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Research Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Psychology Law and Neurodevelopment Research and Policy Group at the University of Guelph

Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan, Director of the Psychology, Law, and Neurodevelopment Research and Policy Group, at the University of Guelph is seeking an outstanding candidate for a Research Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Fellow will participate in the redevelopment and implementation of an identification, screening, and case management toolkit designed to improve recognition of individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in legal contexts, using an implementation science framework. The overall aim of the project is to improve not only identification, but also to enhance the services and supports received by individuals with FASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders in the legal system, and ultimately, improve their trajectories and outcomes. The project involves a specific focus on building and enhancing the legal and clinical community of practice for professionals, agencies, and service providers who support and engage with youth and adults in British Columbia, in partnership with local project partners. This exciting and innovative project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Asante Centre in BC, and the Canada FASD Research Network. The project will be homed in Ontario at the University of Guelph, with both physical and virtual engagement in project activities as allowed an in consideration of shifting public health guidance, including opportunity for travel to B.C.

The successful candidate will work closely with the project principal investigator: Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan at the University of Guelph, our agency lead partner, Meghan Shuurman at the Asante Centre, and co-investigators, including Dr. Jacqueline Pei (University of Alberta), Dr. Mansfield Mela (University of Saskatchewan), and collaborators at the Canada FASD Research Network.

Position Responsibilities and Opportunities

The Fellow will work collaboratively with a dynamic and passionate research and community partner team (Drs. McLachlan, Pei, and Mela) to direct and oversee this project. Responsibilities will include:

  • Participating in multiple research projects aiming to identifying key indicators of FASD in the justice context and stakeholder knowledge, perspectives, and needs
  • Participating in measurement development and evaluation
  • Collaborating in the development and application of an implementation science framework to guide tool development, partner uptake, and evaluation
  • Provision of support and supervision for required ethics approvals, data collection protocols and tools, and data collection
  • Data management, quality assurance, and advanced quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Training and oversight of graduate students and research assistants
  • Active collaboration with community partners, knowledge users, and development of knowledge mobilization approaches

Other opportunities also include access to datasets for manuscripts, grant writing mentorship, and support for the Fellow to develop an independent program of research.

Skills and Qualifications required

Minimum qualifications:

  • PhD in Psychology or a related field
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with others
  • Very organized and detail-oriented
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to produce academic papers and conference presentations

Preferred qualifications and skills:

  • Specialized knowledge, experience, and training in forensic psychology or relevant fields (e.g., criminology, correctional psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology)
  • Specialized knowledge, experience, and training in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders is a plus but there is also much room to learn!
  • Previous experience supervising research assistants
  • Previous experience in measurement development and evaluation
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative methodological and analytic skills and relevance experience
  • Experience with implementation science, knowledge translation, and/or collaboration with community partners
  • Teaching experience and/or experience delivering training or other workshops

Terms of fellowship

The position is available immediately and will remain open until filled. The fellowship position is for one year, with the possibility of renewal pending funding availability. It is expected that the Fellow will also apply for Tri-Council postdoctoral fellowships, for which support will be provided.

Salary will be $60,000 (CAD), commensurate of research accomplishments and experience. Conference support will also be included. Postdoctoral scholars at the University of Guelph have access to many services and benefits including vacation entitlement, participation in the University Extended Health Care and Life Insurance plans.

How to apply

Submit the following to Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan at

  1. A cover letter describing research background and interests, your fit with this position, career goals, and date of availability
  2. Your C.V. outlining publications, awards/funding, and presentations
  3. The names and contact information for three academic or professional references

About the City of Guelph and The University of Guelph

Located in southwestern Ontario (100 km west of Toronto), the City of Guelph is ranked as one of the Top Ten Places to live in Canada. Guelph – a city of approximately 130,000 people – offers the opportunity to live in a community with small-town charm while providing amenities for families and single adults alike. Guelph is a vibrant community and home to a lively downtown core, thriving cultural communities, diverse recreational activities, numerous shopping facilities, and a variety of special events.

The University of Guelph is a top-ranked comprehensive university in Canada with an enrolment of about 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students across approximately 40 academic units. The University is known for its commitment to student learning, innovative research, and collaboration with world-class partners. The unique combination of transformative research and innovative teaching creates a distinctive campus culture that is widely sought after. People who learn and work here are shaped and inspired by a shared purpose: To Improve Life. Reflecting that shared purpose, the university community seeks to create positive change, here and around the world. Our University community shares a profound sense of social responsibility, a drive for international development, and an obligation to address global issues.

The University of Guelph acknowledges the Attawandaron people on whose traditional territory the University of Guelph resides and offers our respect to our Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Métis neighbours as we strive to strengthen our relationships with them.

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.