Discover. Inspire. Change

More than a Scholarship

We are a gateway for courageous, bold, original thinkers who seek unconventional experiences beyond the halls of academia. Scholars who are hungry to play a leadership role in their communities and help inspire positive change.

    • The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship Program will help shape researchers into engaged leaders who are conscious of the impact of their research, connected to the realities of the communities in which they work, and open to non-conventional forms of knowledge. The Foundation is seeking candidates who are audacious, original, and forward-thinking.

      The program will last for three years and will also provide generous support for Scholars’ doctoral work in the form of a stipend and a research and travel allowance.

      In the first year of their term, Scholars will receive mandatory leadership training from the Foundation’s Mentors, who are leaders from across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and Fellows, who are leaders in research and teaching, during Institutes of Engaged Leadership. The Institutes will take place in different provinces, territories, and foreign countries.

      In the second year of their term, Scholars will work with Mentors and Fellows to collaboratively plan and participate in a public conference with a flexible format, to be created and led by the Scholars themselves.

      The third and final year of the program will be dedicated to knowledge dissemination. Scholars will continue to work closely with Mentors and Fellows to share the lessons they have learned over their term with the Foundation. This activity could take many forms, from the publication of a book to a theatre production or a fundraising gala. It will be a chance to innovate and experiment in order to share knowledge and skills gained through the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation experience with a public audience.

      The Foundation recognizes that leaders in Canada communicate fluently in English and French and is committed to supporting Scholars in improving their language skills and expects them to make the necessary efforts to become fluent in both official languages. The Foundation will also strive for robust representation of the diverse stakeholders, cultures, and communities that compose Canadian society in terms of gender, language, ethnicity, and region. The Foundation welcomes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis candidates.

      At a glance

      If you are chosen as a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, you will receive:

      • Membership in a community of other Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows, all of whom are leaders and change-makers in their respective disciplines and sectors;
      • Leadership training from Mentors and Fellows;
      • $40,000 per year for three years to cover tuition and reasonable living expenses; and
      • Up to $20,000 per year for three years, as a research and travel allowance;

      If you are chosen as a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, you must:

      • Attend a community retreat and two Institutes of Engaged Leadership during the first year of your term;
      • Collaboratively plan and participate in a conference event during the second year of your term;
      • Work with other Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows on a creative knowledge sharing and dissemination project during the third year of your term;
      • Work towards fluency in English and French with support from the Foundation;
      • Actively engage and collaborate with the Foundation’s community of Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows; and
      • Submit one research progress report per year.

      Apply now!

      The application date for the 2019 competition has passed. The dates for the next competition will be announced soon.



      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Scholarships

    • Each year, the Foundation may select as many as nine (9) mentors who are: 

      • Real-world actors from all areas of endeavour, who dedicate themselves to developing the capacity for engaged leadership among Scholars.  

      • Advisors to the Foundation community who may be engaged young professionals or individuals in the late stages of their career or in retirement.  

      • From different domains, including the arts or culture sectorthe corporate world, the voluntary sectorand the public service 

      • Social innovators  

      • Committed and involved in the real world

      We actively encourage applications from:Canadians and non-Canadians from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds; persons with disabilities; from all gender identifications and sexual orientations; as well as from First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. 

      What are the opportunities?  

      The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Mentorship selection prioritizes experience on the ground in order for Scholars to enhance their appetite for risk takingFor Mentors this means:  

      • The opportunity to develop a personalized experiential learning framework for Scholars 

      • Developing and enhancing their own professional practices through exposure to new networks and new communities 

      • Becoming part of the Foundation’s community and, in many cases, participating in new projects generated by the community  

      The Mentors’ commitments 

      Once chosen, Mentors become advisors to the Foundation community and commit themselves to: 

      1. Participate in a strategic planning retreat with the community from 26-30 May in Orford, Quebec.  

      1. Conceive on-the-ground activities to last one week, based on their areas of expertise and tied to the scientific cycle (“Power and Knowledge”) (first year)These activities should take Scholars out of their comfort zone and motivate them to become agents of change.   

      • Lead these experiential learning activities one afternoon per day for up to seven (7) days. 

      1. Work with the Fellowswho will lead morning seminarsand lead the end-of- day discussions(debriefing workshops). 

      1. Participate actively in the planning and organization of the General Conference, which is led by the Scholars in collaboration with the Fellows and Mentors (second year). 

      1. Work with Scholars and Fellows on an initiative to disseminate the takeaways from their Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation experiences.This can take many forms: from a publication to a theatrical performance, from a fundraising gala to the organizing of a series of prizes. This initiative will help broaden public appreciation for the positive impacts of the program (to take place in the third year). 

      In exchange for their contributions, Mentors receive compensation to a maximum of $20,000 per year for up to three (3) years for their Foundation activities and in their capacity as consultants. 

      Mentors must participate in at least one Institute during their mandate (first year), as well as the General Conference (second year) and the dissemination initiative (third year). The Foundation provides a travel allowance up to$15,000 per year for the duration of the Mentors’ involvement with the Foundationto enable them to participate in these events, to actively engage with the community and to take advantage of learning opportunities  

      Each year, the Mentors are required to submit an activity report in a format outlined by the Foundation, in which they detail their contributions as they relate to their commitment to the Foundation. 

    • Each year, the Foundation selects up to five (5) Fellows who are: 

      • Top-level researchers and professors in the social sciences and humanities. Early-career researchers and professors are encouraged to put forward their candidacy as much as candidates with extensive experience 

      • Intellectuals rooted in their communities, with experience in community-based projectsand with an interest in experiential learning 

      • Gifted and original teachers 

      • Catalysts for change 

      • Bold, inspired thinkers

      We actively encourage applications from: Canadians and foreign professors from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds; persons with disabilities; from all gender identifications and sexual orientations; as well as from First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

      What are the opportunities 

      Fellows will participate in the training of tomorrow’s leaders and will contribute to a wholesale transformation of our society. At the same time, they will continue their own evolution as socially engaged thinkers:  

      • They challenge their own perspectives through engagement with Scholars  

      • They are enriched through contact with Mentors, who are also sociopolitical entrepreneurs  

      • They leave their comfort zone and participate in an intensive experience, taking place from coast to coast to coast, and abroad  

      • They become part of a vibrant community  

      • They maximize the impact of their research  

       The Fellows’ commitments 

      Fellows chosen by the Foundation commit themselves to the following over three years:  

      1. Participate in a strategic planning retreat with the Foundation community from 26-30 May 2019 in Orford, Quebec. 

      1. Conceive one intensive seminar (1 weekbased on their area of expertise and relating to the theme of the current scientific cycle (“Power and Knowledge”) 

      • Half the seminar should relate to texts that influenced the Fellows and can shed light on their intellectual journeys (which thinkers inspired them?). The other half should be grounded in their own writings in relation to the scientific cycle and to engaged leadership. First and foremost, the seminar should instill in Scholars a desire for enlightened action.  

      • Fellows have the mission to create a curriculum for Scholars  

      • Run seminars through an intensive week of teachingevery morning for up to seven (7) days. 

      1. Work with Mentors, who will organize afternoon activities, and direct end-of-day discussions (debriefing workshops). 

      1. Participate actively in the planning and organization of the General Conference led by Scholars during their second year.  

      1. Work with the Scholars and Mentors on an initiative to disseminate the learnings from their Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation experience. This may take many forms: from a publication to a theatrical performance, from a fundraising gala to the organizing of a series of prizes. This initiative will help broaden public appreciation for the positive impacts of the program (to take place in the third year).  

      The Fellows will receive financial compensation corresponding to the activities for which they have been selected (training, teaching, sharing and planning). In accordance with the services rendered, the Fellows will receive up to a maximum of $50,000 per year for three (3) years. 

      The Fellows are required to attend at least one (1) Institute during their term of office (first year), in addition to the General Conference (second year) and the dissemination activity (third year). The Foundation provides a Travel Allowance of up to $15,000 per year for three (3) yearsto enable them to participate in these events, to actively engage with the community and to benefit from learning opportunities. 

      Each year, the Fellows are required to submit an activity report in a format outlined by the Foundation, in which they detail their contributions as they relate to their commitment.


Leadership Development

The key goal of the Institutes is to teach and encourage Scholars to take the time to listen and understand, as a necessary prelude towards effective action. Fellows and Mentors are charged with furthering this goal. 

Learn more about Leadership Development


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