We are seeking highly motivated graduate studentswho want to complete a Master’s or PhD and are interested in conducting research at the intersection of digitalization, financialization, and consolidation in the grains and oilseed and fresh fruit and vegetable sectors in Saskatchewan and Ontario.
The research will contribute to a multi-year SSHRC project, led by André Magnan (University of Regina), Sarah Rotz (York University), and Annette Aurélie Desmarais (University of Manitoba), examining three intersecting processes: 1. Digitalization: the growing importance of digital technologies such as satellite and drone imaging, GPS-guided machinery, robotics and Big Data in agriculture; 2. Financialization: the increasing influence of financial actors and logics in the agricultural sector, and; 3. Consolidation: the increasing concentration of farmland and other agricultural resources into fewer hands. Our research objectives are to analyze how these intersecting trends will transform agriculture, leading to changes in the scale, organization, and business strategies of farms, with implications for farmers, workers, and rural communities. We will also examine how these trends give rise to new actors and new relationships in the agri-food sector, shape farmer practices and subjectivities, and lead to new types of agri-food contestation.
The successful applicants will receive a stipend of $17,500/year (MA) or $20,000/year (PhD) plus research expenses to conduct fieldwork in Saskatchewan or Ontario. Students will be encouraged to pursue additional sources of funding, including scholarships and TAships. The research will form the basis of the student’s thesis or dissertation. As key members of the project team, graduate students will have opportunities to interact with other researchers, present their work in seminars/workshops, and publish in newspapers/magazines and peer-reviewed journals. Selection is competitive and will be based academic performance, experience, and interest in rural studies, agriculture, or science and technology studies.
Applicants should email their queries, including a CV and a letter of interest explaining their interest in digital technologies, rural development, and/or farming, to the researchers listed below. Please note that we will consider start dates of Fall 2023, 2024 or 2025. Students currently enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program are invited to apply.
Applicants wishing to study at York University will be supervised by Dr. Sarah Rotz (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change). Depending on the interests of the student, it may be possible to complete a Master’s in Environmental Studies, Geography, or Science and Technology Studies. Please contact her at [email protected]
Applicants interested in studying at the University of Regina will be supervised by Dr. André Magnan (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Studies). Students may complete their MA in either Sociology or Social Studies, depending on their interests and background. The Social Studies program is appropriate for students with a social science or interdisciplinary background and provides a strong grounding in methodology and theory. Please contact him at [email protected]