Post-secondary education in Canada is organized provincially and, in Ontario, it is under the authority of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Universities offer three- and four-year undergraduate degrees (Bachelors), post-graduate (Masters, PhD) and professional programs (diplomas) while Colleges offer certificate programs that are one year or less, two to three-year diplomas, apprenticeships, and degrees. Both universities and colleges have Faculties (for example, Arts and Social Sciences, Engineering and Design, Science, Business) that are further divided into specific Departments (which may be called Schools, Institutes, or Centres).
Academic Ranks and Qualifications
- Full-time positions may be preliminary (tenure-track) or term. Tenure means permanency of appointment. Term positions are not expected to continue after the end date.
- Full-time positions include the ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Full Professor. The professoriate is responsible for teaching, research, and service and qualifications usually include a PhD (or terminal degree for the discipline) in the area of expertise as well as demonstrated (or demonstrated potential for) excellence in teaching and research. More specific qualifications will be listed in the job advertisement.
- Full-time positions may also include the ranks of Instructor I, II, III (depending on qualifications) and they are responsible for teaching and administration. Instructor jobs usually require a PhD (or terminal degree for the discipline) or Masters in the areas of expertise and demonstrated excellence in teaching. More specific qualifications will be listed in the job advertisement.
- Part-time positions can also be called contract instructors or sessional and are responsible for teaching a particular class. Contract instructor jobs usually require Masters in the areas of expertise and demonstrated excellence in teaching. More specific qualifications will be listed in the job advertisement.
- Honorary Ranks are non-paid positions that acknowledge significant ongoing intellectual activity and/or research with the university. These may include: Adjunct Professor and Adjunct Research Professor. In many cases, an academic must have an appointment like this to apply for research grants and/or to co-supervise graduate students. These positions are not typically advertised.
- Visiting Professors/Scholars/Appointments in Residence may be paid or unpaid. These positions may be advertised or unadvertised.
For the most part, Canadian universities are unionized and Collective Agreements provide further details on requirements for the appointment process, including advertising as well as consideration of seniority and incumbency. In addition, universities may have additional policies on academic hiring. These documents are all publicly available so you can learn more about the hiring process yourself.
These policies outline the collegial process, including the role of the Departmental Hiring Committee, the Dean, and the Provost. Typically, the Provost is the Chief Academic Officer and responsible for all academic hiring, including full-time positions and part-time positions.
These policies and Collective Agreements also have rules regarding seniority, incumbency, and external hires. Often hiring for contract instructors is handled within the Department and approved by the Dean.
Where to Find Academic Job Postings
- Academics who are looking for jobs in Canada can check University Affairs or the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
- They can also check the University’s website for academic jobs. You may be able to create a search that will send you new jobs when posted.
- In addition, specific disciplines may use their main association websites to advertise positions.
In general, full-time positions are posted in the fall and hiring decisions are made in the spring. However, full-time positions may be posted at any time of year.
Part-time jobs are generally advertised on individual Department websites. However, the University may also have a central webpage where all positions are advertised. Different universities and colleges may have different Collective Agreement requirement. For example, at some Universities, part-time positions are advertised in May for the Fall/Winter session or in December for the Summer term. However, positions may be advertised off cycle for emergency hires.
Honorary Ranks are typically initiated by the Department directly.
Visiting Professors/Scholars/Appointments in Residence may be advertised in the same places as full-time or part-time jobs any time of year.
About Positions at Carleton University
For all positions, you may wish to contact the Department directly and speak to the Chair or Hiring Committee Chair about academic or honorary positions. The Chair or designate can usually tell you more about when positions are advertised, what types of positions they anticipate, and what qualifications are required.
In general, full-time positions are posted in the fall and hiring decisions are made in the spring. However, full-time positions may be posted at any time of year. At Carleton, all full-time academic jobs are posted on the Deputy Provost’s site.
Part-time jobs are generally advertised on individual Department websites. However, the University may also have a central webpage where all positions are advertised. Different universities and colleges may have different Collective Agreement requirement. For example, at Carleton University, part-time positions are advertised in May for the Fall/Winter session or in December for the Summer term. However, positions may be advertised off cycle for emergency hires. At Carleton, all part-time academic jobs are posted on the Provost site.
Administrative jobs are posted on the Human Resources.
Building your Academic CV and Application
Most applications require a covering letter, CV, teaching philosophy, and, for research positions, a statement of research interests as well as the names of three referees (references). In addition, samples of publications, writing, and/or teaching experience may also be requested. Specific instructions are included in the job advertisement.
- For more information about building an academic CV, please see Carleton’s Career Services site.
- For more information about writing a teaching philosophy, please see University Affairs and Carleton’s Teaching and Learning Services site
- From Purdue, more information about research statements.
- For additional Career Advice from University Affairs.
- From Inside Higher Ed: Preparing for Trends in the Academic Job Market
- From University Affairs: Applying for academic jobs and Career Café.
Other Opportunities in Education
Private Schools (website search), CEGEP (Quebec)
Finally, just a quick reminder about where to find more information about social services and resources, including connections to community, provincial, and federal services.
Catholic Centre for Immigrants – can assess your needs and refer you to special services in the community, including housing, language training, obtaining Canadian documentation, finding work, schools, government and community services, social benefits, and health care.
Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization – provides assistance for newcomers including: settlement and integration, employment, clinical counselling, school supports, language instruction, and youth program
From Scholars at Risk
- Scholar Handbook
- Online Training Modules: Making the Most of Placement and Planning for a Transition
- Xavier University of Louisiana
- Non-academic jobs in the United States: Upwardly Global
From Scholars Rescue Fund