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Postdoctoral Fellow in the Youth Health Stream - BC Centre on Substance Use

Posting Expiry


TERM: This appointment will be for a period of one year, with the possibility of extension.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will be expected to apply for externally funded post-doctoral fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, MITACS, and other grant agencies for which they are eligible to apply for funds. Should the Post-Doctoral Fellow be in receipt of externally funded salary support from any of these post-doctoral fellowships, salary will be renegotiated.

JOB START DATE: September 2020

COMPENSATION: $60,000 per annum, as well as health and dental benefits

LOCATION: BC Centre on Substance Use, 400-1045 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2A9
(Given the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the present expectation is that the Fellow will be primarily working from home)

JOB: The Fellow will be expected to design and implement studies under the supervision of the Principal Investigator (Dr. Danya Fast), while also contributing to existing studies. Focus will be on qualitative and anthropological research projects with young people who use drugs and those who provide care to this population, including: (1) a longitudinal examination of youth’s addiction treatment engagement and trajectories across time in the context of the overdose and COVID-19 crises; and (2) a longitudinal examination of the impacts of a transforming landscape of substance use services and systems of care and control for adolescents and young adults in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. This post will suit recent PhD graduates with strong research skills who are seeking to advance an academic career in public health and health services research. The Fellow will be responsible for preparing grant and fellowship applications, and analysing and writing up existing qualitative data, working under the direction of the Principal Investigator. The Fellow will play a role as needed in coordinating program activities, maintaining research records, and contributing to the management and analysis of qualitative data. The successful candidate will receive additional training in advanced qualitative and anthropological research methods.

ORGANIZATION: The BCCSU is a Vancouver-based provincial resource for evidence-based information and treatment guidance in the field of substance use. In addition to building on the BCCSU’s seminal work by cultivating a robust body of evidence in this area, the BCCSU is committed to translating leading edge research into improved substance use care across BC. To this end, the BCCSU develops evidence-based training curricula, program standards, and practice guidelines while networking regional health authorities, researchers, educators, and care providers and other allied care professionals across the province to ensure that research and innovation efficiently reach the communities they are intended to serve.


  • Preparing fellowship and grant applications;
  • Coding and analysing qualitative and ethnographic data using data analysis software;
  • Contributing to and leading the development of academic outputs, including peerreviewed journal manuscripts and conference and community presentations;
  • Supporting the preparation of research reports and other KT activities;
  • Participating in other research and/or teaching activities that the PI and Post-Doctoral Fellow identify together and contributing to broader research endeavours of the BCCSU;
  • Assisting the Principal Investigator and Research Coordinator with various administrative tasks associated with the day-to-day operations of qualitative research studies (e.g., grant reporting);
  • Liaising with, and coordinating and leading professional meetings among, community organizations, researchers, and other stakeholders;
  • Supporting, developing, and evaluating strategies that encourage community, researcher, and other stakeholder participation in research activities;
  • Developing a network of colleagues, including nationally (in Canada) and internationally;
  • Assisting with teaching and mentoring of students and graduate trainees, where opportunities arise;
  • Keeping current with developments in youth health and in the area of substance use research;
  • Conforming with ethical standards in research; and
  • Performing other duties as required.


  • Minimum of a PhD degree in (Medical) Anthropology, (Medical) Sociology, or Public Health;
  • Clear understanding of the academic research process acquired through practical and/or academic experience;
  • Experience in organizing, coordinating, and managing research projects and/or grantbased research programs;
  • Excellent research skills, with an ability to analyse results;
  • Strong understanding of qualitative, ethnographic and/or community based participatory research methods, and experience collecting and reporting qualitative and ethnographic data;
  • Experience in preparing peer-reviewed publications, reports, and communication materials;
  • Strong knowledge and/or experience in youth substance use, public health, health services, housing systems or related research fields;
  • Experience working with affected populations in research activities, including people who use drugs and Indigenous people;
  • Excellent organization, implementation, and networking skills;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • An understanding of and sensitivity to diversity issues;
  • Experience in qualitative data analysis software (NVivo); and
  • Experience in Microsoft Office suite and database management.

Included in your letter of submission:

  • Cover letter outlining experience and interests
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Academic writing sample
  • Names of three references

Cathy Chabot, Youth Health Research Manager
BC Centre on Substance Use

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications will start being reviewed September 1, 2020 until positionis filled.

Note: The BCCSU encourages applicants from Indigenous or other culturally diverse backgrounds.
Applications received without a cover letter will NOT be considered. Only candidates who are selected for an interview will be contacted.