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The Department of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland is looking for a Masters student interested in working at the intersection of social and natural sciences on issues of pollution. We are looking specifically for a student who is based in the social sciences and able to also do work in the natural sciences, preferably (but not necessarily) with a familiarity with science and technology studies (STS). Ideally, the candidate will have training in sociology, STS, Aboriginal studies, media and communication studies, gender studies, cultural or political geography, environmental studies, anthropology, history, philosophy or related social science as well as a familiarity with field or laboratory science.

The aim of this two-year, fully-funded, thesis-based position is to develop innovative methodologies and research that addresses how to act in environments that are affected by permanent pollution, particularly plastic pollution. The position is with the interdisciplinary Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), which aims to democratize science by involving local knowledge, place-based methods, and collaborations with local people. Students will also be part of the Waste, Science, Technology & Environment (WaSTE) group.The framework in which we approach research is STS; using methods and theories from the humanities and social sciences, the discipline of Science and Technology Studies (STS) studies the construction, premises, values, and consequences of scientific and technological knowledge and practice. In particular, STS looks at the social processes through which scientific and technical knowledge or objects are created, evaluated, and contested, with an emphasis on the normative and political aspects entangled in scientific and technological developments. CLEAR is unique in STS in that we conduct the social study of science, but we also create new technologies and conduct scientific studies. In both cases, STS research at MUN is committed to practices of research and teaching in STS that emphasize politically engaged activities. We aim to foster grounded knowledge that generates practical outcomes in the public interest.

While some aspects of the project are set out in advance, students are welcome and encouraged to find their own area of interest and expertise within the project to develop their thesis around. Funding for all positions is around $17,500/year for two years (the exact amount may shift slightly). This does not cover tuition, though Memorial has one of the lowest tuitions in Canada. International students are welcome to apply. Courses and expectations are outlined on the Department of Geography website. The start date is Sept 1, 2016.

If this opportunity sounds like a good fit, we invite you to send a resume that includes relevant courses, a writing sample, recent university transcripts (unofficial is fine), and a short statement of interest in an email outlining why you are interested in the position and the type of research project you would like to do. Faculty involved in this project include Max Liboiron (mliboiron@mun.ca), Charles Mather (cmather@mun.ca), and Dean Bavington (Dbavington@mun.ca). Please cc all three in inquiries. Position is open until filled; we are looking to fill this position as soon as possible.

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