Erin Tolley

Study program:
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Erin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Polical Science at the University of Toronto. She completed her doctorate at Queen's University on the relationship between the media and politics in Canada.

Erin Tolley is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, where she teaches courses on Canadian politics and immigration and multiculturalism. Her doctoral research was funded by the Trudeau Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and examined how race affects the media’s reporting on candidates in Canadian politics. Erin’s current research focuses on issues related to electoral politics, immigration and diversity.

A native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Erin worked as a policy researcher prior to pursing doctoral studies. This included positions at the Library of Parliament, Canadian Heritage, Communication Canada, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. She is the co-editor of Electing a Diverse Canada (UBC Press, 2008), Immigrant Settlement Policy in Canadian Municipalities (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011), Integration and Inclusion of Newcomers and Minorities Across Canada (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011) and Diverse Nations, Diverse Responses: Approaches to Social Cohesion in Immigrant Societies (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012). Her article, “Do Women ‘Do Better’ in Municipal Politics” was short-listed for the 2012 John McMenemy Prize, which recognizes the top contributions to the Canadian Journal of Political Science. Her research has also appeared in Canadian Issues, Canadian Diversity, and Our Diverse Cities. 

Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

I can sum up my experience as a Trudeau Scholar in one word: opportunity.  Being selected as a Scholar provided me with the opportunity to pursue my research almost without constraint or bounds, to meet and learn from a rich community of academics, practitioners and public figures, to turn my eye not just to research production but also engagement and dissemination, and to collaborate with other Scholars on two immensely satisfying public interaction events which took us to Vancouver, Iqaluit, Montreal and Halifax. While other funding programs provide necessary financial resources, the Trudeau Foundation not only furnishes this economic capital but also human and social capital. All three are crucial to a successful and enriching doctoral experience. I have benefited enormously from the support of the Trudeau Community and my Mentor, in particular. These relationships not only provided moments of fun and levity but broadened my perspective on my research and encouraged me to look beyond the drudgery of data and analysis and into the real social and political implications of my work. These lessons will stay with me well beyond the completion of my degree.