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Research & Employment Opportunities

Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research Assistantships

The improvisation project provides distinctive opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in a collaborative and stimulating interdisciplinary environment, with placements available at three of the project’s partner institutions: University of Guelph, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia. With generous support from SSHRC’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) program, the project will fund over 200 graduate researchers over a seven-year period between 2007 and 2014.

Participation in the development of innovative and sophisticated approaches to gathering, analyzing, and disseminating knowledge is encouraged through the active involvement of students in every phase of project planning and implementation. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines in ways that will position them as integral participants in defining and shaping a new field of inquiry. All students associated with the project receive extensive training and support as junior researchers and scholars through involvement with projects such as conference organization, journal editing and administration, website design, policy analysis, and archival and in-field research. In this way, students are not only given opportunities for professional development through important research and administrative positions; they also work actively in a rich, collaborative environment fueled by the motivating interactions of leading practitioners and scholars. Throughout the tenure of the project, students from a wide range of disciplines, and from different institutions, are provided with opportunities to interact with one another at regular colloquia meetings, via the research-intensive website, and at the summer institutes.

For more information, please see our Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research Assistantship posting.


Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice is an interdisciplinary research project investigating the social value of improvisation. Postdoctoral fellowships for this project support the most promising new scholars in the emerging interdisciplinary field of critical studies in improvisation and assist them in establishing a research base at an important time in their research careers.

This project seeks to contribute to interdisciplinary research and graduate training in this emerging field. Applications from researchers working in the principal research areas related to our project are encouraged: music, cultural studies, political studies, sociology and anthropology, English studies, theatre and performance studies, French studies, law, philosophy, and communications. Applications from different research areas are also welcomed, inasmuch as their research has a direct link with the social, cultural, or political implications of improvised musical practices.

This project is particularly interested in critically informed interdisciplinary research proposals that are prompted by the theory and practice of contemporary improvised music and its related social implications. The research program seeks to create a climate of genuine intellectual excitement where scholars pursue research projects and participate in collaborative research activities as part of a broader network of critical practice. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to participate in project seminars, institutes, and annual colloquia, and will benefit from the stimulating intellectual environment provided by both an extensive and inter-institutional research network and a wide range of community partners. Postdoctoral fellows play an active role in planning the activities and research of the project.

For more information, please see our Postdoctoral Fellowship posting.

Improvisation is, simply put, being and living this very moment. No one can hide in music, and improvising in music is to be truly in this very moment and being completely yourself, with all your qualities and faults. It is probably the most honest state for a human being to be in.

– John McLaughlin in an interview with Daniel Fischlin.