Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Animal Welfare/History)

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A postdoctoral fellow position is available starting immediately in the History Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC), under the supervision of Dr. Heidi Tworek. The postdoctoral fellow will be based in the History Department and will cooperate extensively with Drs. Daniel Weary and Marina von Keyserlingk in UBC’s Animal Welfare Program. The Animal Welfare Program was created in 1997 with the mission “to improve the lives of animals through research, education, and outreach.” The research program consists of a wide range of scientific projects to improve the management, housing and handling of farm, companion, laboratory and wild animals.

Work Performed

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Fellow to lead research activities related to the history of breeding technologies and animal welfare in cattle. This research will contribute to the historical portion of a larger interdisciplinary project that examines perceptions, trust and interest in gene-editing technology among and within the milk and beef supply chains from farmers through to consumers. The historical research will focus on understanding perception, trust, and adoption of historical breeding technologies among all interested groups from farmers to consumers. As a result, the benefits of this project are as diverse as the stakeholders involved. A better understanding of the history of perceptions towards breeding and gene-editing technologies will allow for improved interdisciplinary work within the project, will aid communication efforts, and potentially enable enhanced trust in the food system.

Specific activities will include designing and conducting research projects on the historical perception of breeding technologies and gene-editing technologies as well as writing manuscripts and presenting results at industry and academic conferences. The postdoctoral fellow is accountable for the quality of the research data including analysis and interpretation. The position is for one year, with the possibility of extension.


Applicants should have a PhD degree in History, Anthropology, or closely related fields. Candidates should have a strong research record as demonstrated in peer-reviewed publications and experience communicating research to multi-stakeholder audiences. Research experience should include archival research and qualitative analysis of data. Experience with digitized newspapers and mixed methods would be assets but not required. Candidates should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to work independently on research tasks as well as collaboratively with a group of multidisciplinary researchers.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit their CV and names of three referees by email to Please use ‘PDF Application-Animal Welfare, History’ in the subject-line. The position will remain open until filled, but review of applications will start immediately. Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

Given the uncertainty caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, applicants must be prepared to conduct interviews remotely if circumstances require.

Feature Image: Beef cattle in Edmonton Stock yards, [Alta.] Credit: National Film Board of Canada / Library and Archives Canada / PA-048634.

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