I have my first Canadian university interview coming up. I am assuming it will be very similar to my other R1/R2 university interviews in the US - but I was wondering if there was anyone here who has experience with Canadian school interviews. Was there a question that caught you off guard (eg. grants specific to Canada; teaching?)
Any info would be appreciated!
Date: 04 Dec 2012 00:20
Number of posts: 4
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I am also wondering whether these schools have "start-up" funds like in the US.
Interviews at Canadian schools are exactly the same as interviews in the US. There are also startup funds.
In the past, it has been easier to get a grant in Canada than in the US (which, from what I hear is changing to become more like the US). Grant writing is a transferable skill: if you've been able to get one in the US, you will for sure be able to get one in Canada (and if you have never gotten one in the US, you will still probably be able to get one in Canada).
Yes, the interview process is identical in Canada, and most aspects of the job will be exactly the same as an equivalent institution in the US (teaching, startup, committee work, etc.).
The funding situation is pretty different though, at least when it comes to the major gov't grants (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC). Each agency only funds certain types of research, so going into an interview you should at least know which one you would apply to.
These grants are much easier to get than NIH or NSF grants, but they are much, much smaller. For example, an NSERC discovery grant for a new assistant professor in psychology is probably going to be in the $20-30k a year range. That will vary somewhat with area of research/agency and cost of research (i.e. you can get slightly more if you do expensive work), but in general the grants are a fraction of what you get in the US. You should definitely make sure you know what is typical for your area for your interview. It probably wouldn't hurt to think about (and be able to talk about) how you would be productive on a small grant. There are also separate grants for equipment (the above grants are operating grants and can't usually be used for major equipment purchases), so if your research requires expensive equipment you should probably have an idea what funding is available for that too.
The other major difference that you should be prepared for - summer salary. It doesn't exist. Most Canadian positions are 12-month salaries, not the typical 9-month you see in the US, and the operating grants cannot be used to top-up profs salaries like is common in the US.