Interdisciplinary PhD in Professional Motivations

Dalhousie University. Halifax, NS

Closing Date August 30,2022 Location Halifax, Nova Scotia Work Type
Salary Range
Experience Level   Job ID

Job Description

A Funded PhD Opportunity

Dalhousie University, Interdisciplinary PhD program

Topic: Motivations in Professional Careers

Are you interested in understanding what motivates people in their careers and how motivations can be supported by organizations?

Drs. W. Dominika Wranik and Isabelle Caron in the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University are looking for a keen PhD student with a promising track record of research at the Masters level who enjoys engaging in interdisciplinary research.

Details of the position

The student will join a newly-established project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research council. The project title is “Staying motivated: a life course analysis of the career paths of Canadian public servants/ Rester motivé : Une analyse des parcours de carrière des fonctionnaires canadiens.” The goal of the project is to chronicle the motivations of individuals over a life course, specifically from the onset of their public service career to their current career state, using a novel combination of Public Service Motivation (PSM) and Life Course Theory (LCT).

Both frameworks (PSM and LCT) are applicable to careers in government and in other sectors, such as health care, education, emergency response, and others. The PhD student will work with the project team and be expected to develop their own related PhD research project. Depending on their academic background, they will receive training in public policy, human resource and organizational management, leadership theory, life-course analysis, and/or qualitative research methods. There may be an opportunity for the PhD curriculum to include a four-month paid internship course with a Canadian public sector agency.

Profile of candidates

The ideal candidate will have a strong academic background (as evidenced by grades in course work) in a relevant graduate program, demonstrated ability to engage in research (as evidenced by contributions to publications) and a passion for the understanding of career motivations. Prior research based graduate studies in public policy, public administration, organizational management, political science, sociology of professions, economics of professions or related fields would be an asset. A previous research focus on or experience with a public service career as mentioned above would be an asset but is not required.


We are aiming for a September 2022 or January 2023 start date. Funding will be offered in the form of a research assistantship for the first two to three years of the four-year PhD program. Opportunities for teaching assistantships or teaching assignments may also be available. In addition, the student may have the opportunity to work in an internship in the Canadian public sector. Furthermore, we will work with the student to secure additional scholarship and other financial supports.

How to Apply

If interested, please email [email protected] (Dr. Wranik) with the words “PhD – Motivations in Professional Careers” in the subject line (emails without this subject line will not be considered). Review of applications begins on August 30, 2022 until the position is filled. In the email, briefly describe your interest in the position and attach your up-to-date CV, unofficial transcript, and a sample of your writing.