Full-time research mode: Dr. Pierre Jolicoeur on sabbatical


Full-time research mode: Dr. Pierre Jolicoeur on sabbatical

By: 27182 Officer Cadet (IV) Carmen Kiltz

Professors at RMC have a lot more going on than it may seem. From the average student’s eye, we see them as primarily teachers whose main purpose is to deliver lessons to help us learn.

This is only about 40% true.

In fact, the remaining 60% of their time is divided into research (40%) and service tasks (20%). Professors are granted sabbatical leave approximately every seven years to allow them to study or travel. On sabbatical, 100% of their time is devoted to research.


Professors at RMC are seen coming and going on sabbatical. Dr. Pierre Jolicoeur, the Department Head of Political Science at RMCC, just returned from his leave which commenced July 2015 and ended June 2016.

I took some time to sit down with the Quebec City native to discuss his experiences.

“It was full-time research mode,” he nodded, “[it was] very welcome, and a moment where I could concentrate more.”

This concentration was focused primarily on conferences and his ongoing book project. With six children at home, Pierre stayed within the Kingston area, and had the time to read in-depth articles and books to aid in his research.

The book which he is working on will discuss secessionist movements in the world. It will act as a comparative analysis of the subject and will shed light on the different consequences of such movements, among other things.

This project will be “specifically designed” for teaching purposes- in other words it can act as a sort of textbook in helping teach courses with secessionist movements in mind.

Dr. Jolicoeur was very pleased to also receive funding for other projects during his time on sabbatical leave; this funding involved research on cyber security and social media, which he will be producing reports and articles for.

The department head attended lectures and was even invited to the NATO advanced training program in Macedonia for one week. Here, professionals involved in security fields looked at the threat of terrorism and ISIS research.

Apart from his sabbatical leave, Pierre has travelled to numerous countries including Denmark, the United States, Austria, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

At RMC he is involved in teaching international relations courses in French and is developing a course on international peacekeeping.

Specializing in the former Soviet Union, he also teaches Russian Foreign Policy at Queen’s University.

The busy Political Science professor is now back for the summer and upcoming school year and is already making preparations for his courses. He has a greater responsibility and less time for research than traditional professors, as he must also help organize the courses of all the professors in his department and is expected to attend to more “service tasks” such as meetings and conferences. Pierre hopes to continue to work on his book project for publishing.


Now I can look and see my professors beyond the average student’s eye and realize that their requirement to teach us is a mere 40% of their profession! Respect.