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Postdoctoral Fellowship

Department: School of Creative Industries
Position supervisor: Dr. Cheryl Thompson
Contract length: June 15, 2021 to June 15, 2023
Hours of work per week: Maximum 36.25
Position type: Postdoctoral fellow
Rate of pay: $50,000/yr for 24 months (not renewable)
Deadline to apply: May 1, 2021

About Ryerson

At the intersection of mind and action, Ryerson is on a transformative path to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. Integral to this path is the placement of equity, diversity and inclusion as fundamental to our institutional culture. Our current academic plan outlines each as core values and we work to embed them in all that we do.

Ryerson University welcomes those who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will assist us to expand our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. In addition, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment in Canada, we encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, Indigenous peoples of North America, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

As an employer, we are working towards a people first culture and are proud to have been selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and a Greater Toronto’s Top Employer for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. To learn more about our work environment, colleagues, leaders, students and innovative educational environment, visit, check out @RyersonU, external link, @RyersonHR, external link and @RyersonEC, external linkI on Twitter, and visit our LinkedIn company page, external link.

About the program/department/team

The successful candidate will lead a major research study of Ontario’s Black archives that will involve field work, data collection, critical analysis, and collaboration with a team of graduate research assistants. The aim is to create a defined record of Black Ontarian history located in the province’s public archives. The Postdoctoral fellow will catalogue data collected at public archives, engage in data analysis, and assist in the creation of a formulated comprehensive database of Black Ontarian collections. The candidate will be housed in the School of Creative Industries, Faculty of Communication & Design.

The opportunity

The successful candidate will be based at Ryerson University, and supervised by Dr. Cheryl Thompson. In collaboration and with the guidance of the supervisor, the Postdoctoral Fellow will be responsible for:

  • Developing a research plan for the project alongside Dr. Thompson;
  • Establishing where and what public Black collections are held, who the archivist(s) and/or librarians(s) and/or custodian(s) contacts are at each site;
  • Contacting collections and establishing a visitation plan for data collection;
  • Travelling (when permitted) to each archive where digital collections are not available;
  • Conducting primary and secondary data collection as it relates to the research project;
  • Helping to organize annual project-related events;
  • Other activities as required.


Candidates must have a PhD (or will defend their dissertation before or shortly after the project start date) in communication studies, media studies, archival or information studies, digital media, art history, or any related discipline;

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of, and experience working with Black archival collections (not limited to Ontario) or underrepresented collections;
  • Strong theoretical interest in Black Canadian history or critical race theories, archives, data-collection and community-engagement;
  • Strong skills and experience in research creation, collaboration, handling archival materials, and communication with librarians and/or archivists;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Strong organizational, time management, and project management skills;
  • An ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

How to apply

  • A cover letter describing your scholarly expertise and experience working in Black and/or underrepresentated collections;
  • A detailed and up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  • A 1-page statement of research interests (beyond your dissertation research);
  • Unofficial transcripts from your doctoral program;
  • Contact information for two (2) referees.

Submit your application as a PDF file to

Candidates must indicate when they have (or will) defend their dissertation.

All applications are welcome but only potential candidates will be contacted.

Ryerson’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

We encourage all First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples or Indigenous peoples of North America, to self-identify in their applications and also reach out to Tracey King, Aboriginal HR Consultant for support during the selection process.

Please watch a message from Ryerson's Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion for more information on our commitment to equity.