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Postdoctoral Scholar, Global Research Initiative (GRI) in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources, Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Job ID: 19393

Updated: October 1, 2019

Location: Main Campus

Position Description

Area: Global Research Initiative (GRI) in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources

Duration: One year with the possibility of Extension

Start Date: Immediate

Salary: $55,000 per year plus Plan C Health Insurance Benefits

The Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in Global Research Initiative (GRI) in Life cycle sustainability assessment of unconventional oil resource development: the case of new versus existing technologies.

Job Description:

The research explores both methodological and analytical aspects of comparative technology sustainability assessment with an application on case studies of technologies that are under development under Theme 1 of GRI on Heavy Oil and Bitumen. The Postdoctoral Scholar (PDS) will lead the effort of seeking the best way to assess the life cycle environmental, economic and social performance of unconventional oil and gas resource development informing a shift towards triple bottom line accounting. This will eventually help formulating the coordinates and dimensions of the triple bottom line space of implementability delimited by environmental, economic and social parameters. The space of implementability will be used to highlight the weak links and the selling points of each technology platform supporting decision making by stakeholders.

The PDS will be focusing on defining what should be included under each of the three dimensions of life cycle sustainability assessment answering questions such as: what best defines a social context? What is of interest for industries and policy makers as well as society at large in determining what the economic metrics and environmental metrics should include? Whose cost to include? What are the relevant environmental impact categories to cover?


  • PhD in engineering or related fields with with strong content of environmental science and sustainability of technologies and product systems.
  • Strong analytical skills that are based on a knowledge and experience of working with life cycle assessment and related tools such as life cycle costing and social life cycle assessment.
  • Ability to interface with engineers and other scientists and experience of working with integrating environmental, economic and social data analysis 
  • Computer science background/demonstrated proficiency in programming and visualization tools is a plus
  • Excellent communication skills required to work as member of an interdisciplinary group

To be eligible as a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, you must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five (5) years immediately preceding the appointment. Please review the Postdoc Eligibility Guidelines for more information prior to applying for this position.

Application Details:

Interested candidates should upload their current CV, statement of interests/cover letter indicating which area you are interested in, as well as your availability. Please send contact information for two to three references to Dr. Getachew Assefa (

The position is available immediately and the search will continue until the team is assembled. In assembling the CFREF and / or GRI research teams, aggressive diversity and equity targets are in place. Applications from under-represented groups are especially encouraged.


Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website. For more information about Energy Research at the University of Calgary, please visit Opportunities in Energy Research

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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