Graduate Student / Post-doctoral Fellow Opportunity – Integrative Health Institute at the University of Alberta

Graduate Student / Post-doctoral Fellow Opportunity – Integrative Health Institute at the University of Alberta


The Integrative Health Institute ( currently has an exciting opportunity for a PhD student or a post-doctoral fellow.


Study title:  Social and Emotional Wellbeing in Schools (SEWS)


Study Aims: To explore the process and contexts of implementation of mindfulness interventions and evaluate their impact on students and teachers in participating local schools.  The products of this research have the expectation of contributing to improved social and emotional health and academic performance in school-aged children and teens.


Design: A five-year, three-phased approach will be used for this project; earlier phases will inform latter phases.


Phase I: Formative evaluation: Scoping and needs assessment to examine school/program readiness for participation in Phases II and III. Phase I includes interviews and observation to assess characteristics of participantsí perceptions of mindfulness programs offered by local schools. This phase will also involve engagement with stakeholders consistent with community engaged scholarship.


Phase II: Process and outcomes will be evaluated and experiences will be explored in schools that offer mindfulness programs to some or all classes compared to control groups, by qualitative and quantitative means.


Phase III: We will assess schools identified as intending to implement mindfulness programs; and assess pre- and post-implementation of a mindfulness program.  This will be a wedge cluster-controlled trial in which mindfulness is offered in intervention schools/classes and the comparison group will be comparable schools/classes that do not offer mindfulness programs. Phase III will expand our qualitative exploration of the implementation and experiences of mindfulness in school settings, and quantitatively evaluate outcomes in schools in comparison with themselves.


A PhD student would commit to the whole project, a Post-doctoral fellow would renew his/her fellowship on an annual basis.



This an interdisciplinary project co-led by the following individuals:

-       Dr. Sunita Vohra*

-       Dr. Jane Springett*

-       Dr. Veronica Smith*

-       Dr. Billy Strean


Those indicated with a * could be the primary supervisor of the successful candidate.  Dr. Vohra can supervise students enrolled in thesis based programs in: Department ofPediatrics or Department of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry (, or the School of Public Health (  Dr.Springett can supervise students in the School of Public Health (, and Dr. Smith can supervise students in the Faculty of Education (


Candidates will need to meet all application requirements of the program they wish to apply to, including application dates, grades, and prerequisites.  We have no control over the Universityís application procedures.



For the PhD position:

-       Masterís degree in a relevant program;  to be a Post-doctoral Fellow:  A PhD in a relevant program

-       Experience with health research (clinical research) social science /health promotion research or education research (school-based settings).

-       Experience working in Canadian schools

-       Interest in supporting/pursuing mixed methods research (quantitative and qualitative) in a school-based setting.

-       Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential.

-       Excellent scientific writing skills.


Please email if you are interested in exploring this opportunity, including a letter of intent, CV, and copies of transcripts.


Kristen Archbell, DPNet Administrator

Pickering Centre for Research in Human Development