Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Positions

MSc or PhD Candidate Social Epidemiology - Small Animal

The Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College< University of Guelph, Ontario is seeking applicants, at the MSc or PhD level, interested in studying the relationship-centered veterninary medicine with a focus on veterinarian-client and/or veterinary team interactions in small-companion-animal practice.

The successful candidate will receive a graduate level training in veterinary epidemiology and will undertake a graduate research project in the area of relationship-centered veterinary medicine with a focus on clinical communication, veterinary team dynamics or virtual care delivery in small-companion-animal practice.  This experience will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to develop a sound background in the principles and methods of epidemiological research including quanitative and qualitative methods, to broaden their own written and oral communications skills, and to be at the forefront of research into the social side of veterinary practice.  This unique opportunity should provide graduates of this program with significant career opportunities in industry, academia or research.

Statements of interest will be accepted until a successful candidate is identified.

Preferred start date: September 2021.

Applicants must successfully acquire stipend funding for their program ( and meet the academic standards for admissions to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph.  Applicants with experience in veterinary practice will be preferred.  A strong background in the social and/or biological sciences, as well as basic statistics will be an asset.

For further information or to submit a statement of interest including a full curriculum vitae (CV), please contact:

Dr. Jason Coe


Department of Population Medicine

University of Guelph

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

N1G 2W1


Additional information concerning graduate studies in the Department of Population Medicine is available at:


Coursework-based MSc

In the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College the position for a MSc Candidate is available in the Epidemiology program under the supervision of Dr. Cathy Bauman.

Never has the need been greater for individuals to receive training in the principles of Epidemiology and Applied Clinical Research. Improving the success rate and safe use of medical interventions in both veterinary and human medicine is essential to ethical vaccine, drug and surgical procedure development.

This MSc program provides foundational training in the principles of Epidemiology along with specific additional study in the conduction of clinical trials. In addition, this MSc is unique to other coursework MSc opportunities as students will participate in a 3-4 month placement instead of a completing a Project in Epidemiology.

The position starts in September of 2020. Students admitted into the program will undergo two semesters of full-time course work (fall and winter) prior to interviewing for a placement in the spring semester in an area of clinical research of their interest. The program typically is completed in 3 semesters or 12 months.

Students interested in applying will have successfully completed an undergraduate program in high academic standing and have a strong interest in data analysis, quantitative epidemiology and clinical research in either human or animal species.

Review of applications will begin July 30th, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. Please note that coursework MSc positions are typically self-funded. Applicants must meet the admission  requirements into a graduate program by the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph.

Interested applicants should please submit a cover letter indicating their interest in the project and relevant experience, an unofficial transcript, a full curriculum vitae (CV), and contact information for two references to: Dr. Cathy Bauman, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Medicine,
Additional information concerning graduate studies in the Department of Population Medicine is available at:


PhD Candidate

Antimicrobial resistance genes in bioaerosols in Canadian arctic, rural, and urban environments: sources, profiles, transport and fate (Funded by NSERC Discovery Frontiers: AMR in the Environment)

Project overview:

Human activity has been selecting and amplifying bacteria that carry genes for antibiotic resistance. Bioaerosols, airborne particles of biological origin, are understudied as reservoirs and propagation sources of antibiotic resistant microbes. They are found everywhere, emitted from natural and man-made sources such as agriculture, water, plants, and industrial activities and can lead to long distance transmission of biological agents. The potential impact of human activities on spreading of antimicrobial resistance through the air must be better understood to fill appropriate risk and prevention models. Various sampling strategies will be deployed across Canada at various sites (urban, rural, arctic) and long-distance transport and high atmosphere antimicrobial resistance content will be addressed. The program will fill huge gaps in the understanding of the spreading and exposure of antimicrobial resistance through bioaerosols in Canada. An important outcome will be to add bioaerosols to risk assessment models and determine appropriate mitigation/attenuation measure in key areas.


AIM 5: Integrated Assessment Model on Antimicrobial Resistance – role of bioaerosols

Although much work has been done on specific aspects of AMR, critical aspects of the epidemiology of AMR, including multiple exposure pathways, bacterial relationships, co-selective pressures, ARG transmission, and the combined and cumulative effects of antimicrobial use (AMU) in humans, animals and crops have not been well assessed. Many modelling and risk assessment approaches are well suited for synthesizing information for specific questions but not for considering with multiple complex issues. Integrated assessment models (IAM), developed for dealing with complex issues such as climate change, provide a comprehensive mechanism for organizing and processing evidence and the uncertainties that exist for complex systems in an easily interpreted, ordered, and computationally efficient manner. An IAM specific to AMR in Canada (IAM.AMR) has been under development since 2015. The IAM.AMR quantitatively characterizes multiple and linked transmission pathways for the dissemination of AMR among humans, animals and the environment.

Through the proposed work, the existing IAM.AMR framework will be expanded to include dissemination of AMR through aerosols adding to environmental pathways addressing dissemination through water, and manure application to crops and sewage. This process will include new data capture and evaluation, and subsequently populating the IAM.AMR in Analytica (Lumina) with the new data from the other subprojects including far north and hospital environments, and linking to existing swine, poultry and aquaculture pathways, and incorporating information from the short and long-distance transport models. Ultimately the relative importance of aerosol transmission from multiple sources will be assessed relative the contributions of transmission through the food chain, healthcare settings, water, etc. in order to identify optimal intervention points for AMR mitigation strategies.

We are seeking a strong, analytic PhD student to work with key AIM 5 team members at the University of Guelph and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the larger project team, led by the Université Laval, to develop an Integrated Assessment Model of Antimicrobial Resistance exploring the role of bioaerosols. Funding is available for 4 years and the anticipated start date is January 2021.


To apply, please submit a cover letter indicating your interest in the project and relevant experience, an unofficial transcript, full curriculum vitae (CV), and contact information for two references to Dr Jane Parmley, Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph (


Thesis-based MSc Candidate 

Determining the seroprevalence of and associated risk factors for exposure to Cache Valley virus in Ontario Sheep

A 2-year MSc opportunity, ideally commencing in May 2021, is available in the lab of Dr. Katie Clow, Department of Population Medicine. Cache Valley virus is a mosquito-borne zoonotic virus that can lead to abortions and severe fetal abnormalities in sheep. There are currently many knowledge gaps in our understanding of the epidemiology of Cache Valley virus in Ontario. The objectives of this research project are to determine the seroprevalence of Cache Valley virus exposure in Ontario sheep and identify ecological and farm management factors that may increase exposure to the virus. This project will involve conducting longitudinal blood sampling of sheep at selected farms in Ontario and collecting data on the ecological and management features of the farms.  Applicants with a keen interest in vector-borne disease, sheep health and epidemiology are encouraged to apply. A background in animal health and experience handling large animals would be an asset. Strong oral and written communication skills are necessary for success in this program. Selection of the successful candidate is based on a combination of academic excellence, relevant experience and career goals and referees’ evaluations.


This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Infectious Diseases and Climate Change Fund and is a collaborative effort with researchers at Sunnybrook, Sporometrics, Esri Canada, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada.


Applicants must successfully acquire their own funding for stipend support and meet the academic standards for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph.


Applications should be submitted no later than December 31, 2020. To apply, please submit a cover letter indicating your interest in the project and relevant experience, an unofficial transcript, a full curriculum vitae (CV), and contact information for three references to:
Dr. Katie Clow
Assistant Professor
Department of Population Medicine
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
N1G 2W1


Additional information concerning graduate studies in the Department of Population Medicine is available at:


The University of Guelph is committed to an Employment Equity Program that includes special measures to achieve diversity among its faculty and staff. We therefore particularly encourage applications from qualified aboriginal Canadians, members of the LGBTQA community, women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities.


Environmental Microbiology 

Department Pathobiology

Contract Type Full-Time

Contract Length 1 year, January 1, 2021- December 31, 2021

Description of Lab/Group/Area 

Dr. Heather Murphy, who runs the Water Health & Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Laboratory within the Department of Pathobiology in the Ontario Veterinary College and Dr. Ed McBean are looking for a post-doctoral fellow who is
interested in working on interdisciplinary research in the field of One Health with a focus on monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.

Dr. Ed McBean is a Professor of Water Resources Engineering, emphasizing water security and dealing with aspects of risk assessment, statistical interpretation of data, and water security. He is currently one of seven University of Guelph Leadership Chair Professors and a former Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Water Supply Security.

Dr. Murphy recently arrived at OVC and is collaborating with Dr. McBean on monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. In addition, she is looking for support to get her laboratory up and running and to pilot environmental lab methods for a One Health regenerative farming and anti-microbial resistance research proposal under development. She has extensive experience in the field of water and health. For more information about Dr. Murphy’s research program please visit

Description of Position 

The position would involve the following activities among others:

  1. Coordinating and supervising students in the execution of wastewater sampling
  2. Pre-processing of wastewater samples and RNA extraction (possibly running the qPCR assay for SARS-CoV-2)
  3. Assisting Dr. Murphy in setting up her laboratory for molecular methods and training of new students as needed
  4. Development and validation of environmental sampling methods for enteric pathogens
  5. Manuscript preparation
  6. Grant proposal development

The post-doc will independently handle research experiments and projects; execute experimental protocols; maintain records on all experiments and equipment; collecting and organizing data using statistical software packages; analyzing research results; and preparing results for presentation at meetings and conferences. The position would involve developing qPCR or ddPCR assays as well as contributing to grant proposal writing and publications, as needed.
Dr. Murphy is committed to providing meaningful professional development opportunities for her team. She has an active research program still running in the United States for the next several years. The post-doctoral fellow will have the opportunity to engage with Dr. Murphy’s US-based team including collaborating on a large NIH funded randomized controlled trial, SARS-CoV-2 monitoring for the city of Philadelphia and other projects.

Expected Candidate Experience 

Required Education and Experience:

  • PhD in a relevant field (microbiology, environmental engineering, environmental health etc.) and at least 2 years of related lab research experience, preferably in the field of environmental microbiology. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated ability to perform qPCR/ ddPCR assays, preferably for environmental (protozoa, bacterial and viral) pathogens in water sources.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and conduct experiments, and analyze results utilizing statistical software.
  • Demonstrated ability to keep accurate research records.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively interact with diverse groups of students, faculty and staff.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.


  • Demonstrated ability to develop culture-based assays for bacteria, bacteriophages (MS2)

Application Requirements

  • Cover Letter
  • CV

Other: In the cover letter please explain how your research experience makes you qualified for the position and how your research interests align with those of Dr. Murphy and/or Dr. McBean.

Special Instructions: Review of applications will start immediately and will be on-going until the position will be filled. Only applicants that meet the minimum requirements for the position will be contacted for an interview.

Contact Information

      Dr. Heather Murphy, Associate Professor

Posting Date 11/27/2020
Closing Date 02/28/2021

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University recognizes that applicants may have had obligations outside of work that have negatively impacted their record of achievements (e.g., parental, elder care, and/or medical). You are not required to disclose these obligations in the hiring process. If you choose to do so, the University will ensure that these obligations do not negatively impact the assessment of your qualifications for the position.

The University of Guelph is the largest employer in Guelph, a city of approximately 130,000 people, located about an hour drive west of Toronto, Ontario. University of Guelph is a top-ranked comprehensive university in Canada with an enrolment of about 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students across approximately 40 academic units. The University is known for its commitment to student learning, innovative research, and collaboration with world-class partners. It is a unique place, with transformative research and teaching and a distinctive campus culture. People who learn and work here are shaped and inspired by a shared purpose: To Improve Life. Reflecting that shared purpose in every experience connected to our university positions us to create positive change, here and around the world. Our University community shares a profound sense of social responsibility, a drive for international development, and an obligation to address global issues.  

The University of Guelph resides on the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people and the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit and we offer our respect to our Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Métis neighbours as we strive to strengthen our relationships with them.

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion ( is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.

 If you require a medical accommodation during the recruitment or selection process, please contact Occupational Health and Wellness at 519-824-4120 x52674.