Human Dimensions of Sustainability and Resilience – Tier 2 Canada Research Chair


Ideally situated on Mid-Vancouver Island with spectacular views of the coastal mountains, Vancouver Island University is a comprehensive teaching university with approximately 15,000 students across four campuses. VIU proudly fosters student success, strong community connections and international collaborations by providing access to a wide range of programs, from academic undergraduate and master’s to industry-responsive trades and vocational training.

Vancouver Island University invites applicants for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Sustainability and Resilience. Tier 2 Chairs are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. This CRC will aid VIU in achieving the Health, Resilience and Well-being and Resilient Island and Rural Regions foci of the Strategic Research Plan.

Sustainability is a core value at Vancouver Island University. An inherently interdisciplinary topic of study, it also enables the convergence and collaboration of faculty in a number of disciplines. This Canada Research Chair will develop a highly interdisciplinary program of research that brings together the insights from disciplines in the social sciences such as sociology, psychology, geography, and leisure management to understand the human dimensions of environmental sustainability and community resilience. Through collaborative interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work, this CRC will contribute greater insights on how human knowledge, actions, processes and interactions are influenced and informed by natural and cultural systems and places. Potential areas of study may include, but are not limited to, interactions of humans and natural/cultural environments, environmental psychology, conservation, sustainable design and development, community and regional resilience and social innovation.

The CRC will have 75% of their position dedicated to research and 25% towards teaching (equivalent to 2 courses annually). The teaching responsibilities will be determined based on the disciplinary and teaching background of the candidate. The CRC will become a faculty member in the Faculty of Social Science with the potential for some teaching responsibilities in the Faculty of Management. The potential departmental home for the CRC may include either Psychology, Sociology, Geography. Canada Research Chairs are tenable for 5 years and renewable once, after which time, the CRC will become a full-time faculty member. The CRC will be provided with an operating grant for their research program and may apply for Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding.   


VIU’s academic requirements include course delivery, research supervision and institutional service. Duties, responsibilities and expectations of the position will include, but not be limited to:

  • ·       Design and lead a highly interdisciplinary research program;
  • ·       Engage in innovative knowledge mobilization activities to share the results of the research program with a variety of audiences thereby ensuring its impact in society;
  • ·       Participate in the academic programs including the teaching of undergraduate or graduate courses and other educational and scholarly activity;
  • ·       Provide leadership for research and scholarly activity within the institution;
  • ·       Supervise and mentor graduate students in research activities for the Master of Community Planning, Master of GIS and Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management. 

Opportunities for Collaboration:

Vancouver Island University provides an environment for this CRC to thrive. This includes access to faculty in a variety of disciplines, centers and institutes that are highly engaged in research related to sustainability and resilience. Some of these include the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI), the World Leisure Centre of Excellence (WLCE) in Sustainability, the Environmental Psychology Research Lab, the Resilience Lab and ACER (Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research). These Centers, Institutes and Labs engage in numerous projects and knowledge mobilization activities each year providing significant training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The CRC will have access to graduate students in the Master of Community Planning, Master of GIS, and Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management programs. Potential synergies exist with VIU’s other CRC’s and the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development.

Required Qualifications:

The Canada Research Chairs program expects Tier 2 nominees to be within 10 years of having received a Ph.D. (or the highest degree in their discipline); be excellent emerging researchers who have demonstrated particular research creativity; have demonstrated the potential to achieve international recognition in their fields in the next five to ten years; be proposing an original, innovative research program of high quality; and, as a chairholder, have the potential to attract excellent students and future researchers as well as research funding. 

Applicants who are more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree (and where career breaks exist, such as maternity, parental, or extended sick leave, clinical training), may have their eligibility for a Tier 2 Chair assessed through CRC's Tier 2 Justification Process. Please contact for more information. VIU recognizes the legitimate impact that leaves can have on a candidate's record of research achievement and will take leaves into careful consideration during the assessment process.

In addition to the CRC requirements, VIU is looking for demonstrated leadership skills in developing solid working relationships with communities locally, regionally, and provincially; research activities using innovative programs and research methods; research network development; demonstrated commitment to knowledge mobilization; demonstrated research ability with a potential for developing new areas of collaborative research; and experience in teaching and supervising students.

Please Submit:

  • ·       Curriculum Vitae.
  • ·       Cover letter with a statement of the applicant's research highlights, an educational philosophy relating to the position, and the applicant's expected contribution to the University, Faculty and Department.
  • ·       A two-page concept paper describing an innovative research plan. The concept paper must include: Project summary (250 words), Context, Methodology, Engagement with research users and communication of results, and HQP training plan. Please include literature cited (not included in 2-page limit).
  • ·       Name and contact information for three people willing to provide a reference. 

View the full position description and apply online by March 27. 

Equity & Access

This institution is an advocate for equity and is committed to ensuring representation in its community. We welcome applications from members of visible minorities, women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. The institution seeks to maintain its commitment to excellence and recognizes that increasing the diversity of its employees supports this objective.

Vancouver Island University is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. We want to ensure that all participants are able to engage fully in interviews and other activities that are part of the process. If you have any accommodation requests, please email All requests for accommodation will be treated confidentially.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Posted By

Vancouver Island University

Contact Information


Nanaimo, British Columbia



Positions For

One (1) Tier 2 Canada Research Chair

Date Posted

Monday February 25, 2019