Toronto Urban Fellows
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If you have graduated from a Masters, LLB, JD or PhD program within the last three years, learn more about the program below.
The Toronto Urban Fellows program provides talented new professionals with an intensive introduction to the governance, operations and administration of Canada’s largest city. This is accomplished through a combination of full-time work experience and a series of seminars, tours and workshops.
The Toronto Urban Fellows program has established a strong reputation as an innovative, ground-breaking initiative that has welcomed more than 90 highly skilled and talented professionals to the Toronto Public Service.
Urban Fellows make important contributions to the City of Toronto’s policy and research agenda, provide fresh perspectives on complex issues, and undertake essential program development and evaluation activities. While their academic and professional backgrounds vary, all Toronto Urban Fellows share a commitment to excellence, public service and the City of Toronto’s success.
During the year-long program, Toronto Urban Fellows complete two six-month project-based assignments in two different City divisions. The assignments are overseen by projects guides who are experienced directors, managers or senior professionals within the Toronto Public Service.
A mutual interview and selection process is undertaken to match Toronto Urban Fellows with host division assignments. Program participants are not guaranteed their top choice assignment, and may be matched with any participating City division.
To succeed in these demanding and engaging assignments, Toronto Urban Fellows must draw on their strong analytical, research, communication and interpersonal skills – and be ready to ask and answer tough questions. While specific projects and responsibilities vary, the work performed by Urban Fellows primarily involves:
- policy development
- stakeholder consultation and management
- project management and coordination
- program delivery and evaluation
- business process review and re-engineering
Toronto Urban Fellows participate in a year-long Learning Series consisting of seminars, workshops and tours to provide broader exposure to the City of Toronto’s governance system, administration and policy landscape. At these sessions, Urban Fellows meet with senior government officials, community champions, business leaders and academics who are passionate about Toronto and working hard to shape its future.
The Toronto Urban Fellows program won a 2014 City Manager’s Award for Toronto Public Service Excellence in the Cross-Corporate Project category. Introduced in 2008, the Award is the Toronto Public Service’s highest honour.
The City of Toronto was also recognized as a world-class innovator who is changing the face of public service in Canada through its Toronto Urban Fellows (TUF) program. The City of Toronto was presented with an IPAC Award at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada’s (IPAC) national conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Launched in 1990, the IPAC Award for Innovative Management (sponsored by IBM) distinguishes government organizations that have demonstrated exceptional innovations that address the wide variety of issues facing society today.
The 2018-2019 Toronto Urban Fellows program runs from September 5, 2018 to August 30, 2019.
|Job posting opens||April 9, 2018|
|Job posting closes||April 23, 2018|
|Written assignments distributed||May 2018|
|Candidate interviews||June 2018|
|Job offers||July 2018|
|First day of TUF Program||September 5, 2018|
|Last day of TUF Program||August 30, 2019|
The timeline is subject to change without notice. Candidates will be advised by email as to their progress in the competition.
- Applicants must have graduated from a Master’s, LLB, JD or PhD program within the past three years, not earlier than January 2015. Internationally educated professionals are eligible and encouraged to apply. Individuals with a post-graduate certificate in Public Administration are also eligible to apply.
- If you are currently enrolled in a Masters, LLB, JD or PhD level program, you will need to meet all of your academic criteria in order to be eligible to graduate before the Urban Fellows program begins. You may need to provide a letter from your school confirming your eligibility if you are selected for an interview.
- Individuals are encouraged to apply regardless of academic major, discipline or field of specialization.
- Applicants must demonstrate work and/or volunteer experience in social, economic or public policy; urban affairs; government services; and/or the management of complex organizations.
- Candidates with backgrounds in disciplines such as urban planning, public policy, public administration, international development, social work, engineering, political science, sociology, history, kinesiology, public health, environmental studies and landscape architecture have been accepted into the program.
- You must be legally entitled to work in Canada for the duration of the program. If you are not a Canadian citizen, you must be a permanent resident of Canada or possess written authority to work in Canada from an immigration officer as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
- Individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and would like to be considered for employment in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Part 5, Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Section D as a result of their advanced post-secondary education in a profession set out in Appendix 1603.D.1, must be engaged in that specific profession to work in Canada. Please note that the Toronto Urban Fellows Program does not meet the requirements of NAFTA 1603.D.1.
- Committed to employment equity, the City of Toronto encourages applications from Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority groups and women.
Application Submission Process
The recruitment process is divided into four parts:
- Applicants will submit a resume and cover letter as described in the job posting.
- Applications (resumes and cover letters) must be submitted electronically.
- Once you have submitted your application, you cannot make changes to it.
- Candidates apply to gain entry to the TUF program and not to a specific host division assignment.
- Based on a review of candidates’ cover letters and resumes, a selection of highly ranked applicants will be asked to prepare and submit a short written assignment. Written assignments are scored against a predetermined set of criteria.
- Based on a careful review of the candidates’ written assignments and applications, individuals identified as finalists will be invited for an interview. You will be interviewed by a three-person panel, the members of which will take turns asking you questions. Your answers will be scored against a set of predetermined criteria.
- Successful candidates will be invited to take part in the Toronto Urban Fellows program.
As part of the orientation in the first week of the program, Urban Fellows learn about the host division assignments offered during the initial six-month rotation period. A mutual interview and selection process is then used to match Urban Fellows with host division assignments and project guides, (the directors, managers or senior professionals with and for whom they work).
While individual preferences are taken into account, Urban Fellows are not guaranteed their top choice assignment, and may be matched to any participating City division.
The mutual interview and selection process is repeated half way through the year to match Urban Fellows with the host division assignments offered during the second six-month rotation period.
Benefits and Salaries
Toronto Urban Fellows:
- acquire significant professional experience with Canada’s largest municipal government;
- participate in a year-long series of seminars, workshops and tours, specifically designed to meet the learning goals of talented early-career professionals with a passion for public service and the City of Toronto;
- receive direct supervision and coaching from host division assignment project guides, support and mentoring from Toronto Urban Fellows program coordinators; and
- earn a taxable salary of $75,748.40 and be eligible for health care benefits after six months.
Urban Fellows are not guaranteed employment with the City of Toronto upon completion of the program. However, program participants who perform well will be strongly encouraged to apply for relevant vacancies.
The Toronto Urban Fellows program is the first choice for many of our brightest graduates. It allows them to experience urban public policy issues and to launch what I believe will be promising careers focused on urban policy. I am confident that the TUF program has benefited our students tremendously and that in return, these students will be committed to working on urban issues, almost certainly in Toronto, and that we as citizens will benefit from that.Mark Stabile, Director, School of Public Policy and Governance, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
As an organization dedicated to research on municipal finance and governance, the development of good public policy, and the strengthening of municipal public administration, the IMFG strongly supports the Toronto Urban Fellows (TUF) program. The applicant demand for the program and the cadre of dynamic, dedicated and diverse fellows the TUF has welcomed, are testimony to both a burgeoning interest in urban affairs and the capacity of the City to attract the leaders of the future. We commend the City of Toronto and the innovative developers of the TUF program for having the vision and courage to launch and nurture a program that will pay great dividends in the years ahead.Enid Slack Director, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance and Adjunct Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
For any young professional who wishes to pursue – or has just entertained the thought of pursuing – a career in the public service, the Toronto Urban Fellows Program is an invaluable opportunity. As a recent graduate with no prior government work experience, I have benefited from the program in so many ways, but three stand out: a network of thoughtful, motivated peers from diverse backgrounds; accelerated exposure to the culture and dynamics of City Hall and beyond; and mentorship from individuals truly invested in your career development, wherever it ultimately takes you. This is the unique foundation that the TUF program provides, and it is why you should consider applying.Scott Pennington, MScPl, Project Manager, City Planning Division, City of Toronto
My experience in the Toronto Urban Fellow (TUF) program has far exceeded my expectations for a job coming out of graduate school. The project guides are genuinely interested in helping you to develop the knowledge, skills, and networks that can help you to succeed in the Toronto Public Service and other work environments. The care and support provided by the TUF team to offer tailored professional development and individual advice is also very helpful. I know I always have someone looking out for me. The TUF experience will hopefully be a gateway to an exciting future at the City.Sari Mecklinger, BCom, MES, Research Analyst, Toronto Building Division, City of Toronto
What comes to mind first when thinking of my experiences at the TUF program are my colleagues, my fellow Fellows. The program facilitates thoughtful discussions among the Fellows on a wide range of topics. These conversations – whether at work or when we’re out socializing – have led to innovative in-house initiatives, anchored by the passion we share for public service. Complementing my amazing colleagues are the assignments. While completing interesting and highly relevant projects, I have gained unique perspectives on the inner workings of the City of Toronto and made countless connections. Holding it all together are the amazing project team and project guides who work hard to keep the TUF program humming. Apply to the Toronto Urban Fellows program! You will not regret it.Kurtis Elton, BA & Sc, MES, Senior Corporate Management and Policy Consultant, Strategic and Corporate Policy Division, City of Toronto