Community-based PostDoctoral Fellowship on municipal food governance and food security

The Municipal Network on Food, a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform, in collaboration with Saint Paul University, is seeking a full-time Community-based Post-Doctoral Fellow to provide coordination, research and knowledge mobilization in support of the general operations of the Municipal Network on Food. 

This position requires a PhD in a relevant field (within the last 5 years). The successful candidate will become a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Saint Paul University, supervised by Amanda Wilson in addition to working closely with the MNF Steering Committee lead, as well as members of the Civil Society and Social Movement Engagement in Food Systems Governance Research Project. 

About the Municipal Network on Food

The Municipal Network on Food (MNF) is a developing network of community organizations, food policy councils and municipal staff aiming to work at a municipal/city/region level (urban, rural, remote) across Canada, with recognition this work occurs on native lands.  To date, the Municipal Network on Food (MNF) project has been led by a team of committed volunteers.

This project is working towards:
– Increased strategic alignment across national, provincial and regional/municipal councils and networks on approaches and action to reduce food insecurity and promote sustainable food systems.
– Increased and ongoing commitment and resources by municipalities on food planning, policy and programs, including dedication of staff resources. 

Currently funded by the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security and housed at Tides Canada, with pending matching funds from a Mitacs Post-Doctoral Fellowship grant, the goal of this 3-year initiative is to consolidate learning within a growing network, to concretely address household and community food insecurity at the municipal/city/region level in Canada by:

  1. mobilizing knowledge of community groups, municipal staff, local food policy council members and research partners working at the municipal level on the broad issues underlying food insecurity and,
  2. building capacity and strategic alignment between municipalities, provincial associations and national level institutions/networks around existing best practices and innovative solutions that municipalities and/or communities can implement to enhance food security.

These two mutually reinforcing streams of work will enable individuals working on food policy and food systems at local levels to scale up, scale out and deepen their impact for greater food security in Canada, not only affecting work at the municipal level, but additionally building capacity to bring leading municipal expertise to provincial and federal tables.

With recognition of current Indigenous food sovereignty work happening, the network, (at present largely non-Indigenous to Canada), desires to work in partnership with Indigenous communities on reducing food insecurity and promoting sustainable food systems and will seek ways to do so respectfully, supporting work already being led by Indigenous communities.

Required Skills and Experience:

The PostDoctoral Fellow will require skills in coordination, consensus building, community and partnership development, communications, research as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in food systems action, food policy and strategic thinking.

  • The candidate must have a PhD, obtained within the last five years.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in project management working in a First Nation Band, non-profit organization, a municipality, or community enterprise.
  • Demonstrated collaborative skills working with diverse groups and supporting inclusion;
  • Commitment to social, economic and environmental justice;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of household and community food insecurity, food action, constructive engagement principles, and community development approaches;
  • Demonstrated ability to work well within collaborative structures/networks/coalitions;
  • Experience in community and public engagement including meeting and group facilitation and event planning;
  • Working knowledge of local/regional government with an understanding of how to constructively engage with diverse partners to create public policy change and strategic action;
  • Demonstrated ability in research, data analysis and report writing;
  • Strong knowledge of MS Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, teleconferencing.
  • Fundraising and partnership development experience, including proposal and report writing.
  • Familiarity and understanding of the Canadian food policy context.
  • Experience working with diverse sectors, including elected officials, public service, non-profit and community-based organizations, academic institutions and private sector with an understanding of the diversity across different jurisdictions in Canada.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and be a self-starter.
  • Candidates must be eligible to work in Canada.

The position will engage with both English and French-speaking stakeholders across Canada and requires strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Exceptions on French language skills may be made if a second position is filled with a bilingual candidate. Even then, preference will be given to candidates who are able to read and speak French in order to exchange with French-speaking communities.


The PostDoctoral Fellow will be responsible for coordinating research, engagement, communications, planning and reporting in the work the network sets out to achieve.

Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Planning/Action:

  • Working with network partners to initiate the design of a comprehensive stakeholder engagement strategy that aims to build support for the network’s work on food insecurity at the municipal/regional/city level.  The engagement plan should ensure active and inclusive engagement of diverse stakeholder groups from across municipal and First Nations government, community organizations, researchers and food councils.
  • Work with network partners to advance on-going document creation (policy inventory, case studies) processes (engagement on strategy) and relationships (i.e. elected officials, other provincial and national networks) in order to build and maintain momentum around aligning on strategies to reduce food insecurity
  • Identify and assist with action on opportunities to strengthen the link between network partners and broader stakeholders
  • Support capacity building opportunities for network members, including facilitating peer-to-peer learning
  • Continually recruit new network partners to engage in work

Project Facilitation and Communication:

  • Facilitate development of Work Plan for network to meet deliverables within timelines.
  • Plan and ensure facilitation of meetings across the network (most often through teleconferencing);
  • Connect people and projects across the network to ensure clear communication and strong coordination;
  • Provide facilitation and coordination to the on-going development of collaborative governance models and processes that best serve the network throughout each phase of work;
  • Identify priority areas of interest for members and facilitate strategic information sharing through eg. webinars or connections with appropriate resources/expertise
  • Coordinate with and among the project evaluator, funder and all components of the project.
  • Manage documentation of financials and completing financial reporting required by Tides Canada and funders.
  • Develop new and revised communications tools and promotional materials needed to support broad engagement across diverse interests
  • Arrange response to media inquiries from within the network.

Research and Knowledge Mobilization:

  • Conduct a variety of research activities in support of the Municipal Network on Food’s objectives, including but not limited to, interviews with Network members, literature reviews, and environmental scans
  • Work collaboratively with members of the Research Project “Civil Society and Social Movement Engagement in Food Systems Governance” to share knowledge and analysis.
  • Assess the current state of municipal policy and governance initiatives seeking to address food insecurity across Canada
  • Produce a variety of knowledge translation and mobilization outputs (both academic and non-academic), including conference presentations, articles, policy briefs and infographics.
Terms of Contract
  • January/February 2020 – August 2022 (We ask that people applying for the position are committed to staying for the full 3-year term)
  • Renumeration: Annual fellowship funding of $45,000.
  • The position will hold the status of PostDoctoral Fellow at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.
  • Schedule is flexible within regular work week, with some early morning and/or evening work required to accommodate diverse time zones.
  • Location: This is an open, decentralized position, but the candidate must be located in Canada.
  • Access to good wifi and owning own laptop and cell phone is required for the position. Additional compensation for cell plan and basic administration costs will be included.
  • This position is conditional upon confirmation of Mitacs PostDoctoral Fellowship funds.

Application instructions:

Applications must be received by January 15, 2020 at 9am EST via email with the words “Application – PostDoc & Coordinator” in the subject line. Early applications are encouraged. Applications must be in PDF format with cover letter, resume and two references all within one document and in English.

In your cover letter, please clearly indicate the following:

  • your language competency in English and French.
  • your availability to start in the position (availability for a January/February 2020 start is preferred)
  • your eligibility to work in Canada.

Questions about the position can be directed to Amanda Wilson (

Applications should be sent to

Interviews will take via video/web technology mid-January, 2020.

Please note that this position is being cross-listed as both an academic and non-academic position. The full posting with details on both version of the position is available here:

Committed to employment equity

Tides Canada and The Municipal Network on Food are committed to employment equity and encourage applications from individuals who identify from within politically, socially and/or economically marginalized groups.  We further encourage applicants to self-identify in their cover letter or application if they are a member of a marginalized community.

About Tides Canada

From Canada’s big cities to its remote land, waters, and rural communities, Tides Canada provides uncommon solutions for the common good. Our mission is to help Canadians secure a healthy environment in ways that promote social equity and economic prosperity. To tackle the complex environmental and social problems that we face in Canada today, Tides Canada provides strategy, expertise, and tools to ensure changemakers can get from vision to impact. The Municipal Network on Food operates as a project on Tides Canada’s shared platform. The shared platform provides governance, human resources, grant and financial management for leading social and environmental initiatives across Canada.

Tides Canada will provide accommodation during all steps of the hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. Please advise us if you need any accommodation.