Sessional instructors & teaching assistants (TA)

Sessional Instructors

Please note that all Sessional Instructor positions involve membership in the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU); and are subject to both sufficient enrollment in the course, and budgetary authorization. The Department of Economics follows Article XIV (E.2) of the TSSU-SFU Collective Agreement when hiring Sessional Instructors.

Sessional Instructor positions are generally posted in September for the Spring semester, in January for the Summer semester, and in May for the Fall semester.

Teaching Assistants (TA) 

Teaching assistant positions (TA-ships) are offered on a competitive basis each semester to qualified graduate students. A full TA-ship includes set hours per semester for responsibilities that may include class time, course preparation, grading laboratory notebooks or tutorial papers for exams and/or other duties as assigned or required by the Department Chair or the Course Supervisor. See TSSU Collective Agreement for more information. 

Priority System for TA Appointments

Priority of qualified* applicants to TA and TM positions in the Department of Economics is in accordance with Article XIII and Article XV of the Collective Agreement.  In hiring Teaching Assistants (or TM), priority shall be given to applicants in the following order:

(i)              Graduate students registered in the department.

(ii)             Graduate students registered in other departments

(iii)            Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTA)

(iv)            External Teaching Assistants (ETA)

*Qualifications of an applicant for a position include consideration of the following:

(a) In the case of reappointment, satisfactory performance as a teaching assistant, based on TA ratings on course evaluation forms and by course instructors

(b) Sufficient knowledge in the discipline of the course to interpret the course material.

TA positions in ECON 220W that are posted as “EAL writing support TAs” require at least one year of experience or equivalent training in providing academic writing support to students who speak English as an Additional Language.  Examples of relevant experience and training include but are not limited to prior TA positions in which writing support is a significant component of the work, staff positions in writing support, and coursework in EAL learning or writing support. These positions do not require knowledge of economics.

If an assignment within a priority group requires a selection between applicants, the graduate student without financial support from merit based scholarships or merit based fellowships during the semester of appointment with a value equal to at least a 5.17 appointment will have priority for the appointment, after which the department will consider the following:

a)                 Suitability for particular courses (e.g. discipline of prior degree(s), publications, experience)

b)                Instructor requests

c)                 Amount of financial support offered at the time of admission

d)                Number of base units already received to ensure sufficient teaching-related experience in her/his field of study

e)                 TA preferences

f)                Past TA ratings from employment evaluations.

Resources for TAs/TMs/Sessionals

The following links will help you get your medical coverage and other benefits, as well as help you learn how to become a better teacher.



The University is committed to the principle of equity in employment. (See Policy GP 19.)

The information submitted with your application is collected under the authority of the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468, s. 27(4)(a)), applicable federal and provincial employment regulations and requirements, the University's non-academic employment policies and applicable collective agreements.

The information is related directly to and needed by the University to initiate the employment application process. The information will be used to contact references supplied by you, evaluate your qualifications and complete the employment process by making a hiring decision. Applicant information may also be disclosed to the Teaching Support Staff Union in accordance with Article XIII F.3.1.b of the Collective Agreement.

If you have any questions about the collection, use and disclosure of this information please contact the Associate VP, Human Resources, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6. Telephone 778-782-3237.