University of Toronto Department of Political Science
PhD Job Placement
There are no hard and fast rules about when to begin your job search. In general, students should wait until they are close to a complete draft of their thesis until they apply for a tenure-track position. When entering the academic job market, a job candidate should ideally be able to demonstrate participation in a range of scholarly activities, including conference participation and, if possible, publishing.
The North American academic tenure-track job market operates on a clearly defined cycle. The job ‘season’ begins in August, with most advertisements posted by November. The U.S. cycle tends to start and end earlier, whereas Canadian tenure-track jobs may have deadlines later in the school year, sometimes as late as February or March. A second cycle, for one-year appointments, runs from February through to April, although advertisements can appear as late as June. Positions in Europe and Australia are advertised all year round, but tend to peak in spring and early summer.
Graduate Placement Coordinator
The starting place for any PhD student beginning a job search is the Graduate Placement Coordinator’s office. The Graduate Placement Coordinator is appointed by the department to counsel students on the job search process. The Graduate Placement Coordinator offers advice on writing cover letters, preparing writing samples, compiling curricula vita, securing letters of recommendation, and arranging mock job talks and interviews. Professor Ana Maria Bejarano and Professor Peter Loewen are currently the Department’s Graduate Placement Coordinators.
Doctoral students should develop a plan for their entry into the job market. The Graduate Placement Coordinator can offer advice on the best time to begin a job search. You should also consult your dissertation adviser.
Academic Career Resources
University Affairs is a publication of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Its job service lists vacant positions at universities and colleges across Canada. Job listings are organized alphabetically by discipline, with no reference to sub-fields of political science. Political theory students should also look in the philosophy listings.
The Canadian Political Science Association offers several job listing services, including through its Polcan listserv. Polcan covers a range of topics from public policy issues to post-doctoral fellowships, career opportunities, and professional development.
The American Political Science Association is the primary resource for positions available in the United States. The eJobs service will be of particular interest to job hunters. The eJobs service offers job hunters the opportunity to register their resume online as part of the Job Placement Service database. The Job Placement Service connects potential candidates to universities with open positions. Interviews for these positions are conducted at the APSA’s annual meeting in late August.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is the other major resource for locating faculty positions in the United States, although it does include some overseas and Canadian listings. The online listings are updated daily. Positions are then subdivided by geographical location. Job hunters can also register for the Chronicle’s E-mail Alert service.
The H-net Job Guide for Humanities and Social Sciences lists faculty positions and post-doctoral fellowships by discipline and cross-lists the positions by relevant sub-fields.
The International Studies Association lists employment opportunities primarily in international relations. Most jobs listed are located in the Untied States, although there are sometimes listings for positions in Europe, Australia, and Asia. Vacant faculty positions are listed on the ISA’s professional development page. Other career building resources, including advice on dissertation publishing, are included on the professional development page.
The Times Higher Education Supplement job listings page is a basic search engine. Job seekers enter their field of interest, type of position they are interested in, and the location. Although the Times is billed as a source of positions in the United Kingdom and Europe, the search engine allows the job seeker to search for similar positions in Africa, the Americas, and the Asia-Pacific. The Times has a free email alert service for registered participants.