CHCI News, Early-career

TRaCE Transborder: A Report on Humanities PhD Career Pathways Across Five Continents

TRaCE Transborder: A Report on Humanities PhD Career Pathways Across Five Continents

This report maps the career trajectories of humanities PhD graduates (graduating cohorts, 2013-2022) in the academy and beyond the academic realm. The analyses elucidate the diverse pathways, experiences, and outcomes of individuals from twelve universities across five continents. By shedding light on these outcomes, this report aims to provide valuable insights for academic institutions, graduate programs, policymakers, and graduate students themselves. We begin by providing a summary description of the variables of interest – institution, employment sector, job function, and gender. We then report findings showing the association between these variables. We also include geography and time dimensions in our analytical results. We end with an account of the limitations of the report’s findings and with some words of conclusion.

The TRaCE Transborder project hosted by McGill University in Canada is reimagining outcomes for humanities PhDs across the globe. The project brings together universities and organizations on five continents to transform the problem of humanities PhD underemployment into a global opportunity. This ambitious project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the partner universities, will fashion narrative knowledge about PhD career pathways into an instrument for individual path-building to fulfilling careers, international bridge-building, and institutional and social change.

McGill University's Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of TRaCE Transborder, started the highly innovative series of TRaCE projects in 2015. His team has collected data from approximately 9,000 PhD graduates across Canada, developing expertise in the process and the potent impact on both interviewer and interviewee. This new phase expands the scope of previous projects by interviewing PhD graduates and students from partner universities in Africa, India, USA, England, the Netherlands, China and Australia as well as in Canada, to learn how university cultures around the world approach the PhD and how graduate education might evolve. The TRaCE research emphasizes the opportunity to reimagine the PhD and to better prepare graduates to use knowledge and skills gained from their degree in and beyond the academy.

TRaCE Connect is a virtual gathering space hosted by and for graduate students to discuss challenges and opportunities related to graduate studies. This initiative is bringing Ph.D. students and Ph.D. grads together from many countries for conversations about shared areas of interest that will, we think, generate new ideas for change in the cultures and the programs of doctoral study. TRaCE Connect will also feature special workshops for graduate students on topics such as public scholarship, how to tell your own story, and the bridges between scholarship and the creative arts. Discussions and workshops will be hosted on our Discord server, where students are encouraged to join the conversation and share their insights with fellow Ph.D. candidates and grads worldwide.

Learn more about the TRaCE project here. Fill out this form to join us!