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Concordia University is one of Canada’s most dynamic universities in one of North America’s most livable cities. It reflects a unique blend of commitments to diversity, accessibility, social responsibility, and innovation. With over 46,000 students (6,300 international) and nearly 1,700 full-time and part-time professors, Concordia is recognized for offering a rich academic experience combined with strong community engagement.
This is a time of change for Concordia University Library. A new library space was recently inaugurated in the Grey Nuns Building. A major renovation and expansion project is transforming the Webster Library, at the Sir George Williams Campus (downtown), over the period of 2015 to 2017. An innovative technology program is being developed and will contribute to enhance the students experience in the libraries.
Concordia Library recently developed a strategic plan for 2016-2021. Some of the highlights from the plan’s goals and objectives include:
- The transformation of service offerings to provide an outstanding user experience
- The launch of the Concordia University Press to disseminate engaging research in the form of open access scholarly books
- The creation of a platform for the preservation and dissemination of oral history material
- The promotion of research and innovation in library and information studies
In light of this, the newly launched Concordia Library Researcher-in-Residence program has been created to promote research in the library and the use of research by practitioners. The program offers the opportunity for scholars or doctoral students to focus on an area of inquiry in a supportive and enriching environment, and to interact with Concordia Library staff and its resources.
The presence of the Researcher-in-Residence in Concordia Library has as one of its goals to foster a culture of research. It is hoped that throughout the residency, both the researcher and staff will become engaged in the use of research in library practice and the concept of evidence-based librarianship.
The residency period is from January 1 to December 1, 2017. Proposals which include alternative start dates and those of different duration will also be considered.
For the inaugural Researcher-in-Residence program, Concordia Library invites proposals relating to any of the Library’s strategic plan goals as well as the following themes:
- The role of the library in a next-generation university
- The role of the library in the digital humanities
- Collection development in an increasingly connected world
- Use of space for learning and research
- Digital libraries
- Communication and outreach to users
- Efficacy of library instruction
- Professional development and capacity building of library staff
Researchers from library and information studies, as well as other disciplines (e.g., anthropology, computer science, education, informatics, media studies, sociology) are welcome to apply.
As part of the program, Concordia Library will provide:
- Dedicated workspace in Concordia Library
- Access to computing facilities
- Access to library resources, print and electronic collections, and technological infrastructure
- Opportunities for the Researcher-in-Residence to interact with Concordia Library staff
- Other types of in-kind support may be made available
In return, the Researcher-in-Residence is expected to participate in the intellectual life of Concordia Library. This participation may take various forms, including:
- Presenting research in progress to staff
- Providing learning opportunities in the form of seminars or workshops for a campus or library audience on topics related to their own expertise
- Participating in selected activities in Concordia Library, depending upon the relevance to their research, their expertise, and interest. Such activities include:
- Committee meetings
- Special events
- Brown bag talks, seminars, round tables, or other information sessions
- Concordia Library Research Forum
- Meeting individually with librarians and library staff (e.g., office hour drop-ins, or by appointment)
- For a PhD student or postdoctoral fellow, a stipend of $20,000, plus up to $2,500 for travel/research expenses
- For a faculty member on sabbatical leave, research funds of up to $20,000 (budget required)
PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and full-time members of academic staff are eligible to apply. The proposed research should make a contribution to the knowledge base of librarianship, libraries, or information studies. Professors and librarians preparing for a sabbatical are encouraged to apply.
Application and instructions
Applications should include information about the applicant, including the expertise brought to the program:
- Letter of intent, including
- a description of study / project proposal
- Proposed in-library activities (outline of activities to be undertaken during the period of residency)
- Proposed research outputs
- Curriculum vitae
- Short biography (100 words)
- For PhD student applicants, two letters of recommendation are also required. One of these should be from the applicant’s doctoral supervisor. Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically directly by the referee.
- For members of academic staff, a budget should also be included
Submissions will be evaluated by a selection committee composed of the University Librarian and four librarians using these criteria:
- Quality and originality of the proposed research project
- Demonstrated ability to complete the proposed project based on previous accomplishments
- Significance of the proposed research for librarianship, libraries, or information studies
The call for applications closed on August 8, 2016.