The Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, is offering a post-doctoral opportunity that will support research on Canadian and international climate change and flood risk governance.

Policymakers have started to explore the adoption of “risk-based” approaches to disaster management—such as the use of risk assessments as a condition for disaster mitigation funding—and the expansion of private insurance to replace government disaster assistance. The post-doctoral fellow (PDF) would join the research research team of Dr. Thistlethwaite,  Dr. Daniel Scott and Dr. Daniel Henstra in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change (IC3) to assess the social, political and economic implications of risk-based flood governance in Canada. Multiple funded projects are underway and the PDF would work closely with the research team to complete these projects and translate the findings into academic, policy and industry targeted publications, including comparisons with lessons from international experience with risk-based governance.

The successful candidate will:

  • Work with Dr. Thistlethwaite, Scott and Henstra to produce co-authored peer reviewed journal articles based on recent survey, interview, content analysis and policy modeling studies.
  • Develop plain language and policy reports to target government and industry audiences.
  • Conduct independent research to expand the scope of the projects by examining risk-based policy instruments and drawing lessons from international experience.
  • Develop grant applications to support expansion of the projects in Canada and internationally.


  • Completed all requirements for a doctoral degree by the date of acceptance of the fellowship, in one of the following fields: public policy/administration, political science, management, decision-making, risk-management, climate change adaptation, environmental studies and geography, OR Received a PhD no more than 3 years before the application deadline.
  • Successful publication and grant record;
  • Experience and interests in knowledge mobilization strategies with government and business decision-makers;
  • Candidates with a research background related to disaster management and flood risk are preferred.

Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Starting Date: Fall 2016
Length: 1 year (with potential renewal for up to 2 years)
Available Funding:

  • The applicant will receive a $42,000 fellowship (plus benefits), with the possibility of renewal for an additional 2 years.

Applications will be judged on the basis of the applicant demonstrating:

  • Evidence of scholarly ability and achievement (e.g. publications; awards; grants)
  • Interest and/or expertise in the subject area and countries identified;
  • Expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and/or comparative analysis methods

How to apply: Please e-mail your C.V. and 1 or 2 representative publications to Jason Thistlethwaite (j2thistl@uwaterloo.ca). In addition, please provide two letters of recommendation which should be sent to the same e-mail address. Applicants must have an accredited PhD (expected completion by August 30th, 2016) from an accredited institution.