Teaching Assistantships

Open Positions

Incoming MA and MSc students beginning their first year of study must apply for TAship positions in the Open Round. This round is made available in late June, and students will be notified by email. Therefore, it is important to read your utoronto.ca email over the course of the summer. Note that incoming students will not yet have a UTOR account unless they were students at UofT previously. If you are new to the UofT, information on TAship rounds will be sent to the email address that you provided in your application.

Apply for TAships on the TAship web portal. To login, you need to be registered as a graduate student or be an incoming student. If you are registered but still cannot login, then please inform the Graduate Office.

Hiring Criteria and Tri-Campus Hiring Committee

The criteria for selecting and hiring applicants are detailed in the Memorandum of Agreement

The criteria include: “(1) academic qualifications, (2) the need to acquire experience, (3) previous experience, and (4) for continuing students, previous satisfactory employment under the provisions of this Collective Agreement.”

Furthermore, the department will clearly indicate in each job posting whether the need to acquire experience or previous experience is the more relevant criterion in respect of that posted position. Criteria (2) signal the Department of Anthropology’s obligation to fulfill a portion of the university’s funding packing for new students. All criteria are taken into account but they may be weighed differently depending on the position and qualifications of the applicants. Our ultimate aim is to abide by the Collective Agreement while satisfying the priorities of the department, the course in question, and the needs of students.

A tri-campus hiring committee comprised of chairs, campus representatives, and administrators collectively decides the offers to be made to students in the Open and Emergency Rounds.

Open Positions and Emergeny Rounds (Applying for a Position)

Incoming PhD students beginning their first year of study must apply for TAship positions in the Open Round. This round is made available in late June, and students will be notified by email. Therefore, it is important to read your utoronto.ca email over the course of the summer. Note that incoming students will not yet have a UTOR account unless they were students at UofT previously. If you are new to the UofT, information on TAship rounds will be sent to the email address that you provided in your application.

“Open round positions” are open to all students and are posted after the assignment of subsequent appointments for PhD students entering their second and later years of study (see description of subsequent appointments below). All are welcome to apply for positions posted in the Open Round, including post-first year PhD applicants who were already awarded a subsequent appointment.

Apply for TAships via the TAship web portal. To login, you need to be a registered graduate student or an incoming student into our Department. If you are registered but still cannot login, then please inform the Graduate Office.

Hiring Criteria and Tri-Campus Hiring Committee

The criteria for selecting and hiring applicants are detailed in the Memorandum of Agreement

The criteria include: “(1) academic qualifications, (2) the need to acquire experience, (3) previous experience, and (4) for continuing students, previous satisfactory employment under the provisions of this Collective Agreement.”

Furthermore, the department will clearly indicate in each job posting whether the need to acquire experience or previous experience is the more relevant criterion in respect of that posted position. Criteria (2) signal the Department of Anthropology’s obligation to fulfill a portion of the university’s funding packing for new students. All criteria are taken into account but they may be weighed differently depending on the position and qualifications of the applicants. Our ultimate aim is to abide by the Collective Agreement while satisfying the priorities of the department, the course in question, and the needs of students.

A tri-campus hiring committee comprised of chairs, campus representatives, and administrators collectively decides the offers to be made to students in the Open and Emergency Rounds.

Failure to Obtain an Offer and Emergency Round TAships

Despite our best efforts, it is not always possible to offer everyone a TAship or the position a student is most keen to instruct. However, the department endeavors to meet the funding obligations owed to students in the Open Round. Moreover, there are usually Emergency Rounds that are released after the subsequent appointments and Open Rounds have concluded. Increased enrolments and other factors often necessitate the creation of additional TAship openings in these Emergency Rounds.

First-year PhD students who were not offered a position in the Open Round are expected to apply for positions in the Emergency Rounds.

Subsequent Appointments

A “subsequent appointment” is a TAship that is owed to PhD students on the basis of previous TA employment awarded in a previous session. The subsequent appointment round is defined by the Collective Agreement between the U of T and CUPE and pertains exclusively to PhD students in their second and later years of study who were offered a position in an earlier Open Round or Emergency Rounds.

Subsequent appointments are decided separately (in April and May) and in advance of the Open and Emergency Rounds. In the subsequent appointment process, students DO NOT APPLY FOR POSITIONS BUT ARE ASSIGNED TASHIPS by the TA hiring committee. Although students are not expected to apply, they must indicate by the deadline whether they accept, decline, or would like to defer an assigned TAship. Failure to register a decision by the deadline automatically defaults to a decline, with the consequence that the declining student will lose a portion of her or his funding for that year.

Allocation of Hours in the Subsequent Appointment(s):

Hours for the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth contractually obligated subsequent appointments shall be:

i. at least equal to the total number of hours of the initial appointment, or the second appointment, whichever is greater, within the hiring Department in which the employee had the larger(est) initial appointment up to a maximum of one (1) regular appointment, as defined in Article 16:07; additional hours, if any, worked in any other Department are not included in determining the minimum obligation for hours of subsequent appointment(s).

ii. for employees with at least thirty-five (35) hours in the initial or second appointment a minimum of seventy (70) hours in total per remaining subsequent appointments

After the sixth contractually obligated subsequent appointment, PhD students will have the right to additional appointments of at least seventy (70) hours per academic year.

Declining a TAship

A student has a right to decline a Subsequent Appointment for personal or professional reasons. However, declining a position will result in a forfeiture of the portion of funding covered by the TAship. Moreover, declining a position differs from a deferral in that hours owed in a subsequent round for a particular year will not be reallocated to a future year of TA work. In other words, if one declines a subsequent appointment in their third year but then accepts a subsequent appointment in their fourth, the TAship will be considered as fulfilling the fourth and not the third owed appointment (which was forfeited).

Substitution Funding

PhD students are welcome to apply for a Fieldwork Substitution Grant if they are declining a TAship in order to undertake fieldwork away from Toronto and the GTA for a period of 8 OR MORE MONTHS. The aim of substitution funding is to meet students’ minimum funding expectations during a time when the need to carry out fieldwork makes undertaking a regular TAship impossible, and the department endeavors to provide substitution funding when justified. However, this funding is at the sole initiative, expense, and discretion of the Department of Anthropology and is in no way connected with the Collective Agreement. In order to be considered for the Fieldwork Substitution Grant, students must apply by the deadline and will be notified of the outcome of their application by email.

In order to be eligible for the Fieldwork Substitution Grant, students must (1) be members of the funded cohort; (2) have successfully passed their proposals; (3) be unable to serve as a TA in a course in either the fall or winter semester during the academic year in which they will conduct fieldwork; and (4) be planning to undertake a minimum of 8 months of fieldwork away from Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Deferring a TAship

Students also have the right to defer a Subsequent Appointment once during their academic career. A deferral results in the reallocation of the hours owed for a subsequent appointment to a future year of TA work. However, students who defer are NOT eligible for substitution funding.

Students can apply for further deferrals of subsequent appointments, but further deferrals are not guaranteed and may be granted in the event that such a request is based on academic program requirements (e.g. travel for the purpose of field work).

Subsequent Appointment Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have agreed to take on a subsequent appointment, but circumstances have changed and I can no longer accept the position. What are the consequences?

You will have forfeited your appointment for the year and your status will be registered as a “decline” (see above). In future years, calculation of how many subsequent appointments owed you will be treated as if you had taken up the appointment.

Example: Ethan is entering his third year of TA employment. He indicated online that he accepted a subsequent appointment (i.e. he ticked the acceptance box and did not decline or ask for a deferral). He later decides to reject the offer. In this circumstance, the department is not obligated to make up the year in which Ethan refused to take up his subsequent appointment. The following year he will be considered as entering his fourth year of appointment, just as he would if he had taken up his third year of subsequent appointment. However, Ethan can still apply for Open Round and Emergency Round positions during his third year.

2. I have been given my subsequent appointment, but I don’t like it and would prefer to TA for a different course. Can I exchange it for another position?

As mandated by the Collective Agreement, your subsequent appointment is final. You will not be given another subsequent position if you decline or refuse to teach the course in question. However, you can still apply in the Open Round for a TAship (see question immediately below).

3. What if I decline my subsequent appointment? Can I apply for one of the jobs in the Open Round instead?

Yes, you can apply for a job in the Open Round, but the department is no longer obligated to offer you a TAship or provide you with the same number of hours as you were owed for your subsequent appointment. You will have to compete for positions with other students on the merits of your fit to the hiring criteria (see above). If you receive a TAship in the Open Round it will be independent of the subsequent appointment.

4. I have been offered more than one course to TA as a subsequent appointment. However, I would like to take up only one. What are the consequences?

You are free to accept only one of the appointments, but the department is not obligated to make up the remaining hours, although you can apply for Open Round and Emergency Round positions to seek further hours. In future years, you will be treated as if you had taken up the full appointment (i.e. the department’s obligation to you for that year were satisfied).

Example: Samantha is going into her second year of TA employment and is owed 210 hours. She was offered 140 hours in ANTXXY and 70 hours in ANTYYZ. She decides that she does not want to TA for ANTYYZ. The following year (her third year of employment) she will still be owed 210 hours (and not 280 hours). The department will not owe her the 70 hours that she declined in her second year.

5. I have been given my subsequent appointment. Am I allowed to apply for more TAships in the Open Round or Emergency Rounds?

Yes

Accepting Offers

Once a round of TA assignments is closed, you will be notified by email (utoronto.ca emails only). Please check at the TAship web portal to verify whether the department was able to offer you an appointment. If you were offered a position, then CHECK THE DEADLINE ON THE WEBSITE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE OFFER. If we do not hear from you by the deadline, we have no choice but to register your answer as a decline, since we would need to re-advertise the position in the next round. Please signify your acceptance or rejection on the web site as soon as possible. If you accept the job, then please make sure that you obtain and process your TA contract package. These need to be processed campus-by-campus. For details, please inquire at your campus anthropology office, and please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

Queries and Problems

If you have any questions or require further clarification, please feel free to contact the TA Coordinator (Bence Viola) (anthro.tacoordinator@utoronto.ca), or the graduate administrator Olivera Prime (anthropology.graduate@utoronto.ca)