Finding a PhD Supervisor

Applicants to the PhD in Planning program are expected to contact prospective supervisors at the time of application. Potential supervisors names must be listed within the application. Please review the Application Tips for general advice on contacting faculty members.

The list below includes faculty who are actively recruiting students. Faculty members not listed here may also be interested in supervising graduate students. To find out about the research interests of all of our faculty members, please review our full faculty listing.

Bathelt, HaraldI welcome applications by students from geography and related fields who are striving for leading-edge economic geography research, both conceptually and empirically. Students who are interested in questions surrounding knowledge creation/innovation over distance; dynamics of (permanent and/or temporary) clusters; international and domestic investments; technological and institutional change; or regional economic development and interregional inequality are invited to contact me with their ideas and proposals. Information about my research program and publication activity can be found at
Boland, AlanaI welcome inquiries from students with interest in China-related projects that are focused on environmental governance, urban political ecology, infrastructure, or urban and rural development processes.
Chapple, KarenI am currently recruiting students interested in issues of climate-related displacement, exclusion and upzoning, and regional planning, using innovative mixed methods that include community engagement and data science.
Farber, StevenI encourage students interested in social equity and transportation planning to contact me about potential supervision. Please have a look at for information about potential research topics.
Dorries, HeatherI am interested in working with students with interests in: urban processes and settler colonialism or racial capitalism; Indigenous politics of resistance and resurgence; and hydo-social relations and urban water governance.
Higgins, ChristopherI am recruiting talented graduate students interested in accessibility and travel behaviour (aligned with the Mobilizing Justice ( project), urban form, and 2D/3D/4D econometrics.
Robinson, John"The areas I am interested in are:
• The role of the university in helping the City of Toronto achieve its climate change goals
• Sustainable building design and operation – with a focus on the behavioural interface: building/inhabitant hybrids
• ontological agency and sustainability

With regard to these three topics, I am interested in issues related to:
• socio-technical systems change (transitions and transformations), and
• community engagement processes at the urban scale, using transdisciplinary knowledge co-production approaches, including evaluation of societal impacts of sustainability projects.

I am looking for applicants who already have background, and research interests, in at least one of the first three topic areas."
Ross, TimothyMy research program is focused on understanding community-based experiences of disability and advancing more inclusive communities for disabled people - especially families living with childhood disability. Research topics that are of particular interest include access to education, inclusive play, transportation and mobility, addressing institutional ableism, and the intersection of planning and health/well-being. I am seeking students who are knowledgable about disability theory, experienced in qualitative methods, have excellent writing skills, and who are deeply committed to advancing greater equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout our communities. Professional planning experience is considered an asset.
Sorensen, AndreI am actively recruiting students with an interest in the application of new institutionalism to comparative planning and urban studies. In particular, a focus on the way institutions (defined as 'the rules of the game', or 'shared norms and enforceable rules') change, and are changed, and how they regulate processes of urban development.
Spicer, JasonI am currently accepting inquiries and applications from PhD students in Planning interested in alternative ownership and governance models in community economic development and housing (e.g. worker and community ownership of enterprise, community land trusts, community-governed finance, platform cooperatives, data trusts, etc.).
Vinodrai, TaraI am trained as an economic geographer and my research program focuses on innovation, economic development, work and labour market dynamics, and technological change in cities. Additionally, I have long-standing interests in the creative/cultural industries, clusters and the geography of innovation. Increasingly, my work has interrogated the uneven outcomes, patterns and equity implications associated with changes in urban and regional economies. My current projects explore the relationships between housing affordability and economic development; manufacturing and the maker economy; and the social and spatial implications of the shift to remote work. I am also part of a national research team looking at ridehailing and the wider challenges of the gig/platform economy. I approach my research using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. I welcome prospective Masters and PhD students in geography and planning whose theoretical and empirical interests align with mine to review my work and contact me directly to discuss opportunities.
Zhang, JunI am looking for self-motivated graduate students that have significant overlapping research interests with mine, in areas such as economic geography, political economy, technological innovation, industrial restructuring, industrial policy, urban governance, market-state relations, and China.