preschool, alongside a variety of other factors influencing development. With its multi-informant, multi-method, and multi-generational data, the AOF cohort provides an exceptional opportunity for life-course investigation of the relationship between screen time, physical activity, child development, and mental health.

The Growing up in Ireland National Longitudinal Study of Children (GUI: is a 15-year longitudinal study that has been tracking the developmental progress of 10,000 9-month-olds (Cohort ’08) since 2006. The study has provided the Irish government with an evidence base to inform policy decisions on a wide range of issues relating to wellbeing based on data from children and young people living in Ireland (as well as data from their parents). The Irish Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, in collaboration with the Central Statistics Office, is currently embarking on the study’s seventh wave of data collection. Researchers can apply to access anonymized GUI datasets through the Irish Social Science Data Archive, located at University College Dublin. Data on family dynamics, household demographics, socioeconomic status, child screen use, recreational activities, and child and parent mental health have been collected repeatedly since children were 3 years old. Like AOF, GUI provides an exceptional opportunity for life-course investigation into the relationships between screen time, physical activity, child development, and mental health, as well as for potential replication studies in an international context.

Representative publications from these two longitudinal samples, as well as meta-analyses, are below (trainees are underlined):

Madigan, S., Browne, D., Racine, N., Mori, C., & Tough, S. (2019). Association between screen time and children’s performance on a developmental screening test. JAMA pediatrics173(3), 244-250.

McArthur, B., Browne, D., McDonald, S., Tough, S., Madigan, S. + (2021). Longitudinal Associations between Screen Media Use and Reading for Preschool Children. Pediatrics, 147(6).

Neville, R., McArthur, B.A., Eirich, R., Lakes, K.D., Madigan, S.+ (2021). Bi-directional Associations Between Screen Time and Children’s Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 62(12), 1475-1484.

Plamondon, A., McArthur, B.A., Eirich, R., Racine, N., McDonald, S., Tough, S., Madigan, S. + (2023). Changes in Children’s Recreational Screen Time Over the Course of the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Pediatrics.       

Eirich, R., McArthur, B.A., McGuiness, C., Anhorn, C., Christakis, D., & Madigan, S. +  (2022). Association of Screen Time with Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems in Children 12 Years or Younger: A Meta-Analysis. JAMA Psychiatry, 79(5), 393-405.    

Madigan, S., Eirich, R., Pador, P., McArthur, B. A., & Neville, R. D. (2022). Assessment of changes in child and adolescent screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA pediatrics176(12), 1188-1198.

Job Description:

The PDF will work in a collaborative lab environment with other PDFs, graduate students, research associates, research assistants, and volunteers. The PDF will be responsible for preparing and cleaning pre-existing datasets for analysis, conducting advanced statistical analyses, writing manuscripts, and participating in grant writing opportunities. We seek candidates who work collaboratively with cross-disciplinary colleagues and are committed to translating knowledge gained from research into the hands of youth and their families. We view diversity of identity as a strength and resource. We are committed to creating a safe, transparent, and rich lab environment that fosters critical thought through respectful discussion and inclusion.

Outside of the abovementioned tasks, there will be opportunity to launch or engage in additional research studies of interest. The PDF will also be supported, if interested, to develop skills in undergraduate teaching, co-supervision of honours and undergraduate students, knowledge translation and mobilization activities, and to contribute to the lab’s professional development activities. 


•    A PhD in Psychology, Population & Public Health, Epidemiology, or a closely related field.
•    A strong publication record.
•    A background in statistics and longitudinal data analysis, including familiarity with R and MPlus software.
•    Content expertise in mental health.
•    Strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
•    Advanced writing skills.
•    Excellent independent time management skills.
•    Strong organizational, analytical, interpretive and problem-solving skills in order to collect, process, and summarize data.
•    Effective collaborator and team player.

Application Details:

Please send the following application materials in a single.PDF (file name: FirstName LastName_AOFpostdoc): a cover letter that describes relevant training and career goals, CV, up to three representative publications, and names of three references who could provide a letter upon request. Please email your application to  Sheri Madigan ([email protected]) and Ross Neville ([email protected]) with “AOF Child Mental Health Postdoc Application” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

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]).