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Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Pacific Institute on Pathogens, Pandemics and Society 

Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon FraserUniversity
The PhD Fellow will be based in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at Simon Fraser University (SFU). SFU is consistently ranked as Canada’s top comprehensive university. FHS was established in 2005 and is located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples at the SFU Burnaby campus. The Faculty's mission is to improve the health of individuals and populations, through excellence in interdisciplinary research and education, in partnership with local, national and global communities. The Faculty is committed to social justice, respect for human dignity, and equity. Composed of a diverse and dynamic team of more than 50 multi-disciplinary faculty members, the Faculty also maintains collaborative agreements and partnerships with the BC government, regional health authorities, the First Nations Health Authority, research centres, and other health agencies across the province, country and worldwide. 

Pacific Institute on Pathogens, Pandemics and Society
The PhD Fellow will be affiliated with the Pacific Institute for Pandemics, Pathogens and Society (PIPPS) is an interdisciplinary research institute formed in 2021 to strengthen the capacity of the Province of British Columbia to prepare for, respond to, and recover from major infectious disease events that cause severe impacts to population health and well-being. Based at SFU, PIPPS supports research themes on Health and Social Inequities, Emerging and Evolving Pathogens and Analytics and Data Science. The Institute also conducts knowledge translation and rapid evidence reviews. PIPPS works in close partnership with the BC government, BCCDC, regional health authorities and research-intensive universities across the province. 

PhD Fellowship Position
The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to existing shortcomings in global health governance including global infectious disease governance. Many challenges have been longstanding (e.g.poor coordination, power imbalances, need to improve transparency and accountability) while others have emerged from the current pandemic (e.g.commitment to multilateralism, strengthening international legal frameworks). In addition, there is a growing movement to decolonize global health. As a result, the global health landscape is in a state of considerable flux. 

Despite its status as a “middle power”, Canada has played a notable role in global health governance. Alongside substantial financial contributions to support global initiatives and infrastructure, Canada has been an active supporter of multilateral institutions to advance collective action. Yet, during this pandemic, there have also been concerns about inconsistencies in policy and action, notably, on the issue of global vaccine equity.

In this context, the aim of this PhD fellowship is to support research training and scholarship that informs Canada’s evolving role in global infectious disease governance. The focus on the PhD fellowship will be on advancing new knowledge for understanding how Canada might contribute to the rules and process by which shared goals are identified and advanced through collective action among governments and other key players in global health. This might include analysis, for example, of how Canada is contributing to the negotiation of legal instruments; how Canada’s feminist international assistance policy informs global infectious disease governance; how equity has been operationalized in Canada’s participation in relevant global health institutions; and what bilateral or regional relationships shape Canada’s contributions. Overall, the successful candidate will be expected to undertake research related to Canada’s contribution to preventing, controlling and recovering from major infectious disease events. 

The PhD candidate will work under the joint supervision of Dr. Julia Smith and Professor KelleyLee. Dr. Smith is an Assistant Professor who leads the Health and Social Inequities Theme in PIPPS and the Gender and COVID-19 Project. Professor Lee is Scientific Co-Director of PIPPS and currently leading the Pandemics and Borders Project. 

This is a three-year funded PhD fellowship offering an annual stipend of $21,000. There may be additional opportunities to contribute to the work of PIPPS as a research fellow. In addition, graduate students at SFU can apply for competitive funding packages that come from a combination of teaching assistantships, internal scholarships, and external awards. The successful candidate will be encouraged to apply for external awards with the support of their supervisors. 

Candidates will have received training in relevant social science disciplines (notably political economy, political science, international relations/studies, development studies, history, public policy). The ideal applicant will bring knowledge of Canadian foreign policy and, in particular, Canada’s role in global health. They would also have knowledge of global health governance, more broadly, and an interest in understanding institutional arrangements that support global health policy and practice. 

Start Date:  September 2023 

There is a two-step process to apply for this PhD fellowship. Applicants should begin by reviewing the SFU Graduate Studies admission process and requirements (https://www.sfu.ca/gradstudies/apply/applying.html). If the minimum admission requirements are met, applicants should email the following documents to Neda Zolfaghari (neda_zolfaghari@sfu.ca) by October 31, 2022:  a) cover letter describing suitability for this fellowship and research interests; b) curriculum vitae and copy of academic transcripts; and c) names of two academic references. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed shortly afterwards by Dr. Julia Smith and Dr. Kelley Lee. 

The selected candidate would then be supported to formally apply to SFU for admission as a graduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences (https://www.sfu.ca/fhs/graduate/prospective/admissions.html). The deadline for application for university admission is January 15, 2023.