We are hiring! Seeking a postdoctoral research fellow

November 2021: PWHS is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to lead work on evidence syntheses (including systematic reviews, meta-analyses, scoping reviews, and briefing notes) in the area of occupational epidemiology and work and health research to inform policies and practices. One key project, for example, is a synthesis of the scientific evidence on the relationship between occupational exposure to asbestos and the risk of gastro-intestinal cancers to inform compensation policy.

Housed within the Faculty of Medicine, the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) is an innovative unit structured around four divisions (Occupational and Environmental Health; Health Services and Policy; Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health Practice; and Health in Populations) that provides multidisciplinary opportunities for researchers, learners and decision makers to develop creative evidence-based strategies to solve public health issues. Operating within SPPH, PWHS brings together researchers, policymakers, and data resources from SPPH, WorkSafeBC (the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC), and external partners to address current and emerging issues of work-related health and workers’ compensation in innovative ways, using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

The primary activities of the postdoctoral fellow include:

  • Lead evidence synthesis methodologies, including:
    • Organize and structure evidence synthesis protocols according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, in consultation with the project advisors, lead and collaborators;
    • Develop evidence search strategies and inclusion/exclusion criteria for evidence synthesis projects;
    • Conduct evidence search strategies and screen abstracts and full-text articles relative to the inclusion/exclusion criteria to assess their suitability for an evidence synthesis to respond to the research question(s);
    • Use data extraction software such as Covidence, and validate data abstraction and assess the quality of studies;
    • Work with investigative teams and collaborators to develop occupational exposure metrics across studies for meta-analyses, including for asbestos exposures;
    • Conduct meta-analyses to respond to the research questions on relationships between occupational exposures and cancers, specifically occupational asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal cancers;
    • Lead and organize internal research team meetings including meeting with funder and other stakeholders (agendas with decisions/action items);
    • Plan and write briefing notes for the investigators, interim reports for the funder, slide presentations for policy makers;
    • Develop and maintain comprehensive study/methodological documentation;
    • Troubleshoot and problem solve for projects, as necessary.

  • Co-author and author publications for peer-review journals.
  • Coordinate and assist with the preparation of new evidence synthesis research grant application(s).
  • Participate in knowledge translation (KT) activities.
  • Participate in team meetings.
  • Contribute to PWHS academic activities and to the SPPH academic community.



  • PhD or equivalent degree in epidemiology, occupational hygiene, or related health sciences preferred.


  • Minimum of five years of experience using evidence synthesis methodologies and research software/tools (e.g., Covindence and STATA software) is required (and as demonstrated by authorship on systematic review publications, conference presentations, or letter of support from previous supervisors).
  • Research experience related to occupational hygiene, and in particular occupational exposure assessment, is preferred.
  • Experience collaborating as part of a multi-disciplinary and international research team, and attention to detail for methodological documentation, are assets.
  • Experience writing for publication in academic journals is preferred.


  • Ability to write in explanatory and procedural styles for multiple audiences.
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Ability to exercise initiative, judgment, and discretion.
  • Ability to analyze and effectively resolve issues.
  • Interpersonal skills including the ability to work effectively independently and in a team.

The position reports to Dr. Mieke Koehoorn. Work will be reviewed for soundness of approach, analysis, and manuscript preparation. The incumbent may receive specific guidance for the research methods from the project investigators and collaborators.

This position requires a considerable degree of research experience, creativity, industriousness, and independence to complete the research deliverables within the 12 month time period with an international team of investigators and collaborators.

Errors in judgement may have significant influence in the ability of the research team to meet critical deadlines, as well as compromise the results of research project. Poor decisions may be damaging to the reputation of the Principal Investigator, the School, and the University and could lead to incorrect or inappropriate policy recommendations being made. Incorrect meta-analysis or interpretation of findings can adversely impact the results of a study, resulting in rejection of manuscripts.

This position will be responsible for access, collection, use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996) and other UBC privacy and security policies. This position requires employees to work under strict confidentiality requirements; internal procedures and policies to protect personal information must be followed and adherence to these requirements will be regularly reviewed by the employer.

To apply

Please apply by December 16, 2021 via the UBC Faculty Careers website. This is a one year term appointment with a possibility of an extension to a second year. Please note that while the posting end date is December 13, applications will still be accepted until 11:59 pm PST on December 16.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

School of Population and Public Health
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-2772
Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-8544

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