Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Positions

Project: Exploring horse owners' implimentation of biosecurity measures during the COVID-19 pandemic

Applications are invited for a thesis-based MSc position within the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, co-supervised by Dr. Kelsey Spence and Dr. Terri O’Sullivan. The anticipated start date is Fall 2021.

The importance of implementing infection prevention and control measures, such as handwashing, vaccination, and quarantine, has come to the forefront because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased focus on infection prevention and control provides a unique opportunity to explore whether experiences with human infectious diseases can translate into the uptake of positive health behaviours when caring for horses. This research will use mixed methods approaches (qualitative interviews and quantitative epidemiological studies) to investigate the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of biosecurity practices among horse owners. The findings will build on the current understanding of biosecurity usage at equine facilities by adding a One Health component, exploring whether infection prevention and control concepts within human and equine health are interlinked.

The successful candidate will have a BSc in a related subject area, excellent English language communication skills (both verbal and written), strong analytical skills, and a keen interest for the subject area of this research. Prior experience with horses and/or horse owners would be considered an asset. Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph.

Interested applicants should please submit a cover letter, a recent curriculum vitae, an official or unofficial transcript, and contact information for two references to: Dr. Kelsey Spence, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Medicine, Review of applications will begin on July 30, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.


RA Position

Second reviewer needed for scoping review of comprehensive student/program evaluation frameworks

We are seeking a graduate student in Population Medicine to serve as a second reviewer for a scoping review of program evaluation frameworks in university and college education. The position will be 10 hours/week and co-supervised by Dr. Jane Parmley and the PhD candidate leading this project, Carrie McMullen. 


This scoping review aims to characterize methods that are used to assess student learning outcomes or competencies in higher education, as well as methods that assess program-level learning outcomes or competencies. At the University of Guelph, new One Health under-graduate and graduate programs continue to be developed. These new programs are based on a competency framework, which outlines the knowledge/skills/attitudes/beliefs that students should be able to demonstrate at the end of the program. Therefore, the identification of methods to assess learning outcomes or competencies will help to develop a framework for assessing the ability of these programs to train future One Health professionals.


Applicants with experience working on scoping and systematic reviews in DistillerSR are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those applicants with experience/knowledge of learning outcomes, competencies and/or evaluation frameworks. Selection of the successful candidate will be based on a combination of interest and relevant experience. The position will start in mid-July and continue until the scoping review is completed (approximately 2 months). The successful applicant will be paid $17/hour.


To apply, please submit a cover letter indicating your interest in the project and describing your relevant experience by July 5, 2021. Applications should be submitted to: Dr. Jane Parmley, Associate Professor, Department of Population Medicine,

MSc Position
Research to investigate the representation of equity, diversity and inclusion in veterinary medical literature and colleges in Canada and the USA.

Interested and qualified applicants are invited to apply for a MSc position in the Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.

This research will investigate the current state of the representation of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in veterinary medicine using the methodologies of systematic review and content analysis in the scientific literature and on websites of veterinary colleges in Canada and the USA. The principles of EDI in veterinary medicine are an important yet presently under researched area.  This project presents an exciting opportunity to develop our understanding and appreciation of a crucial aspect of veterinary medicine. This project will provide a basis upon which future research is conducted.

As a part of the prescribed and elective courses and the research components of the graduate MSc degree program, the successful applicant will gain experience and develop a sound understanding in: veterinary epidemiology;  the use of effective research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative); preparing and submitting manuscripts for publication; and presenting scientific work to a wider audience.

Preferred qualifications and attributes for the successful candidate will include: an excellent academic record; the ability and desire to work collaboratively in a team; excellent reading, writing, comprehension and communication skills in English; and a keen interest for the subject of this research. A background in previous research methodologies, statistical analysis and coding would be an asset.

The anticipated start date is September 2021. The position will be held open until a suitable candidate is found. A stipend will be provided for a two year full time MSc program and based on academic performance, there is potential for a successful applicant to transfer to a PhD program of study.


To apply, please forward the following documents via email:

1. a cover letter with a statement of your interest in graduate studies, including your research and career goals

2. curriculum vitae with a detailed description of your academic courses and research experience  

3. copies of official or unofficial academic transcripts

4. contact details of at least two referees.


Please send all applications to:

Dr. Deep Khosa

Associate Professor

Department of Population Medicine



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:


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.