Start Date: August 1, 2023 (flexible)

Contact: Dr. Lauren Sulz, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Application Deadline: February 1, 2023

The Healthy Schools Lab in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) to participate in multiple research projects related to improving health education across Canada. The successful candidate is expected to play a critical role in research related to a SSHRC Partnership Development grant, ‘Creating a Common Vision for Health Education in Canada’. Together with Physical and Health Education Canada, Ever Active Schools and other partners across Canada, the goal of this research is to develop a Pan-Canadian Health Education Strategy that will provide a conceptual framework to build toward a future where all students in Canada experience quality and meaningful health education. The strategy will guide schools on how to improve health literacy, empower healthy choices, and reduce health inequities.

Research Project Overview

‘Creating a Common Vision’ will prioritize quality and meaningful health education in schools across the country through the development of a Pan-Canadian Health Education Strategy that puts our diverse school-aged children at the center. Ensuring that students in Canada can see their identities, histories and experiences in health education curriculum and pedagogy may further support their personal and community health outcomes today and in the future. A Pan- Canadian Health Education Strategy that reflects and affirms students will be developed through a national consultation and engagement process, encompassing four foci for collaborative action, linked to objectives, as follows:

Foci for Collaboration Action Objectives
Instructional Time/ Content To understand the current health education landscape in Canada—including the actual minutes of health education, content taught in K–12 schools—by conducting a Canadian-wide environmental scan of K–12 school health education programs and postsecondary teacher education programs.
Educator Training To consolidate the evidence base by reviewing health education literature and conducting a scoping review encompassing the training and education K–12 teachers receive in relation to health education.
Quality and Meaningful Pedagogy To examine school-community members’ views about pedagogical practices and features to promote and facilitate meaningful experiences in health education.
Essential Conditions To identify essential conditions for implementation of quality and meaningful health education.

Working alongside Dr. Sulz, members of the Healthy Schools Lab, and grant partners, the successful PDF will play a central role in two key projects:

  1. Participate in the investigation of school-community members’ perceptions of meaningful health education using a case study approach in four Canadian regions (north, west, central and east). The aim is to gather conceptual understandings of meaningful experiences as well as strategies for effective implementation, generating recommendations that can support actions necessary to prioritize health education in K– 12 education.
  2. Contribute to the development of the Pan-Canadian Health Education Strategy informed by our data and insights across multiple projects. The PDF will also help create a network to stimulate knowledge product generation, as well as comprehensive national consultation and exchange regarding school-based health education.

Opportunity will be available for the PDF to contribute to other projects in the Healthy Schools Lab, including research related to healthy school communities.

The Healthy Schools Lab

The Healthy Schools Lab was co-founded by Drs. Gleddie, Morrison, and Sulz. The Lab is situated within the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta and focuses on three main objectives: research, education, and action. Our vision is to heighten awareness and understanding of issues and opportunities surrounding health and wellness in the K-PhD education system and contribute to the collective development of a healthy, active society. Researchers at the Healthy Schools Lab are engaged in national research to advance physical and health education approaches and praxis.

Fellowship Responsibilities and Opportunities:

  • Participate in multiple research projects aiming to implement a national consultation and engagement process to develop a Pan-Canadian Health Education Strategy.
  • Engage with required university and school board ethics approvals.
  • Participate in qualitative and quantitative data collection, analyses and writing.
  • Collaborate with grant and community partners, school-community members, and knowledge users.
  • Generation of literature reviews, communications (e.g., develop knowledge mobilization strategies, conference presentations), and co-authorship on all publications.
  • Support for grant writing and developing an independent research program.
  • Access to data through Dr. Sulz’s ongoing research and that of the Healthy Schools Lab.
  • Collaborate with Canadian leaders in the field of health and physical education.
  • Access to seminars, training and resources available at the University of Alberta.


  • Hold a PhD in Education or a related field by the time the PDF begins.
  • Expertise in qualitative, mixed-methods and/or quantitative research.
  • Familiarity with health education in schools.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with school community members (e.g., teachers, students, parents) and grant partners.
  • Ability to produce high quality academic and practitioner-based knowledge dissemination products.
  • The successful PDF will be selected based on their academic excellence, expertise in research design, academic writing potential and alignment with the values and vision of the Healthy School Lab.

Terms of the Fellowship

Funding is available to support a one-year position with possible extension. Opportunities for professional development, networking, and support to attend at least one conference per year will be provided. The salary is $60,000 CDN per annum in addition to the University of Alberta’s benefits package for PDFs.

How to apply:

Candidates who would like to apply for this Fellowship opportunity are invited to submit their application to Dr. Lauren Sulz at Given the nature of the SSHRC grant, only Canadian applicants qualify for this position. Applications should be submitted in PDF or Word formats. In the subject line of the email please include: Healthy Schools Lab Postdoctoral Fellow Position.

Applications should include:

  • Cover letter outlining your fit with this position, research interests, experiences and career goals (2 page maximum).
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • Two to three examples of scholarly work (i.e., publications and/or creative products relevant to your application).
  • The names and contact information for three references (academic and/ or professional).

We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only candidates who are invited for an interview will be contacted. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.