15 September 2015

The Foundation celebrates engagement in public issues of importance to Canadians 

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation congratulates this year’s recipients of its prestigious research fellowships. These fellowships recognize public intellectuals in the humanities and social sciences who venture beyond the boundaries of their disciplines to find new solutions to complex issues of major importance to Canadians.

The five new fellows appointed this year conduct research on:

  • assisted suicide,
  • Arab-Canadian youth,
  • Canada’s relationship with the Indo-Pacific,
  • justice as applied by armed rebels,
  • and ethnobotany in support of Indigenous land claims.

In addition to receiving a total of $225,000 over the next three years, each new fellow will enjoy unique access to the rich intellectual network of researchers and practitioners who have joined the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation community before them – 58 fellows, 106 mentors, and 187 doctoral scholars over the past 13 years.

In announcing this year’s fellowships, Morris Rosenberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO, said: “The five 2015 Trudeau fellows work on issues that are fundamental for our society. Their research will help advance Canadian public policy by educating the public and stimulating evidence-based debate.”

The 2015 Trudeau Fellows

Jocelyn Downie
Faculty of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia)

A specialist in the legal issues surrounding medically assisted dying, Professor Downie will involve the full spectrum of stakeholders to advance law and policy on palliative care, end-of-life treatments, voluntary euthanasia, and assisted suicide. 


Bessma Momani, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo (Ontario)

Professor Momani’s research and intervention will inform public policy about ways to promote responsible citizenship among Arab-Canadian youth and engage them as citizens within a healthy multicultural society.


Cleo Paskal, Visiting Fellow at the Montreal Centre for International Studies, Université de Montréal (Quebec)

Ms. Paskal will research the forces rebalancing power from the West to the East on the world stage and suggest how political, economic, and environmental changes in the Indo-Pacific might shape Canadian foreign policy in that part of the world.


René Provost, Faculty of Law, McGill University (Quebec)

Professor Provost’s research will explore the possibility of engaging with armed, non-state groups in conflict areas with a view to enlisting minimal respect for the standards of international humanitarian law.


Nancy Turner, Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (British Columbia) 

A specialist in ethnobotany and ethnoecology, Professor Turner will examine how research in her area of expertise can support the rights of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia and elsewhere with respect to land occupancy and ancestral treaties.


About the Trudeau Fellowships

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowships were established in 2003 to encourage original initiatives and innovative projects that would not necessarily receive support through traditional funding mechanisms. Nominated by their peers and selected by an independent panel, Trudeau fellows come from all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, and their research deals with one or more of the Foundation’s four key themes.

Each fellow proposes a collaborative project in which other Foundation fellows, mentors, and scholars participate.

The call for nominations for the 2016 fellowships is open until 27 November 2015 for regular fellowship candidates and until 11 December 2015 for candidates for a visiting fellowship.

Bessma Momani

Professor Bessma Momani is an expert on global economic governance issues, Canadian foreign policy, Arab Spring, Arab Canadians and Arab youth.

2018 Directors

Nancy Turner

Professor Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist whose expertise spans the fields of botany, linguistics, anthropology, and law.

2015 Fellows

Jocelyn Downie

Professor Jocelyn Downie is an expert on the protection of human participants in research, end of life law and policy, and the protection and promotion of women’s health.

2015 Fellows

René Provost

Professor René Provost specializes in international human rights, humanitarian law, and legal theory.

2015 Fellows

Cleo Paskal

Ms. Cléo Paskal's expertise lies in the bridging of global issues along geopolitical, geoeconomic and geophysical lines, particularly with regards to global environmental change and security.

2015 Fellows