MA Opportunity at the University of Calgary – Help Understand the Future for Carbon Dioxide Removal in Canada by Researching the Past

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Help Understand the Future for Carbon Dioxide Removal in Canada by Researching the Past Graduate Studies Opportunity for students with a BA in Energy History/Canadian History/History of Science and Technology

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary has multiple opportunities for students to pursue their Master of Arts (MA) with dedicated funding within a large multi‐disciplinary, and multi‐institutional project on Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) as part of Canada’s 2050 net zero goal. Students will receive a stipend of $18,000/year over two years and have the opportunity to interact with students from natural and applied sciences, law, and business.

Project Description

What role does society play in energy transitions and how do Canadians view and react to deployment of new technologies, including CDR, to attain net zero by 2050? This question is especially pertinent in light of repeated climate‐change‐driven crises that are impacting public opinion and priorities. Can historical examples of technological innovation and/or energy transitions teach us how to, or how not to, manage such a journey? The development of a historical case study on the social implications of technological shifts in Canada will provide context and insights into the potential of enabling the sustainable, equitable and rapid deployment of new CDR technologies. Results of this work will be presented in a research report that assesses historical technological precedents and energy transitions as a means of exploring the future of CDR technologies.

Graduate Supervisor

Dr. Petra Dolata is an energy historian researching 20th‐century energy histories in Western Europe and North America as well as the history of energy transitions.

Project Specific Responsibilities

  • Perform historical study of energy transitions and/or technological innovation, including archival research
  • Translate archival research and findings into an academic summary, relating forward to CDR
  • Support Dr. Petra Dolata in her research on the history of energy transitions
  • Interact with an interdisciplinary team including social scientists, engineers, law students, and policy makers on the results of both their work and the work of others through project meetings and symposiums.


  • BA in History – Ideally with experience in the History of Science and Technology; 20th Century Energy History; or 20th Century Canadian History.
  • Be willing to study in‐person at the University of Calgary, Alberta.
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency and academic writing ability.
  • Demonstrated experience in translating historical evidence into academic reports and/or papers.
  • Ability to work independently in a research setting
  • Proficient in the use of the MS Office Suite and Zotero

How to Express Interest?

Candidates should email Dr. Petra Dolata (pdolata [at] ucalgary . ca) by January 10, 2023 and indicate how their research interests and experience are suited to this funding opportunity. Successful candidates will be students with a passion for contemporary history, who are interested in examining how the history of energy and/or technologies relates to climate change and the various approaches to address it. Ideally, they would be looking to continue their studies or work in the energy, technology, or environmental fields.

Although the funding package is tied to the researcher, prospective students must follow the formal application process for graduate study at the University of Calgary and meet the terms of admission for the thesis‐based MA in History. For more information please visit:‐students/graduate

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting an application package. Only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

We recognize that a diverse graduate student community benefits and enriches the 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 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 support our progress, we will be asking qualified applicants to self‐identify in a voluntary survey. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next‐generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can‐do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information on graduate studies at the University of Calgary, visit

Feature Image: “Trees at the University of Calgary EEEL Building: Calgary, Alberta 2014” by DeepRoot Green Infrastructure is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
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Stacie Banks

Project Manager - Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), University of Calgary

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