Jump to content

Advice for Applying to Faculty Positions in Canada


Recommended Posts

I'm looking for advice about applying to faculty positions in Canada as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Of course, the job description states that Canadians are preferred; however, they invite applications from all qualified candidates. What things should I consider about moving to Canada? Specifically, the university is located in Toronto.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick look at the faculty page will tell you how seriously they take the "Canadians preferred" clause. I find that different universities take it more or less seriously. Read up on the structure of the program to avoid saying something that sounds uninformed (e.g. programs will almost always require an MA; some have such a thing as a "qualifying year"; funding for students might be very different than you are used to, perhaps tighter and/or generally only available to Canadian citizens; undergraduate degrees at least in some provinces may sometimes be only three years, not four, depending on whether they come in with some previous work, e.g. from cegep). This will influence how you want to talk about interacting with and teaching students. There is often more available government funding in Canada, so talking about applying for grants early and often might not be a bad idea. Find out which granting agency is the relevant one for you. Generally, though, it's not all that different from applying to jobs in the US. I don't think I did anything different in applications to Canadian schools than for US schools. A lot of what I just said is more relevant if and when you get an interview. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, fuzzylogician said:

A quick look at the faculty page will tell you how seriously they take the "Canadians preferred" clause. I find that different universities take it more or less seriously. Read up on the structure of the program to avoid saying something that sounds uninformed (e.g. programs will almost always require an MA; some have such a thing as a "qualifying year"; funding for students might be very different than you are used to, perhaps tighter and/or generally only available to Canadian citizens; undergraduate degrees at least in some provinces may sometimes be only three years, not four, depending on whether they come in with some previous work, e.g. from cegep). This will influence how you want to talk about interacting with and teaching students. There is often more available government funding in Canada, so talking about applying for grants early and often might not be a bad idea. Find out which granting agency is the relevant one for you. Generally, though, it's not all that different from applying to jobs in the US. I don't think I did anything different in applications to Canadian schools than for US schools. A lot of what I just said is more relevant if and when you get an interview. 

Thanks!

10 hours ago, PoliticalOrder said:

What's the question? What things would you really need to 'consider'? To be honest, there really isn't much that separates the two countries. 

I'm not sure, to be honest! That's why I left the question open-ended. I think I'm mostly concerned about how they view American PhD students. Looking at the faculty profiles, I see that most of them are from Canada and graduated from Canadian universities. There are some faculty from the United States. They seem to be members of the same national/professional organizations.

Edited by wildviolet
Added comment
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi!

I'm from the school you want to apply to, and I can tell you that for this school specifically, they actually prefer people from the US over people from Canada. At every other school, this is not the case, but if you went to a top-ranked school in the US, then you are extremely desirable at this school.

The granting agency that would cover you here in Canada would be SSHRC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. If you were doing health-related research, it would be CIHR, the Canadian Institute for Health Research.

There is a lot of overlap between Canada and the US, especially with regards to the journals people publish in, the conferences they go to, and the structure of the education system. People go back and forth often, and this school especially is closer to the top schools in the US than it is to any of the other schools in Canada. To give you an example, this school brings in as much research funding as every other school in its province (and it's the province with the most people/universities).

Good luck with your application!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

UPDATE: I was able to speak with a professor at this university, and the response I got was basically that they prefer the most qualified candidate, whether or not they are Canadian. So, if they have two equal candidates, they'll take the Canadian. But if the non-Canadian is more qualified, they will choose the non-Canadian. I was encouraged to apply, as there's nothing to lose by applying!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the update! That is basically what I've experienced from U of T as well. And given the reputations and rankings of some schools in the US (as in, there are more highly ranked schools in the US than there are in Canada), they end up taking a lot of more qualified non-Canadians.

Of course, these more qualified non-Canadians do not always accept the job offer, but that's not something you have to worry too much about!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
On 2/2/2017 at 1:13 AM, geographyrocks said:

I know this post is a few months old, but I would love to know how the process is going.  I'm currently looking at applying to jobs in Canada as a US citizen.

 

Honestly, I doubt there's much to know. Academia in Canada is pretty much the same as in the US, with a few small exceptions (e.g. it's typical to get a Master's degree before the PhD). The job application process is basically the same, too, as are the selection criteria. The main difference is that there are far fewer jobs available in the first place.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Above post is right to a certain extent. However, there are far fewer "soft money" positions in Canada compared to the United States. They do exist, but most positions are "hard money" tenure tracked positions. Additionally, I am sure that this is very different amongst research areas, but from my personal experience of visiting many different physiology/biology labs across both Canada and the United States, and atmosphere (on average) is quite a bit different. The US system seems to be a bit more cut-throat and worrisome of getting grant money...making the work environments a bit more strict and less flexible. I also noticed that there was a bit of a "pecking order" in the US labs, where the Undergraduate and MSc students don't talk directly to the supervisor, but can only have their information relayed to the principal supervisor through post-doctoral students....something that was just completely bizarre to me. 

It's starting to catch on now (I think Canada is a bit ahead compared to the US in this regard), that having a healthy lifestyle and working flexible hours is more productive. In the lab I work in, we don't need to come into work if we don't want to, and we can take as much vacation time as needed (i.e. 3-4 months a year if you want), as long as you get the work done. For example, one of our post-docs is probably gone not doing work for 6+ months a year, but still has managed to have 50+ publications in his career so far....it's all about efficiency. Happier students = harder working students even though their work schedule is up to them....our lab still pumps out 30+ papers a year. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.