Assistant Professor in Sustainable Innovation in the Global Fashion Industry
Competition 608

Department Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept
Posted date November 2, 2023
Closing date Will remain open until filled.
Position Type Full Time


Start Date: July 1, 2024

Location: University of Alberta, North Campus, Edmonton

The Position

The Department of Human Ecology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in Sustainable Innovation in the Global Fashion Industry. The University of Alberta is one of the premier research-intensive universities in Canada.  

Research and teaching by an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Innovation in Fashion would address a major dilemma in contemporary society: how can sustainability be compatible with the seemingly insatiable demand of apparel consumers? Ideal candidates will have a strong, systems-based approach to sustainable fashion that examines the relationships between textiles, environment, social systems, sustainable and entrepreneurial design/marketing strategies, and persons, from local to global contexts.

The successful candidate will have a 40 percent teaching appointment, which normally requires teaching three courses each year. These may be at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. However, the teaching load will be reduced in the initial year of the appointment to allow the successful candidate to focus on the development of their research program.


Candidates must hold a PhD in Human Ecology or a field related to the study of Sustainable Innovation in the Global Fashion Industry. Candidates must have already completed their PhD, or expect to receive their PhD by July 1, 2024. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The ideal candidate will have interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise in the global fashion industry. This may include research interests related to topics such as slow fashion, textile re-use, bio-design, life-cycle thinking, design/manufacturing innovation, the circular economy, environmental sciences, social and cultural impact of textiles/apparel in contexts of sustainability, and issues and policy related to international trade agreements. Expertise in emerging sustainability-driven advances that contribute to the production, distribution, mediation, and/or consumption and disposal of textiles and apparel is sought. A research program with strong links to the sustainable development goals, environmentally sustainable fashion systems, awareness of socio-cultural frameworks of sustainability implementation and management, and climate change mitigation in the textile industry is optimal.

Candidates must demonstrate the potential to achieve excellence in research and teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The successful candidate will develop an outstanding externally funded research program, teach compelling undergraduate and graduate classes, and provide service to the Department, the Faculty, the University, their profession, and to communities who partner in research. We also seek candidates who will support and advance university commitments to equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI).

The Department has a history of producing high quality research on topics pertaining to textile production and consumption, sustainable textiles, protective clothing, material culture studies, inclusive design, and participatory design processes. These and related topics are addressed through interdisciplinary perspectives and analytic methods including lab-based and materials sciences, history, the social sciences, and creative practices. We also have a strong practicum program that places students in professional contexts as part of their educational experience. The successful candidate will contribute to this tradition of scholarship and professional engagement, and build new areas of expertise both individually and as part of collaborative teams composed of people within and outside academia.

The University and the City of Edmonton

The University of Alberta is located in Edmonton, Alberta, and is one of Canada's largest and most-respected research universities with a population of over 40,000 students. We are home to 200+ undergraduate and 500+ graduate programs, over 13,000 faculty and staff, 260,000 alumni worldwide and have been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for over a decade. In 2023, the University was ranked seventh in the world for impact on sustainability, based on the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

The Department of Human Ecology includes a group of highly reputable scholars and a vibrant graduate studies program with approximately 165 undergraduate students and sixty graduate students. The Department has three undergraduate majors: Clothing, Textiles, & Material Culture; Fashion Business Management (offered in partnership with the Faculty of Business); and Family Science. The department offers three Master’s Degree options, and a PhD program: an MA in Material Culture; a MSc in Textiles & Clothing; a MSC in Family Ecology & Practice; and a PhD degree in Human Ecology. The department is part of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, providing opportunities for strong interdisciplinary linkages in both research and teaching.

The City of Edmonton is a vibrant multicultural center with over one million people that offers the benefits of an urban lifestyle combined with high-quality schools, varied restaurants, excellent professional theatre and music venues, excellent public transportation and ample opportunities for recreation. Edmonton’s River Valley is the largest urban park in Canada (22 times the size of Central Park in New York City), with more than 160 kilometers of maintained pathways and 20 major parks. Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, with the lowest provincial tax regime in the country. It is known as Canada’s Festival City, with more than thirty major annual festivals celebrating its rich cultural diversity and community spirit. It has all the attractions of a big city, yet it is clean and safe, with excellent schools and health care. Edmonton is located only a few hours drive from Banff and Jasper National Parks, which offer skiing in winter and excellent hiking and sightseeing in summer.

This position is a part of the Association of the Academic Staff of the University of Alberta (AASUA); in accordance with the Agreement, this position offers a comprehensive benefits package found here Faculty Benefits Overview.

How to Apply

Candidates should submit to the on-line portal all the below documents as one PDF document:

  • A cover letter (single page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A statement of research interest (max two pages)
  • A statement outlining the proposed program of research (max two pages)
  • A statement of teaching philosophy (single page)
  • A teaching dossier with evaluations of teaching performance (max two pages)
  • Three sample publications
  • The names and contact information of three references
  • An EDI statement that identifies strengths and experiences with equity, diversity and inclusion, and plans for advancing EDI in teaching, research and service on how you intend to incorporate principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) (max two pages)

Letters of reference will be requested from applicants selected for interviews.

Review of applications will begin on or shortly after January 15, 2024. Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Applicants who are interested in learning more about the Department, its faculty and graduate student body are invited to visit or contact the Department Chair, Dr. Rhonda Breitkreuz at or by phone at (780) 492-3824.

At the University of Alberta, we are committed to creating an inclusive and accessible hiring process for all candidates. If you require accommodations to participate in the interview process, please let us know at the time of booking your interview and we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, M├ętis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.