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Two Black Faculty Positions – Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver – Assistant or Associate Professors

UBC’s campuses are located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Syilx (Okanagan) Peoples and of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) Nations.

The Opportunity

The Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver seeks candidates who self-identify as Black for two tenure-stream Assistant/Associate Professors with an expected start date of 1 July 2024. While appointments are expected to be at the level of Assistant Professor, initial appointment at Associate Professor might be considered for individuals possessing exceptional qualifications.  These two hires are the first of five who will form a Black Faculty Cluster in Quantitative and Environmental Science joining six current UBC faculty members.  We seek two exceptional candidates for this cluster hire initiative: one in Quantitative Science and one in Environmental Science.  Consideration may be given to promising applicants who are very near completion of a doctorate degree by the time of the appointment. This opportunity forms part of the University wide Black Faculty Cohort Hiring Initiative.

Given existing strengths, UBC is well-positioned to become a leader at the interface of quantitative and environmental sciences, which explicitly includes a diversity of thoughts and perspectives. In the face of mounting global environmental challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, there is a need for robust scholarship to elucidate and manage complex socio-environmental systems. Recent advances in technology and methods for collecting diverse types of environmental data provide a critical opportunity to document and detect changes to land cover, air, water, soil, and biodiversity, as well as interactions and feedback among these environmental features. Quantitative approaches from statistics, computer science, and mathematics can be leveraged and further developed in order to process, integrate, and analyze these diverse data streams in both space and time. Critically, the application of big data and quantitative approaches to environmental challenges necessitates a consideration of environmental justice, and the social implications of these approaches. Historically and at present, both data science and environmental policies have perpetuated harm to marginalized communities. It is therefore imperative to include a diversity of perspectives into this scholarship, and the lived experiences of Black scholars position them well to contribute to just and equitable applications of “big data” to environmental research questions.

The Black Faculty Cluster in Quantitative and Environmental Science will provide unique structures that support the continued success of scholars once they arrive at UBC, including: creating a peer-mentorship group program to facilitate connections among new hires as well as between incoming and current Black scholars; providing research support in the form of co-supervised Black postdoctoral fellows; guaranteeing a graduate stipend for each incoming research faculty to support the growth of their lab or research program; and making available resources on transitioning to and navigating life at UBC and in Vancouver as Black people.

The positions require a minimum of a PhD or equivalent in mathematics, computer science, statistics, ecology, botany, forestry, zoology, oceanography, fisheries, biodiversity conservation, environmental economics, atmospheric sciences, chemistry or related disciplines.  You should be a creative, innovative scientist, with demonstrated research accomplishments and evidence of commitment to effective teaching.  You will be expected to maintain a dynamic externally funded research program, and to take active roles in teaching and the supervision of trainees (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers).

The candidate in Quantitative Science should have broad expertise in areas including but not limited to:

  • Data-driven mathematical and computational modeling in areas such as ecology, optimization and optimal control, resource management, bio-economics, evolutionary, adaptive and game theory, social dilemmas, and structure populations;
  • Computational science and its applications;
  • High-performance computing and its applications,
  • Model selection and parameter inference.

The candidate in Environmental Science should have broad expertise in areas including but not limited to:

  • Fundamental and/or applied research in areas such as ecology, zoology, botany, soil sciences, oceans and fisheries, forestry and natural resource management, land and food systems, atmospheric sciences, ecosystem modeling, environmental chemistry, social-ecological systems, biodiversity conservation, and energy and climate change;
  • The application of data science and statistical modelling tools to address fundamental questions in environmental sciences.

Candidates need not fulfil all the requirements above, a broad spectrum of expertise across disciplines would be desirable. Interdisciplinary candidates are encouraged to apply. Candidates with interests in aspects of both Quantitative and Environmental Science are particularly sought. Candidates will be appointed in a UBC Faculty of Science department or research institute appropriate to their disciplinary expertise. Joint appointments across departments/institutes will also be possible.  For more information on the Faculty of Science departments and institutes see: https://science.ubc.ca/departments and links therein.

Application Process

Pursuant to Section 42 of the BC Human Rights Code, this search will be restricted to qualified Black scholars. We welcome applications from Black scholars who may also identify as Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, Inuit) Peoples, multi-racial persons, persons with disabilities, women, and/or members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Candidates are invited to self-identify through the Applicant Diversity Survey, which takes approximately two minutes to complete. All questions are voluntary, with an option to decline to answer. Applicants who wish to be considered for this initiative must self identify as ‘Black’ to be considered eligible. All information collected by the Equity & Inclusion Office (EIO) will remain confidential and any reported data will be in aggregate form shared with the Search Committee co-chairs to track intersectional diversity and support and equitable and meritorious search process.

Applications should be submitted through the Academic Jobs Online. Interested applicants must submit all of the following documents:

  • current CV including list of publications;
  • research statement (4 pages single-spaced) describing your work to date and future plans including any interdisciplinary research related to quantitative and/or environmental research.
  • teaching statement (2 pages); 
  • UBC aspires to promote inclusive excellence by supporting and recognizing efforts to advance equity, diversity and inclusion as well as decolonization (EDID) through the academic and research ecosystem. Provide a brief (2 page) statement describing current and future commitments or interests related to EDID. Your comments may relate to lived/living experience, professional work or practice, academic and research activities, and/or community-engagement.  
  • Applicants to these positions are asked to complete this equity survey as part of the application, and candidates must self-identify as a Black person to be considered for these positions. Because the search is limited to those self-identifying as Black, candidates must also provide their name on the survey to be considered.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority for the position. To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, the University gathers information about applicants’ status as either a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen. Applicants need not identify country of origin or current citizenship; however, all applications must include one of the following statements:

  •         Yes, I am a citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  •         No, I am not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada

Deadline for application is Nov 30, 2023.

Any inquiries may be addressed to Susan Allen, sallen [at] science.ubc.ca.

Career Interruptions

UBC acknowledges that certain circumstances may cause career interruptions that legitimately affect an applicant’s record of research achievement. We encourage applicants to note in their applications whether they would like consideration given to the impact of any such circumstances due to health, family, or other legitimate reasons in order to allow for a fair assessment of their research productivity.

Dual Career Inquiries

UBC is committed to supporting candidates within a dual career household. Inquiries about spousal/partner employment may be directed to the Office of the Provost & Vice President Academic at viceprovost.avpaa [at] ubc.ca.

Commitment to Accessibility and Accommodations

The University is committed to creating and maintaining an accessible work environment for all members of its workforce. Within this hiring process we will make efforts to create an accessible process for all candidates (including but not limited to people with disabilities). Confidential accommodations are available on request by contacting Kate Blackburn, blackburn [at] science.ubc.ca.

If you have any questions regarding accommodations or accessibility during the recruitment and hiring process or form more information and support, please visit UBC’s Center For Workplace Accessibility website or contact the Centre at workplace.accessibility [at] ubc.ca.

Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact Kate Blackburn, blackburn [at] science.ubc.ca.