Research Assistant (2 roles): Understanding Video Evidence in Criminal Trials for Police-Involved Shootings

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date June 20, 2019
Type Full Time
Company Wilfrid Laurier University
Location Brantford, ON
Category Research / Development
Client Wilfrid Laurier University
Contact Information
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Research Assistant (2 roles): Understanding Video Evidence in Criminal Trials for Police-Involved Shootings

Posting ID : 10955
Apply By : 7/3/2019
Position Title : Research Assistant (2 roles): Understanding Video Evidence in Criminal Trials for Police-Involved Shootings
Department : Criminology
Job Type : Part-time, Limited Term
Campus : Brantford
Position Summary :

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus, university known for academic excellence and a culture that inspires lives of leadership and purpose. Laurier has a distinct commitment to teaching, research, experiential learning, sustainability and scholarship, which combine to address critical challenges in society, business, the economy and the environment – globally and in the communities we serve. At Laurier’s heart is its strong student focus, which results in exceptional levels of student satisfaction and a deep sense of community that lives on through the university’s highly engaged alumni.

Laurier takes pride in building meaningful relationships with colleagues and students. The Laurier community supports one another, encourages collaboration and teamwork and respects work/life balance, all while recognizing the importance of a challenging, rewarding and inspiring career. Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto.

Diversity is one of Laurier’s core values. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.

We currently have an opportunity to join the Laurier community as a Research Assistant (2 roles): Understanding Video Evidence in Criminal Trials for Police-Involved Shootings.
We are seeking two PhD research assistants to join our team on the SSHRC funded project “Understanding Video Evidence in Criminal Trials for Police-Involved Shootings”. The successful candidates will be assigned four criminal trials (two convictions, two acquittals) where police officers were charged with murder or other firearms related offences in on-duty incidents. The RA will be supplied with legal transcripts and/or courtroom video from these proceedings, and will be required to identify and catalogue instances where video evidence is discussed during the trials. The objective of the study is to produce a better understanding of how video evidence is used during criminal proceedings involving police officers accused in on-duty incidents.

The successful candidates will join a team of highly productive experts based in Canada and the United States in the fields of criminology, sociology, and socio-legal studies. RAs will be able to work remotely, but must be able to attend project meetings at Laurier’s Brantford campus on a monthly basis.  RAs will be provided with opportunities and financial support to engage in conference presentations, as well as to lead and co-author manuscripts in consultation with the research team.

Part-time (10 hours per week) 12-months with possible extension to 24-months

Start date: September 1st, 2019

Qualifications : The successful candidates will hold an MA in criminology, sociology, socio-legal studies, or a cognate discipline, and will be enrolled in a similar PhD program. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed comprehensive exams, and have strong foundations in qualitative theory and case-study methodology.

Required Qualifications:


  • A Master’s Degree in criminology, sociology, socio-legal studies or a cognate discipline with appropriate substantive overlap
  • Enrollment in a PhD program and research interest/background in evidence law, police procedures, state violence, etc…
  • Strong background knowledge of qualitative theory and case study methodology as they are used in criminology and/or sociology
  • Strong background, and demonstrated, knowledge of thematic and grounded theory coding and theorizing
  • Experience preparing scholarly presentations (i.e. conference papers, workshop presentations) and evidence of an emergent scholarly publication record (i.e. journal articles, book chapters)
  • Ability to work independently and remotely and to remain on schedule with assigned research tasks
  • Familiarity with software including MS Word, MS Excel, NVivo, and video editing software (i.e. i-Movie, Windows Video Editor, etc.)

Preferred Qualifications:


  • Evidence of mastery in socio-legal studies and qualitative social science case-study methodology as demonstrated through comprehensive exams, publication record, etc.
  • Familiarity with ethnomethodological and/or symbolic interactionist approaches to courtroom interaction
  • Ability to transcribe audio/video data, with familiarity for transcription techniques employed in ethnomethodological or conversation analytic research
  • Previous experience working with legal documents including (but not limited to) court transcripts, notices of motion, rulings, sentencing documents, etc.
  • Strong computer database management skills (i.e. MS Excel)
  • Familiarity with critical race theories

To Apply :

Applications should include a cover letter that includes information regarding the applicant’s current position (i.e. pre-comprehensive exams, completed comps, ABD) and their proposed dissertation topic as well as their suitability for, and interest in, this post; an academic CV; a scholarly writing sample, and; contact information for two academic referees. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Patrick Watson ( in advance of applying, if they have any questions about the advertisement. Interviews will be held at WLU’s Brantford campus on the 22nd of July, 2019, and the successful candidates will begin on September 1st, 2019.

Please Note : Please submit a cover letter and resume.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier’s Employee Success Factors. 

Diversity and creating a culture of inclusion is a key pillar of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Strategic Academic Plan and is one of Laurier’s core values. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any sexual identities and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Employment Equity and Accessibility at We have strived to make our application process accessible however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources at 519-884-1970 ext.2007 or




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